Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mahmoud is Waiting for the Mahdi, Orly's Moment of Zen

Gen David Petraeus
David Ignatius
Michael Freund

"From Beirut and Damascus in the north to Teheran in the east, and back to Gaza in the south, the "arc of hate" surrounding the Jewish state is speaking openly and brazenly of conflict and destruction." - Michael Freund
“The United States is an arrogant country that plunders the wealth of nations by invading them. It is also a criminal state because it supports Israel.” - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

At first, I thought that Michael Freund's piece in the Jerusalem Post was a good example of the overwrought paranoia that often feeds the Jewish state, then today I find a good example of what he is talking about. Yes, Iran is back in the news, starring that wacky, furry little dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In a rambling speech broadcasted on Iranian state tv, that cute curmudgeon exhibited distinct irrationality, waxing on how the actions of the US was hindering the return of the Mahdi.
“If the Mahdi does not come, this will mean that the battle of Karbala could be repeated. The Mahdi will face what the prophets faced and his life will be in danger,”
Just like the Christians have the myth of the Second Coming of christ, Islam has the myth of the return of the Mahdi, the redeemer of Islam. The word mahdi means guided one...: "The 1979 Islamic Revolution, which ousted the Shah and installed the current religious regime, is a prelude to the appearance of the Mahdi, Ahmadinejad argued that the arrogance of the United States is one the main obstacles to the Mahdi’s coming... In an earlier speech he gave in Esfahan in December, Ahmadinejad claimed he had documented evidence that the United States invaded Iraq in order to prevent the coming of the Mahdi and stressed that the Iranian people would prepare the ground for his coming forming the Mahdi Army."

Ahmadinejad belongs to a small Islamic sect with some twisted, Fundamentalist beliefs that reminds me somehow of the Jehovah's Witnesses... Like most people who have amassed a lot of power and have come under stress, he has come to believe that he is holy, or at least holier than thou: "In a meeting he held with cleric Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli, Ahmadinejad claimed a halo of light surrounded him while he gave a speech at the United Nations General Assembly, attributing this to the Mahdi’s support." He has joined the others, like Saddam Hussein, who thought he was the reincarnation of the Chaldean Emperor King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

As Professor Daniel Pipes explains about this belief in the Mahdi: 'Mahdaviat derives from mahdi, Arabic for "rightly-guided one," a major figure in Islamic eschatology. He is, explains the Encyclopaedia of Islam, "the restorer of religion and justice who will rule before the end of the world." The concept originated in the earliest years of Islam and, over time, became particularly identified with the Shi‘ite branch. Whereas "it never became an essential part of Sunni religious doctrine," continues the encyclopedia, "Belief in the coming of the Mahdi of the Family of the Prophet became a central aspect of the faith in radical Shi‘ism," where it is also known as the return of the Twelfth Imam.

Mahdaviat means "belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi."

As mayor of Tehran, for example, Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to have in 2004 secretly instructed the city council to build a grand avenue to prepare for the Mahdi. A year later, as president, he allocated $17 million for a blue-tiled mosque closely associated with mahdaviat in Jamkaran, south of the capital. He has instigated the building of a direct Tehran-Jamkaran railroad line. He had a list of his proposed cabinet members dropped into a well adjacent to the Jamkaran mosque, it is said, to benefit from its purported divine connection."

Just like the rumors that the reason George Bush invaded Iraq to begin Armageddon and the Rapture, allowing him to make such a bold decision, so does Ahmadinejad's beliefs embolden him: "Mahdaviat is a code for [Iran's Islamic] revolution, and is the spirit of the revolution," says the head of an institute dedicated to studying and speeding the Mahdi's appearance. "This kind of mentality makes you very strong," the political editor of Resalat newspaper, Amir Mohebian, observed. "If I think the Mahdi will come in two, three, or four years, why should I be soft? Now is the time to stand strong, to be hard." Some Iranians, reports PBS, "worry that their new president has no fear of international turmoil, may think it's just a sign from God."

Every leader in the Middle East either wants to be a royal prince or the founding member of a ruling dynasty. It explains why Nuri al Maliki is trying to set himself up in Iraq, building his own Revolutionary Guards by reinstating 20,000 members of Saddam's military elite, and the canny machinations of Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan...

thursday night smackdown...
I really should be glued to CSPAN, watching the health care debates, but instead I am typing this silly blog. I understand one smackdown between Obama and McCain has already occurred:

"In an exchange at Thursday's health-care summit, McCain challenged the president over special deals in the Senate health reform bill provided to states such as Nebraska and Louisiana, asking: "Why should that happen?"

Obama began his response: "Let me just make this point, because we're not campaigning anymore, the election's over."

McCain cut in: "I'm reminded of that every day."

Damn, here I am, without any beer, without any popcorn. I guess I'll have to make do with a big bowl of cereal, instead...

I haven't dissed on Sarah Palin for awhile. She's been laying low, counting her newly minted cash, while allowing her daughter Bristol to follow in ex-hubby's footsteps to Hollywood. I wonder if we'll see the little mommy in Playboy, once she shakes off the family shackles... Anyway, when Jeb Bush, the ex-Governor of Florida and the member of the Bush family who's further political career was ruined by his baby brother George, gave an interview with Newsmax, he was asked about Sarah Palin as a future candidate: "My personal belief is that for Governor Palin to be a successful candidate for higher office, she needs to take this charisma she has and also add to it some depth of understanding of the complexity of life that we're living in today. If she had the combination of that, she would be a formidable candidate." Ouch. Ya gonna take that, baby girl???

going off the deep end...
we go straight to Orly Tait's web site, where she is demanding a public apology from John McCain and wants him to book them on Sean Hannity. Orly is the loudest member of the birther movement, claiming that Barack Obama is not a citizen of the US and doesn't have a correct birth certificate. Back when this seemed to be catching on, many craven Republicans in Congress were hopping onto the train. Here is a letter that McCain sent Orly, sympathizing with her brave quest:

Then, John released a re-election ad saying that we had more important things to do than debate this issue, so dear to her heart. Orly takes it from here: "Today he released a National re-election campaign add, where he included a clip of my NBC interview and where he is saying that we have more important things to do, then deal with Obama’s illegitimacy to presidency. This is a despicable behavior. Though I respect McCains military record, his latest add is appalling. There is nothing more important today then the issue of Obama’s illegitimacy to US presidency, the issue of Obama sitting in the White House and fraudulently using SocialSecurity number 042-68-4425 that was issued in CT to an individual born in 1890.
By releasing this add McCain is not only ignoring the most important issue, the country is facing today, but he is also influencing Chief Judge of the US District Court for the District of Columbia Royce Lamberth, who is supposed to render in 12 days a decision on my Application for preliminary Injunction in Taitz v Obama, he is influencing the Appellate judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, who are supposed to render a decision on my appeals in Cook et al v Good et al and Rhodes v McDonald and he is influencing judges in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, who are supposed to decide on my Barnett et al v Obama et al, where I represent 40 high ranked members of US military, State representatives from all over the country and Ambassador Alan Keyes.
Senator McCain owes me and my clients an apology and an opportunity to discuss this matter with him on the merits on the National TV, as his add was shown all over the National TV and all over the Internet, on a widely watched show, such as Sean Hannity show. (my husband’s favorite)."

My only wish is that there could be a tv show to share these eloquent gems. Whenever I get to worrying about the sanity of our world leaders, it gives me a warm , fuzzy feeling to know that there are people like Orly around to brighten up my world. I've always delighted in off-beat characters, they add just the right note of whimsy and oddity to the symphony we are creating. It's also a reminder what we can do when we go off our meds...

Orly's moment of Zen:

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