The Unavoidable Question

While the left wants us to be terrified of dubious threats, such as global warming, they don’t seem to care much about a coming nuclear warming courtesy of Iran.

Michael Burleigh writes in the London Daily Telegraph:

Ahmadinejad is unique, not because of his pronouncements about Israel, which he wishes wiped off the face of the earth, but because he actively seeks to bring about an apocalyptic struggle between the righteous and the wicked to accelerate the return of the mahdi or Hidden Imam.

One might think that the prospect of US or Israeli bombs raining down on Iran might sober this visionary. That would be a mistake. Khomeni actually incited war with Iraq in 1980, rejecting Saddam’s offers of an armistice two years later. During the eight-year war, an enormous militia, called the Basij, was created under the aegis of the Revolutionary Guard. Boys aged 12 to 17 were dispatched against the Iraqi army, each armed with a plastic key to paradise, manufactured in bulk in Taiwan. A ghostly pale rider occasionally appeared, whose phosphorous-painted face was supposed to be that of the Hidden Imam, to urge these suicide waves on. Mowing these children down — and perhaps as many as 100,000 were killed — was so traumatic that even battle-hardened Iraqi veterans declined to fire.

No Western-style commissions of inquiry have investigated these state-decreed mass suicides between 1980 and 1988. Instead, the Basji are celebrated, with the countenance of one 15-year-old suicide, who detonated himself against an Iraqi tank, evident in the watermark of 500 Rial bank notes.

The Basji have become part of Iran’s morality police, poking into cars to sniff out drinkers or women wearing cosmetics, and this time last year cutting off the tongue of Massoud Osanlou, a bus driver who led a transport strike. These youths have also been recruited into a putative army of 54,000 potential suicide bombers, or into university science faculties to bolster Iran’s “national security”.

If Ahmadinejad and the Basji represent the apocalyptic strain in the Iranian Revolution, what of the so-called moderates, such as former president Hashemi Rafsanjani? Unfortunately, when Ahmadinejad uttered his nuclear threats against Israel, Rafsanjani remarked, “The application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damage in the Muslim world”, although he forbore to mention that the desired fate of Israel would be shared by much of Jordan, southern Lebanon and, above all, the Palestinians about whose plight Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani are wont to emote.

How the West responds to these threats is an unavoidable question. It is likely that, within 12 months, Iran’s technicians will complete the nuclear cycle needed to produce weapons grade uranium.

While the media blathers on about the “new day in Washington,” the clock is ticking.

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