I enjoy answering comments that are thoughtful and show some effort in researching a subject. I believe “Rocker” here has contributed reflections on my Niall Ferguson series begun back on the Ides of March (15 March) that deserves an equally thoughtful response.
Many people read Hogueprophecy around the world. It also has its readers in high places in Teheran, Tel Aviv and Washington DC. Our journey of discussion about what options are available today and how these might alter the future as consequences if acted or not acted upon, can influence that future – hopefully towards a positive direction.
You’re right…Ferguson doesn’t seem to bring the 360 degree historical perspective you’d expect him to. That doesn’t mean he’s 100% wrong either – strategically, we are out of good scenarios and down to trying to find the least/worst one – and hope. Hope that a totalitarian regime with a strong apocalyptic/messianic bent, and that has articulated a desire to “wipe the Zionist regime off the map” is not serious. I think if I were an Israeli Jew I might be a little less sanguine/blase about that.
I have consistently respected Niall Ferguson as a historian and commentator. And you are right, Rocker, he is not 100 percent wrong in his Newsweek article arguing in favor of Israel’s military option taking out Iran’s nuclear weapons’ aspiration. Being half right makes what he wrote worse than if he was 100 percent wrong. Being half-witted with the facts establishes the engine block for a motor of mass minded populism that can see a nation and a civilization march down the wrong and bloodiest pathways of the future.
Take for instance Adolf Hitler’s arguments about the Versailles Treaty that ended the First World War. Germany was forced to sign it in 1919. Hitler was correct when he said Germany had been stabbed in the back with a treaty that unfairly put all the burden of and reparations for the First World War squarely on the German people’s shoulders. Thus Germany’s economic collapse after the war was biblical as was the suffering of the people, which included widespread famine and a breakdown of ordered society. It was also a fact that the German Army had not been defeated before the Armistice on 11 November 1918. It was true that leftist radicals and communists behind the front at home undermined order in the streets of Germany once the Kaiser and his Imperial German government began its collapse.
One can build an argument with a whole lot of truth and fact, but if your argument builds an initial momentum to your point using truth to come to a wrong and biased conclusion, you are making facts support a temple of the big lie based on shifting sands of half-truths. Hitler built his argument on facts to support a lie that Jews and their Bolshevik allies were behind betraying Germany to the allied wolves behind the civilized niceties of the Versailles Treaty and that economic punishment and disorder was a pan-Jewish plot to keep the superior German Aryan race down.
Niall Ferguson certainly is not a Hitler, yet for me his article betrayed a straying away from a historian’s objectivity. His words had a lot of charge in them. He could not resist the impulse to color facts in the sheen of a Judeo-Christian, Western bias against Iran without looking in the mirror.
The Western angst about leaders possessing weapons of mass destruction we deem culturally alien, dangerous and unscrupulous is not new.
In the late 1940s, the terrifying prospect that godless and amoral Soviet communists might possess atomic bombs drove American commenters to words of alarm little different from Ferguson’s Iranian Ayatollah phobia. In the end, when it came to keeping their finger off the nuclear doomsday trigger for decades of a Cold War standoff, the totalitarian communist regime in Moscow did about as good a job as the so-called “good guy” US democracy in Washington DC.
Commies with A-Bombs were as intolerable to Americans then as Iranians with nukes are to many Israelis and Americans now. Fears then, like now, worry a bone about evil regimes starting an arms race – an odd idea, really, because up to now only democracies with nukes start arms races.
The American arsenal had already stockpiled 200 to 250 of them by the time the Soviets lit off their first test bomb in 1949.
Another democracy, Israel in the 1960s, introduced these evil weapons of mass destruction into the Middle East region where no one had sought them before. I find it ironic that both democracies reached the threshold of 200 to 250 atomic bombs in their arsenals just at the time or prior to the time their chief adversaries, Russia and Iran, either test fired one, as in the former’s case, or may be thinking of building one, as in Iran’s case.
A Commie with The Bomb loved life because he did not believe in an afterlife so he was less compelled to use one. The Iranian leadership has religion, believes there is a place to go after everything is blown to bits, and irradiated. You might think that makes them more irrational if possessing atomic weapons than death fearing Marxists. Do not end your concerns by dwelling on Iran alone. Consider the irational potentials of leaders of democracies who might unilaterally strike Iran.
When Ayatollah Khamenei is praying for the imminent return of the final prophet of Islam, the Mahdi, Netanyahu and many Israelis also pray for the imminent return of Immanuel (the real Messiah, not this Jesus fellow). Until recently, the last president of the United States openly and happily admitted he talks to God and Jesus, both of whom sent “answers.”
A month after Bush occupied Iraq, he told Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, that God had told him to invade Iraq, “and I did.”
There is a whole lot of apocalyptic conditioning under the surface brewing in the hearts of all potential combatants in this hypothetical strike on Iran. It is drummed into our heads how trigger happy are the totalitarians; yet, no totalitarian regime has ever used atomic weapons so far. You have to watch out for the freedom loving democracies using them “freely.”
FACT: Democracies unilaterally use atomic weapons on others.
FACT: America started the arms race, not the Soviets.
FACT: When leaders who have or are presumed to be seeking atomic weapons say kooky, open ended, things you could get a dangerous overreaction.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad several years ago mused publicly about erasing Israel from the map of history. That statement more than any other may have set in motion Israel’s march to war with Iran.
President Reagan in 1983 had his Ahmadinejad moment too.
It came in a speech when he called the Soviet Union an “Evil Empire”. He did not go as far to say “wipe them off the map”. Actually, Ahmadinejad did not imply the destruction of Israel either. Both men were speaking rhetorically about a hated regime they both believed had not the moral grounds and political viability to sustain a state. What would bring about their doom was left open to interpretation.
Still, musing about Israel someday disappearing off the “map of history” or the Soviet Union being an evil empire that will eventually be eradicated (leaving open the means) will trigger an overreaction from Israel and the Soviet Union.
In Moscow the Soviet leaders thought Reagan had lost his marbles and might actually have used the speech to prepare Americans for setting up to strike Russia. For the first and only time in the Cold War, Moscow openly contemplated a preemptive first strike on the US rather than hold to their defensive second strike nuclear posture.
I think they had good reasons to be concerned, if one looks at historical precedents. Democracies seem to find lofty excuses to light people up with atomic weapons. A Soviet atheist in 1983 was also faced with an American President who believed God spoke to him and indeed even believed and said openly that he could be the final US president before the Christian Apocalypse began.
Atheists do not rush to drink the God cool-aid of Reverend Jim Jonestown solutions. They do not have in their belief system an apocalyptic step before the Messiah comes. They do not have a heaven to go to after this sinful world is destroyed.
Beware of democratic, God fearing, gazing heavenward, eager Americans or their allies, the democratic Chosen People of God in Israel who will cite passages in Zechariah that sound a lot like an atomic conflict in their final battle with future Arab and Persian enemies on the plain of Armageddon.
Nevertheless, an evangelical fundamentalist with an atomic bomb is not new. Vast arsenals far beyond anything Israel has or Iran can dream of creating talked to God and got answers like President Reagan, G.W. Bush. The world survived their tenure. There was no nuclear war. So why freak on Ayatollah Khamenei someday possessing an atomic weapon?
Actually, the evidence is mounting that Khamenei stopped the nuclear program in 2004 and has not allowed weaponization to continue, even to this day. He has staked his theological reputation to be Grand Ayatollah overlord of Iran by saying atomic bombs are un-Islamic. It is important to understand that there are a lot of Ayatollahs on the Supreme Council of such that do not want Khamenei as their Theocratic autocrat. He remains their leader upon the merit and constancy of his Islamic theology.
Khamenei is not Mitt Romney. He will not etch-a-sketch away that statement drawing out a pro-nuclear Islamic stance when it suits him politically because it won’t. If he were to say atomic weapons are “pro-Islamic” he would be one unemployed autocrat real quick.
I believe he really means it. Probably “God” told him so.
Just like Bush, who talks to God and waits for the Second Coming of Christ. Reagan talked to God too and thought he could become the President of the End Times. Khamenei talks to Allah and prays for the return of the final prophet, the Mahdi who will bring the Muslim End Times.
They all share the same eschatological insanity, sought and even possessed the means to trigger the last battle on Earth and make their Armageddons happen; yet, many of you Western programmed readers feel comfortable about God babbling A-Bombers Bush and Reagan but not an Ayatollah from Teheran.
Do I sense some doomsday cultural bias here?
If you actually study Islamic prophecy you will find no direct prediction sourced to the Prophet Muhammad quoted in the Hadith that foresees the Mahdi taking Jerusalem back and converting the Jews and the world to Islam by threat of special weapon casting fire down from the skies, sterilizing the land, causing plagues that sound like radiation sickness.
Perhaps the Judeo-Christian Old and New Testament prophets allude to visions like those above that sound a lot like atomic blasts and their aftermath because world leaders indoctrinated to identify themselves as Jews and Christians are the ones more predisposed by God’s final judgment dogma to use them – not the Iranians.
And you have not heard the worst of it.
Beyond Ahmadinejad’s shoe in mouth “map” quote, another statement is equally reprehensible. It came in reaction from the offices of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. He let leak a retort to Ahmadinejad: “Think Amalek”.
If you read your Bible and know what “God told” the Hebrews to do to their Amalekite enemies, what Netanyahu implied as consequences to the Iranians was worse than what Hitler did to the Jews.
In the Old Testament, God told Saul to kill all the Amalek men. Then, collect, concentrate and kill all the women. Then, when the women are slaughtered and the babies have dropped out of their lifeless arms, kill them. Murder all the older children too! Then, when you’ve heaped their dead in mass graves, raise to the ground all Amalek towns, wipe out Amalek farming fields, and last but not least slaughter every cow, chicken, dog and cat of the Amalekites so that all men, women and children, including their livestock, pets, crops, books, art, property and memory are literally WIPED OFF THE MAP.
Where Ahmadinejad’s statement about the political end of Israel was open to other interpretations, Netanyahu’s message to the Iranians is quite clear, quite violent and it comes from a man with his finger on the button of 200 to 250 nuclear weapons.
At the time of this writing no theocracy, no communist state, no matter how tyrannizing and frightening the leadership has ever used atomic weapons in war and on mostly defenseless human beings.
At the time of this writing history’s precedent points to democracies like the US, democracies like Israel as more predisposed to use atomic weapons than totalitarian states, whilst playing a false game of being rational about it. From Harry Truman the “true monkey” lighting A-bombs off over the virtually undefended cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we might this year or in a few year’s time witness Netanyahu (someday becoming a Yahoo!) getting Quentin Tarantino “Amalek”-medieval on Iran’s collective ass.
Ferguson may be right. Maybe Iran aims to build an atomic weapon. Would not you do the same if a neighboring country with hundreds of atomic weapons started talking openly about a preemptive strike on your nuclear program after making it quite clear they were thinking about you and “thinking Amalek”?
You will rarely hear these facts and reflections in the Western media because it is biased towards its own interpretations of the Bible and its own pro-Jewish programming, just like Iranians rarely get a fair and balanced view of Jews and Westerners because of their Mahdi-mad, pro-Palestinian, apocalyptic media programming.
Beware the half-witted approach of historians. Beware the leaders who use real facts and grievances, getting your attention, focusing upon your fears, accelerating the motor of your collective anger only to draw a false and deadly conclusion upon which you might precipitously act.
(24 March 2012)
Prophetic hits from Predictions for 2012
We are racing through the third month of this Mayan Calendared prophetically “collared” year that required my annual e-almanac of predictions, posted on 21 December 2011, to be twice the usual size – coming in at around 65,000 words.
There is a lot going on and already a number of my oracle’s predictions have either been fulfilled or are on track to fulfillment:
Mitt Romney at the time of this writing on 21 November 2011 will be the last candidate standing in the Republican Primaries a few months hence.
Add to this prediction from November last year the pre-Super Tuesday forecast back in February, wherein I said the primary and caucus elections held on 6 March would see Romney stay ahead in the delegate count and never have to look back at his competitors.
As of 23 March, the delegate race as counted by the New York Times has Romney with 563 – 300 delegates ahead of Santorum’s measly 263. Gingrich’s has a pathetic 135 and Ron Paul leads last place with 50. Romney on the eve of the polls closing in today’s Louisiana Primary is just shy of half way to the magic number of 1,144 delegates he needs to clinch the Republican nomination. All sound and fury from the Santorum camp aside, mathematics will show that it signifies nothing. He cannot win enough delegates. I will go further and predict that he cannot even steal enough victories to prevent Romney from winning 1,144 delegates by June (though I think he will clinch it sooner than that) when the GOP Survivor Primary Season ends and we have our biggest loser winning his nomination.
For more predictions about who will become president and why in 2012, read Chapter 8: Prophecies for Presidential Election Night (Predictions for 2012)
Central and Eastern America heading for a Super Heat Wave
The amber waves of US grain will catch fire this summer in a repeat of the Russian grain belt’s blazing drought of 2010. The winter that never was will morph into the bummer of “sprummer” – a spring that once again comes early and with record-breaking summer temperatures.
“Spummer” is here! We are just finishing what is now called the Great Heat Wave of March 2012 stretching across the Central and Eastern United States. AccuWeather.com reports hundreds of temperature records, many in northern states, blown of the charts, like what should be still wintery Marquette, Michigan, with a new record high for 21 March of 81 degrees, exceeding the previous record by 32 degrees Fahrenheit!
On March 9, International Falls, Minnesota, slipped out of its late-wintery frost coat of 14 degrees into a bikini high of 79 degrees by March 18 with ten days of record (thighs) – I mean “highs”.
The lake front beaches of Chicago, Illinois, looked like mid-June when for nine days the temperatures rose above 80 degrees between 14 and 22 March with lows in the 60s, higher than average highs for this time of year.
How many times does a vast climate event get qualified as “unprecedented” or “historic”, or a “hundred year heat wave”, or “never recorded before”, before we take seriously what is coming at all of us in our near future upon this warming world?
Read all about what is coming in Predictions for 2012