All posts filed under: Iran

The Fall of Beirut

The effects of the explosion of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in the port of Beirut, Lebanon on August 4th was not restricted to 170+ deaths and 3,000+ injuries. The explosion’s metaphorical shockwaves may prove to be the death knell of Lebanon’s domestic politics and economy. Both were already collapsing from extreme corruption even before COVID struck. Add an explosion that caused billions of dollars of damage to an already bankrupt country, and the result is a failed state in the making. Lebanon is failing in no small part because the Shia terror group Hezbollah, which translates as “Army of God,” makes its home there. Hezbollah’s continued residency and effective Lebanese governance seem to be mutually exclusive propositions. Except calling Hezbollah merely a terror group is too simplistic, and nothing in Lebanon is ever simple or easy to explain. Hezbollah is responsible for countless murders, kidnappings, and terror attacks, including the 1983 suicide bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Marines. But Hezbollah is also a charity operating in …

How Long Before the Regime Falls in Iran?

The death of Iranian Quds Force commander General Quassem Soleimani has produced some truly bizarre media coverage. Some Western media outlets are framing Soleimani’s death as the loss of a deeply beloved hero, such in this January 7th episode of the New York Times The Daily podcast. The podcast spends more than 20 minutes describing how Soleimani was a beloved totem, a living security blanket that Iranians believe protected Iran from instability (by fostering instability in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, apparently). The closest thing in the podcast to an acknowledgement that Soleimani led a group of armed thugs that viciously suppressed dissent in Iran, including turning their guns on Iranian protestors less than two months ago, was a single sentence in the podcast: “To be clear, there are plenty of Iranians who did not love or respect Soleimani.” “Plenty” seems an inadequate way to characterize the majority of Iranians. Seventy-nine percent of Iranians would vote the Islamic Republic out of existence if given a chance, according to one poll. Yet somehow that torrent of …