Spoke Tehran last eve re Ahmadinejad's standing among the poor and disenfranchised in Tehran and countryside. Ahmadinejad is considered a hero; he is most admired because he wears simple common clothes, is extremely pious, speaks flatly and to the prejudices of the mob. How popular? He is legendary box office popular. Ahmadinejad is front page news to the working man and his obedient wife and children. Ahmadinejad provokes expressions of chauvinism and defiance and bloodymindedness unto self-destruction.
Recognize that this is not on message with the Diaspora freedom fighters. However it is consistent with historical models. Nazis were never more powerful and popular than when they were under attack by UK and France before the war. During the war, the night and then day strategic bombing campaigns made Adolf a prince and god to the folk doing the dying in the cities. Suggest that the more Iran is isolated and under attack by West, by UN, by US, the more potent and aggressive Ahmadinejad and IRGC and mullahs can be at home and abroad.
Today is Ashura, the tenth day of holy month remembering seventh century battle of Karbala and death of Imam Hussein, Mohammed's grandson. The Shia remember it bitterly sadly defiantly every year: the Shia have a proveb: "Every day is Ashura and every land is Kerbala." This is the day of self-punishment and self-flagellation to identify with the losing side at Karbala. Am told that Iranian media and mullahs link Karbala loss fighting for Imam Hussein with present standoff with West re nukes and terror export. Iran feels surrounded. Iran likes to feel surrounded. Iran is comfortable for a thousand years feeling surrounded.
This is all a formula for the sort of paranoia and inherent sense of weakness that launched two world wars in 20th century, the first when in '14 the Kaiser's general staff felt that the army was losing the edge to the Triple Entente, so they launched war out of fear. In '39, Hitler preached same sense of persecution and victimization with regard France, UK and Russia. Launched '39 against Poland out of a sense of weakness, out of a mania that waiting any longer would only make matters worse. Not hard to link the '39 attack to the same sense of persecution and weakness of '14: the fear that the Germans could not scratch.
Iran feels a recognizably similar sense of persecution and weakness, from the '53 coup, from the '79 revolution, from the Iraq war massacres; and these are the condition that make for stunning, lunatic, mass-murdering aggression.
Picture Karbala in the 21st century, an apocalyptic and prophesized final battle, led by the Invisible Imam and his agent, the charismatic and hallucinatory and non-rational and driven Ahmadinejad.
Jaw and jaw, Foggy B, the battle comes. Is already here. Oil weapon first. Then WMDs. Then pistols. Then swords.
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