by Laurence M. Vance: Buchanan
Against the Conservatives
At its height
under Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire (1299Ė1923) Ė
the closest thing to a global, Islamic caliphate Ė controlled vast
swaths of land in the Middle East, North Africa, western Asia, Europe,
and the Balkans. It was one of the most powerful, most long-lived,
most multiethnic, most multinational, and most multilingual empires
in history. However, it failed miserably at imposing Sharia law
and the Muslim faith on all its subjects, and, in fact, didnít even
make an attempt to do so.
As a Bible-believing
Christian, I have major issues and insurmountable theological differences
with the Islamic religion. However, this does not mean that I advocate
launching preemptive strikes against Muslim countries in the name
of national defense, interfering in Muslim countries, invading Muslim
countries under false pretexts, or lying about Muslim countries
Ė like certain Jews in the Israeli government and certain Christian
ministries in the United States.
Back in 2006,
Benjamin Netanyahu was interviewed by Glenn Beck on CNN. You can
read a transcript
here. Speaking about Iran, Netanyahu said the following:
Iran is Germany,
and itís 1938, except that this Nazi regime that is in Iran, thatís
a religious kind of fanaticism, but it wants to dominate the world,
annihilate the Jews, but also annihilate America. Remember, weíre
the small Satan. Youíre the big Satan.
the first way station en route to you. So there is this fundament
fanaticism that is there. Itís a messianic cult. Itís a religious
messianic cult that believes in the Apocalypse, and they believe
they have to expedite the Apocalypse to bring the collapse of
the president of Iran, is first trying to develop nuclear weapons
and then going about his mad fantasy of global conflict. So he
has to be stopped. I think when you have something as fanatic
and as dangerous as this, the question now is not whether he should
be stopped, but howís he going to be stopped?
So I think
the real problem is: Do we let this fanatic regime, this messianic
cult of the Apocalypse, get their hands on atomic weapons? I think
And I donít
think itís just an Israeli question any more so than Hitler was
just a Jewish question. Hitler started with the annihilation of
the Jews, but pretty quickly moved on to threaten the entire world.
And America woke up late, after 6 million Jews died.
But in our
case, you know, we donít have to wake up dead in order for people
to realize that he threatens America. We want to both defend ourselves,
defend the Jewish state, certainly, but also defend America and
free civilization against people who would extinguish our freedoms
and our lives.
If you donít
act, it means that it will be the first time in the history of
the world that a totally unstable, globally mad regime will have
atomic bombs and the means to deliver them.
a, that they will dominate the Middle East very quickly. They
will make the Persian Gulf an Iranian pond. They will control
the worldís oil supply. And they will probably use the weapons,
first against my country, and then to intimidate or threaten Europe.
They want to control the world.
And what kind
of time frame did Netanyahu give for Ahmadinejad and Iran to fully
develop into Hitler and Nazi Germany? He figured that there were
only five years left:
different estimates, but they all hover between the two- to four-,
five-year range, and we may be wrong. We were wrong about North
will it take? The estimates could be wrong. I was referring to
the fact that people thought that North Korea would take longer
to produce a device, first device. And here, we think Ė we donít
know Ė the official statement give by the chief of Israeli intelligence
Ė and I can say this because it was publicized Ė it was said in
our foreign affairs and defense committee in our Knesset, our
parliament, he said it will take them anywhere up to three years
to cross all the nuclear technology threshold, and then it takes
about a year or two to weaponize.
But this at most would give us five years. It could very well
be next year. Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, is boasting
that heís on the express train.
This was in
late 2006. I mentioned Netanyahuís timeframe in my 2008 article
to Prevent a War with Iran." There I also referred to some
statements by Elwood McQuaid in the magazine Israel My Glory,
published by the Friends of Israel
Gospel Ministry. Said McQuaid:
the Jewish state is merely a warm-up. Although the lynchpin of
Ahmadinejadís crusade is a first-strike success against his near
neighbor Israel, the next move is westward to Europe and then
on to finish off the hated United States.
name Hitler with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who rants against his selected
scapegoats, Israel and the Jewish people, blaming them for every
iniquity and offering the only Ďacceptableí solution: genocide
and annihilation of the Jewish state. His desire is not for a
1,000-year Reich but for a global, Islamic caliphate.
Well, it has
been over five years now and all I can say is: some caliphate.
I want to briefly
quote some statements about Iran from three recent LRC articles,
the first two by Michael Rozeff and the last one by Eric Margolis.
Rozeff quotes from a book by Trita Parsi, Treacherous
Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States
(Yale University Press, 2007):
Jews take Ahmadinejadís anti-Israel rhetoric seriously, and they
point to the fact that little has changed for Iranian Jews under
him. "Anti-Semitism is not an eastern phenomenon, itís not
an Islamic or Iranian phenomenon Ė anti-Semitism is a European
phenomenon," Ciamak Morsathegh, head of the Jewish hospital
in Tehran, explained. Iranís forty synagogues, many of them with
Hebrew schools, havenít been touched. Neither has the Jewish library,
which boasts twenty thousand titles, or Jewish hospitals and cemeteries.
Still, Iranís Jews have not sat idly by. The Jewish member of
the Iranian Majlis, or parliament (most religious minorities are
guaranteed a seat in the parliament), Maurice Mohtamed, has been
outspoken in his condemnation of Ahmadinejadís comments.
So, Jews have
hospitals, schools, libraries, and cemeteries in Iran, plus a Jewish
member of the Iranian parliament. That is some global, Islamic caliphate
that Ahmadinejad is instituting.
Iran cannot attack Israel:
is that Iran is not preparing its conventional armed forces to
launch an offensive war on Israel. It has no announced intention
of doing such a thing. It has no strong or urgent reason to do
such a thing. Iran has no casus belli. In view of Israelís
nuclear arsenal, Iran would face enormous losses if it attacked
Israel in the future. Iranís leaders know this.
Iranís armed forces cannot attack Israel. The distance
between Tehran and Tel Aviv is almost 1,000 miles. The two countries
are separated by Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Iran has no air force capable of flying such a distance, even
one way. Its ground forces are not about to invade the intervening
countries, now or in the future. That would bring the U.S. and
other nations against Iran.
have a global, Islamic caliphate without first having one in the
you canít establish a global, Islamic caliphate without an air force
and a navy:
45-50% of Iranís small, obsolete air force is grounded by lack
of spare parts or repairs. Iranís pilots, who last saw action
during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, have critically little flying
time. Iranís air force lacks modern radars, communications or
electronic warfare equipment.
of Iranís air force remains about 60 ancient US-built F-14 naval
fighters, F-4 Phantom strike aircraft dating from the Vietnam
era, and some old US F-5 trainers. Iran also has a grab bag of
some 25 Soviet/Russian Mig-29ís, a similar number of capable SU-24
strike aircraft, and some 20 Chinese outdated F-7 fighters. The
US -supplied aircraft all suffer from metal fatigue and are more
of a danger to their hapless pilots than an enemy.
navy has a few small frigates and three modern Russian Kilo-class
submarines that are effective in shallow coastal waters. Iranís
sizeable numbers of Chinese anti-ship missiles on shore, at sea
and carried by aircraft might score a few lucky hits on the mighty
US Navy or oil tankers, as could its ample supply of magnetic
But any US
assault of Iran, would open by surprise attacks from waves of
cruise missiles and stealth aircraft against Iranian air bases,
ports and communications hubs. Most of Iranís air force and navy
would be destroyed. Iranís obsolete air defenses would be put
out of action by missile and cyber-warfare attacks.
couldnít establish a global, Islamic caliphate if he tried.
There is another
reason why the idea of a global, Islamic caliphate is a pipe dream
of American neoconservatives and conservative evangelicals: Muslims
are too busy killing each other. Although Sunni and Shiite Muslims
have been killing each other off and on since the death of Muhammad
their prophet in 642, the warring between the two groups really
took off in the Iran-Iraq War in 1980-1988 when hundreds of thousands
died on each side. The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 deepened
the Sunni-Shiite divide.
the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution
of the Worldís Muslim Population, published by the Pew Research
Centerís Forum on Religion & Public Life, Shiites, which make
up about 13 percent of all Muslims, are mainly concentrated in Iran,
with significant numbers in Iraq, India, and Pakistan. These four
counties account for between 70 to 80 percent of the population
of Shia Muslims. The majority of Muslims are Shiites in only Iran,
Iraq, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, and perhaps Lebanon. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia,
Syria, Yemen, Turkey, and Afghanistan also have small pockets of
believe that the rightful successor to Muhammad could have been
any qualified individual. Shiite Muslims believe that the rightful
successor to Muhammad should have been related to him. Should political
succession be by merit or by bloodline? You can read all the historical
ask John McCain Ė he
doesnít know the difference between the two. And neither
do other prominent politicians and government officials.
I havenít even
talked about how Ahmadinejad is subordinate to Iranís Supreme Leader,
Khamenei, who has control over Iranís military and has declared
the possession of nuclear weapons to be "a grave sin"
and "senseless, destructive and dangerous." Or how in
Iranís recent legislative
election, Jews won three seats, Catholics won four, Armenians
won five, and Zoroastrians won two. Or how the bulk of the seats
went to opponents
of Ahmadinejad. Or how Ahmadinejadís sister
lost her bid for a seat in the Parliament.
The three stooges
running for the Republican presidential nomination Ė who just spoke
at AIPAC about the dangers of Iran Ė are more dangerous then
Iran will ever be.
is some Hitler, and Iran is instituting some caliphate.
M. Vance [send him mail]
writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity
and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The
Revolution that Wasn't, and Rethinking
the Good War. His latest book is The
Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. Visit his
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