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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Tin-Foil Hat Crowd IS NOT Exclusive To The US

We are all aware of moonbats in our nation. We have plenty of them. From Democratic Underground to the Cannot Get a Clue crowd from MoveOn.org, to the Kos Kiddies. But imagine my surprise when I was greeted with this story this morning. (Hat-Tip: Drudge)

As Iran rushes towards confrontation with the world over its nuclear programme, the question uppermost in the mind of western leaders is "What is moving its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to such recklessness?"

Political analysts point to the fact that Iran feels strong because of high oil prices, while America has been weakened by the insurgency in Iraq.

But listen carefully to the utterances of Mr Ahmadinejad - recently described by President George W Bush as an "odd man" - and there is another dimension, a religious messianism that, some suspect, is giving the Iranian leader a dangerous sense of divine mission.

In November, the country was startled by a video showing Mr Ahmadinejad telling a cleric that he had felt the hand of God entrancing world leaders as he delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly last September.

When an aircraft crashed in Teheran last month, killing 108 people, Mr Ahmadinejad promised an investigation. But he also thanked the dead, saying: "What is important is that they have shown the way to martyrdom which we must follow."

The most remarkable aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad's piety is his devotion to the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam, and the president's belief that his government must prepare the country for his return.

One of the first acts of Mr Ahmadinejad's government was to donate about £10 million to the Jamkaran mosque, a popular pilgrimage site where the pious come to drop messages to the Hidden Imam into a holy well.

All streams of Islam believe in a divine saviour, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days. A common rumour - denied by the government but widely believed - is that Mr Ahmadinejad and his cabinet have signed a "contract" pledging themselves to work for the return of the Mahdi and sent it to Jamkaran.

Iran's dominant "Twelver" sect believes this will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant of the Prophet Mohammad.

He is said to have gone into "occlusion" in the ninth century, at the age of five. His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.

This is similar to the Christian vision of the Apocalypse. Indeed, the Hidden Imam is expected to return in the company of Jesus.

Mr Ahmadinejad appears to believe that these events are close at hand and that ordinary mortals can influence the divine timetable.

The prospect of such a man obtaining nuclear weapons is worrying. The unspoken question is this: is Mr Ahmadinejad now tempting a clash with the West because he feels safe in the belief of the imminent return of the Hidden Imam? Worse, might he be trying to provoke chaos in the hope of hastening his reappearance?

The 49-year-old Mr Ahmadinejad, a former top engineering student, member of the Revolutionary Guards and mayor of Teheran, overturned Iranian politics after unexpectedly winning last June's presidential elections.

The main rift is no longer between "reformists" and "hardliners", but between the clerical establishment and Mr Ahmadinejad's brand of revolutionary populism and superstition.

Its most remarkable manifestation came with Mr Ahmadinejad's international debut, his speech to the United Nations.

World leaders had expected a conciliatory proposal to defuse the nuclear crisis after Teheran had restarted another part of its nuclear programme in August.

Instead, they heard the president speak in apocalyptic terms of Iran struggling against an evil West that sought to promote "state terrorism", impose "the logic of the dark ages" and divide the world into "light and dark countries".

The speech ended with the messianic appeal to God to "hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace".

In a video distributed by an Iranian web site in November, Mr Ahmadinejad described how one of his Iranian colleagues had claimed to have seen a glow of light around the president as he began his speech to the UN.

"I felt it myself too," Mr Ahmadinejad recounts. "I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there. And for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink…It's not an exaggeration, because I was looking.

"They were astonished, as if a hand held them there and made them sit. It had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic."

Western officials said the real reason for any open-eyed stares from delegates was that "they couldn't believe what they were hearing from Ahmadinejad".

Their sneaking suspicion is that Iran's president actually relishes a clash with the West in the conviction that it would rekindle the spirit of the Islamic revolution and - who knows - speed up the arrival of the Hidden Imam.

Now, I am not one to criticize people for their beliefs. I respect the beliefs of others no matter how over-the-top they may seem, but Pres. Ahmadinejad's words should send a worrisome message to the world.

Unlike the moonbats in America who think that Pres. Bush believes that he is on a "holy mission," Pres. Ahmadinejad truly seems to believe this. When radical fundamentalism clashes with reality, the two make a dangerous combination. If he truly believes he can usher this era into existence, he may very well try to. Need we remind people of others who have also tried this, or believed they were doing this? Heaven's Gate? Jonestown? Any of those ring a bell?

But the difference between those incidents and Pres. Ahmadinejad is that they did nothing except harm themselves. Pres. Ahmadinejad's overboard beliefs and comments could ignite a war--a "holy war"--between Iran and the West, and cost countless thousands of lives in the process. All to bring his idea of "peace" to the planet.

For a long time, scholars have been studying religious texts, including the Bible, searching for that one little clue that will tell them when the end will come. It is, as Thomas will attest to (he does like to do his own research on the subject) an impossible study. No one will know the date, place, and time that those times will begin, save God Himself.

But we are not debating the End Times. We are talking about a man in charge of a nation that believes that he and his nation can bring forth this era. And they have the intent on using violence to achieve it if necessary. That is the scariest part about this piece. He truly believes that he is the one to help bring this to fruition. This man, despite yesterday's post stating he did not want nuclear weapons, is intent on obtaining them. And we may have just gained a little insight as to why he wants them.

He believes he is on a holy mission, and is willing to incinerate the world, or the region, to accomplish it. If this does not give the negotiating members of the EU pause in regard to Pres. Ahmadinejad's intentions with nuclear power, then I would assume that nothing will.

The Bunny ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He believes he is on a holy mission, and is willing to incinerate the world, or the region, to accomplish it. "

Iran under Ahemdine-what's-his-name is scary-- anybody who goes on an Armageddon binge while talking about getting enriched uranium, is flat-out dangerous. Then again, we have plenty of Christian fundamentalist Armageddon-obssessed whackjobs here in the USA who'd also love to start a nice, big nuclear war to supposedly "accelerate" the events of the Bible (or the Bible as they fantasize it is).

Fundamentalism and nukes are a dangerous mix. I don't think a fundamentalist Iran should have nukes. But I'm not sure a USA with so many Armageddon-obsessed fundamentalists should have them, either, at least not to the extent that we do.

12:47 PM  

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