FLASH: Week-long Israeli homeland security preparedness exercises to begin on Sunday. Hezbollah on high alert. Lebanese Army and UNFIL forces to deploy 25,000 fighters near Israeli border. Tensions running high.
UPDATED: Keep your eyes on Iran on June 12th. That’s the date Iranian voters go to the polls to “choose” their next leaders. “Choose” is putting the best face on it. The elections are effectively rigged by the forces of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The man the Supreme Leader wants to be president will be “elected” president. Period. End of sentence. The question is whether Khamenei wants Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to remain in office. If so, Ahmadinejad should remain in power and the nuclear showdown with Israel and the U.S. will intensify dramatically. Thus far, it would appear on the surface that Khamenei agrees completely with Ahmadinejad’s eschatology, or End Times theology. The Supreme Leader has occassionally reined in the President on social or economic issues, but never in Ahmadinejad’s outspoken view that the end of the world is near, the Islamic Messiah known as the Mahdi is coming, and the way to hasten the Mahdi’s coming is to annihilate Israel and the U.S. Last August, Khamenei appeared to endorse Ahmadinejad for re-election. This week, 211 members of the 295-seat Iranian parliament endorsed Ahmadinejad for re-election. But in the labyrinthian world of Radical Islamic politics in Iran, nothing is certain. The Iranian economy is a basket case — worse given the steep fall of the price of oil from its highs last year of nearly $150 a barrel. Unemployment in Iran is high. Poverty is growing. Drug and alcohol abuse rates are high and rising. Rank-and-file Iranians can’t stand Ahmadinejad or his End of the World-brand of clerical advisors. Personally, I’m praying that the God of the Bible removes both Khamenei and Ahmadinejad from power, along with their kindred spirits. If they’re replaced with even semi-rational actors (ie, those not part of an apocalyptic, genocidal death cult), diplomacy could work and some measure of peace in the region might be a bit more likely. But should the Lord allow these two to stay in power for the next few years, then an apocalyptic war might truly be coming.
Worth noting: Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria writes a bizarre cover story this week in which he asserts that Iran’s apocalyptic, genocidal leaders have no interest in building nukes when even the Obama administration’s top military expert says Iran most certainly is pursuing nuclear weapons. Excerpts: “Everything you know about Iran is wrong, or at least more complicated than you think. Take the bomb. The regime wants to be a nuclear power but could well be happy with a peaceful civilian program (which could make the challenge it poses more complex). What’s the evidence? Well, over the last five years, senior Iranian officials at every level have repeatedly asserted that they do not intend to build nuclear weapons. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has quoted the regime’s founding father, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who asserted that such weapons were ‘un-Islamic.’ The country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a fatwa in 2004 describing the use of nuclear weapons as immoral. In a subsequent sermon, he declared that ‘developing, producing or stockpiling nuclear weapons is forbidden under Islam.’ Last year Khamenei reiterated all these points after meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei. Now, of course, they could all be lying.”
Exactly, Fareed. They’re lying. Like they were lying about not having secret nuclear research facilities until 2002 when an Iranian dissident group exposed those lies at a press conference in Washington and we discovered two advanced and dangerous facilities Western intelligence agencies hadn’t known existed until then. As I described in Inside The Revolution, Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian leaders have been crystal clear about their intentions. I quote them in detail and at length from their speeches and interviews. Why is it so hard for “experts” like Fareed and others to see the danger that such men pose not just to Israel but to Judeo-Christian civilization as we know it?
P.S. — I’m in (rainy!) San Diego today, looking forward to speaking at Dr. David Jeremiah’s congregation at Shadow Mountain Community Church. Saturday service begins at 5pm. Sunday morning at 9am and 10:45am. The Sunday night service will be part of a Bible prophecy series. It begins at 6pm. If you’re in the area, I hope you can join us.
STORIES TO TRACK:
- U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and “we don’t have a lot of time” to stop them
- Fareed Zakaria: Everything you know about Iran is wrong
- A new and interesting article in the (UK) Guardian on Ahmadinejad and his belief in the coming of the Mahdi (May 6)
- Cal Thomas’ column on Netanyahu’s recent visit to the U.S.
- FLASHBACK (May 2008): Iran clerics rebuke Ahmadinejad over ‘hidden imam’
- FLASHBACK (Jan 2009): Ayatollah who backs suicide bombs aims to be Iran’s next spiritual leader