Friday, February 27, 2015

Have members of Congress seen this Bernard Lewis clip from 2009?

Bernard Lewis is the world's foremost Western scholar of Islam today. 


That is extremely important for another, not immediately related reason. That is the question of Iran’s nuclear weapon. The Soviet Union had nuclear weapons right through the Cold War, but neither side used them because both sides were aware that if either one did  the other would do the same and this would lead to mutual destruction - MAD as it was known at the time. Mutual assured destruction was the main deterrent preventing the use of nuclear weapons by the Soviets   For most of the Iranian leadership MAD would work as a deterrent, but for Ahmadinejad and his group with their apocalyptic mindset mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it's an inducement 


הענין הוא בעל חשיבות עצומה מסיבה נוספת והיא הנשק הגרעיני של אירן. לאורך כל שנות המלחמה הקרה, היה בידי ברית המועצות נשק גרעיני. אף צד לא העז להשתמש בנשק זה, כי היה ברור שהתקפה גרעינית תגרור אחריה תגובה גרעינית אשר תוביל בהכרח להשמדה הדדית. הכרה זו היוותה הגורם הראשי אשר הרתיע את הסובייטים משימוש בנשק גרעיני. עבור מרבית ההנהגה האיראנית, אותה הכרה תהווה גם כן גורם מרתיע. לעומת זאת, עבור אחמדינג'אד וחבורתו, אנשים בעלי השקפת עולם אפוקליפטי, ההבטחה הטמונה בהשמדה הדדית איננה נחשבת גורם מרתיע אלא גורם מזרז ותמריץ לשימוש בנשק גרעיני.  

 Bernard Lewis on Khomeini’s book "Islamic Government— from the Wall Street Journal

Professor Lewis has been here before. As the Iranian revolution was beginning in the late 1970s, the name of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was starting to appear in the Western press. "I was at Princeton and I must confess I never heard of Khomeini. Who had? So I did what one normally does in this world of mine: I went to the university library and looked up Khomeini and, sure enough, it was there."

'It was a short book called "Islamic Government"—now known as Khomeini's Mein Kampf—available in Persian and Arabic. Mr. Lewis checked out both copies and began reading. "It became perfectly clear who he was and what his aims were. And that all of this talk at the time about [him] being a step forward and a move toward greater freedom was absolute nonsense," recalls Mr. Lewis.

"I tried to bring this to the attention of people here. The New York Times wouldn't touch it. They said 'We don't think this would interest our readers.' But we got the Washington Post to publish an article quoting this. And they were immediately summoned by the CIA," he says. "Eventually the message got through—thanks to Khomeini."

*Thanks to Thomas Lunde for providing the link to the  Islamic Government