Weekly Commentary: Warning: Iran may actually seek mutual destruction
Dr. Aaron Lerner 20 June 2019
Policymakers considering the challenge presented by Iran today would be well
advised to heed the warning of Bernard Lewis:
"...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....
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
Bernard Lewis The Wall Street Journal Aug. 8, 2006
Time and again simulations have been carried out during which those assigned
the Iranian roles operated under the working assumption that the ultimate
goal of the Iranian leadership is to remain in power.
The true outcome could be dramatically different if Bernard Lewis is right.
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