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Feynman was convinced man had finally invented something that he could not control and that would ultimately destroy him. For six decades we have suppressed that thought and built enough history to believe Feynman's pessimism was unwarranted. After all, soon afterward, the most aggressive world power, Stalin's Soviet Union, acquired the Bomb, yet never used it. Seven more countries have acquired it since and never used it either. Even North Korea, which huffs and puffs and threatens every once in a while, dares not use it. Even Kim Jong Il is not suicidal.
But that's the point. We're now at the dawn of an era in which an extreme and fanatical religious ideology, undeterred by the usual calculations of prudence and self-preservation, is wielding state power and will soon be wielding nuclear power.
We have difficulty understanding the mentality of Iran's newest rulers. Then again, we don't understand the mentality of the men who flew into the World Trade Center or the mobs in Damascus and Tehran who chant "Death to America"--and Denmark(!)--and embrace the glory and romance of martyrdom.
This atavistic love of blood and death and, indeed, self-immolation in the name of God may not be new--medieval Europe had an abundance of millennial Christian sects--but until now it has never had the means to carry out its apocalyptic ends.
…It is not just that its President says crazy things about the Holocaust. It is that he is a fervent believer in the imminent reappearance of the 12th Imam, Shi'ism's version of the Messiah. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been reported as saying in official meetings that the end of history is only two or three years away. He reportedly told an associate that on the podium of the General Assembly last September, he felt a halo around him and for "those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink ... as if a hand was holding them there and it opened their eyes to receive" his message. He believes that the Islamic revolution's raison d'être is to prepare the way for the messianic redemption, which in his eschatology is preceded by worldwide upheaval and chaos…
FrontPageMag.com is a neoconservative online blogging journal edited by David Horowitz and published by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, a nonprofit in Los Angeles, California established by Horowitz. Dedicated to conservative advocacy, FrontPageMag.com criticizes the Democratic party, liberal press, environmental movement, affirmative action, feminism, human rights organizations, labor unions, and pacifist groups, and commentators and politicians who are critical of the Bush administration's War on Terror.
After conservative author Ann Coulter's column was dropped from National Review Online, FrontPageMag picked up her column.
We have difficulty understanding the mentality of Iran's newest rulers.
Even the “crazy” people who have acquired the bomb have shown enough restraint to avoid making do on its threats. But this new proliferation is something new, something that we haven’t seen before. This time it’s backed by faith. And not just powerful faith, but radical nation willing to die for that faith.