Iran's August 22 threat
Two faces of Ahmadinejad
On TV last week addressing remarks to us
It was the Ayatollah Khomeini, the first leader of Islamist Iran who said: "I (declare) to the whole world that if the world-devourers [us again] 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."
These guys see triumph even in death, and especially if they take us with them.
Ahmadinejad, 50, was a leader of the militant group that took over the US Embassy in Teheran and held US diplomats hostage in 1980. He then became a commander in the Pasdaran, the Waffen-SS or shock troops of the Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic Republic, a leader in the Basij or domestic militia during the Iran-Iraq war, an organizer of the Ansar'e Hezbollah militant vigilantes, a provincial governor and then mayor of Teheran. (This stuff comes from Understanding Ahdadinejad by Ilan Berman, The American Foreign Policy Council, June 2006 - www.afpc.org)
Even by the standards of Islam Ahmadinejad is a religious nutcase. He is a member of the Hojatieh, a shadowy religious society based a radical strain of Shi'ite revolutionary theology which predicts the imminent return of a Hidden Imam or disciple of Mohammad, the 12th Imam called the Mahdi - who according to Islamic scriptures disappeared into a well back in the 9th century.
As president of Iran he has declared: "Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the return of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi."
The godly railroads
When he was mayor of Teheran Admadinejad poured millions of dollars into restoring the Jamkaran mosque where the Mahdi is expected to materialize. And here's a truly western measure of his insanity. Ahmadinejad expects the 12th Imam to want to travel by train and has supported improvements to rail lines in Iran specifically to provide the Mahdi with a level of transport service commensurate with his godly standing. (We don't recommend he travel Amtrak to DC. He'd be delayed for sure.)
In this Shia sect's belief the Mahdi will return to save the world for Islam in the midst of a huge conflagration or apocalypse.
Berman says Admadinejad and his followers are Islamist military men with little patience for diplomacy or PR: "Ahmadinejad and his ilk say what they mean and mean what they say..."
Ahmadinejad said some weeks ago that he would provide Iran's "final answer" to the world on the matter of his regime's nuclear weapons development on August 22 - tomorrow.
Princeton University middle east scholar Bernard Lewis has written: "Aug 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind." (Wall Street Journal 2006-08-08 pA10) TOLLROADSnews 2006-08-21