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Yes, Virginia, Ahmadinejad, The Genocidal Terrorist Means What He Says
The Bulletin ^ | January 2, 2009 | Herb Denenberg

Posted on 01/02/2009 9:00:26 AM PST by jazusamo

There’s an old saying that genius is the ability to see the obvious. I’d modify that to say that idiocy is the inability to see the obvious and I regretfully report the world is suffering from a heavy dose of old-fashioned idiocy.

Most of the world is standing by and letting Iran march toward nuclear weapons, and in that line of march, will be supplying nuclear materials and weapons to terrorists, using nuclear weapons to intimidate and blackmail its neighbors, and following through on its promise of genocide. The Iranian nuclear capability also means the beginning of an arms race in the Middle East, which in turn means nuclear proliferation on a grand scale heretofore never seen, and in an area that has been and is one of the great tinderboxes of history. An Iranian nuclear bomb spells catastrophe with certainty.

The West failed to take Hitler at his word, and we had World War II, one of the great scenes of killing and destruction of all history. Now the world is failing to take Iran at its word, and we are heading for a catastrophic sequence that may make World War II look like a garden party in comparison.

We are taking the talking cure to the Iranian problem, and it is obvious talking is going to produce nothing but the enabling delay for the Iranian nuclear arsenal. We have unattractive choices. One is the destruction of the Iranian nuclear arsenal.

That is a choice fraught with catastrophic consequences. Nonetheless, it is still a safer and better choice than continuing to play the fiddle while Iran arms itself. The Iranian government shows itself to be absolutely irresponsible, totally dangerous, and the world headquarters of international terrorism. It will not sober up or get religion when it gets nuclear weapons in its arsenal. An explosive situation is only likely to explode — with nuclear force.

There’s only one aggregation more dangerous than a nuclear Iran. That’s our politicians and public officials who don’t have enough courage to take stands on issues far less consequential than those raised by Iran. I’ve only heard one rational voice on Iran, John Bolton and he’s a former public official, having served as our U.N. ambassador. He doesn’t like any of the choices we face, but submits the most attractive of a very bad lot is to take out Iran’s nuclear capability.

One of the issues percolating within the Iranian controversy is whether we should take Iran at its word when it says it intends to destroy Israel. That is a good test because if a nation freely and openly expresses its intention to destroy a nation w ith nuclear weapons you can be sure it will not hesitate to make mischief in every other way. We know from history, from Hitler, and from the Iranian plans, Israel is only step one, with a grand staircase ahead that includes the rest of the Middle East, Europe, the U.S. and the world. Israel is the canary, but the whole mine is subject to destruction by the Iranian madness.

Unfortunately, the Iranians are telling the truth when they state their intention of destroying Israel, regardless of any possibility of nuclear retaliation and regardless of any destruction of Iran in a possible nuclear exchange. That case is made persuasively in an article in Commentary magazine (January 2009) by Ze’ev Maghen, chairman of the department of Middle East studies at Bar Ilan University in Israel. The article is titled “Eradicating the ‘Little Satan’: Why Iran Should Be Taken Seriously.”

Mr. Maghen notes, with the accession of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency of Iran, nation’s attitude has escalated beyond its usual hostility to Israel. Under Ahmadinejad you can be sure hostility has gone to a higher level but there is an even more ominous change. Mr. Maghen writes that includes a new conception of Israel “as weak and unstable, an easy target for a united Muslim (or united Shiite) offensive.”

The issue is whether or not to take the new rhetoric seriously. Many experts view the rhetoric as only that — rhetoric — to be used in bargaining with the West and perhaps even achieving détente. Mr. Maghen’s thesis is that these experts are wrong, and that the new rhetoric signals the “determined pursuit of tenaciously held ends.”

Here is a suggestion of the profound divergence between what is sometimes said and heard and what is believed and acted on. In June 2006 an Iranian newspaper reported on a speech delivered by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni in Tehran’s main mosque. He wanted to calm the diplomatic storm stirred up by Ahmadinejad’s threat to destroy Israel. Listen to Mr. Khameni as the supreme source of reason:

“We Iranians intend no harm to any nation, nor will we be the first to attack any nation. We do not deny the right of any polity in any place on god’s green earth to exist and prosper. We are a peace-loving country whose only wish is to love, and to let live, in peace.” But then listen to the refrain that follows even such words of sweet reason: “Death to America! Death to Israel!”

The news report on this speech noted the crowd expressed its total agreement by chanting a refrain, “Death to America! Death to Israel!” Mr. Maghen explains the seeming contradiction:

“This is not as strange as it sounds. Chanting ‘Death to America! Death to Israel!” has been the way Iranians applaud for over a quarter-century. When the soccer team from Isfahan scores a goal against the soccer tea m from Shiraz, its fans cheer wildly: ‘Death to America! Death to Israel.’” When anything happens, good or bad that is the occasion for this favorite refrain.

What does this endless drumbeat of hate for America and Israel mean in foreign policy. Here is the explanation from one group of experts:

1. This is just rhetoric, which is repeated but has lost its significance.

2. The rhetoric is merely intended for domestic consumption and is designed to distract Iranians from the economic failure of the government.

3. The rhetoric is designed as a bargaining chip to get concessions in negotiating with the West for a possible détente.

4. Finally, there is no basis for a clash between Iran and Israel. They do not even share a border and their national and economic interests are not in conflict.

But here’s the rub. The hate rhetoric may be a mere chant and the Iranians may not really mean it. In the final analysis, it may be more dangerous to say it and not mean it, then to say it and mean it. Intense hatred or other emotion is likely to subside if the psyche is not to combust or collapse. What’s more the intense emotion is unstable, and may shift to pity, empathy or remorse.

Mr. Maghen writes, “For this reason, among others, genuine anger and hatred, of the kind that is really ‘meant’ and strongly felt, are inefficient tools for creating or sustaining an atmosphere conducive to long-term persecution or mass murder. That is why the truly horrific atrocities in human history — the enslavements, the inquisitions, the terrorisms, the genocides — have been perpetrated not in hot blood but in cold: not as a result of urgent and immanent feeling but in the name of a transcendent ideology and as a result of painstaking indoctrination.”

He then gives examples to illustrate this proposition as the right kind of “hate” necessary for genocide or other massive barbarism. In Hitler’s Germany, the typical German did not personally and passionately hate Jews. They had never seen or met the millions they would eventually slaughter en mass. Mr. Maghen explains exactly what it was: “It was, for the most part, a methodically drilled-in ideology that powered the genocide machine, a machine that killed 6 million Jews despite the fact that the Germans did not hate them.”

Mr. Maghan applies the same analysis to the al-Qaida operatives that perpetrated the 9/11 atrocities. They did not intensely hate Americans they had in fact lived with for some time, but the hate theme was drummed into them. This all adds up to a formula for indoctrinating a society to make it prone to commit genocide. Mr. Meghan writes,

“What is true for Nazi storm troopers and al Qaeda operatives is true for today’s fundamentalist Shiites. It is not their genuine, vehement hatred that we have to fear; it is their endless, drone-like training. Their militant hostility to Israel is not more a function of immediate, genuine, blood-boiling rage than it is the result of some heinous act ... by the Jewish state, however frequently such purported crimes are exploited as triggers of ‘popular’ protest. The hostility is, unfortunately, something far more durable and deeply implanted.”

“That Israel is the devil, the root of all evil, a criminal cancer that must be excised from the Muslim body politic — these propositions are not ephemeral feelings for most Iranian Muslims, but rather eternal truths that gradually, through endless, tantra-like repetitions, have cloyed in the conscious mind while simultaneously installing themselves beneath the level of immediate emotion and awareness, in the place where basic instincts, automatic assumptions, and ontological verities reside.

“There they have taken root, to remain dormant until circumstances require their activation. When the time is right — and the rulers of Iran have made no secret of their conviction that the time is drawing ever nearer — decades of propaganda will serve the same function for them that centuries of Christian anti-Semitism in Europe performed for the Nazis.”

“The analysts and pundits are thus indeed correct in asserting that the Iranians do not really ‘mean it.’ They fail to realize, however, that this is the very reason why they may well ‘do it.’ By casting an entire people as a parasitic infestation, by demonizing, de-legitimizing and dehumanizing them at home, in school, in the mosque, and in the media, the quarter-century-old routine of Israel-hatred ... has prepared in the minds of Iranians and their neighboring coreligionists the moral ground for the eradication of the state of Israel.”

There is one other twist to this analysis. There is some truth in the idea that Iran uses its genocidal rhetoric as a bargaining chip. It is willing to make peace with the West in exchange for its abandonment of Israel. It knows the great Satan is too strong to take on and destroy, but it has its plans to destroy Israel. Mr. Maghan makes another interesting comparison between the formative years of the Christian and Muslim faith. During the time of Christ, the premier political-military enemies of the Christians were the pagans. However, during the formative years of the Muslim faith there was an entirely different set of adversaries. In the case of Muhammed, it was the Jewish tribes of Medina that were his foremost ideological opponents.

This explains in part the long-term anti-Semitism of Islam. This also all plays into the formulation of Islamic foreign policy. There is the belief held by some that if the enclave’s of the adversary are removed from the home turf, then there is a basis for peace. The enclave in question is Israel, the subject of this historic enmity of Islam.

So the Muslim’s may offer “peace in our time” by asking the West to sacrifice Israel. This has been implicit in some of Ahmadinejad’s recent speeches and pronouncements.

Mr. Meghan concludes on this note:

“The Iranians and their allies throughout the Muslim world are bent on making the abandonment of Israel the price of ‘peace in our time.’ In a scenario that should ring frighteningly familiar, a state is building upon an endemic anti-Semitism inculcated by centuries of religious indoctrination to create an atmosphere in which the massacre of large numbers of Jews and the destruction of their independent polity will be considered a tolerable if not indeed a legitimate eventuality.

“This is ominous enough. Even more ominous is the apparent willingness of any number of leaders of the Western world, under the banner of a hoped-for ‘reconciliation’ with a major Middle Eastern power and a world religion, to tilt dangerously toward appeasement, ignoring the requirements of rational decision-making and putting at risk the West’s own aiding interests and deepest values.

“As for Israel, if it takes today’s challenges seriously and prepares to meet them with the requisite strength and creativity, this may yet turn out to be its finest hour. If not, we may be witnessing the prelude to its last.”

I would extend that conclusion. If the West continues to court appeasement, retreat and defeat in dealing with Iran and its other enemies, we will undermine our own strength and security. We will play the Neville Chamberlain to the new Nazi Germany of our time, the Islamofascist Iran. But we run the danger of being on the losing side of a great World War, and that would mean the end of civilization. Our political leadership now and on the horizon continues to give off the strong scent of Chamberlain, and if that is not reversed by an enlightened and aggressive citizenry, we are in the process of writing a death warrant for Western civilization.

We need to start waking up to the fact we’re in World War IV (the Cold War was World War III), whether we like it or not, and there’s no way we can talk ourselves or appease our enemies so as to emerge victorious. Yes, Virginia, Ahmadinejad, the madman, genocidal maniac, and head of international terrorism, means exactly what he says, and we better start believing him.

There is one important lesson omitted from Mr. Maghen’s brilliant analysis. That lesson is the impossibility of making peace with adversaries who have the call for your genocide virtually programmed into their DNA and whose founding document calls for your destruction. Peace with such a genocidal adversary would only produce a worthless peace of paper and a brief recess from further aggression and terrorism.

Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at advocate@

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: denenberg; iran; islam; israel; jihad; usefulidiots; wmd
The Bulletin is a small Conservative newspaper and has other good articles, try checking it out at link.
1 posted on 01/02/2009 9:00:26 AM PST by jazusamo
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To: William Tell 2
Bulletin ping
2 posted on 01/02/2009 9:06:49 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring
In 1938, Germany was ruled by a madman who wanted to conquer the world in the name of National Socialism, and kill all the Jews. The European powers attempted to appease him, and we all know how that turned out.

Today, in 2009, Iran is ruled by a madman who wants to conquer the world in the name of Islam, and kill all the Jews. The European powers, this time with the support of American liberals, want to appease him.

The difference today is that the madman controls a significant fraction of the world's oil, and is attempting to aquire nuclear weapons.

Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

3 posted on 01/02/2009 10:53:04 AM PST by sima_yi ( Palin / Jindal 2012)
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To: jazusamo
Agreed. Hitler meant every word he said about the annihilation of the Jews and Lebensraum for Germany. They were fulfilled to the letter. Ahmedinejad means every word he says about the annihilation of Israel and conquering the world for Islam. Unless Iran is decisively stopped, those words too, will be fulfilled to the letter. The past is prologue to the present. Those wont to overlook the power of genocidal threats will sooner than later, reap the whirlwind.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

4 posted on 01/02/2009 3:54:10 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
Ahmedinejad means every word he says about the annihilation of Israel and conquering the world for Islam.

I agree completely and if Iran's quest for nuclear weapons isn't stopped they will murder millions with them.

5 posted on 01/02/2009 4:08:43 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
the world is gripped in fear and believes garbage cliche's like “war never brings peace” and other idiocies. We will learn as our predecessors did that avoiding war now only brings bigger wars later. History is not a subject they like to teach. Would be dictators are afraid we might compare them to past dictators and their game would be up.
6 posted on 01/02/2009 5:20:32 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: jazusamo
"We need to start waking up to the fact we’re in World War IV (the Cold War was World War III), whether we like it or not, and there’s no way we can talk ourselves or appease our enemies so as to emerge victorious."

The evil that was Hitler or Stalin or any other in our time or in other times doesn't die with them, it just reemerges. Like it or not, islam isn't going away and they aren't going to be satisfied with peaceful coexistence.

7 posted on 01/02/2009 6:56:50 PM PST by GBA
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