I am always, always emploring those who disagree with me on the motives, actions and rhetoric coming from Islamists that we should take them at their word. I threw off a post the other day about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his supposedly surprising words about the Muslim imperative to annihilate Israel. Well, it seems as if there are other nations on the president's list.
We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [i.e. the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years. ...
The issue of this [World without Zionism] conference is very valuable. In this very grave war, many people are trying to scatter grains of desperation and hopelessness regarding the struggle between the Islamic world and the front of the infidels ...
Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism? But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved...
Red type in the original. DoctorZin goes on to quote Hassab Abbassi, Ahmadinejad's "chief strategic guru:"
We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization... we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles. There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.
But it is not only the US that Abbasi wants to take on and humiliate. He has described Britain as "the mother of all evils". In his lecture he claimed that the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and the Gulf states were all "children of the same mother: the British Empire." As for France and Germany, they are "countries in terminal decline", according to Abbasi.
See, even the Iranians don't take the French and Germany governments seriously.
The other day Hashemi Rafsanjani pulled Ahmadinejad's hind quarters out of the fire by saying that the Iranian goverment "ha[s] no problems with Jews." Rafsanjani is the once and possible president and the guy Ahmadinejad inexplicably beat for the post last time around. Rafsanjani is also the head of The Expediancy Council, which ia ostensibly set up with ultimate adjudicating powers in disputes between the Mullahs and the legislature. This month, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave this council supervisory powers over the government, essentially making Rafsanjani Ahmadinejad's boss.
Why is this important? Because their is now a power play at work in Iran between the president and his de facto superior. Ahmadinejad may think that as his post has been weakened, he would do well to make statements that solidify his hard-line credentials. Or, by allowing him to make the odious remarks and then essentially taking them away (sort of-- Rafsanjani still wants Israel to be a memory) the two headed executive can play both sides and keep everybody wondering.
While it is no secret that the regime in Iran sees itself as the vanguard and inspiration of a grand Islamic revolution and an easy case can be made that it is Iran that is furnishing the Islamists with logistical and materiel support, at this point, there is not much evidence that war with Iran is imminent barring some overt attack on the US or Israel. Now, Ahmadinejad may be crazy enough to wish war with either state so as to bring about a conflagration, but unless Iran already has nukes, what would war do for the regime?
The real threat, and one in which the US had better be more on the ball this time around, is the nuclear threat. But if Iran would use nukes to attack Israel, there would not be much left in Iran for Ahmadinejad to govern.
What seems more likely is that Iran will continue to support al Qaeda and the like without much overt provocation save the belicose rantings of its figurehead president. And we should indeed pay attention to what he says and to what he does. This sort is always broadcasting their intentions before they ever get down to actually doing something. So we would be well advised to heed the warnings, even if we can't do much about them at the moment.