Thursday, August 03, 2006
Iran's Nuclear Blackmail
Think you are paying too much for gas now? Wait until Iran gets its nukes!
Although not particularly superstitious by nature, I have come to the realization that kissing, in the world of politics, is a foretelling sign of ominous things to come.
For instance, think at what happened after Vyacheslav Molotov (1890 – 1986) and Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893 – 1946) kissed in the wake of the Nazi-Soviet Non Aggression Pact of 1939. How about when Leonid Brezhnev (1906 – 1982) kissed Mao Tse-tung (1893 – 1976) a few months before the international incident on the Ussuri River in 1969, which signed the end of the ‘intellectual’ alliance between Soviet Russia and Red China, and that almost catapulted the world into WWIII. Or even the famous kiss between Mikhail Gorbachev (1931) and Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004) in 1988, right before the collapse of the Soviet Union, although this could hardly be described as a foreboding sign of omen – unless, of course, one is a Bolshevik communist.
And why is it that only male politicians kiss, and never female politicians, is yet another mystery of life. No one ever dared kissing the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher of Britain, or Madeleine Albright. And when the present US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice – herself otherwise a very kissable lady - trots around the globe, all foreign dignitaries are kept a safe distance away, just in case. This is the reason why I personally would fire all the male politicians and support replacing them only with females: at least if they kiss, the ladies would have the decency not to show me on TV - but I digress.
So therefore, if history teaches anything at all, what are we to make of the latest quasi-amorous engagement and great effort of getting a taste of each other of Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran? Seen from the cameraman’s angle, that was not just a kiss. Those two went very close to a lip-to-lip encounter of the third kind, something to make a Frenchman green with envy. All of which makes any prediction of future events even more ominous.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a civil engineer by profession and the Sixth President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a confirmed believer in the coming apocalypse. Like Judaism and Christianity, Shiite Islam has its own version of the messianic return - the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam. And as in some versions of fundamentalist Christianity, the second coming will be accompanied by the usual trials and tribulations, death and destruction. The Iranian press, in fact, has quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in official meetings that the Imam will reappear in two years. Exactly two years.
Couple this with his intention to press ahead with Iran's nuclear program, the staunch anti-Israel rhetoric, and his repeated calls for Israel “to be wiped off the map” and it becomes very easy to anticipate where Iran's nuclear weapons will be aimed at, once they are up and armed. As a matter of fact, everyone knows already that they will be put on Shahab rockets, which have been modified so that they can reach Israel.
So, what do we have here? A Holocaust-denying, virulently anti-Semitic, aspiring genocidist and certifiable lunatic on the verge of acquiring weapons of the apocalypse, who believes that the end is not only near, but nearer than the next American presidential election. Who likes to entertain Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, another certifiable lunatic, whose mainstream political ideology consists in the public proclamation that Jesus of Nazareth was a radical activist, who purportedly emphasized and sought redistributive social justice and democratic socialism.
Sure, this may very well be a valid theory, but there are a few things that just do not balance out.
First and foremost, on closer scrutiny, a nuclear strike on Israel – assuming for a moment that Israel would allow that to happen with impunity – would cause just as many Muslim casualties as Jewish, if not more. Not only all the Palestinians would be wiped out, but also a great many Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians and Egyptians would suffer the same faith. Secondly, a retaliatory strike from the United States and Western Europe would put an end to the existence of modern Persia, as we know it. Thirdly, what’s the point therefore in attacking Israel if, afterwards, your days – your hours, in fact, are numbered. And fourth, Islam would break apart and collapse, both in its social and economic structures, as well as a form of human civilization.
Surely it would not please Allah to see all these many followers perish in vain, in exchange for a comparatively handful of Jewish lives. Talk about omen!
Yet, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chávez have two other things in common, besides being strange. They are both price hawks within OPEC, having pushed for stringent enforcement of production quotas and higher target oil prices. And they both need petrodollars – and lots of them - to finance their otherwise faltering economies and great ambitions.
Chávez has long since learned, that any time he announces his purportedly ultimate goal of cutting oil supply to the United States entirely (he has announced it publicly a few times already), the international markets get the jitters and react by sending the price of crude up to the sky, if but for a short time. And Ahmadinejad is now beginning to discover, that he can do the same – better, in fact - by sticking to his program of uranium enrichment in open defiance of the wish and will of the United Nations. It is, in fact, the news of the day that oil teetered above $74 a barrel, a near record high, as mounting tension over Iran's nuclear plan compounded worries of global supply disruptions amid forecast of falling fuel stocks in the United States. Prices were within striking distance of their all-time peak of $75.35 a barrel on April 24.
All this after Iran merely reported, that it has succeeded in purifying uranium to 4.8 percent, at the top end of the 3 to 5 percent range used in nuclear power plants. So, can anyone imagine where price of crude will go, once Iran gets its nukes and threatens to drop them on Israel every other day?
Ah, these Mullahs! The more I watch them on TV, the more I think they need a shave. How could anyone possibly would ever want to kiss them?
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