As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Group of Paranoids

("Time is running out," said [John Birch Society founder Robert] Welch in 1951. "Evidence is piling up on many sides and from many sources that October 1952 is the fatal month when Stalin will attack").

-Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics, 1964

In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time--Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise.

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (cf Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

- Bernard Lewis, "August 22," The National Review, 2006

Given the belligerent talk over Iran in recent days, I thought it should be known that to this breed of far-right authoritarian fearmongers, the next attack is ALWAYS around the corner. The enemy is ALWAYS moments away from a bomb, or an attack, or whatever. We ALWAYS have to get them before they get us. This is core wingnut DNA stuff, and it has been for 50 years or more.

And this is why any attempt to negotiate or speak with whoever they determine is "the enemy" can never happen. Because peace is unacceptable. And even it were, money trumps peace.

The above link about Condi Rice, Israel and Syria is really shocking. The US put a stop to even introductory talks between Jerusalem and Damascus. Yes, we deliberately shut down peace negotiations between two foreign entities. Mainly because it would hurt our position against Syria. Because, I guess, they're minutes away from attacking us.

This is the deranged, paranoid mind that is currently running the country. Words like "weakness" and phrases like "sending the wrong message" rule the discourse. And they're sending us headlong into another catastrophe. Help to stop the Iran war by clicking on the link.

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