Iran-bashing; the most popular beer-parlor
game these days.
Mere words cannot fully describe the character of Jerome R. Corsi, the
author of the new book, ATOMIC IRAN, published by Cumberland House Publishing,
He supposedly has a PhD from Harvard in political science, which gives this light-trigger cannon even a greater potency.
Mr. Corsi gained national notoriety after the publication of his last book, Unfit for Command, a long-discredited series of false allegations against the Democratic Party presidential candidate, John Kerry. While his attacks on the Democratic Party can be rationalized - after all, Mr. Corsi is a diehard ultraconservative Republican - his motives behind his inveterate hatred of the Islamic Republic of Iran deserves a more careful analysis.
In the Foreword by Craig. R. Smith, CEO, Swiss America, Corsi is credited with “..impeccable research, similar to that which undergirded the runaway New York Times best seller, Unfit for Command..” The book is further touted as a “journalistic expose”. The validity of this endorsement falls apart rather quickly as we read on.
In the Preface, Corsi refers to the revolution of 1978-79 as “..the 1979 student revolution that brought Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power.” It is obvious that Jerome Corsi has not devoted enough of time to look into the historical facts about the Iranian revolution before taking on the subject. A massive national uprising of historical proportions is not the same as student riots at a university campus.
The Introduction section is highlighted by a quote from another well-known Iranophobe, Michael Ledeen, Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute. Other endorsements for the book are by fellow anti-Iran conspirators, like Frank J. Gaffney of Center for Security Policy, or the authors of the Iran Democracy Act and Coalition for Democracy in Iran, neoconservative organizations supported by the Israeli lobby for the sole purpose of destabilizing Iran in the guise of promoting democratic reforms.
In Section 1,
Corsi refers to a web address that has served as the source for his assertions. Below is an exact copy of the referenced quotation:
The London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that "an Iranian intelligence unit has established a center called The Brigades of the Shahids of the Global Islamic Awakening to replace the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Department of Liberation and Revolutionary Movements, which had been in charge of helping and training revolutionary forces across the world." The article went on to report a speech given by an official of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, threatening the U.S. with suicide and missile attacks at already-selected sensitive targets, and threatening to "take over" Britain. The following is the report:
source close to [Revolutionary Guards] intelligence confirmed that P.R. has been
appointed secretary-general of a new office that has begun registering the names
of suicide volunteers to be sent to
"[The newspaper reported that it had obtained] a tape with a
speech by H.A., a [Revolutionary] Guards intelligence theoretician, who
teaches at the Revolutionary Guards' Al-Hussein University. [In the tape,
H.A.] spoke of
"In his speech at a secret conference attended by students who are
members of the Ansar Hizbullah movement at
"'(President Muhammad) Khatami speaks of the dialogue
between civilizations, and I have grave doubts about this. It is a dubious idea.
We do not want to take over the British Embassy, since they (the British) have
already cleared the embassy of documents; we must take over
"After [H.A.] harshly attacked Khatami and the reformists, he said in his speech: 'The West sees us as terrorists, and depicts our strategy as terrorism and repression. Had our youth agreed to Khatami's teachings and interpretations, it would never have fought the arrogance, and would never have defended the holy places – because Khatami speaks always of being conciliatory, of patience, and of rejecting terrorism, while we defend [the line of] toughness and war against the enemies of revolutionary Islam. I take pride in my actions that cause anxiety and fear to the Americans.
"'Haven't the Jews and the Christians achieved their progress by means of toughness and repression? We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilizationand for the uprooting of the Americans and the English.
"'Our missiles are now ready to strike at their civilization, and
as soon as the instructions arrive from Leader ['Ali Khamenei], we will
launch our missiles at their cities and installations. Our motto during the war
"In his speech, he added: 'The global infidel front is a front
against Allah and the Muslims, and we must make use of everything we have at
hand to strike at this front, by means of our suicide operations or by means of
our missiles. There are 29 sensitive sites in the
"In another part of his speech, he emphasized, 'If Israel dares attack the [nuclear] installations at Bushehr, our losses will be very low, because [only] one structure will be destroyed – while we [i.e., Iran] have means of attacking Israel's nuclear facilities and arsenals such that no trace of Israel will remain.'"
As can be readily seen, the above material has absolutely nothing to do with President Khatami. Mr. Corsi has erroneously or deliberately and maliciously, quoted from an unknown (H.A.), who is apparently a hothead revolutionary guard, who has, in turn, been quoted by another unknown character (P.R.), in an unknown publication somewhere rather nondescript! Talk about impeccable research and journalistic integrity!
Interestingly, the only reference to Mr. Khatami in the above material is where this same (H.A.) is denouncing the Iranian President for being too conciliatory, and regards Khatami’s ideas of a dialogue between civilizations as dubious.
It should be an embarrassment for a publisher to have overlooked such gross misrepresentations or, to put it mercifully, mistakes, in the manuscript offered by a writer whose notoriety and opportunism are so well documented.
As far as the rest of the book’s contents, better than two-thirds is devoted to Democratic Party-bashing as a continuation of Corsi’s cause celebre or claim to fame, Unfit for Command. The remaining sections contain a series of totally unsubstantiated sensationalized statements that sound more like beer-parlor talk than scholarly research.
The reader should take some time to review Jerome Corsi’s background and his track record in order to gain some idea of what might have motivated him to write this book.
Information is also available on the web regarding the Iran Democracy Act
and the Coalition on Democracy for
Web location: http://rightweb.irc-online.org/org/cdi.php
The Coalition for Democracy in Iran (CDI) is one of numerous
pressure groups created by neoconservatives that focus on changing
CDI represents just one thrust in a phalanx of neoconservative
initiatives and organizations that aim to set the
CDI states it was “formed to mobilize the efforts of groups and
individuals across the
pment of weapons of mass destruction, the Islamic Republic
tolerates no dissention. Nor has the theocracy been able to deliver economic and
political reforms for the people of
Among CDI’s goals are: 1) highlight human rights abuses, which have continued or in some cases increased under the current ‘reformist’ president; 2) highlight the continued pre-eminent role of the Iranian government in global terrorism, the accumulation of weapons of mass destruction and the development of far-reaching and accurate delivery systems; 3) expose the efforts of the Iranian regime to undermine progress toward Middle East peace; and 4) draw attention to the flagrantly discriminative treatment of women in Iran.
According to CDI, “Engaging reformists tied only to the regime is
counterproductive since it stifles the growth of more democratic forces inside
Origins and Impact
Several of the CDI principals were among the main presenters at an
AEI forum titled “The Future of Iran.” Setting the tone of the forum, convener
Meyrav Wurmser of Hudson Institute said:
“Our fight against
Morris Amitay, listed on the program as the vice-chair of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, made mention of his association with CDI. Also presenting were Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), whose sponsorship of congressional resolutions against Iran have been closely coordinated with CDI, American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and Middle East experts at AEI and other neocon policy centers; Michael Ledeen, who Amitay called the “godfather of JINSA, and who has served as the necon’s point-man on Iran; and S. Rob Sobhani, an Iranian-American who is president of Caspian Energy Consulting and like others associated with CDI is a close acquaintance of Reza Pahlavi, the son of the ousted Shah of Iran (installed by a U.S.-engineered coup in 1953).
Although CDI calls for greater democracy in
Michael Ledeen, who was one of the leading actors in the Iran-Contra affair during the second Reagan administration, is once again involved in backchannel operations involving U.S. government officials (Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode who work in the DOD’s Office of Policy under Douglas Feith), Iranian dissidents and arms merchants (notably Manhucher Ghoranifar, who helped arrange the U.S. arms transfers to Iran with Ledeen in 1986-87), and Italian and likely Israeli officials. These meetings have come under congressional scrutiny by the Select Senate Intelligence Committee, which has postponed further inquiry until after the November 2 elections.
build support for their
The Coalition for Democracy in Iran also includes members of other key neoconservative policy institutes and think tanks, including Raymond Tanter of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (an off-shoot of AIPAC); and Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy. In the 1990s Feith served as the board chairman of the Center for Security Policy, and James Woolsey is currently co-chairman of the advisory committee of this militarist institute whose slogan is “peace through strength.” Other neocon institutes represented in the coalition by more than one member include the American Enterprise Institute (Muravchick, Ledeen, Pletka), Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (Woolsey, Kemp, Gaffney), and Freedom House (Woolsey, McColm).
CDI and the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee were among
the main policy groups that worked with House and Senate members to pass
resolutions in 2003 and 2004 that express support for regime change in
Just as the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 established the foundation
for bipartisan congressional support for the 2002 invasion, the congressional
a December 19, 2003 analysis of
“Alas, there is no sign that the West is willing to accept the
“As for the inspections promised yesterday, we are all diligently repeating the same mistake we made with Saddam Hussein, and the Iranian rulers are copying his methods…Just as we gave the terror masters nearly a year and a half to scatter and hide the Iraqi weapons, and organize their Iraq strategy, so we are giving the Iranians precious time to pursue their weapons program and solidify internal terror.”
Amitay, the former director of the American Israeli Public Affairs
Committee, shares Ledeen's scorn for the State Department, where the prevailing
mind-set is that there is “no tyrannical regime [that] can’t be made a friend by
showing our good will.” CDI’s founders and associates form part of a tight
circle of neocon groups closely allied with militarists in
a November 2003 article for the National Review Online, Ledeen argued
that the “appeasers” in Congress and the State Department “don't want to know
the view of CDI, the democratic opposition that is attempting to gradually
reduce the power of the Council of the Guardians is counterproductive. According
to CDI, “[President] Khatami is part of the problem, not the solution. He merely
puts a gentler face on a brutal and oppressive system in order to stall and
deflect international criticism…While Khatami monopolizes the reform mantle,
there has been, outside of press attention, a growing broad-based movement for
change in Iranian society. This popular movement, which spans
Just who are these freedom fighters? Based on statements and the
links of CDI principals, they appear to be a diverse and unlikely coalition of
monarchists, arms dealers like Ghorbanifar, and the Mojahedeen Khalq
Organization (MKO), a guerrilla group based in
(1) “Individuals Expressing Support for
the CDI,” CDI
(2) CDI Goals
(3) Cameron Kamran, “Iranians Don’t Need American Kingmakers,” International Herald Tribune, June 6, 2003
(4) See “Washington Might Have Picked
Iran’s Future King and Premier,” Iran Press Service, June 3, 2003,
excerpting from article by William Beeman in The Daily Star (Beirut), June 2, 2003.
(6) “CDI Says Iran Must Be Deterred If We
Are to Succeed in
(7) Transcript of “The Future of Iran,”
American Enterprise Institute conference, May 6, 2003
(8) Michael Ledeen, “Unpunished Failure,”
National Review Online, November 3, 2003
(9) “Michael Ledeen” Right Web Profile,
Michael Ledeen, “Back the Freedom Fighters,”
Geneive Abdo, “Stay Out of
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