Batchelor on Mad Max Ahmadinejad calls to light a prophetic (1987) presumption belonging to Philip Rieff, king of sociologists with whom you should all get quickly acquainted:
“I persist [he wrote] in thinking, until better informed, that even Islamic jihadists are really therapeutic ideologists, who, like the Irish Catholic terrorists of the IRA, mobilize backward masses to gain power any man in good faith may live to regret.”
Rieff calls these “post-Muslims.” Iraq/Iran is the present deviant version of the Nazi/Soviet armageddon — deviant in that the Ba’athism of Iraq was not post-Muslim but specifically un-Muslim in its secular devotion to power, whereas both Nazis and Soviets were something other than merely secular. Such is the Iranian regime, now, too. Saddam could never be pan-Islamic — he couldn’t even accomplish pan-Arabism, as the invasion of Kuwait proved well enough to all. But MM Ahmadinejad’s is an utterly Islam-raping faith — subjecting the religion into a predicate of power. For some reason the arrival of the Twelfth Imam must be prepared by a panther feast of blood.
In this way MMA illustrates how vast is the ugly difference between this present crisis and the Iraqi. Iraq was a truly isolate, truly singular nation and case — thumbed down by international law, hamstrung by a record of huge failures and kicked-over subterfuges, without allies and without the sheerness of size, population, and topographical leverage God has granted Iran.
Once again: without allies, alone. We could conduct neoconservatism in a petri dish in Iraq, for good and for ill: even the leakage now of jihadists from Syria drips rarely from the tap. The meniscus bends but holds. Now consider Iran — reaching tentacles around Israel, recruiting serviceable Syria for chamberpot/bagman duty, accumulating audibles on offense and defense from Hormuz to Iraq to the Cartoon Diaspora. Calling all guards: the C-Intifada registered in the Great Crescent a Threat Level upgrade to Orange. Behold sheer possibility. Confronting Iran — and its gnarled attendants — will be utterly different than confronting Iraq, utterly more difficult, and — saving grace — ultimately more popular among the more populous afraid.