Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ledeen Responds to Hersch, and Believes Iran Has the Bomb.

On the Laura Ingraham radio show Tuesday evening, Iran analyst Michael Ledeen, who writes for National Review Online, said he didn't believe Seymour M. Hersch's claim (made in the April 17th New Yorker magazine) that American special ops are even now swarming secretly throughout Iran to prepare the ground for American bombing. Ledeen apparently thinks little of Hersch's anonymous inside sources. I'm assuming Ledeen read the New Yorker piece, knows it was not merely speculative, and knows that Hersch claimed inside sources.

Ledeen also noted to Ingraham that it took the U.S. only four years, without outside help, to create atomic weapons. He made it clear that for him it strained credibility to believe the Iranians don't have the Bomb, given the fact they have been working on it for fifteen years and have had all kinds of outside help. He clearly believes they've got it, and argues that's not really the concern anyway. What matters, he said, is not the Bomb per se, but the kind of regime that has it. A liberal democratic Iran would not be a threat. I didn't catch whether he supports a U.S. bombing campaign in Iran at this point. He advocates regime change there, and counts strongly on the 70% of Iranians he says hate the regime. He thinks any regime change program should involve generous U.S. support for Iran's internal resistance forces.

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