More Adventures of Mahmoud Taazi of Teheran:Blinding impudence, or invocation of Apocalypse?
The previous American expedition of Iran's titular President, Mahmoud Ahmedinezhad, (M.A.) made it painfully clear that his interlocutors had no idea of what they were up against. . This time we witnessed some worse frog-in-well naivety of a (suicidal?) elite. TIME magazine then noted M.A's "self-assurance", bordering on arrogance. A private session organized by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) reported surprise at his "clever" dodging of awkward questions. Someone from the Nixon Center asked if he tried to "reach out", whatever that means. On the Holocaust, he just changed the subject
The calibre of the questions revealed more about the cultural gap between the rest (not only the "West" - ask Hindus about the sword of Islam) and where M.A. was coming from. But the conclusion was - we cannot "do business" with the man; he is smug and dangerous. Correct. But more dangerous than we realised then?
I then saw him reliving traditions of pre-modern Iran, fondly illustrated in a novel of diplomatist James Morier, thanks to his long experience of the country. In "The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Isfahan (Ch.10) Dervish Sefer explains how reached the heights without any real qualifications. "By impudence I have been a prophet, by impudence I have wrought miracles..." In Ch. 32, entitled "Lying on a Grand Scale", we read how after an unsuccessful battle a Fatteh Nameh (victory proclamation) was put out, heaped with bogus statistics - think of claims about Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran gone nuclear with lots of centrifuges...
There is still a tinge of such poetry in the recent performances of Mr M.A.and other arabised Persians (taazi - Google it) fronting the cult regime founded by Ayatollah Khomeini. But careful scrutiny of M.A’s recent speeches at the UN and Columbia University foreshadows something to be taken much more seriously.
From what we must interpret as coded messages to the faithful from Khomeini onwards, it must be concluded that their "assurance" may well be based on sincere belief in an apocalyptic version of Shi'a Islam, according to which mass martyrdom must raise the "Promised One", the Twelfth Imam or hidden Mahdi from his well to save the faithful.
In fact, since Bush and other infidels refused MA’s call to convert to Islam or die, the tipping point is passed and "the age of monotheism (i.e. the Khomeini version of Islam) has already commenced". The earth will be inherited by the righteous (i.e. the cultists, not for example mainstream Sunni Moslems or other People of the Book) and "the era of darkness will end".
In his UN peroration, M.A. "officially declared" that the era since World War II is over, and called on Allah to "hasten the arrival of Imam Al-Mahdi and grant him...victory". For the initiated, these words literally mean that as a messenger of God, like Khomeini and his successors, (even the "moderates", by the way, were involved in planning of the suicide bombing in Buenos Aires - opinionjournal.com 29Sep07) our Mahmoud is invoking, in the name of "The Compassionate, the Merciful” - nothing less than the final jihad and flaming end of those who will not “bow down”.
As Khomeini himself put it in words similar to those of Mao Zedong, in the nuclear context: "I say let this land (Iran) burn, I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world." (cited in American Thinker, 1 Oct 2007)
The Khomeinist cult of martyrdom attracted attention during the war with Iraq, when thousands of children were equipped with plastic keys to Paradise and sent ahead of the troops to explode mines. Now an Indian General recently back from Tehran reports that all top people asked him, when are the Americans going to attack? They say the US is bluffing - but really seem to believe - or is it hope, that since the Russian Pantsyr system proved useless against the Israeli bombing of Syria, US preparations for air raids on Pasdaran rather than nuclear bases are not just psywar or Cheney dreams.
This is the context in which we must evaluate the self-congratulatory croakings of that learned Columbian. His name recalls a fine fizzy drink, but only a murky drop bubbled up from the depths of parochial universalism. Far from showcasing the “genius of the American idea of free speech”, by giving a platform to the prophet of a martyrdom cult and then attempting to make up for it by insulting his guest, he offered a massive propaganda victory to that "dictator" (well, he was elected - like Hitler) and his macabre ideology throughout the whole, not just the Islamic world, outside cloudcuckooland campus.
Socrates and Sunzi tell us, know thyself – and know the enemy! We have to ask, which side is bluffing? If it were not for its track record on martyrdom, a sober-minded infidel would conclude the Mullahs are only playing “crazy like a fox” to deter an American or Israeli attack.
But what if they do believe what they say and are really trying to provoke it, with world-wide suicide-bombing retaliation, the destruction of Israel and the rest of it already prepared? Rounding up allies in Latin America, A.M. does seem to be preparing for war – fuelled by petroleum from Venezuela which he can’t refine himself. But is that just bluff also?