Given all the overqualified applicants, it can’t be said that Michael Ledeen is the dumbest of the neocons (an honorific most likely still retained by “The Fucking Stupidest Guy on the Face of the Earth“). Actually, much of the time Ledeen is simply playing dumb, and assuming that his audience won’t catch on (like when he had the stones to look his readers dead in the eye and claim that he had been opposed to the Iraq invasion all along – remember?).
In his defense, if at this late juncture there are still those that count themselves as Ledeen’s audience, he’s probably right in his estimation of their cognitive abilities. So dumb like a fox he is (albeit a warmongering, rabid, frothing for blood fox).
In a recent offering, Ledeen again hams it up for the crowd by feigning ignorance as to how Secretary Gates could possibly claim that the Iranian people might rally around the flag in the face of a series of massive US or Israeli airstrikes targeting all manner of Iranian military and nuclear facilities (many of which are embedded in civilian areas and would, thus, lead to many dead civilians – although even their scientists and soldiers are Iranians and might be missed).
Imagine that. How crazy. And does Gates have any actual evidence for this conspiracy theory (history be damned)?
In order to perpetrate this thinly veiled ruse, Ledeen pretends that every regime opponent either has a family member locked in prison, or has multiple deceased family members courtesy of the regime (considering that he pegs the opposition in the tens of millions, one wonders at the size of the Iranian prison population - and size of the mass graves).
In reality, of course, the opposition is probably smaller, and there is a large spectrum of viewpoints represented in that opposition, with many opponents of the current ruling clique not urging on revolution as much as supporting their own candidates within the system (or for more human rights protections regardless).
But nevermind reality, we’re discussing a Ledeen column.
So after dedicating the opening paragraphs to arguing forcefully that Gates is wrong, wrong, wrong to worry that military strikes would somehow galvanize support for the current regime, Ledeen does one of his patented pirouettes:
Not that I’m trying to talk Gates into bombing Iran; quite the opposite, in fact.
Silly liberals, whatever gave you that idea?
Our greatest weapon is political, and consists in [sic] the overwhelming majority of Iranians who hate the regime. If we supported them with vigor and a sense of humor, I think the regime would be overthrown and we wouldn’t have to worry about the “military option.” But we don’t hear any vigorous support for the democratic opposition from this administration. [emphasis added]
One imagines that if an “overwhelming majority” of Iranians opposed the regime they wouldn’t need our sense of humor and words of encouragement to git’r’done. And if our simple snark and attaboys were not enough, maybe we could sick the Piranha Brothers on em – using the Ledeen calculus, this thing would be wrapped up by the end of the weekend.
One is also left wondering: if that’s all it took, why didn’t the Bush administration just apply the necessary Joke and Stroke offensive? In Ledeen’s defense, he does add this bit as a caveat:
And more to the point, nothing concrete is done for [the opposition].
Hmmm, what do you think he means by “concrete”?