ALLAN J. FEIFER EXCLUSIVE: When Tyrants Feel Unconstrained | Joe Hoft


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ALLAN J. FEIFER EXCLUSIVE: When Tyrants Feel Unconstrained

When Tyrants Feel Unconstrained

Guest post by Allan J. Feifer

Why is it that we never seem to learn essential lessons that result in our best and brightest becoming so much cannon fodder by not understanding how to stop dictators and foreign wars before it is too late?  Over the next year or two, the West will likely be forced to focus on threats we’ve ignored for a generation.  The outcome will be that Europe and the U.S. will find themselves on a war footing sooner than many might have believed possible.  We’ve missed the signs that clearly signal what we may face.  Two stories we’ll explore today illustrate our wish for peace while our enemies plan for war.

Too few have the kind of memories that would serve us well in the political and strategic thinking topics that are vital today.  Here is a tale of two tyrants, a junior and a senior, although the difference between one and the other is not all that much, as you’ll soon discover.

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi expelled Khomeini from Iran in 1964.  Khomeini spent most of his time in Najaf, Iraq, a pilgrimage city for Iranians and other Shiite Muslims.  But Iraq, reportedly under pressure from the Shah, forced the cleric to flee to France in 1978.  For several months in late 1978 and early 1979, a tiny village in France became a megaphone for the pronouncements of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini‘s vitriol.  The messages were sent back to Iranians to overturn 2,500 years of monarchical rule.

“The fate of the Iranian revolution depended on what came out of Mr. Khomeini’s mouth,” said Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, who was among the Ayatollah’s closest aides and became Iran’s first president.

The Shah, America’s ally, who was secretly ill with cancer, flew out of Iran on Jan. 16, 1979, on an aircraft that he himself piloted.  His departure paved the way for Khomeini’s return later that year.  Bani-Sadr felt betrayed by Khomeini, saying that the cleric “changed in Iran.  Khomeini restored a dictatorship.” Of the inner circle in Neauphle-le-Chateau, Bani-Sadr is the only survivor.  Ghotbzadeh was executed, and Yazdi died in exile in Turkey.

Not unlike Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Khomeini made public pronouncements that made them popular heroes, only to completely change their political and religious stripes when they came into power.  Both were ultimately dictators and murderers of their people.

My parents had friends who lived in Teheran and watched with horror how one of the most urbane and modern Jewish tolerant societies in the Middle East deteriorated overnight, with the final nail in the coffin being the Iranian hostage-taking of Embassy personnel in 1979, which Khomeini ordered.

Khomeini’s threat to ignite the Middle East in a wave of sectarian violence and religious fervor was well understood by the Shah’s Secret Police, the CIA, Israel, and even the French.  Several times, all these agencies and governments considered ending the threat while Khomeini was still in France, and he could easily be eliminated.  Perhaps millions of people might still be alive today if Khomeini had met his end back then.  Khomeini’s ability to return to Iran was perhaps the second-greatest failure of Western resolve in the last century.

Now, let’s turn to the West’s greatest failure.  Vladimir Putin is responsible for the killing or wounding of 350,000 of his soldiers in an unjust and unprovoked war in Ukraine, along with tens of thousands of Ukrainians, mostly civilians.  And he’s just warming up for the next act if we don’t stop him.  The debate on why Putin invaded is much like the abortion debate; you believe what you want, and logic or whatever political affinity you have allows you only a zero-sum answer.

Putin tells us about his ambitions and intent when he says: “Russia will not be constrained.”  Putin’s recent interview with Tucker Carlson demands that we accept that Putin intends to return to the period of colonial empires that were once prevalent before the 20th century.  In addition, success in Ukraine would be a green light for Putin to make similar claims to recover/conquer other states, some now sovereign nations and independent members of NATO, as they were once part of the Soviet Union, like Georgia and Moldova.  “Institute for the Study of War reported that the Kremlin is using “very similar” rhetoric towards Moldova as it did before its invasion of Ukraine.” Moldova has seen a recent rise in Russian propaganda claiming Nazis control Moldova, and ethnic Russians are being persecuted.   Putin needs to conquer Ukraine with both the acquiescence and acceptance of the West so that he can invade other countries with less resistance.  We dare not let up our support of Ukraine.

This planned expansion is a large part of Putin’s strategy to scare NATO into abandoning Article Five.  No less dangerous to continued NATO unity is Russia’s strategy of its historical claims, not just to Eastern Europe but lands like Armenia, Georgia, Manchuria, parts of China, Kazakhstan, and the other “Stan” countries.  He also desires Lithuania, Sweden, Poland, Alaska, yes, our Alaska, and his list goes on.

Putin’s strategy relies on his staunch belief in Russia’s intellectual superiority and his country’s demonstrated ability to tolerate pain and suffering the West would not begin to accept.  He believes we are weak and Russia is inherently stronger.  Putin’s willingness to inflict pain, not only on his enemies but also on his own people, is fully demonstrated in the horrific story of Alexei Navalny or in the manner in which Wagner Group mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was assassinated.  Both deaths reflect Putin’s desire to share with the world that he’s not afraid to kill his enemies publicly, on his orders.  Putin loves to send signals.  These two incidents are unmistakable—he will reach out and kill you anywhere in the world if he wants to.  It’s a dare the West has yet to confront.

Putin loves pawns.  Pawns allow him to cover up his deadly work and create uncertainty.  Whether he wants to kill someone outright, invade a country, tighten the screws on his ‘loyal’ inner circle, or play to the millions around the world who side against the West in every instance, pawns play a central role in legitimizing his evil designs.  They help to create the other side of the debate, even when there can be no other side.  Putin is a war criminal and will be adjudicated as such one day.

Putin, Khomeini, Castro, Hitler, Kim Jong Un, Mao, and a rogues list of maniacal and dangerous people may have different reasons why they believe they are on the right side of history, or perhaps, just because they believe they can.  Still, in the end, they flout the power of their will over reason, logic, justice, and peace without restraint.  All these Destroyers also share any head start we were willing to cede to them, resulting in the deaths of millions before we eventually come to grips with reality and are ready to commence the long climb back to a more peaceful world.

Let’s get started sooner rather than later.

God Bless America.

Allan J. Feifer—Patriot – Author, Businessman, Thinker, and Strategist.  Read more about Allan, his background, and his ideas to create a better tomorrow at


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