Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Watching the beginning of the end

Over the last year, I have left little hints to regular readers of something that has been bouncing around my head - the coming nuclear war in the Muslim world. I'm not the only one that has been thinking of it over the last year, Charles Krauthammer has as well. Before you go, "Yea, let them nuke it out..." remember that they have the balance of the world's supply of energy.

With the NORKs making their little nuke go boom, as sure as the sun is a fusion reactor, know that at best the core of Shia Islam (Iran) is at best 2-5 years behind. The Sunni powers will not let this stand. I would hope that many of you understand the 30-years war and what that was all about. Now picture if the Catholic and Protestant powers had nukes. Well, they were progressive minded people compared to the Jim Jones like cult that is running Iran right now. Though they really want to go Persian Empire on everyone, the Iranian issues is more religious than political. That is where the danger lies. Politicians understand negotiation and compromise. They understand give and take. Religious fundamentalists don't. They were binary before binary existed. If fundamentalists Iran gets nukes. Those who see themselves as the defenders of Sunni Islam and/or share a border with Iran, will not let that stand. They will not, like Japan, buy time by knowing that they are under the American nuclear umbrella.
...six Arab states announced that they were embarking on programmes to master atomic technology.

The move, which follows the failure by the West to curb Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, could see a rapid spread of nuclear reactors in one of the world’s most unstable regions, stretching from the Gulf to the Levant and into North Africa.

The countries involved were named by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Tunisia and the UAE have also shown interest.
That failure was a result of us getting our European "allies" a chance to do what they wished we let them do in Iraq. More jaw, jaw. The Iranians, of course, knew that without the Europeans willing to go to war, they had nothing to loose by talking while they grew stronger and stronger. Unlike the Iraqis, the Iranians are a bit more put together....and richer. When they go "click-boom" the chain reaction will follow - Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be next. To the Mullahs of Iran you can add the Wahhabi of Saudi Arabia and Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt. Yes, it is as unstable as it sounds.
That is why Iran's arriving at the threshold of nuclear weaponry is such a signal historical moment. It is not just that its President says crazy things about the Holocaust. It is that he is a fervent believer in the imminent reappearance of the 12th Imam, Shi'ism's version of the Messiah. President Mahmouhandinessad has been reported as saying in official meetings that the end of history is only two or three years away. He reportedly told an associate that on the podium of the General Assembly last September, he felt a halo around him and for "those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink ..Asas if a hand was holding them there and it opened their eyes to receive" his message. He believes that the Islamic revolution'raisinon d'tre is to prepare the way for the messianic redemption, which in his eschatology is preceded by worldwide upheaval and chaos. How better to light the fuse for eternal bliss than with a nuclear flame?

Depending on your own beliefs, Ahmadinejad is either mystical or deranged. In either case, he is exceedingly dangerous.
That will present the world with two futures. The first is Feynman's vision of human destruction on a scale never seen. The second, perhaps after one or two cities are lost with millions killed in a single day, is a radical abolition of liberal democracy as the species tries to maintain itself by reverting to strict authoritarianism--a self-imposed expulsion from the Eden of post-Enlightenment freedom.

Can there be a third future? That will depend on whether we succeed in holding proliferation at bay. Iran is the test case. It is the most dangerous political entity on the planet, and yet the world response has been catastrophically slow and reluctant. Years of knowingly useless negotiations, followed by hesitant international resolutions, have brought us to only the most tentative of steps--referral to a Security Council that lacks unity and resolve. Iran knows this and therefore defiantly and openly resumes its headlong march to nuclear status. If we fail to prevent an Iranian regime run by apocalyptic fanatics from going nuclear, we will have reached a point of no return. It is not just that Iran might be the source of a great conflagration but that we will have demonstrated to the world that for those similarly inclined there is no serious impediment.
I am an optimist, but I can read trends. All I know is that I don't live in a top 10 target area - though I am down wind. And a retreat from Iraq will help how? We have a little time here. We have options. Don't ask me which is best; they are all bad.

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