Unto all those who claim that:
1) there is "no difference" between American Christian fundamentalists and radical Shi'ia Islam fundamentalists, and
2) President Bush is under the complete control of American Christian fundamentalists
I'd like to offer a challenge -- please cite just one example of President George W. Bush ending a major address with a prayer like this one:
"I emphatically declare that today's world more than ever before longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity, and above all longs for the perfect, righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to all peoples and who will establish justice, peace and brotherhood on the planet.
Oh Almighty God, all men and women are your creatures and you have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirst for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by you, and make us among his followers among those who strive for his return and his cause."
That prayer was uttered yesterday before the General Assembly of the United Nations by Iranian President Mahmoud Ammadinejad. The "real savior" to which he refers is of course the Telfth Imam of Shi'ia Islam. And the return of the Twelfth Imam ushers in Allah's judgment and the end of the world as we know it.
To clarify: Ahmadinejad called for the end of the world from the podium of the UN General Assembly.
Such rhetoric is not new to Ahmadinejad. Read the speech he delivered at the UN last year.
It's a good thing that there is no ACLU chapter in Tehran. Ahmadinejad would drive them nuts. Or have them all beheaded first.
Also, I haven't quoted Lileks in a while:
Make us among his followers. This would be akin to President Bush concluding his speech with an appeal for everyone to follow Jesus. The commentariat would fall off their chairs en masse: he’s outPoped the Pope! But Ahmadinejad, I suspect, will get a pass. Not because his kumbaya blather and deliciously naughty anti-empire rhetoric chubbed up the lads at AP and Reuters, but because he’s seen as a vaguely absurd figure. He says the most colorful things. Nice smile, too! Always good for a quote, that one.
There’s something else behind the indifferent reaction, though. Everyone has already accepted the idea of Iranian nukes. I think it’s been factored into our subconscious calculations, where they lie as great red glowing things whose threat is somehow still abstract. They won’t use them. They just want them. The way we all want a big-screen TV, and would keep it in the box once we bought it.
I frequently hear people remark that Iran would not be stupid enough to use a nuke, since they know it would bring about retaliation. But MAD only works if the other guy’s SANE. If the Administration regularly made remarks like Ahmadinejad and the other top-tier leaders, critics in the West would have long ago been dissolved in a puddle of corrosive urine. Imagine the President of the United States addressing a group of supporters and leading them in a chant of “Death to Iran.” Imagine what that might mean.
If it helps clarify things, imagine a flash of lightning. (emphasis added)
(Check out my Iran Watch archive if you want to read more about Ahmadinejad's fundamentalist Shi'ia beliefs and his devotion to the return of the Twelfth Imam.)
ADDED: Scott from Powerline notes that a crowd of thirty five thousand gathered outside the UN to support Israel and protest Ahmadinejad's speech. Didn't read about that in the US mainstream media either, did we?