I hadn't planned on doing another Iran post, but the best friend I've never met and one of my favorite long-time commenters, "I Travel for JOOLS" left a comment that deserved a larger response.
Here is her comment:
"After reading all this, I guess I'd sum it up as saying the reason for Iran's behavior is what America has done to them. Sort of "God damn America", to quote a well known preacher. So, that must be why they hate Israel and threaten to wipe them off the face of the earth. So that's why they are in defiance of the U.N. with uranium enrichment. So that's why the 12th IMAM is returning.
"The 12th Imam: Why Is This Especially Important Now?
While Christians look for Jesus’ 2nd coming, the Jews await the Messiah and Muslims await the 12th Imam. Mr. Ahmadinejad, and his cabinet, say they have a ‘signed contract’ with al Mahdi in which they pledge themselves to his work. What does this work involve? In light of concerns over Iran’s nuclear capabilities, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly stated Israel should be wiped off the map. He spoke to the United Nations in September ’05. During that speech he claims to have been in an aura of light and felt a change in the atmosphere during which time no one present could blink their eyes. Iran’s PM is also said to have spoken in apocalyptic terms and seems to relish conflict with the West whom he calls the Great Satan. This is while he proclaims he must prepare the world for the coming Mahdi by way of a world totally under Muslim control. He is working hard to bring about the world-wide horrors that must be in place for their al Mahdi to bring peace."
It doesn't matter what we do or say. It is enough we exist."
Let me address the 12th Imam references first. I'm well aware that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a fucking nut job who thinks it is his destiny to speed the return of the 12th Imam. Because I blogged about it back in 2006.
I found it every bit as frightening as the neo-conservatives surrounding Bush who believed that it was THEIR destiny to speed the return of Jesus.
It's always scary when people who are capable of believing in a bunch of supernatural, apocalyptic bullshit are allowed to assume a position of power. Because I'm here to tell ya, ain't none of that shit ever gonna happen.
Jesus ain't coming back and neither is the 12th Imam. That's all fairy tales and nursery rhythms.
What is very, very real is that actions have consequences.
Let me ask you a question. Why do you view Iran as an enemy of the United States and why are you so afraid that they will develop nuclear weapons?
Do you view them as our enemy just because they exist? Do you view them as our enemy because you are jealous of them and you want what they have?
Because I know a little bit about you I'm going to take the liberty of saying "No", that's not why you view them as an enemy. You are a rational person. You view them as our enemy because they openly threaten us and our friends!
You're a smart lady. You see where I'm going here. Do you really think that Iran and other nations who oppose us and threaten us do so just because we exist? Because, as Bush used to be fond of saying "They hate us because of our freedom!".
No. It's not that simple.
Iran views us an an enemy because we have behaved as their enemy. We facilitated a coup of their democratically elected Prime Minister, replaced him with a ruthless dictator and helped install a Secret Police organization that tortured and imprisoned Iranian citizens! Figuring out why they don't like us isn't rocket science. It doesn't require invoking Jesus and Imams.
As far as Iran wanting to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth, Israel's neighbors have been vowing to do that since it came into existence. That's not unique to Iran. And I'm not talking about the post Holocaust creation of modern Israel in 1948.
I'm talking about the ORIGINAL Israel. The one that used to be the Land of Canaan. The one populated by the Canaanites.
In the Old Testament Yahweh told the Jewish people that he was giving them the Land of Canaan and they should go in and take it from the Canaanites.
That was their "legal claim". God gave it to us so it's ours. Needless to say this didn't sit well with the Canaanites and their neighbors.
Fast forward to 1948. Replace "Yahweh" with "The United Nations" and Canaan with Palestine.
The names have changed, but the political and emotional dynamics are exactly the same.
Now, forcible land grabs are not unique to Israel. Forcible land grabs are what define the world we live in. Every nation on the planet is either the beneficiary or victim of multiple forcible land grabs. If you are reading this from anywhere within the United States, you are the beneficiary of forcible land grabs.
So it's a legitimate question to ask why this one particular land grab by the Jewish people should be such a long lasting source of hostility.
In His Infinite, Infallible Wisdom, the God of Abram convinced him that there was only One True God. Abram accepted this God and became Abraham.
Abraham had 2 sons, Isaac and Ishmael.
Yahweh ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son to prove his devotion to Him.
According to scripture, Abraham acted in good faith, took his son to the mountain, tied him up and was ready to kill him when Yahweh produced a magical lamb, told Abraham he had proved himself, he could sacrifice the lamb instead of his son and that Abraham and Yahweh would be eternal pals. Yahweh would bless Abraham's descendants and make them a Great Nation.
Jews and Christians claim descent from Isaac through his son Jacob (also known as Israel).
Muslims claim descent from Ishmael.
Jews and Christians say it was Isaac who was bound on the rock and about to be sacrificed.
Muslims claim it was Ishmael whom God spared.
Thus began the most violent and epic real estate battle known to man.
My contention has always been that if The Land of Canaan is the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the true birthplace of humanity's 3 greatest monotheistic religions, and if that One True God is real, shouldn't this be the most blissful, peaceful and awe inspiring place on the planet? If God is All Powerful, shouldn't His/Her Holy Land be a place where all hatred is rendered powerless and every Pilgrim feels at peace?
How does an All Powerful God allow the Holiest Place on the planet to be up for grabs to whoever has the least holiest intentions?
Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me.
So, back to the Iranian situation.
Iran wants to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth because as Muslims (descendants of Ishmael), they think God gave Canaan to them and view the modern Jewish state as thieves and usurpers.
The Jews (descendants of Isaac), they think God gave Canaan to them and they were able to use the post-Holocaust environment to rally world support to give it to them as a permanent homeland to prevent another Holocaust.
Christians, especially American fundamentalist Christians, back the Jewish claim because Christians are basically a Jewish sect twice removed. They have an entire eschatology based on the fate of Israel.
So the God of Abraham is responsible for this mess. He promised the same thing to three different groups and watched them all fight over the spoils in His name.
I suspect that "Yahweh/Jesus/Allah" may in fact be a Trickster.
"In Norse mythology, Loki is known as a trickster. He is described in the Prose Edda as a "contriver of fraud". Although he doesn’t appear often in the Eddas, he is generally described as a member of the family of Odin. Despite his divine or demi-god status, there's little evidence to show that Loki had a following of worshippers of his own; in other words, his job was mostly to make trouble for other gods, men, and the rest of the world."
I don't know of any other explanation of The God of Abraham that makes any sense. If he exists at all (which I deny), he must be a Trickster.
Actions have consequences.
Every actor is accountable for their actions.