"The Iranian leadership, particularly Ahmadinejad, welcome the apocalyptic vision of the return of the hidden Imam. And all the strains of Islam believe in the eventual return of the Mahdi, also known as the twelfth Imam, or the Shiite messiah. After a period of great destruction, once the forces of evil are defeated, the so-called twelfth Imam is supposed to reign over a period of great prosperity."Which places him squarely in the "certifiable" category, if you didn't already know it.
"When Ahmadinejad was mayor of Tehran, he set up an urban renewal program that would make it easier to facilitate the Mahdi's return. He created passageways and roadways that would allow the Mahdi to return triumphantly." ...
"Ahmadinejad was called the man of a thousand bullets. Because he would give the last bullet for someone who has been tortured, and primarily executed by firing squad. Ahmadinejad's role was to put the last bullet in, in case the person was still squirming. After a thousand people had been killed, supposedly he said, he had it with that particular job," Tanter said.I knew he was brutal (one of those who took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and beat / interrogated prisoners), but this is considerably worse than I suspected, if true.
"There is a link between Iran's nuclear weapons program on one hand, and its ideology of trying to facilitate a cataclysmic event to hasten the return of the Mahdi. As a result, no conceivable positive or negative incentives will influence the leadership of the clerics and the revolutionary guards from acquiring nuclear weapons. They need nuclear weapons in order to facilitate the ideological precepts of the return of the Mahdi," said Tanter.That they want nukes to simply project power is bad enough, but if this is true (there's probably much more than a grain of it here) is so much worse -- it would clearly signal the intent to initiate a nuclear war, starting with Israel. And a little logic will show that with they likely would try to ignite a worldwide armageddon at the same time, or that Mahdi feller might not show up.
The question our intel services should be asking is, "how?" I would guess a nutjob like Ahmadinejad would, at the least, want at least three to five nukes to do this. At least 2 for Israel, and two for the U.S., maybe plant one in Europe for good measure, and would be encouraging allies of his to be prepared to initiate a multi-front war. North Korea, of course -- they're just as nutty.
Would China go for Taiwan? I kind of doubt it, but I don't understand their leadership well enough. (You of course have read about the Chinese sub that got in attack range of a carrier battle group this week? Or might not have read about the substantial increases in Chinese missiles and other forces built up on the coast facing Taiwan the last few years? Etc.)
There's all sorts of ways it can be played, and, they play it well. (It's a dead certainty that they have many agents in the U.S. ready to act if war breaks out. In that event I'll hold off on flying for a little while.)