If you search the Internet today, you will find no shortage of speculation and punditry
regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran's suspected secret development of nuclear weapons and how the world should collectively respond to the threat. Example. Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer called the Obama administration's nuclear policy toward Iran "loopy"
in a recent Washington Post editorial.
By contrast, the liberal Think Progress blog believes Mr. Krauthammer is the loopy one
and takes Mr. Krauthammer to task for his scathing oped. Such is the political discussion on Iran and nuclear weapons today. Above it all looms the threat of Israeli military intervention
and possible plunging of the region into all-out war as a result.
Yet the most essential question of the Iranian nuclear problem is perhaps the least asked: if the Islamist regime in Iran develops nuclear weapons, will the regime use them directly against Israel via ICBMs or other military contingencies such as aircraft? Or provide them to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah for use against Israel or other nations? Could the Islamist extremist regime currently controlling Iran and most likely developing nuclear weapons be that evil, apocalyptic or suicidal? Unfortunately, given the regime's bloody and barbaric thirty-year history
both within and without its borders, the answer is a resounding yes.
There is a famous old and unattributed saying
: "The measure of a civilization is how it treats the least of its citizens." If one can truly judge a nation's government for good or evil in the way it treats the "least" of its citizens, there are few evils Iran is not capable of. The record of human rights horrorshows that Iran has perpetrated against its own innocent citizenry is perhaps the worst on earth
exceeded only by Sudan. The Shiite extremists of Iran stone and hang young women for the crime of being raped
, even for defense
. They hunt down
, imprison, torture and exterminate
innocent LGBTs, and have even exported
that Pink Triangle-like anti-gay pogrom to Iraq. They execute bloggers
. Even children
. Even filmmakers aren't safe
Since the elections last June, the regime has treated the Greens with a brutality and viciousness that has shocked the world: mayhem and murder in the streets, prison rapes, tortures, coerced Stalinist show trial-like confessions on Iran state TV, and now even executions
. Yet the regime treats even its societal and artistic elite with the same ruthlessness and brutality. Internationally renowned Iranian New Wave film director Jafar Panahi, perhaps the Quentin Tarantino of Iranian cinema, has been cast into a living tomb
in Evin prison's notorious Section 209
without charge. His only relief from that crypt-like solitary confinement cell is when he is dragged out for harsh interrogations
as the Islamists try to break his spirit and his will.
If the Iranian Islamist regime's harsh treatment of its own citizens is not historical proof enough of its boundless capacity for savagery, terror and violence, there is plenty of evidence outside its borders as well. The Marine Barracks Bombings
in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 299 American and French servicemen and women of the Multinational Peacekeeping force and wounded hundreds of others The Khobar Towers bombings
in Saudi Arabia in 1996 that killed 19 U.S service members and wounded 372 others. The devastating terror bombings
in Argentina in 1992 and 1994 that killed 114 and wounded over 542 others.
Many Iranian leaders are wanted by Interpol
for their involvement
in those terror attacks, the worst in Argentina's history. Let us also remember that with supreme Iranian influence over its terrorist proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, those groups don't foment major conflicts like Gaza and the Israel-Lebanon War of 2006 unless the Islamist regime in Iran gives the green light. Iran is no less than their puppet masters of terror, and is in fact the worst state sponsor
of terror in the world. They are also training
and supplying the Taliban
in Afghanistan and Islamist extremists
in Iraq with heavy weaponry and EFPs
that have killed or wounded thousands of coalition soldiers in both countries, prolonging and intensifying both wars, raising both military and civilian casualty rates, and undermining attempts at democracy in order expand their Islamist extremist influence throughout the region.
There is yet another glaring historical warning sign here. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, most leaders in Europe outside of Winston Churchill ignored Hitler's warmongering and racial bombast, fully expounded on at length in Hitler's Mein Kampf
. For fifteen years Mein Kampf
stood as a testament to Hitler's evil intentions and the grave threat he represented to world peace and civilization. The price of that willful ignorance was fifty million lives and two devastated continents. Hitler finished up by departing this world in true apocalyptic Gotterdammerung
style, acting to take even his own nation and citizenry down the road to self-imposed extinction when defeat was inevitable. Only Nazi Minister of Armaments Albert Speer saved the German people from that dire fate by bravely defying Der Fuhrer's scorched-earth orders
at great risk to his own life.
Today we hear similar apocalyptic bluster
from many Islamist extremist leaders in Iran regarding the laying of nuclear waste
to Israel and wiping the Jewish state from the face of the earth. Perhaps as in Hitler's day, many of the regime's defenders call this mere bluster for domestic political consumption. But we must never forget that the leaders speaking those most threatening words control the Iranian state, are overseeing Iran's secretive nuclear program, and have shown a boundless inhuman capacity for mass murder. That President Amadinejad fancies himself the divine interlocutor
for the return of the Twelfth Imam, along with his many threatening statements regarding Israel's ultimate extinction, does not bode well as to his or other Islamist Iranian leaders' capacity to restrain their apocalyptic impulses once the bomb is theirs, even though they fully realize it would mean the annihilation of their own people and nation in the eventual nuclear reprisals.
When a prominent Iranian leader can say off-the-cuff that the deaths of one hundred millions Muslims is acceptable in a nuclear exchange with Israel, given all the evil that the regime has proven itself capable of, should we discard those words as meaningless bluster? Perhaps. But if we are wrong and history is proven right, the price the world will pay may be beyond human endurance. That is the only true question the world needs to ask itself regarding Iranian nuclear intentions. Unlike North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, who at least possesses some modicum of self-restraint and self-preservation
, in public statement after public statement Islamist Iranian leaders have made it quite clear that the destruction of Israel is paramount above all other considerations. They have even woven that fanatical hatred into the culture
, just as Hitler and the Nazis did.
Let we in America also remember that is our nation's name that is emblazoned
on Iranian missiles right beside Israel's. Can we truly underestimate the fanatical Islamist extremist regime in Iran's capacity and desire to destroy the Great Satan on earth? The history seems to tell us that we can, but only at our own peril. Perhaps the Greens are our answer. A secular and truly moderate Iran could work miracles in resolving the ages-old conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, not to mention bringing Iran into the 21st Century and peaceful community of nations. That is what the majority of the Iranian people want, not the ultimate annihilation of their ancient Persian culture and nation which has given the world so much.
Speaking of which, if I may be so bold, please allow me to present the petitions for the release of renowned cutting-edge
Iranian New Wave filmmaker Jafar Panahi at Petitions Online
and Mr. Panahi's Facebook pages
. The regime is giving him the Winston Smith Room 101 treatment without charge, and he is resisting with the courage and bravery of Victor Laszlo
. He deserves our support and best efforts to free him, which the regime will do if pressured enough. Please also contact the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
on Mr. Panahi's behalf. He is one of theirs. Even today, the Islamists of Iran are susceptible to world public opinion. If Mr. Panahi becomes too much bad news, as did Roxana Saberi and others, they will free him. That isn't just me talking. It is also the heartfelt plea of Tahera Saeedi, Mr. Panahi's suffering wife
The famed Jafar Panahi is not the only innocent Iranian suffering the tortures of the damned in Evin prison and other Islamist hellholes throughout Iran. He has far too much innocent company these days. But he is perhaps the most prominent and widely recognized around the world, and his health is deteriorating rapidly. He could die in captivity at any moment. Also, by putting a spotlight on Mr. Jafar Panahi's desperate and life-threatening plight, it shines yet more glaring light on the regime's incredibly ruthless brutality to its own innocent citizenry, even its elite. Can't be bad. As to the rest of it, I have merely laid it all out in historical context to the record. I leave it all for you to debate and decide, Dear Readers. But given all of the horrific evidence I have provided here today, perhaps the real question should be this: what aren't they capable of?