Ignoring the Iranian Threat
| Iran freely declares its evil and violent intentions. What will it take for America and the West to take Tehran seriously?|
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran wants to start World War iii. Together with the total destruction of Israel and the demolition of America, this is one of the primary goals of his presidency.
The Trumpet didn’t receive this intelligence from a covert source in Tehran, or an undisclosed contact in the cia or Mossad. We, like millions of other people, learned this from the overworked mouth of President Ahmadinejad himself. Since his election in 2005, the Iranian president has virtually laid out a step-by-step plan by which he will thrust the world into World War iii!
In spite of the public revelations and the abundance of evidence proving the nation is spoiling for war, America and the West remain alarmingly casual and nonchalant in their approach to Tehran. The Western world simply does not take Iran seriously.
The story would be different if this was some middle-African dictator on a power trip. But this is Iran—leader of the Islamic world—a nation possessing a deeply motivated, hard-core Islamic leadership—a nation with some of the largest energy supplies on the planet—a nation on the cusp of acquiring nuclear weapons.
All these factors combined tell us that Iran is a nation we must take very seriously.
Columnist Mark Steyn recently wrote, “Anyone who spends half an hour looking at Iranian foreign policy over the last 27 years sees five things: 1) contempt for the most basic international conventions; 2) long-reach extraterritoriality; 3) effective promotion of radical Pan-Islamism; 4) a willingness to go the extra mile for Jew-killing …; 5) an all-but-total synchronization between rhetoric and action” (City Journal, Spring 2006; emphasis ours throughout).
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has provided the world “synchronization” between its leaders’ words and the actions they take (the obvious exception, of course, is their repeated lies about the malignancy of their nuclear program). In other words, if Iran says it will do something, be prepared for it to happen. If Iran’s leaders say they intend to strike at Israel and the West, we ought to take them at their word.
Thus far, Iran has followed to a T its stated plan of assuming leadership of the Islamic world and working to spread its theocratic ideals worldwide. For example: When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, signaling the end of the Cold War and heralding the dissolution of the ussr, Iran plainly stated its intention to fill the void left by the failure of communism. In a letter written to Moscow, Ayatollah Khomeini stated, “I openly announce that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the greatest and most powerful base of the Islamic world, can easily help fill up the ideological vacuum of your system.”
That, indeed, is what has happened. “As communism retreated, radical Islam seeped into Africa and south Asia and the Balkans” (City Journal, op. cit.). The Central Asian republics that practiced a moderate form of Islam 15 years ago are now permeated with Iran’s radicalized version. This “Iranification” also occurred in Lebanon, with the aid of Hezbollah, and among the Palestinians, through Hamas. The process is currently underway in Iraq.
If history is a guide, then we can be sure that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad is working to bring to fruition his beliefs and public comments regarding Israel, the West and the beginning of World War iii.
Yet, for some reason, Western leaders have exhibited a generation-long unwillingness to simply believe what Iran says. They are blinded by an innate, naive desire to believe the best in Ahmadinejad and Iran’s leaders.
Though branded by President Bush as a member of the “axis of evil,” Tehran is America’s negotiation partner over Iraq. Iran has been praised by U.S. officials as a “democracy,” a nation undergoing a “democratic flowering.” Bill Clinton last year unbelievably stated: “Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency. It is there that the ideas that I subscribe to are defended by a majority.”
Western leaders believe that if Ahmadinejad grows too haughty or dangerous, then the more moderate factions of the Iranian government will step in to keep the situation in hand. There is a common denial of the fact that, fundamentally, on their contempt for the West, they are all on the same side. “What’s the difference between a hothead and a moderate?” Steyn satirically asks. “Well, the extremist Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be ‘wiped off the map,’ while the moderate Rafsanjani has declared that Israel is ‘the most hideous occurrence in history,’ which the Muslim world ‘will vomit out from its midst’ in one blast, because ‘a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counterstrike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world’” (ibid.).
The very fact that no-one takes Ahmadinejad all that seriously may currently be the greatest factor working in Tehran’s favor. Iran’s president can make just about any threat, even declare war—and in retaliation he may receive a stern word from the diplomatic community. If he oversteps the mark a little, the “moderates” are there to reassure the international community that Iran really does seek peace.
Once Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it will be a different story.
During the Cold War, the U.S. and ussr avoided a nuclear war because both knew that a single strike-counterstrike exchange would be catastrophic, and neither wanted to annihilate the human race. With Iran, there is no such restraint. It would be the equivalent of a suicide bomber with a nuke strapped to its chest. It could threaten to lob a nuke at the slightest provocation, essentially holding the entire Western world to ransom.
Tehran is already using the nuclear card to gain leverage in its (behind-the-scenes) negotiations with Washington over Iraq—now, when just the possibility of nuclear weapons exists. What mad bargaining power will Iran hold once it carries out its first successful nuclear weapons test?
Iran simply has no regard for international conventions. It does not even respect the sovereignty of other nations, the very basis of relations between states. Ever since the seizure of U.S. soil and citizens in the form of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979, Iran has exhibited a total disregard for any law but its own. Iran thought nothing of sending a Hezbollah suicide bomber to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1993, killing 29, and the following year bombing the Argentine Israel Mutual Association, killing almost 100. The fatwa against British citizen Salman Rushdie calling for his assassination was answered by loyal Muslims who succeeded in murdering two of his translators and his publisher. Iran claimed jurisdiction over a Danish newspaper in the cartoons incident earlier this year, leading to riots and deaths worldwide. Iran has already gone a good ways in enforcing its brand of Islam around the world.
And yet, Iran is still not taken seriously.
Step back 81 years for a moment. A young Austrian—pretty much a nobody—wrote a book in which he described his antipathy for the Jewish people and his plan to sort the problem out when he gained power. He more or less laid out a step-by-step plan of how he would thrust the world into World War ii. The world took no notice. Adolf Hitler was either a raving lunatic or a confused young man. Or perhaps it was all a bit of a joke. In any case, he couldn’t possibly have really meant what he had set out plainly in Mein Kampf.
The course of history, as we all know only too well, tells us differently.
But perhaps one could have been excused for not taking Hitler seriously when he said his goal was to eradicate the Jews. After all, he wasn’t in any position of power—actually, he was imprisoned at the time he started writing his book. He didn’t control 10 percent of the world’s oil, and he didn’t have a nuclear weapons program. If he had this kind of power and capability, surely the world would have done something preemptive to stop this madman initiating war.
Look at the world scene today, and think again.
Friday, May 19, 2006
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