For Iran’s Tyrant, Escape Cometh Before the Fall

January 8th, 2010
Also published online at Stand Up America, January 8, 2010 

In time, most tyrants become aware of a brutal reality.  Such reality generates paranoia for some, sleepless nights for others or a quick death for those failing to grasp it.  It gives them pause to reflect, not on changing their brutal ways to avoid the reality, but rather on how best to escape it should it come.  The reality—“He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword”—may now be haunting Iran’s Supreme Leader—Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Such reality plagued the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.  Brutality marked his rise to power and quarter century rule, leaving him keenly aware the sword cuts both ways.  He feared the brutality he wrought could one day be visited upon him.  Paranoid, he rarely spent more than one night in the same place.  To prevent factionalism (i.e., challenges to his leadership), he randomly purged his officer corps.

But, subconsciously, Saddam feared for his own life.  Such fear kept him focused on always having a viable escape plan ready.  His personal yacht revealed the extreme to which he took this focus.  It was constructed with secret passages to provide him with hidden escape routes.  It also was equipped with an underwater pod—to which a mini-submarine was attached—to allow for a stealthy get-away.

Ironically, the brutality Saddam so feared during his life was ultimately rendered against him after his death.  Following his execution but before his burial, allegedly six stab wounds and facial disfigurement were administered to his body—evidence of the deep hatred held for this brutal leader.

The personal escape route for another brutal leader, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, is quite extensive.  Despite the personality cult worship he promotes, Kim fears the wrath of his people once freed from the yoke of oppression.  North Korea’s highest ranking defector, Hwang Jong Yop, recently revealed Kim’s escape plans in the event of domestic turmoil.  It includes a network of tunnels, some almost 1000 feet deep, combined with underground rail systems, extending from a Pyongyang residence to the port city of Nampo.  From there, Kim would escape by sea to China.

There have been brutal leaders who became so isolated from their people and so ensconced in their ivory towers, they failed adequately to plan for their own escape in the event of a violent overthrow.  For such inattention to detail, they paid dearly.  Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s brutal “cult” rule ended with a revolution in 1989.  Captured as he and his wife attempted a last minute escape, they were convicted of crimes against the state in a two-hour trial by a kangaroo court, which immediately sentenced them to death.  The hatred over the couple’s brutal rule was apparent as hundreds of volunteers sought to be part of the firing squad.  So eager was the squad to perform the execution, members failed to await the command to fire, shooting the couple the instant they were positioned against the wall.

While the revolution now going on in Iran was sparked by last June’s stolen presidential election, the real reason for the uprising is the brutality of Iran’s mullahs.  The people’s hatred is now being directed against the man responsible for ordaining the brutal suppression—Ayatollah Khamenei.

The fate Nicolae Ceausescu suffered is not lost on the Ayatollah.  A jet aircraft has been readied to fly Khamenei and his family out of the country should domestic unrest get out of control.  It appears authorization and clearances have been obtained for him to fly to Russia.  And, on December 27th, undoubtedly out of concern the dam holding back the wrath of the Iranian people may be cracking, the order was given to undertake a complete final pre-flight check-up of the aircraft.

It appears Khamenei is getting nervous.  Should the courageous Iranian people continue turning up the heat, we can expect the Supreme Leader to execute his escape plan.  In doing so, the world will bear witness yet again to a tyrant who values self-preservation above the cause he espoused to justify his brutal rule.  Willing to sacrifice the lives of others to maintain that rule, he is unwilling to sacrifice his own to defend it.

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