Saturday, December 17, 2011

Death of MAD reaches GOP presidential candidates’ debate - no reaction

The following transcript  from FOX News is mine. If  the official transcript appears  I  will provide it  

Rick Santorum 

Rick Santorum served two terms in the U.S. House and two terms in the U.S. Senate. He became the Senate's third-ranking Republican in 2001. He was defeated for reelection in 2006

This is what Rick Santorum said on MAD:
"They’ve been at war with us since 1979…The IEDs that have killed so many soldiers, they are manufactured in Iran.   Iran is not any other country.  It’s a country that is ruled by the equivalent of Al Qaeda on top of this country.  They are a radical theocracy.  The principle virtue of the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to president Ahmadinejad, is not freedom or opportunity.  It’s martyrdom. 

The idea, Ron, that mutual assured destruction like the policy during the Cold War with the Soviet Union would work on Iran when their principal virtue is martyrdom is.… mutual assured destruction with respect to Iran would not be any idea of preventing a war; it would be an inducement to war.  This is what their objective is. Their objective is to, in fact create a calamity. That is what their theology teaches. They believe that it is their mission to take on the West. They don’t hate us because of what we do or the policies we have.  They hate us because of who we are and what we believe in, and we need to make sure that they do not have a nuclear weapon, and we should be working with the State of Israel right now. We should use covert activity and we should be planning missile attacks against their facilities   and  say that if you do not abandon those facilities  and close them down we will close them down for you.”

The good news is that the death of MAD has been discussed at the GOP presidential contenders‘ debate in Sioux CityIowa  on Thursday, December 15. The bad news is that hardly anybody noticed.  I could not find a single video or transcript of the entire debate let alone the MAD related part. This in itself is quite indicative. Newt Gingrich’s comment on the Palestinians being an “invented people” created a considerable uproar after  the previous debate . Rick Santorum’s statement on the death of MAD regarding Iran, as important as Gingrich's statement on the Palestinians,  went unnoticed. Is everyone asleep?. Or is it that nobody else except him grasps the significance?  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Deterrence is irrelevant

When I launched this blog in July 2011, I wrote: “It will be updated only when something referring to MAD and Iran is published, i.e. it will not be updated often.”

It seems that we have reached a turning point and that the main stream media, or at least the Israeli one, has finally decided to write about the most dangerous issue facing the world today. About time!  Congratulations to the Jerusalem Post!

In  Deterrence is irrelevant, Israel Kasnett writes: 

            Nuclear deterrence will not help prevent Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons since the Iranian regime has religious motives to bring about the return of the Mahdi and is prepared to die for it.

Iran is led by a group of irrational men who believe they can hurry the arrival of the Mahdi – the 12th Imam who, according to Shi’ite Islamic tradition, went missing in 874 CE and will return under conditions of global chaos. The Iranian leadership appears willing to sacrifice the population of its own country to achieve this goal.

In his book The Rise of Nuclear Iran, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold writes, “Mahdi Khaliji, an Iranian Shi’ite scholar... has noted that there are apocalyptic hadiths [received Shi’ite traditions] that the Mahdi will not return unless one-third of the world population is killed and another third die. But Ahmadinejad and his followers believe man can actively create the conditions for the Mahdi’s arrival in the here and now...”

In 2006, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting website said in a program called “The World Towards Illumination,” that the Mahdi will reappear in Mecca and form an army to defeat Islam’s enemies in a series of apocalyptic battles, in which the Mahdi will overcome his archenemy in Jerusalem.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a member of the Hojatieh society, a group which believes it can and should hasten the arrival of the Mahdi. According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi’s arrival will be accompanied or followed by near destruction of nations. The group appears to maintain a deep desire to create the necessary global chaos. And Ahmadinejad has publicly called for the Mahdi’s speedy return. In his first speech to the UN in 2005, he ended his remarks with:
“O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace.”

In the same venue in 2006, he began his speech by saying: “... hasten the reappearance of the Imam of the times and grant to us victory and prosperity. Include us among his followers and martyrs.” The same occurred in 2007 when he said: “Oh God, hasten the arrival of Imam Al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his rightfulness.”

Clearly Ahmadinejad has one objective on his mind – to bring back the 12th Imam.

It will be interesting to follow the reaction to the JP article.  Since the media have been silent for so long, this revelation that a whole country may take on a role of a suicide bomber will be received with disbelief.  Most will reject it outright, but at least they will have heard the arguments.

The media’s silence in regard to the 12th Imam and Shia eschatology has been  part of the general reluctance to write about Islam.  But even this taboo is in the process of being broken. In a watershed piece titled  A study in self-cannibalization, Martin Sherman writes:

Orwellian mind-control tactics
The politically correct endeavor to shy away from harsh truths has introduced an almost Orwellian atmosphere of 1984 mind control into the debate on the ramifications of Islam for political liberalism.

Pronouncements almost on a par with the “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength” employed by The Party to control the dystopian state of Oceania in George Orwell’s classic novel of pervasive dictatorship are emerging with disturbing frequency.

For example, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in effect pronounced that “religious fundamentalism is secular” when he characterized the radical Muslim Brotherhood as an organization that is “largely secular.”

A similar instance of convoluted, nonsensical gobbledygook came from the Obama administration’s homeland security adviser James O. Brennan, when he made the astounding claim that accurately defining the threat would exacerbate it: “Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists, because jihad is a holy struggle. [C]haracterizing our adversaries this way would actually be counterproductive,” he said.

So by reorganizing the rhetoric we will somehow dispel the misperceptions, from which the planners/perpetrators of wholesale carnage in the name of Islam apparently suffer, as to the sources of their beliefs and the nature of their motivations? But perhaps the pinnacle of Orwellian endeavor came from then-British home secretary Jacqui Smith, who took it upon herself to bring home to radicalized UK Muslims that they were not who they thought they were. In a breathtaking stroke of self-contradictory double talk, she presumed to dub the acts of terrorism perpetrated by Islamists in the name of Islam as “anti-Islamic activity.”

Her 2009 interview with Der Spiegel was shockingly reminiscent of the "mind control through language” policy employed by Orwell’s Big Brother and his omnipresent Party.

Clearly in an intellectual climate such as this – where truth is condemned and dismissed as politically incorrect hate speech – no effective response can be marshaled against the gathering storm facing Western civilization and the values of political liberalism that underpin it.

Menace of Muhammadanism: Prescient premonitions
Such reticence and evasion was not always prevalent. In an era long before political correctness crippled the ability to articulate the truth in the public sphere, far-sighted men warned of the impending clash.

Thus seven decades ago, Hilaire Belloc, the prominent Anglo-French writer and historian, raised the trenchant question: “Will not perhaps the temporal power of Islam return and with it the menace of an armed Muhammadan world... reappear again as the prime enemy of our civilization?” (The Great Heresies, 1938) He was not alone in his sense of foreboding.

In the first edition of his The River War, published in 1899, Winston Churchill set out a withering critique of the effect Islam has on its followers, its debilitating effect on economies of nations that embrace it, and the enslavement of its luckless women.

While he admits that “individual Muslims may show splendid qualities,” he contrasts this with realities on collective level, where “the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.”

Few who page through the latest Arab Human Development Report sponsored by the United Nations Development Program and independently authored by intellectuals and scholars from Arab countries, would dispute this today.

Churchill goes on to warn: “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Muhammadanism is a militant and proselytizing faith... and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science... the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”

But how long will the West remain “cradled in the strong arms of science?” Might this question not help concentrate minds over the latest IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program? 

The Friday Nov 11, 2011 copy of the Jerusalem Post should be kept for posterity. It is the day the media fulfilled its purpose to inform. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The debate about the death of MAD has finally begun.

Stephanie Spies, a  research intern for the Project on Nuclear Issues,  has written a piece  titled  “MAD” Still Works: Even with So-Called “Mad” Leaders where she disagrees with Prof. Raphael Israeli’s article MAD deterrence is being foiled by mad leaders

Stephanie Spies writes:

Israeli’s argument relies on the idea that “mad, unpredictable leaders” such as Ahmadinejad will decide to use nuclear weapons, despite the devastating repercussions, because religious national ambitions are incompatible with the rationality required for MAD. For Ahmadinejad specifically, the article claims that “the possibility to hasten the return of the Imam”, a religious concept whose merits are beyond the scope of this post, can prompt this “clinically mad” leader to use Iran’s nuclear weapons.  

Well, this religious concept of the return of the Imam Mahdi and the Shia belief in it is the crux of the argument and if Stephanie Spies says that the merits of the religious concept of the return of the Mahdi are beyond the scope of her post then why write an opinion piece at all?  

MAD is dead because Iranian mullahs believe that a nuclear war would trigger the return of the Mahdi.  This is what they believe in.  We are not here to asses whether the Mahdi really exists or not but whether the depth of Shia  belief in it is such that it could trigger a nuclear war.  

The problem is not Ahmadinejad alone but the whole regime which believes in Shia eschatology.   Prof Raphael Israeli is not the only one warning of the demise of MAD.   Prof Bernard Lewis has repeatedly warned that for the Iranian Mullahs

Western secular minds tend to disregard the depth of conviction of the Shia faithful.  Should not we in the West take more notice of what our scholars of Islam are saying?

Friday, October 14, 2011

MAD Deterrence and Mad Leaders

Raphael Israeli
Professor of Islam at Hebrew UniversityJerusalem.

MAD Deterrence and Mad Leaders
By Raphael Israeli

  The published article in Hebrew in Maraah

During all the fateful years of the Cold War, the world survived due to the rational  reasoning that since both parties to the ideological conflict were in possession of enough nuclear weapons to destroy the other, many times over, and since each of them had the capacity of a second strike should it be taken by surprise and attacked with its guard down, none of them would be irrational enough to launch a nuclear strike and none of them would take the responsibility for destroying the world, erasing  mankind and possibly returning human culture and civilization to the Stone Age. In short, this calculation worked, and though most major cities in the world, East and West, were permanently targeted for destruction, the entire humanity lived under the fear of sudden and total annihilation, and strategic missiles, submarines and bombers were in a state of constant alert to avert the worst, the worst was avoided, until Star Wars exhausted one party economically and provided a final exit from MAD.

MAD, the acronym for Mutually Assured Destruction, could be dubbed thus,  precisely because it’s logic was accepted by the parties, while it was agreed that only madness of leaders of an unpredictable kind, not seen on the international horizon of that era, could invalidate that equation and shake the world’s security equilibrium. No one could predict when, where and how that kind of leadership could emerge to defy the two main rivals of the Cold War, and no one foretold that it would appear on the "bloody seamline" of Islam, in accordance with Huntington's fertile vision of the world of the post Cold War. The Islamic Revolution in Iran, of February 1979, which thrust Khumeini to power and  forced the pro-western and rational Shah to abdicate and to undercut one of the most formidable bastions of the US in the Middle East, produced this sudden and revolutionary change.

The Mullah regime of Khumeini indeed provided Iranian society not only with the rule of  the Cleric, who being learned and versed in theology, was better able than politicians to understand its intricacies, but due to the supreme Ayatullah’s ability to maintain spiritual contact with the Hidden Imam, the true ruler of the Universe, and to comprehend  His desires, intentions and dispositions to the Muslims and the world. The Doctrine of the Hidden Imam is the heart and essence of the Shi'ite belief inasmuch as it renders the expectation of the return of that Imam, the 12th and the last in the series (hence the Twelver Shi'a), who went into hiding in childhood in the 10th Century, and will return to rule the earth and bring plenty and justice, a very concrete projection for the near future, and no longer an indefinite and vague messianic promise for an uncertain future.

Ahmadinejad, a fanatic believer reared in that tradition, though not himself a cleric of any rating, has repeatedly, as a mayor of Tehran, widened the Avenues of his city to contain the multitudes of onlookers who would flock to the streets to watch the Imam's return, which the Mayor considered close at hand. As a President, he recounted to his crowds how he felt the aura of the Imam enveloping him when he was addressing the General Assembly of the UN, sometime after his own inauguration. For him this is not a messianic dream or a mystical vision, but a very operational blueprint whose implementation must be planned and provided for. For him, there must be an additional benefit: when he comes back, the role of the Supreme Leader, Khamenai, with whom he has had some friction over authority lately, would become redundant.

According to Shi'ite eschatology, the end of the world will come with the return of the Imam, whose arrival will be announced by violent pangs, unrest, wars, injustice and misery; and all the more, the more imminent his coming. Namely, mad leaders like Ahmadinejad, who are full of hatred and bellicosity, and imbued with messianic zeal and unimpressed by any worldly circumstances or restrictions, might very well, especially when controlling nuclear powers, decide to use them regardless of the costs or the consequences, as long as it will hasten the return of the Imam. For then, even the worst errors made by human leaders would, in their view, be redressed in an instant by the omnipotent Imam in the new post-apocalyptic world.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

MAD is Dead

Another Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated. Do people understand what is going on?   I do not think so.  I bet that less than 20 percent of Israelis and even less Americans have ever heard of the Mahdi and fewer still understand why the death of the  mutually assured destruction doctrine has such profound implications for us all.  This blog will assemble articles which very rarely appear in the mainstream media.  It will be updated only when something referring to MAD and Iran is published, i.e. it will not be updated often.  

Bernard Lewis
Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.

 During the Cold War, both the Soviet Union and the United States had nuclear weapons but both knew that the other was very unlikely to use them. Because of what was known at the time as MAD—mutually assured destruction. MAD meant that each side knew that if it used a nuclear weapon the other would retaliate and both sides would be devastated. And that's why the whole time during the Cold War, even at the worst times, there was not much danger of anyone using a nuclear weapon," says Mr. Lewis.
But the mullahs "are religious fanatics with an apocalyptic mindset. In Islam, as in Christianity and Judaism, there is an end-of-times scenario—and they think it's beginning or has already begun." So "mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent—it's an inducement."

Bernard Lewis on MAD in 2009:

-- conservative heritage institute – 1:07 – 1-14  \            into the movie

Reza Kahlili
Reza Kahlili is the pseudonym of a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard member who worked undercover as a CIA agent for several years in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Once they get the nuclear bomb, and they have the nuclear capability, and anybody can determine this because they are running multiple convert operations, parallel projects of nuclear bomb and missile delivery systems. It is a parallel project for one purpose, and I can argue both sides of the coin, but my belief is that .this is a messianic regime,  there should be no doubts, they will commit the most horrendous suicide bombing in human history. They will attack Israel, European capitals and Persian Gulf region at the same time, then they will hide in a bunker waiting for Mahdi to get out of that well, ride the white horse, draw that sword and kill the rest of the nonbelievers.
Now to al lot of people here in the West think this is crazy talk. But if you give it 1 percent chance, are you willing to risk it?  The other side of the coin is that, let’s say that they have a rational mind, let’s say that they are interested in survival, let’s say they just want to use it as a source to protect their government, to become untouchable. The proliferation is going to become a disaster, and I was at the front row seats of Mohsen Razaei when they brought out the new strategy which was numbers meaning a thousand small groups of small boats is going to cause a threat. A thousand suitcase bombs spread around Europe and the US is going to pose a threat. You are not going to get a handle on the proliferation. They are going to be untouchable. They are going to pass it on to Hezbollah, to Syria, to Venezuela. It is going to become a nightmare. Or more so because they are sitting on more than 50 percent of the world’s energy, gas an oil. The stability of the flow of energy is essential for global economy and our survival. Even if they were the most rational people, which they are not, no one, no one should have access to the nuclear bomb in the Persian Gulf, unless there is a replacement for oil. And that is if you’ve got a really cold heart and you do not give a damn about the Iranian people.
Harold Rhode

Harold Rhode is a specialist on the Middle East who worked at the Office of Net Assessment, an in-house think tank for the Pentagon
You describe a tradition of creative and critical thinking in Shi’ism. How then has Iran been overtaken by such a cult of irrationality?

The ones who are there now, Khomeini hated. On this we’ve gone from bad to worse. Classic Shi’ism says that the 12th imam is the messiah. He disappeared in 873 CE and he will return. Until he returns, all political rule is illegitimate. The role, therefore, of the senior Shi’ite establishment is to worry about the spiritual needs of the flock. All political rule is illegitimate until the mahdi returns. There is a very minor tradition, I don’t know, maybe in 2 percent of Shi’ism, that holds religious leaders can rule before the return of the mahdi. Khomeini, who was originally a quietist, basically took over that tradition and brought this rule to Iran which is totally antithetical to the overwhelming majority of Shi’ite thought... To actively get involved in politics is a minor, minor tradition in Shi’ism. You can help out but you don’t rule...

Simply more and more of the crazies took over. There were a group of people called the Hojjatieh Society, and they’re the ones who are running the country now, that Khomeini was very scared of. Because their answer was not only could the clerics rule, but they believed you could provoke a conflagration, and when the conflagration takes place, you can force the mahdi to return. He will save the whole world and all the world will be Shi’ite and everything will be good.

We had a doctrine with the Soviets of mutually assured destruction; that does not work with these people. These people, some of them have claimed that they had talked with the imam, and [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad has said that he has seen the imam. This is stuff that Khomeini thought was wild and dangerous. These are the people running the country now.
If Iran gets the bomb, can we stop worrying and learn to live with it?

The people running the country are the crazies and they believe that if they can bring about a conflagration that will bring them the mahdi.

So you think that if they have the bomb they will use it?

There are two theories on that, and again I’m not a nuclear guy, I’m a culture guy. One is that they would use it. How they would use it and how they would try is beyond me. I would hope that both Israel and the United States have some ways of of figuring this out and neutralizing this. The other is that just by having it that would make all of the Gulf countries kowtow to them.
John Bolton

John Bolton is an  American lawyer and diplomat  who was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 1, 2005 – December 9, 2006  
Facile analogies to Cold War deterrence rest on the dubious, unproven belief that Iran's nuclear calculus will approximate the Soviet Union's. Iran's theocratic regime and the high value placed on life in the hereafter makes this an exceedingly dangerous assumption.

Menashe Amir 
Menashe Amir is a long time Persian Language broadcaster on the Israel Radio InternationalHe is also a leading Iranian expert in Israel and a chief editor of the Israel Foreign Ministry's Persian web-site.
Iran's current rulers, he goes on, "are crazy people. Crazy people who have missiles with 2,000 km. and 5,000 km. and 6,000 km. ranges, and planning for 10,000 km. If they get a nuclear bomb tomorrow, they'll be able to threaten Berlin, London and Paris. Eventually, New York.

"They say that they lost 500,000 people in the eight-year war with Iraq (and other sources suggest the number was twice that high), but note that millions more were born in the same period. And that, in any case, ‘all is permissible in the cause of Islam.' They believe that the messiah's arrival is imminent, and that he will turn the whole world Islamic.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President of Iran

"The world is in continuous change and evolution. The promised destiny for the mankind is the establishment of the humane pure life. Will come a time when justice will prevail across the globe and every single human being will enjoy respect and dignity. That will be the time when the Mankind's path to moral and spiritual perfectness will be opened and his journey to God and the manifestation of the God's Divine Names will come true. The mankind should excel to represent the God's "knowledge and wisdom", His "compassion and benevolence", His "justice and fairness", His "power and art", and His "kindness and forgiveness". These will all come true under the rule of the Perfect Man, the last Divine Source on earth, Hazrat Mahdi (Peace be upon him); an offspring of the Prophet of Islam, who will re-emerge, and Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) and other noble men will accompany him in the accomplishment of this, grand universal mission. And this is the belief in Entezar (Awaiting patiently for the Imam to return). Waiting with patience for the rule of goodness and the governance of the Best which is a universal human notion and which is a source of nations' hope for the betterment of the world.

"They will come, and with the help of righteous people and true believers will materialize the man's long-standing desires for freedom, perfectness, maturity, security and tranquility, peace and beauty. They will come to put an end to war and aggression and present the entire knowledge as well as spirituality and friendship to the whole world.

"Yes; Indeed, the bright future for the mankind will come."

Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

MAD in the 21st Century

The last time the MAD doctrine almost did not work
Fourteen Days in October: The Cuban Missile Crisis