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The West wakes up to Iran

The good news is that America and other Western nations finally seem to have realized that Iran is being governed by a gibbering lunatic. Better late than never, I suppose. Incendiary anti-Western rhetoric and the routine execution of homosexuals and adulterers could never quite rouse the Western intelligentsia from its collective slumber, but when President Ahmadinejad recently took the terribly non-PC step of denying the Holocaust, that seems to have finally done the trick.

Well that's good, I'd say. I'm a bit bemused at why this one comment suddenly opened the floodgates of condemnation, but, well, them's Western sensibilities for you, I guess.

Now please don't misunderstand me. Holocaust deniers are terrible people. But honestly, in the Middle East, how rare can they be? I'd say they're about a dime a million over there, frankly. We've even got them in this country -- David Duke springs to mind. The big difference, of course, is that David Duke, so far as we know, is not on the verge of acquiring a nuclear arsenal.

I, like Charles Krauthammer, am a bit less concerned by his insensitive and unenlightened rhetoric than by the fact that he seems hell-bent on developing a nuclear missile and pointing it at Israel.

Everyone knows where Iran's nuclear weapons will be aimed. Everyone knows they will be put on Shahab rockets, which have been modified so that they can reach Israel. And everyone knows that if the button is ever pushed, it will be the end of Israel.

But it gets worse. The president of a country about to go nuclear is a confirmed believer in the coming apocalypse. Like Judaism and Christianity, Shiite Islam has its own version of the messianic return -- the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam. The more devout believers in Iran pray at the Jamkaran mosque, which houses a well from which, some believe, he will emerge.

When Ahmadinejad unexpectedly won the presidential elections, he immediately gave $17 million of government funds to the shrine. Last month Ahmadinejad said publicly that the main mission of the Islamic Revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam.

And as in some versions of fundamentalist Christianity, the second coming will be accompanied by the usual trials and tribulations, death and destruction. Iranian journalist Hossein Bastani reported Ahmadinejad saying in official meetings that the hidden imam will reappear in two years.

So at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what made us start paying attention to this freak. The important thing is that we continue to do so. Let's please not take our eyes off the ball on this one.


I think the US realized the Iranian threat all along. It was Europe that was pushing negotiations, hoping to gain a counterbalance to US power and a new source of oil all in one. However, I don't think they are as concerned about nuclear missiles pointed as Israel as they are about the Iranian missiles that will ultimately be pointed at them.

Maybe it's you quoting Neocon morons that makes me think you are one too.

And where, pray, do you suppose Israeli nukes are aimed ?
If someone is aiming a gun at you and you're unarmed, wouldn't you want to arm yourself ?
I'm always amazed at the hypocrisy on this, it's not a left/right issue.

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