Watching Iran

Over at Op-For, Lt Col P notes Iran’s New Year’s Resolutions.

smiling_madman.jpgBeware of the
smiling madman
:
Often he’s only acting mad. Or maybe he’s twice as mad as you think he is.

He points out Iran Sobered Us Up on New Year’s:

The new year may not be so happy if Iranian leaders have their way. The Islamic messiah known as the –Twelfth Imam” or the –mahdi” may come to earth in 2007 and could be revealed to the world as early as the spring equinox, reports an official Iranian government news website. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) website says the world is now in its –last days.” It claims that the mahdi will first appear in Mecca, and then Medina.

He will conquer all of Arabia, Syria, Iraq, destroy Israel, and then set up a –global government” based in Iraq, interestingly enough, not Iran. Such Islamic eschatology is driving the Iranian regime and helps explains why Iran has no interest in helping the United States and European Union create peace in Iraq or the region, much less in ending its bid for nuclear weapons, the Iraq Study Group Report notwithstanding.

Lt Col P comments

Folks, just because they’re nucking futs doesn’t mean we can dismiss them. They bear watching.

“Dismiss them”?!? I believe that their apparent insanity requires us to watch them even closer. As I noted last week, Iran is finding itself under increasing pressure. Some chided me for bringing up the Persian Empire, but what does “he will conquer all of Arabia, Syria, Iraq, destroy Israel, and then set up a global government” sound like to you? Sounds a bit empire-ish, to Murdoc.

Please note that I said “apparent insanity”. Yes, they’re basically off their collective rocker, but this merely makes them fit the archetypal mold. How many fanatic religious leaders bent on world dominion have ever appeared cool, calm, and collected? ‘Insane’ is part of their repertoire. It’s part of their appeal to the masses. It’s part of what makes them successful fanatic religious leaders.

It seems that we too often dismiss folks expressly because they’re insane, when we should, in fact, take them all the more seriously. If the guy living two doors down on your street was absolutely “nucking futs”, telling everyone how he was amassing an arsenal in his basement and how he was going to kill half the neighborhood, would you laugh him off because he was a bit crazy? How about if he went out on New Year’s Eve and shot off a hundred rounds into the air, celebrating the fact that “the time is near”? I don’t know about you, but I’d be even more worried because he seemed crazy.

Yes, Iran bears watching. Particularly because they’re acting crazy.

One commenter wrote

So they have tanks. So what? What are they going to do with them?

Iraq and Afghanistan are both occupied by the United States, which could pretty much pick off anything crossing the Iranian border with impunity, once diplomatic cover is provided by an actual invasion.

Pakistan and Turkey are both more-or-less allies and in the face of an actual invasion would probably be happy to accept US help.

He’s absolutely right, of course. But who does things that seem crazy? Well, people that seem crazy, for starters. Which is why we need to watch them even closer.

For all of their Commie bastardization, the Soviets were surprisingly logical. Most of the time. Mutually Assured Destruction helped prevent an all-out shooting war with them. But what if Mutually Assured Destruction is part of Iran’s overall plan? In May I wrote Iran: Method to the madness?:

Many theorize that the attack on the West by Islamic terrorists is an attempt to spark an all-out West vs. Islam war in which all of the Muslim world will flock to the banner of extreme fundamentalism in the face of the infidel threat, and Murdoc can buy that to at least some extent.

But the increasingly-lethal strikes against the West, culminating with 9/11, have failed to do this….

Could it be that, either by the design of the mullahs or by someone else, that Iran is setting the stage to be offered up as a martyr state, leveled by the West (unless the Jews do it first, which would be even more delicious) as a desperate attempt to unify the Muslim world against the infidels in an apocalyptic war?

No. You’re right. This theory doesn’t make sense. Which means that it matches up with the actions of Iran so far in this century.

It’s not always the quiet one who keeps to himself who surprises you. Sometimes it’s the loudmouth one who’s always telling you that he’s going to do something to you. The one you dismissed as a nut.