Sunday, August 20, 2006

Iran, Ahmadinejad and August 22nd

I can see on my Sitemeter that there have been lots of inquiries about Iran and August 22nd. People are wondering what stunt Iran may try to pull now. It's difficult to know.

Here are four links to articles, with excerpts, that discuss the idea in some depth (bold emphasis done by me):

...[Bernard] Lewis has fingered something that most other “experts” either refuse to acknowledge or are simply unable to grasp; the determined fanaticism of our enemy.

This weird and dangerous blind spot in many leading academics, diplomats, and even military and intelligence analysts is something I’ve noted before. By insisting that fanatics like Ahmadinejad can be reasoned with, or bargained with, or deterred in any “traditional” way, the experts are able to rationalize almost any policy or proposal except confronting the madness in an effort to totally marginalize it or destroy it...

...The idea that Ahmadinejad can’t be deterred, or bought off, or deflected in any way from his fanatical, religiously inspired goal is such an anathema to most of our “wise men” that perhaps it is a concept that simply escapes them. Like the theory of quantum mechanics escapes almost everyone, maybe there is nothing in these very smart, very able people’s life experience that would allow them to face up to and recognize that, like Hitler, Ahamadinejad is announcing exactly what he intends to do, so pleased he is with his grand designs that he simply must share them with the world...

...Perhaps our experts simply have not been able to apply the necessary lessons of history to the present circumstances with Ahmadinejad. Perhaps, like most diplomats, they are so in love with the idea of “process” that the end result of any negotiations aren’t as important as the negotiations themselves. This is a mindset that seems especially prevalent with our Middle East diplomatic community. For 60 years, the “process” has dominated. But what have been the practical, real world benefits accrued over that time? To the United States? To Israel?...

...when an old wise man like Lewis can look fanaticism in the face and speak the truth, we should listen closely. And we should hope that anyone anywhere who has anything to do with any potential negotiations with that dangerous fanatic is listening also.

I've maintained that there is dangerous cult thinking at work here. You can't reason with it. Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Mullahs -indeed, much of the Islamic world- believes in the return of the Hidden Imam (or Mahdi), and that the only way to precipitate his return is massive violence, bloodshed and global chaos. They believe the Mahdi can't return until these conditions are met, and they are determined to bring them about.

Bernard Lewis, in his article for the WSJ, wrote about the text in an Iranian School book:
...A passage from the Ayatollah Khomeini, quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian schoolbook, is revealing. "I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."

In this context, mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead--hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement...

These psychos believe that even if they all die trying to kill us, they still win. What do you suppose such people would do with nuclear weapons? And even if they don't have nukes yet, what can they do with other weapons they have NOW? Consider this:

The Missiles of 27 Rajab
...Assuming the worst case – a default mental mode for military planners – what ought we to expect to happen the next several weeks? A possible scenario can be constructed based on events of recent weeks and months, although the groundwork for this action has taken years to develop. Let us try to outline what Ahmadinejad and his surrogates in Syria and inside Hezbollah might have on their minds.

To begin we review what we know for certain:

1) Iran has been focused on acquisition of nuclear weapons, working for years with the AQ Khan group and North Korea;

2) Iran has for all intents and purposes declared war on Israel and America (though the U.S. has not understood Iran’s commitment), outlining its war policy as one of utter extermination;

3) Iran has worked unceasingly with North Korean scientists and engineers to improve missile technology, resulting in several models of varying ranges and payloads, and with highly improved mobility over SCUDs;

4) Iran has used surrogate movements and states to support clandestinely attacks on Israel and America (the latter inside Iraq);

5) Iran has positioned large numbers of technologically advanced weapons and the troops from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to assist inside Lebanon and Syria.

We have confirmed that Iran was a sponsor and participant in North Korea’s early July 2006 missile tests, and have shown rather convincingly that the real testing was the ability to deploy rapidly missile units, each capable of firing several weapons independently. The capstone of the test was that multiple missiles fired on schedule, each simulating many, and that the tests were frighteningly successful. Equally important was that the public misunderstood the real purpose of the tests and vastly underestimated the value derived from them...

...the Iranians have smuggled several of the Zelzal Class into Lebanon for Hezbollah use. These are heftier weapons, also known as Shehab Class missiles, derived from the North Korean Nodong Class, built with Iranian financial backing. These can fly up to 1600 kilometers carrying a payload of almost a ton. Even with conventional loads these are formidable terror weapons. Bachelor notes that these missiles are “on their mobile launchers, under Iranian rocket crews” parked in Syria waiting the order to attack. Once given the green light crews will “push over the border crossings, park about 15 meters inside Lebanon, and launch on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”

Reinforcing the threat, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader, warned that “deeper” attacks would be forthcoming. The Israelis, Bachelor says, have accounted for more than 36 such missiles inside Lebanon. They’ve already killed some, but how may more wait across the Syrian border? Dozens? Hundreds? Using the tactics just rehearsed in North Korea suppose Syria, backed to the hilt by Iran, having provoked an Israeli or American strike which provides them sufficient excuse, then floods across the border. Many specially trained battalions with scores of Zelzals and smaller payload missiles dispersed among them will lead. It is probably that many of the weapons and units are already pre-positioned.

These Zelzal missiles if properly dispersed and simultaneously launched – if, in other words, the tactical model developed by the Soviets, taught to the Iranians, and just practiced in front of the world in North Korea is followed – we could expect that existing Israeli missile defense systems would be overwhelmed. Radars would pick scores, perhaps hundreds of missiles launched from a very short distance away all converging on Israeli cities. It would be impossible for upgraded Patriot or any other deployed system to get them all. The leakers would certainly penetrate. Are they going to carry conventional explosives, a serious enough threat by itself, or will these be the ones that carry the dirty warheads, the small fission devices, or the VX nerve gas? Is this the “day or rejoicing” that Ahmadinejad threatens?...

I hate talking about all this grim stuff, especially on a Sunday, but it's what I've been reading and with the 22nd comming up on us soon... well, I guess we wait and see. Even if Ahmadinejad is full of hot air and nothing happens on the 22nd, the above war scenario does give some ideas about what could happen in the future.

The following article goes into some detail about the story that inspires Ahmadinejad to use the date of August 22nd:

Iran's Day of Terror?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has frustrated Western officials by refusing to reply to their offer of various incentives in exchange for Iran’s discarding its nuclear program until August 22. The Western governments had asked Ahmadinejad to reply by June 29; why would Tehran need two extra months?

Farid Ghadry, the president of the Reform Party of Syria, has offered a provocative explanation for this delay. He asserts that the Supreme National Security Council of Iran chose the August 22 date “for a very precise reason. August 21, 2006 (Rajab 27, 1427) is known in the Islamic calendar as the Night of the Sira’a and Miira’aj, the night Prophet Mohammed (saas) ascended to heaven from the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on a Bourak (Half animal, half man), while a great light lit-up the night sky, and visited Heaven and Hell also Beit al-Saada and Beit al-Shaqaa (House of Happiness and House of Misery) and then descended back to Mecca.…” ...

It gives a summary of the whole kooky story, fortunately it's not too long. It sounds like a really bad made-for-tv movie, on the Sci-fi channel, late at night. Dubbed in Italian, with bad lip syncing and B-grade actors.

Based on this (to us) absurd story, Ahmadinejad chose the date of August 22nd for his suprise. I read somewhere, that the sky is supposed to "light up" over Jerusalem at moonrise on the 22nd. At Israeli time, that should be 4:34am. Would that be 7:34pm Monday, Oregon time?

This could all turn out to be a bunch of Hooey. But the death cult mentallity of the Muslim players in this can only make you wonder what stunt they might pull next. We may not believe in Hidden Imams, but we have to take seriously the fact that THEY do.

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