POL: Time to stock up on canned goods?

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bobgnome

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Aug 8, 2006, 2:09:48 PM8/8/06
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Comment: Being familiar with the writings of Mr.
Lewis I am not inclined to dismiss out of hand his
comments below as the rantings of an old man:

Commentary
BERNARD LEWIS
_The Wall Street Journal_
August 8, 2006

[ . . . ] In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain
beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time -- Gog and Magog,
anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of
the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over
evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers
clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has
already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date,
indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final
answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first
reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more
precise.

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the
Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427.
This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night
flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the
farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and
back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for
the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far
from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events
precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

A passage from the Ayatollah Khomeini, quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian
schoolbook, is revealing. "I am decisively announcing to the whole world
that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against
our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease
until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go
to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's
hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to
eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."

In this context, mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so
well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there
will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final
destination of the dead -- hell for the infidels, and heaven for the
believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an
inducement.

How then can one confront such an enemy, with such a view of life and death?
Some immediate precautions are obviously possible and necessary. In the long
term, it would seem that the best, perhaps the only hope is to appeal to
those Muslims, Iranians, Arabs and others who do not share these apocalyptic
perceptions and aspirations, and feel as much threatened, indeed even more
threatened, than we are. There must be many such, probably even a majority
in the lands of Islam. Now is the time for them to save their countries,
their societies and their religion from the madness of MAD.

Mr. Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, is the author, most recently, of
"From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" (Oxford University
Press, 2004).

k :(


randy Hunt

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Aug 16, 2006, 4:29:44 PM8/16/06
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The Arabs are the ones spreading this disease. The Wahab's are the most
dangerous sect in all of Islam. They need to be exposed and brought out
in the open and held accountable for their hatred.

randy Hunt

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Aug 16, 2006, 4:29:55 PM8/16/06
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The Arabs are the ones spreading this disease. The Wahab's are the most
dangerous sect in all of Islam. They need to be exposed and brought out
in the open and held accountable for their hatred.
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