Iran’s Airborne Chernobyl - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Iran’s Airborne Chernobyl
A child’s gas mask at an abandoned school in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (Roman Belogorodov/

Today we have an opportunity to revisit something discussed in this space last week; namely, that Ukrainian International Airways jet the Iranians shot down just after it took off from Tehran’s airport on the same night that rogue regime had fired some 15 missiles across the border into Iraq at a pair of military bases housing Americans.

Those missiles didn’t kill anybody, though Iranian state television fraudulently reported they did. But the surface-to-air missile the Iranians fired at the Ukrainian jet killed 176 people, and, true to form, the regime lied about that, too, initially putting out a clearly bogus story that the plane had suffered “engine trouble” and then dispatching its stooges to the crash site with bulldozers in an effort to cover up the obvious fact they’d shot it down.

Here’s what the previous entry in this space had to say about the downed jetliner:

What the regime is currently surviving on is brutal repression, and the public perception that to oppose it is futile and suicidal. But when the average Iranian sees a Soleimani blown up in Baghdad, recognizes the regime was too afraid of the Americans they’ve promised to annihilate for 40 years to actually draw blood to avenge their man (but not too afraid to lie to their own people about it), and then kills 80 of their countrymen through sheer incompetence while angering Canadians and Europeans into participating in strengthened sanctions to further cripple an already dead Iranian economy, it can create an environment volatile in ways the regime won’t like.

Iran looks like a country with a failing government. Shooting down that jetliner and killing their own people by accident is indicative of it. And all of the lies badly told will only make things worse.

Be watching for further signs that the Iranian regime is on the ropes. You’ll see them if you’re looking.

The incompetence and the lies. They always go together with totalitarian regimes, and those regimes always eventually fail under the weight of both.

And in Iran, the failure is coming close at hand. You can feel it even from half a world away.

The streets of that country are filled with protesters, who aren’t going home even though the regime has dispatched its thugs to shed the blood of its own people. Iran’s greatest female athlete, Kimia Alizadeh, who won the country’s only Olympic medal competing in Taekwondo, has now publicly defected to the Netherlands and denounced the regime. And two news anchors from its state-run TV network have publicly resigned. One, Gelare Jabbari, offered an apology to the people that was striking in its brutal honesty.

“It was very hard for me to believe that our people have been killed,” Jabbari said. “Forgive me that I got to know this late. And forgive me for the 13 years I told you lies.”

As the Iranian regime frays and cracks, President Trump has had some very Reaganesque moments. He tweeted an admonition to the regime not to kill its own people that might well have outdone Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” for its effect on the oppressed people involved.

But Trump’s admonition brings a very clear memory of the similar confluence of lies and incompetence that brought down a feared evil regime. It happened in 1986 when the Chernobyl nuclear plant blew up and spewed radiation all over eastern and central Europe, creating a wasteland in a 50-mile radius around it and directly or indirectly costing the lives of hundreds, if not thousands.

And that regime, the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union, had as its first reaction to what it had done to lie and attempt a cover-up. When the cover-up failed, it was the end of the Soviets’ ability to buffalo its people into submission. Within a few years that regime, a world superpower, had disintegrated into some 15 different countries — and it disintegrated without even firing a shot of revolution, so discredited was the entire Soviet communist experiment for its inferior results and lack of credibility.

That jetliner wasn’t quite the disaster Chernobyl was, but neither is the Iranian mullahocracy the Soviet Union. It’s a sleazy, illegitimate Third World thugocracy engaged in terrorism, international organized crime, and assorted dirty tricks designed to intimidate and destabilize its neighbors and others around the world, and it has been running a con game on the entire planet for the last 40 years. The mullahs have never delivered on any of their promises to the people of that country, and they’re hated by the Iranian people.

It’s only a matter of time before the bell tolls for them. It should have signaled their demise 11 years ago, but for the cowardice and lack of imagination of the Obama administration who chose to coddle and prop up the Iranian regime rather than to side with the people of that country as they rose up to demand their freedom.

Well, Obama is gone, and Trump is president. And now we’ll see how long the incompetence and lies can be carried by a failed regime.

The guess is, not long.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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