The big question in Israel right now is this: Will Ehud Barak join Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to form a government that can and will defend Israel from the apocalyptic ayatollahs in Iran?
Netanyahu has said from the beginning that he wants a broad, “unity” government rather than a narrow, partisan one. He believes that he made a mistake in 1996 not asking Labor Party leader Shimon Peres not to join his government. So now he’s going the extra mile to invite Labor’s current leader onto the team. Privately, he has offered Barak the opportunity to stay on as Defense Minister, and has offered key positions to other members of Labor.
Personally, I hope Barak says yes. I met him once at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and I like him. He was not an effective Prime Minister. In 2000, he made a serious error of judgment. He gave away southern Lebanon for nothing. In 2006, Israel paid for that error, receiving 4,000 rockets and missiles from Hezbollah as a “thank you” present. Political leadership has not been Barak’s strong suit. Still, he was an amazing general — one of the most decorated in Israel’s modern history. He helped rebuild the IDF after the 2006 debacle (which he was not in government for) and led a brilliant campaign into Gaza in January (which PM Olmert ended too quickly). Most importantly, Barak understands the Islamic revolution. He understands the existential threat Israel faces now from the ayatollahs in Iran who are feverishly trying to acquire or build nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. Bibi could really use him at his side.
The challenge: the Labor Party’s rank and file membership — as well as some of its top officials — can’t stand Netanyahu. The party is filled will “ABBs” — people who want “Anybody But Bibi” to lead Israel. So it’s not clear by any means that Barak can persuade Labor to accept Netanyahu’s generous offer. What has become clear in the last 24 hours that Barak wants to accept Bibi’s offer. To his credit, I believe he sees it as his patriotic duty, not a matter of partisan politics. He knows the future of his country is on the line, and like the good soldier he has always been, Barak wants to suit up and help.
Please pray faithfully for Messrs. Netanyahu, Barak and their advisors. Pray for wisdom. Pray for unity. Pray for clear vision and courage to do the right thing. The deadline to submit the final coalition is Sunday at 3pm local time. Netanyahu could ask for a two week extension, but he has indicated he does not want to. Let’s pray he can finalize a broad, stable, “unity” government quickly and get on with the urgent business of governing right away. Time is short and the stakes are high.
Jerusalem Post: The Cabal of the Commandos —“Ehud Barak and Binyamin Netanyahu joined forces on May 8, 1972, when both were commandos in Sayeret Matkal, the elite General Staff Reconnaissance unit, to free the passengers of hijacked Sabena Flight 572. Barak led 16 commandos in the successful operation at Lod Airport, among them Netanyahu, who was accidentally shot by one of the rescue team members during the operation. But Netanyahu and Barak have never joined forces politically.”
Amidst the global economic crisis in which upwards of 45% of the world’s wealth has been lost in the last 18 months, talk of radically restructuring the global economic system is growing. In recent weeks, leaders in Europe, Africa and the Middle East have proposed scrapping the current economic order and going to a single common currency.
Astory in this morning’s Moscow Times— and featured prominently on the Drudge Report — is creating quite a stir in particular. At the April 2nd meeting of world leaders in London (the G20), the Kremlin is reportedly set to propose a new global common currency system that will replace the U.S. dollar as the international currency of choice.
The story notes that “the Kremlin’s call for a common currency is not the first in recent days. Speaking at an economic conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, last week, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed a global currency called the ‘acmetal’ — a conflation of the words ‘acme’ and ‘capital.’ He also suggested that the Eurasian Economic Community, a loose group of five former Soviet republics including Kazakhstan and Russia, adopt a single noncash currency — the yevraz — to insulate itself from the global economic crisis….Nazarbayev’s proposal did, however, garner support from at least one prominent source — Columbia University professor Robert Mundell, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1999 for his role in creating the euro. Speaking at the same conference with Nazarbayev, he said the idea had ‘great promise.’ The Kremlin document also called for national banks and international financial institutions to diversify their foreign currency reserves. It said the global financial system should be restructured to prevent future crises and proposed holding an international conference after the G20 summit to adopt conventions on a new global financial structure.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week called for a single currency for 400 million Muslims in the Middle East. “The process of obtaining one single currency in the trade and exchanges among members, and in the next stages with other countries and neighbors, should be designed,” the Iranian leader said March 11th.
Libyan leader Muammar Ghadafi, recently elected leader of the African Union of states, is calling for a single currency for all of Africa and has persuaded 200 tribal leaders to call him the “King of kings.” The BBC reported in February that Ghadafi “envisages a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move freely around the continent.”
Europe, of course, was the leader in creating a single regional currency. Last year, the EU celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the creation of the “euro,” a move that has been widely considered a success and a model for other regions.
These are curious developments given that scholars of Bible prophecy have long noted that according to the Scriptures, in the “last days” the world will see the emergence of an entirely new international financial architecture, complete with a single global currency created and mandated by the leaders of Europe. The Bible indicates that eventually no one will be able to engage in commerce without “buying in” to the new cashless system. The prophecy is found in Revelation 13:16-17, which reads: “And he [the world leader that emerges from a revived Europe] causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one can buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.”
Cynics and skeptics have long dismissed such talk as the province of “religious nuts” and “prophecy buffs.” But the discussion has suddenly blown past the realm of Bible scholars and is now the discussion of major world leaders. It’s too soon to say where this will all lead, but these are certainly developments worth watching.
UPDATED:Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has done everything he can to create a “unity” government with political rivals Tzipi Livni and her Kadima Party, and Ehud Barak and his Labor Party. However, marathon talks over the weekend don’t appear to have been fruitful. So Netanyahu is taking the first steps towards finalizing his government and making it clear that stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program and “toppling the Hamas regime in Gaza”will be his administration’s top priorities.
Americans are increasingly inclined to believe diplomacy and economic sanctions won’t work to stop Iran from building or acquiring nuclear weapons. A stunning new poll finds that a full 52% of Americans now believe the U.S. is approaching the point of needing to use military force to stop Iran. Only 37% oppose a military option.
By sharp contrast, in September of 2006, only 39% of Americans supported a military option, while 47% opposed using force.
65% of Republicans favor using military force against Iran, while 23% oppose
48% of Democrats favor the use of force, while 43% oppose
44% of Independents favor a military option, while 45% oppose
It’s not that Americans want another war in the Middle East. But 30 years into the Radical Islamic revolution in Iran — and thus 30 years of economic sanctions and back channel negotiations — Americans are losing confidence that Iran’s leaders can be stopped from their feverish attempts to build, buy or steal nuclear weapons that could be used against the U.S. and/or our allies.
That said, there is no evidence that the Obama administration is seriously considering the use of force. To the contrary, President Obama is preparing his team to launch direct diplomatic negotiations with the tyrannical, apocalyptic government in Tehran, even as moderate Muslim countries like Morocco have severed diplomatic ties with Iran. What’s more, as I reported earlier in the week, there is a growing chorus of foreign policy “experts” and journalists who don’t see the harm in Iran getting the Bomb.
What is odd in the current environment is that President Obama seems to be hoping that Russia — of all countries — will pressure Iran into stopping its feverish persuit of nuclear weapons and the ballistic missile systems to deliver soon-coming atomic warheads. Press reports indicate Mr. Obama sent a letter to the Kremlin offering to give up American missile defense bases in central Europe if the Russians would help us with Iran. Not surprisingly, the Kremlin has dismissed such overtures.
U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials — and now even a top Russian analyst — believes Iran could have the Bomb within the next year or two. Yet Washington does not have a credible plan to stop Iran peaceably, and seems unwilling to even consider military action. Only time will tell how this will all play out.
This is all the more reason, I believe, for the followers of Jesus Christ around the world to pray for peace in the Middle East while preparing for the possibility that war will break out and we will need to respond with humanitarian reliefand other practical expressions of Christ’s love and support for the Jewish people and her neighbors.
A sobering new report by a private Wall Street firm indicates that the global economic crisis has destroyed nearly half of the world’s wealth over the past 18 months.
Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of the private equity company Blackstone Group LP, said on Tuesday that, “Between 40 and 45 percent of the world’s wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half. This is absolutely unprecedented in our lifetime.”
What’s more, new Federal Reserve bank data just released indicates that U.S. household wealth fell by $11.2 trillion in 2008, ending the year at $51.5 trillion. U.S. household wealth at its peak in the fall of 2007 was $64.4 trillion.
As I have written aboutpreviously, I believe the Lord is shaking us as a country, even as He shakes the world. He is challenging our dependence on fleeting wealth and material things rather than on Jesus Christ, His unfailing love and His soon coming return. In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where theives break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where theives do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there is your heart also.”
Where is your heart today? Where is mine? Are we storing up true wealth in heaven — or are we putting all our eggs, as it were, in the world’s basket?
TODAY’S MEDIA SCHEDULE (all times eastern and subject to change):
Noon — Jay Sekulow Live, nationally syndicated
12:45pm — Family Life Network, nationally syndicated (taped)
1:00pm — K-Love radio news, nationally syndicated (taped)
Should we allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons when its leaders believe their mission is to bring about the end of the world? Ted Koppel and Ted Turner say yes.
SELECTED THURSDAY INTERVIEWS (eastern):
8:15am — WMBI, Chicago
Noon — David Wheaton, Salem Radio/Sirius Radio, nationally syndicated
5:00pm — Glenn Beck TV show on Fox (rescheduled from Wednesday)
U.S. and Israeli experts increasingly believe Iran could have its first nuclear weapon by the end of 2009 or early 2010. President Barack Obama has all but ruled out military force to stop Iran, preferring instead to pursue direct negotiations with Tehran.
Last week, however, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, dismissed such talk. “Negotiations with whom?” asked Khameini. “With an occupying and bullying regime [Israel], who does not believe in any other principle other than force?….Or negotiations with America and Britain who committed the biggest sin in creating and supporting this cancerous tumor [the Jewish State]?”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also dismissed his American counterpart’s desire for direct talks, saying they could only happen if the U.S. abandons her “satanic, coercive and aggressive ways.”
Yet even as the leaders of Iran talk about annihilating Israel and the U.S., and feverishly try to build, buy or steal nuclear weapons, a growing chorus of “experts” in the U.S. foreign policy community are actually suggesting a nuclear-armed Iran might not be such a terrible thing.
Barry R. Posen of the MIT Center for International Studies wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on February 27, 2006, entitled, “We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran.”
Journalist Paul Starobin, in a column published in National Journal on May 19, 2006, argued that “Iran’s acquisition of a bomb would probably improve the chances of the U.S. and Iran renewing a dialogue after all these years” because, as one Mideast analyst told him, “they see acquisition of a nuclear weapon as a precondition of having talks with the U.S.” (emphasis added)
Ted Koppel, the former host of ABC’s Nightline, suggested in a 2006 op-ed in the New York Times that the world should allow Iran to get the Bomb. “Washington should instead bow to the inevitable,” he insisted. “If Iran is bound and determined to have nuclear weapons, let it.”
CNN founder Ted Turner went even further. “They [Iran] are a sovereign state—we have 28,000 [nuclear warheads]—why can’t they have 10?” he argued in 2006. “They aren’t usable by any sane person.”
In the fall of 2007, former CENTCOM commander John Abizaid said publicly, “There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran. I believe we have the power to deter Iran if they go nuclear,” just as we deterred the Soviet Union and China. “Iran is not a suicidal nation,” he added. “Nuclear deterrence would work with Iran.”
Throughout the 2008 presidential primaries, deterrence and containment were the themes of the Democratic contenders. Then-Senator Barack Obama dismissed the seriousness of the Iranian threat during his campaign, saying it was nothing compared to the threat the Soviet Union posed during the Cold War.
Former U.N. Then-Senator Hillary Clinton was even more explicit during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America on the morning of the Pennsylvania primaries. She threatened to wipe Iran out after an Iranian nuclear attack, hoping that such strong language would deter the Iranian regime from launching such an attack. “You said, ‘If Iran were to strike Israel, there would be a massive retaliation,’” noted host Chris Cuomo. “Scary words, Mrs. Clinton. Does ‘massive retaliation’ mean you go into Iran, you would bomb Iran? Is that what that’s supposed to suggest?”
“Well, the question was if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, what would our response be?” Clinton replied. “And I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran, and I want them to understand that, because it does mean that they have to look very carefully at their society. Because at whatever stage of development they might be in their nuclear weapons program, in the next ten years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them. That’s like a terrible thing to say, but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish, and tragic.”
Clinton is now the Secretary of State, responsible for orchestrating direct negotiations. But there are two serious flaws in Clinton’s thinking.
First, by offering a reactive rather than a proactive military strategy vis-à-vis Iran, she is allowing for the possibility of another Holocaust. If Iranian leaders acquire nuclear warheads and can attach them to the high-speed ballistic missiles they already have, Ahmadinejad could kill some six million Jews in about six minutes. What good would it then be to say that the U.S. would obliterate Iran after Ahmadinejad or a successor accomplishes another Holocaust?
Second, Clinton and her like-minded colleagues hope their tough talk will deter Iran’s leaders from launching a nuclear attack against Israel. But will it? Consider events through the lens of Shia eschatology, or End Times theology. Ahmadinejad and his colleagues have publicly stated that the end of the world is near and that the return of the Islamic Messiah known as the “Mahdi” or the “Twelfth Imam” is “imminent.” To bring about the conditions optimal for the Mahdi’s return, Iran’s leaders must – according to Shia scholars – create global chaos and carnage.
As I document in my new non-fiction book,Inside The Revolution, Ahmadinejad believes he has been chosen by Allah to annihilate the U.S. and Israel and export the Islamic Revolution. The only way that is remotely possible, humanly speaking, is for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them against America and Israel. How then could the West successfully deter or contain Iran’s messianic, apocalyptic leaders? If they die, these Radicals believe they are going directly to Paradise. What could we possibly offer them as either carrots or sticks that would keep them from what they see as their God-given duty when their failure to obey could be, in their minds, disobedience punishable by an eternity in the fires of hell?
Yet many in Washington do not see the problem. Vice President Joe Biden, for example, said during the campaign, “My concern is not that a nuclear Iran some day would be moved by messianic fervor to use a nuclear weapon as an Armageddon device and commit national suicide in order to hasten the return of the Hidden Imam. My worry is that the fear of a nuclear Iran could spark an arms race in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and others joining in.”
A nuclear arms race is certainly a very real concern. But based on the evidence, why would Biden be so quick to dismiss the messianic fervor of Iran’s leadership? Ahmadinejad, after all, is not just another power-hungry dictator in the mold of the Soviet or Chinese leaders of yore. Neither is Khamenei. They are not Communists. They are not atheists. They do not believe that this world is all there is. They are devout Shia Islamic extremists. They believe they are Shia “John the Baptists,” forerunners of the soon-coming Islamic messiah. They believe their life mission is to kill millions of Jews and Christians and usher in an Islamic caliphate. If they die, they are convinced they know where they are going. But they do not really believe they are going to die—not at the hand of the infidels, at any rate. They believe instead that they have been chosen for a divine appointment and that nothing can stop them. That is what makes them so dangerous.
Unfortunately, too many Washington politicians—Obama, Clinton, and Biden included—do not yet understand this. To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it. To misunderstand the nature and threat of Iran’s End Times theology could be the prelude to genocide. Dare we be blindsided?
[Note: This article was adapted from Inside The Revolution.]
Quick note to say that Glenn and I just pre-taped a TV interview about the new book that will air on Thursday’s broadcast. This was a last minute decision on their part. Sorry I wasn’t able to get the word out to you sooner. God bless.
GLENN BECK: ….Joel Rosenberg has been watching these stories for a while. He’s with us now. He’s got a new book out calledInside the Revolution. Joel, are you familiar with these [Muslim radicals] guys in England?
ROSENBERG: I am, and I write about this in one of the chapters….According to research done by the Pew Foundation, for example, 15% of Muslims in the U.K. believe suicide bombings against civilian targets are sometimes or often justified…16% of Muslims in France believe suicide bombings against civilians are justified….The vast majority of Muslims in the U.S. and Britain aren’t radical but that’s not the question. The question is how many radicals are there and how serious a threat to they pose. And that’s what I’m trying to do in this book is take people inside the thinking, what they’re saying, what they’re teaching, what they believe and how far they are willing to go to get it….
Now, get this one, Glenn. This just in the last couple of days. You know, as I’m making the case in this book, [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is bringing Iran and the world to the most dangerous moment in the Islamic revolution. We’re 30 years into the Islamic revolution now. But this is the most dangerous moment and you and I have talked about why. But what’s interesting is to me is that just this past weekend the moderate Muslim country of Morocco whom I spend two chapters on in this book — these are good guys — they have just severed all diplomatic ties with Iran because Iran has gone over the edge in their belligerence, the radicalism. And yet the United States, under President Obama, has decided to engage the radical belligerent, you know, “We’re bringing about the end of the world” leadership. How is Morocco more sane on this issue than our own government?
GLENN: You know, let me tell you something, because they don’t understand it. They are living in a place of denial on this. Let me ask you this: How do you sit down and negotiate and have open talks with somebody who says I’ll have open talks at the table. When you —
ROSENBERG: ….give up your Satanic ways?
GLENN: ….give up your Satanic ways.
ROSENBERG: Yeah, that’s a hard negotiating position for Secretary Clinton — how do you look someone in the eye and say, list me the Satanic ways so we could work on this….You know what’s interesting in the heart of it, I totally agree with you, Glenn. One of the things I found over the last couple of years of crisscrossing the Islamic world is as you just alluded to with Morocco, because Moroccans are Muslim, they do understand.
GLENN: I know.
ROSENBERG: They are living inside the region and they understand it. What we’re finding is mass defect shun by the millions, really by the tens of millions of Muslims from Islam.
Now, some of them, many millions, are becoming followers of Jesus Christ. Not all, and I wouldn’t even say most. But it’s extraordinary the soul-searching that’s going on inside the Muslim world as Muslims are watching radicals kill other Muslims and saying, if that’s it, if that’s what it means to be a pure Muslim, I’m out. I can’t do this anymore.
GLENN: Joel, I tell you, there’s soul-searching going on in the entire world. I really truly believe that an enlightened period is coming. A great, great vast darkness but also a great miraculous enlightened period is coming as well because sides are being chosen.
GLENN: And there is no middle ground. You are either going to be engaged with darkness or with light, and I think people are starting to feel that and they’re starting to say, you know, they’re starting to feel callings on, “Well, wait a minute.” And those who don’t — those who dismiss it, those who don’t root themselves in the truth I think are going to be in very, very deep trouble. I just, maybe this is me.
ROSENBERG: I’m with you on that. And I tell you, you know, there’s a guy I need to introduce you to, literally, physically introduce you to. He is the “Glenn Beck of the Revivalists.” He is an Egyptian Coptic priest named Father Zakaria Botros. I profile him inside this book in the revolution. And he reaches 50 million Muslims a day. They are watching him now by satellite television in the Muslim world. Because he’s taking on Islam verse by verse, chapter by chapter, hadith by hadith and he’s deconstructing it. Then because he’s a believer in Jesus, he explains now this is the truth. Now, people call in to his show and they’re furious.
(Virginia Beach, Virginia) — This morning on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club,” I was interviewed about what’s happening in the Muslim world since the 1979 Islamic revolution. I spoke about the Iranian nuclear threat to the U.S. and Israel, as well as the good news from Iran — that more than 1 million Shia Muslims there have come to faith in Jesus Christ over the past thirty years. Just before lunch, I spoke to several hundred CBN employees about some of the amazing stories I have personally witnessed of how the God of the Bible is transforming lives throughout the Muslim world, and spreading the message of the gospel throughout the epicenter.
Just after I spoke, I receive an email from a friend in the Middle East with the latest piece of good news from that region. Last week, as you’ll recall, I alerted you to the fact that a major motion picture about the life of the Apostle Paul and how he came to faith in Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus was going to premiere in the Syrian capital. I also asked you to pray that God would bless the showing of the film entitled, Damascus. Let me report that your prayers have been answered. More than 1,000 Syrian political, business, and religious leaders — along with journalists — attended and there is a lot of buzz in the region about the film.
Here are excerpts from an email I just received from one of the film’s producers, that I post with his permission:
“It is with great joy that I report to you that the Lord, in His love and mercy, accorded us a truly historic event for the premier of Damascus, in the capital city of Syria, Damascus, where it all began 2,000 years ago. The Government took a personal interest in the production of this film, made it very easy for us, and facilitated everything we needed. The invitation for the premiere went all the way to the Presidential palace, which received it with great favor, delegating the responsibility of hosting the premier to the Minister of Culture, and designated that it should be held in the Opera in Damascus….
“A huge [billboard] was hung in a public place for several weeks leading up to the premiere, literally seen by at least one million people every day….1,135 people attended the premier, so the Opera was…a full house. We were honored by the presence not only of the Minister of Culture, but also of other Cabinet members, very high government officials, and two patriarchs, with a third sending his inaugural speech to be delivered by his assistant.
“The head of the Synod of the Evangelical churches of Lebanon and Syria sent his speech, to be delivered by his vice-president, who represented him….All the main actors and crew were also present, also the head of the Islamic community sent his inaugural speech, to be delivered by his right-hand man, one of the main Sunni leaders in the country….
“All the speeches were extremely positive, and all gave honor and glory to God, and also commended the Syrian government for its support of the production of this film, and the potential it has to revive the Christian message, and transform lives, as it happened with Saul on the way to Damascus….We were honored by having with us representatives of the mainstream Christian denominations from all the neighboring countries as well….
“The film was positively received. In fact, the crowd broke into applause at the opening of the eyes of Saul, at the baptismal scene, and also at the scene when followers of the Way were first called Christians….[Let us give] honor and glory to God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who still transforms lives, and proclaim that, from this evening on, Paul, as promised by the Lord, will appear before Kings and Presidents and will take the message to all the nations of the world, on the large as well as the small screen….
“Twelve television stations and all the main newspapers in the country and the Arab world were represented, as part of the press group. Dozens and dozens of people were interviewed before and after the showing. Today, literally the entire Arab world is talking about this premiere and the inaugural showing of Damascus…..The English dubbing was completed…last week, and it should be ready very soon. Other languages are underway: Turkish, Farsi, Russian, Urdu, Hindi, Kurdish, and many others….Thank you so much for praying for the inaugural showing in Damascus. Please continue to pray.”
There is plenty of bad news coming out of the Middle East, including out of Iran. But let us keep in mind that the God of the Bible is faithful. He is on the move. He loves all the people of the epicenter, and His message cannot be thwarted by the kingdoms of mankind. What a message of hope as we head into the Easter season.
The Inside The Revolution book tour began yesterday with an hour-long interview on Michael Medved’s show. I’ve long been an admirer of Michael’s, but it was the first time he has had me on the program. It was a great way to begin.
He asked me what the news of the book was. I led with the details I’m reporting on the apocalyptic, messianic religious beliefs of Iran’s leadership and how their End Times views are driving Iranian foreign policy. He was interested in this, but respectfully disagreed, saying the real news was all the reporting I’ve done on how many millions of Muslims have left Islam and come to faith in Jesus Christ over the past 30 years, and particularly since 9/11. We spent much of the hour talking about both topics, which was particularly interesting because Michael is Jewish and does not believe Jesus is the Messiah.
We took quite a few calls and there many intriguing questions. My favorite came right at the end of the show. A young man was quite upset with my assessment that Iran’s leaders want to destroy the U.S. and Israel, saying I don’t know what I’m talking about. There wasn’t much time to answer him in detail, so I suggested that he not even buy the book, just find it in a bookstore or library and turn to pages 26-27 and 155-156. Here are just a few of the quotes I’ve included in the book:
“God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism.” — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
“Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come, and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started.” — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
“Get ready for a world minus the U.S.” — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
“It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” — Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini
“The end of the U.S. will begin in Iraq. As the Imam [Khomeini] said, ‘One day the U.S., too, would be history.” — Supreme Leader Khameini
“The American regime can expect a resounding slap and devastating fist-blow from the Muslim nation for its support of the Zionist crimes and criminals.” — Supreme Leader Khameini
The real question isn’t whether the Iranian leadership is calling for the U.S. and Israel to be wiped out, it’s whether they really mean it. That’s a question I spend quite a bit of time on in the book, and my conclusion is that yes, they really mean it. They are devout Shia Muslim Radicals, and they’re not kidding about their passion to bring about the end of the world and usher in the era of the Islamic Messiah. But I will leave it to readers to make their own assessment.
Two more notes:
1) I’m watching with interest that Morocco — a key moderate Islamic country that I devote two chapters to — choosing this weekend to sever diplomatic ties with Iran because of Tehran’s radicalism and belligerence, even as President Obama pursues direct diplomatic negotations with Ahmadinejad.