Michael Ledeen Double-Header


Sunday's Boston Globe included an interesting piece on the intellectual development of Michael Ledeen, the Iran-contra veteran and neoconservative pundit. It also published a good article by Laura Rozen on Ledeen's favorite cause, the overthrow of the Iranian regime. Among other things, Rozen's report contrasts Ledeen's approach to Iran with that of the "strategic nonviolence movement" associated with Peter Ackerman, Jack DuVall, and former Reason interviewee Gene Sharp.


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  1. No matter how much I read about/from him, I can’t ever wrap my head around where he’s coming from.

    What is the agent that must instill fear if what we must fear is tyranny? I understand and completely agree with the Machiavellian sentiment in international relations, but I don’t understand what it means when he starts talking about problems with choice in general. The employment of tools to terrify tyrants is fine because they are tyrants. Whatever general-like methods you want to employ on a free people makes you a tyrant by definition, though.

    There is much to the argument that force must be employed to create conditions favorable for freedom, but you shouldn’t ever forget that freedom is the end.

  2. Jason Ligon,

    That’s what separates people like you, whose libertarianism I regard as genuine no matter how much I disagree with you on the war, from people like Ledeen.

    I never could understand how the Straussians could seriously claim to revere “democracy” to the extent that they treat the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration into holy writ, and at the same time advocate promoting that democracy by cynically manipulating the masses and putting forth the iron-handed rule of 5th century BC Athens as a model. For instance, Alan Keyes endlessly quotes “The Declaration,” while advocating positions on domestic civil liberties that sound like he’s channeling Adam Yoshida.

    Same thing goes for Machiavelli’s admiration for classical republicanism and civic virtue, which he wanted to promote by leading the masses around by the nose.

    As somebody or other said, the means are the end.

  3. I’m an Iranian who was a part of the 1999 student uprising in Iran.

    I think the America’s Democrats and left party are very hateful towards Irans freedom movement because they have an agenda and they support the Iranian government.

    I, along with virtually all Iranian Students support the Republican party because they are willing to stand up to the dreaded government in Iran. The Democrats are too stupid to even know Iranians aren’t Arabs. Mrs. Rozen the so-called “expert” apologized to me b/c she was too ignorant to know Iran’s ethnical, cultural and political background.

    Mrs. Rozen someone too stupid to know Iranians are in no way related to Arabs is hardly someone you want to praise.

  4. Thank you Arya, it’s always good to hear from someone who’s actually a citizen of a nation American policy affects.

    I wish you and your people freedom, happiness, and long life!

    (I’ve known that Iranians were not Arabs since I was a child. How could Mrs. Rozen know anything about Iran without knowing this basic fact?)

  5. I’ve heard both Democrats and Republicans confuse Iranians with Arabs. But where did Rozen do this? Certainly not in the article I linked to.

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