Wednesday, May 27, 2009
For Iran, It's Apocalypse Now
by James Zumwalt
Since first taking office, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned an imminent apocalypse awaits mankind -- for which Iran will be the catalyst. With his impending re-election, Ahmadinejad’s threats need be taken seriously.
Ahmadinejad believes this apocalypse has been in the making for eleven centuries. He -- and his bosses, the ayatollahs -- believe divine destiny has set events in motion -- and their mission is to precipitate their evolution. Ahmadinejad believes next week’s presidential election is an important step in this evolution.
Ahmadinejad is, by our standards, a madman. But in his culture -- among the Iranian Shia who believe that the return of the “twelfth imam” can be precipitated by a man-created apocalypse – he is entirely sane. Ahmadinejad’s re-election is one he believes he must win for the final phase of this divine plan to evolve. And, because theocratic Iran “elects” presidents under a sham democratic process controlled by its religious leaders, it is an election he already has won.
It is important to understand the driving force behind Ahmadinejad and how it will dictate his actions following his re-election. Such an understanding explains why there can be no peaceful resolution to stop Iran’s quest to develop a nuclear weapon -- i.e., because everything Ahmadinejad does is preparation for the inevitable apocalypse.
The apocalypse Ahmadinejad sees looming on the horizon will usher in the return of the “Hidden Imam” -- an event into which he has injected a role for himself. Shia Islamic belief is the last direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad, also known as the “Mahdi,” was but nine years old when he disappeared eleven centuries ago -- destined to remain hidden from mankind until his pre-ordained return by Allah. For Muslims, the good news is his return will restore Islam to greatness and to a world ruled by a Sharia dictatorship. For both Muslims and non-Muslims, the bad news is the Mahdi’s return only occurs after the world experiences extreme chaos. The Shia “twelvers” believe Jesus will accompany the Mahdi and, in submission to Islam, acknowledge the supremacy of the Koran to the Gospel.
In 2005, one of Ahmadinejad’s first acts as president demonstrated his determination to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran had halted its uranium enrichment program in 2003, allowing international inspectors to seal its equipment. Immediately after taking office, he re-started the program, also acquiring 18 North Korean BM-25 long range, land-mobile missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Unbelievably, a 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), using intelligence provided by a questionable defector suspected of being a double agent, asserted the Iranians had halted work on their nuclear weapons program in 2003 and had not yet restarted it. Critics pointed out the NIE’s conclusion was reached without even reporting on the activities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps -- the group actually holding the keys to the country’s nuclear weapons program.
The 2007 NIE has since been discredited. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, even President Obama acknowledged Iran’s “pursuit” of a nuclear weapons capability in a news conference and CIA Director Leon Panetta admitted in his confirmation hearing, “From all the information I’ve seen, I think there is no question that they (the Iranians) are seeking that capability.”
Needing to buy time for Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Ahmadinejad undoubtedly viewed the NIE report -- as well as the international community’s continuing inability to agree on a unified approach to stop Tehran -- as yet another sign of Allah’s divine intervention to ensure the program remains on track.
Ahmadinejad has repeatedly made clear his intention to destroy Israel and the US. As the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini asserted and Ahmadinejad has agreed, “Islam makes it incumbent [for believers] to prepare for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country of the world … [by fulfilling Islam's mandate to] kill all unbelievers.” Those believing nuclear retaliation deters Ahmadinejad from launching a first strike against the US or Israel should know he also supports Khomeini’s 1981 position: "I say let Iran go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world."
Ahmadinejad’s true intentions, revealed by his actions as researched by author Ron Cantrell, are also most telling.
- While mayor of Tehran in 2004, Ahmadinejad mapped a parade route for the Mahdi to follow through the city. One of the outgoing mayor’s last orders to city officials was to widen a major boulevard to prepare for Mahdi’s return.
- Upon becoming president, Ahmadinejad declared his mandate was “to pave the way for the coming of this Islamic messiah.”
- The site of the Mahdi’s return is the site of his disappearance -- a well behind a mosque in the village of Jamkaran in the holy city of Qom. As president, Ahmadinejad has funded millions of dollars in improvements for the mosque and well.
- To prepare for the eventual pilgrimage from Tehran to Jamkaran following the Mahdi’s return, Ahmadinejad has ordered construction of a railroad line connecting the two locations.
- In speeches caught on camera, Ahmadinejad repeatedly prays to Allah to expedite the Mahdi’s return.
- After returning to Iran after a UN speech, Ahmadinejad informed religious leaders he felt a halo of light engulfing him as he spoke. A video reveals Ahmadinejad telling them, for the duration of his speech world leaders were mesmerized, not moving “an eyelid…as if a hand was holding them there, and had just opened their eyes to the message of the Islamic Republic.”
- In conversations with some world leaders, Ahmadinejad confides the Mahdi’s return is imminent.
The Christian Science Monitor’s Scott Peterson reports Ahmadinejad’s “presidential obsession” with the Mahdi’s return has brought him to “a certitude that leaves little room for compromise…every issue is designed to lay the foundation for the Mahdi’s return.”
The light from Ahmadinejad’s halo appears to have blinded him from reality and the world community from taking meaningful action. No nation -- save Israel -- seems intent on really stopping Iran’s nuclear pursuit.
For Iran’s theocratic leadership -- and especially Ahmadinejad -- it is truly “Apocalypse Now.”
James Zumwalt is a retired Marine who served in the Vietnam and Gulf wars. He has written opinion pieces on foreign policy, defense and security issues for dozens of newspapers. He is president of his own security consulting company.
at 9:48 AM