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Breaking Bad in Iran, Biden and beyond

By Mark Alexander
web posted December 7, 2020

If you're under the age of 45, or have family members who are, you may be familiar with a TV series called "Breaking Bad." I rarely had the inclination to tune in, both because I didn't have the time and because in the few episodes I did watch with others, there was nothing remotely redeeming about any of the characters — just a predictable progression toward darkness. (Apparently, that darkness and lack of redemption were the art of the series.)

I did, however, watch the final episode, in which — spoiler alert — the main character, Walter White, dying of cancer, takes revenge on those who betrayed his illicit drug business. (See what I mean about "dark"?) In that episode, Walt rigs a 7.62×51mm M60 machine gun to a remote-controlled turret in the trunk of his car. Once activated, the weapon takes out all the "badder" of the bad guys.

After that episode, I observed that, logistically, the operating mechanics of the M60 remote were completely unrealistic.

It might be that my occasional editorializing about the historical or technical accuracy of theatrics explains why some people resist asking me to watch such programs with them — with apologies to my wife.

And that observation about remote-fired weapons brings me to the events of last week...

Utilizing a method that sent a bigger message than the target, another of Iran's deadliest actors was terminated late last month. The target was Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, described by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as "the country's prominent and distinguished nuclear and defensive scientist." But this rodent's extermination was very different than the precision strike ordered by President Donald Trump a year ago, which took out Iran's elite terrorist Corps-Quds leader, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, and his Iraqi counterpart, paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes.

It's one thing to launch a precision missile against a target — something that could not have also been arranged with Fakhrizadeh because it would have betrayed the perpetrator — but quite another to use, as reliable sources report in this case, a remote-control machine gun mounted in the back of a pickup truck on Iranian soil.

To fully appreciate the "shock and awe" message somebody sent to Iran's Islamist dictators — the message that they are no longer safe anytime or anywhere — political analyst Dennis Prager notes: "To appreciate how remarkable this operation was, consider this: Fakhrizadeh traveled a different route to work every day, traveled in a bulletproof car and was accompanied by three personnel carriers that transported heavily armed bodyguards. The assassins had cut off electricity to the area surrounding the assassination and disabled all video cameras in the area. They exploded a car next to Fakhrizadeh's car and had a remote-control machine gun fire at Fakhrizadeh. The entire operation took three minutes."

The vehicle and weapons system self-destructed after the attack.

Fakhrizadeh was the fifth Iranian nuclear scientist killed since 2007, and the most direct beneficiary of those deaths is, of course, Israel. Israelis are very good at leaving no trace, no fingerprints, but there is little doubt that they had a hand in these attacks.

Israel rightfully has a "zero tolerance" policy on regional Islamic conventional and nuclear threats to its homeland.

Sometimes that hand is overt. Operation Opera in June of 1981 — the Israeli air strike against an Iraqi nuclear reactor under construction southeast of Baghdad — destroyed an Osiris-class reactor provided to then-dictator Saddam Hussein by France. Always the French...

Other times, however, the hand is covert, the work of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency in conjunction with opposition parties on the ground. The most recent attack on Iran's nuclear weapons capability was the considerable damage in July to the Natanz nuclear facility, which produces advanced centrifuges for the weaponization of uranium. That explosion "coincided" with other explosions at different facilities.

By way of disclaimer in the latest of what The Washington Post described as "a series of unusual explosions," Israel's defense minister, Benny Gantz, insisted: "Not every incident that happens in Iran is necessarily connected to us. All those systems are complex, they have very high safety constraints and I'm not sure [the Iranians] always know how to maintain them."

OK (wink and nod), it must've been simultaneous malfunctions at different locations!

The latest attacks have been directly against Iranian targets rather than Islamic terror proxies like Hezbollah. Clearly, Israel is getting in a few last shots before President Trump leaves office.

Predictably, Barack Obama's former CIA director, John Brennan, the thug leader of the deep-state coup to take down Trump, condemned the assassination as "a criminal act" and "highly reckless," labelling it as "murder" and "state-sponsored terrorism."

For context, Trump has achieved an astounding number of Middle East policy successes, the latest being the historic brokered Saudi/Israeli meeting. Trump's impressive foreign policy record in the region has earned him three Nobel Prize nominations. (I note "earned" because, unlike the ludicrous Nobel trophy given to Barack Obama for having merely shown up, Trump has actually accomplished substantial objectives in the region and globally.)

These Middle East successes, though, don't overshadow his policies to contain the greatest external existential threat to the future of American Liberty, Xi Jinping's oppressive Red Chinese regime, the originator of the devastating CV19 pandemic and puppeteer controller of dictator Kim Jong-un's North Korea. (Here I note "external" because Joe BidenKamala Harris, and their socialist Democrat Party represent the greatest internal threat to the freedom of American citizens.)

The question for Israel now is this: Will a Biden-Harris regime revert to the Obama-Clinton-Kerry model of foreign policy malfeasance? Obama's greatest "achievements" in the Middle East were the Benghazi cover-up, appeasing Iran with a catastrophic "nuke deal" brokered by John Kerry, (which Trump immediately and rightly canned), pandering to Syria, empowering the Islamic State, and leaving an epic humanitarian crisis of displaced Syrian refugees on the Jordanian border.

Will Biden, as Obama did before him, embrace Iran and the other bad actors in the region?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the most effective SecState in decades, said after his meeting with Biden-Harris policy officials: "Iran is more isolated than it has ever been, [and] the Gulf states are now working together in ways that literally four years ago I don't think anybody would have believed was possible. ... So whether it's in the Gulf states or Israel, I think they have come to appreciate that the policies that this administration put in place are the ones that are best for them, for their relationship and partnership with the United States of America."

That was Pompeo's effort to make nice, but he knows that Biden will likely follow the "Obama plan" in the region and, if so, Israel's U.S. support will once again plummet, and the region's Islamist tyrants will once again gain strength. ESR

Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.




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