Flashback: Al-Askariya

First published, February 24, 2006.
Reproduced courtesy of VizReport. 


Stop Looking At Me… 
And Round Up the Usual Suspects! 

February 24, 2006 (Photo: pub.tv2.no

ahmadinejad2(VizReport) It surprises me not at all that Iranian president Ahmadinezhad yesterday accused the United States and Israel of bombing the golden-domed Al-Askariya mosque in Samarra, Iraq. That’s not because I agree with his assessment, but because I understand how he thinks. 

The theocracy of Iran is under a tremendous amount of pressure from the international community. They’ve got a nuclear development program that’s considered by many countries (32 of 35 IAEA members) to be operating outside accepted norms. And since the election of Mr. Ahmadinezhad last summer, they’ve taken an increasingly aggressive stance toward Israel — with their president going so far as to declare the Holocaust “a myth” and to call for Israel:“to be wiped off the map.” 

It’s an established pattern of behaviour for Iran (especially with Ahmadinezhad at the political helm) to deflect attention from itself when confronted about its own actions. 

    For example: When Canada was pressing Iran to accept responsibility for the brutal torture, rape and murder of Iranian-born Canadian journalist Zara Kazemi, Iran turned about and blamed Canada for conspiring against the Iranian government and carrying out bombings in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. Um yeah… Canada. Mad bombers those Canadians. Never us mind that the Shia-based theocracy of Iran has been unfairly oppressing the Ahwazi Arab population of that province since 1979.

The bombing of the mosque (which is one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam…after the Sacred Mosque of Imam Ali in Najaf, the mosque of Imam Hussein and the Hadrat Abbas Shrine in Karbala) has done less than nothing for the United States or Israel, but it has provided an excellent rhetorical platform for the Iranian president. On top of that, it has riled the majority Shia population of Iraq to the extent that armed groups are now kidnapping Sunnis off the streets and executing them in groups. 

The renewed violence and instability benefits no one as much as it does Iran. 

These most recent remarks from the Iranian leader are more than mere bluster. Mr. Ahmadinezhad is actually performing a shrewd psychological manipulation on the people of Iraq via the media, the strategy of which is proved out by the testimony of countless law enforcement officers worldwide: 

When asked about the most dangerous situations in which an officer can become involved, they don’t talk about bank robbers, axe-murderers or psychos, but about normal, everyday people in domestic disputes. 

There’s nothing more unpredictable than getting in-between two closely-related people in a tussle…or having to arrest one of them over the protests of the other. Too many cops have been injured–even killed–in such circumstances. In psychological terms, the principle is usually referred to as mutual emotional transference; the “heat of the moment” gets redirected to a third party, often with violent and unpredictable results. 

That’s very similar to the situation we have in Iraq. Two feuding branches of Islam are at each other’s throats and the local cops in that neighbourhood are the Americans. The next step could be all-out civil war. Even worse, it could be an all-out religious war. Or, the intent of yesterday’s Iranian fingerpointing may achieve its intended result, possibly sparking the most intense renewal of the insurgence against America forces and the recruitment of more “martyrs” for operations in Israel and the West. More than 50,000 potential shahids, according to public remarks by official Iranian government sources, have already signed up. 

As Ahmadi-Nezhad may be snidely commenting behind closed doors: “Why should Muslims fight each other when we can all be fighting the Crusaders and the Jews?” 

askariyaThe “Golden Mosque” was so called because of the splendid golden dome that was added to the shrine at the beginning of the last century. It is the place of final repose for the 10th and 11th Imams of the faith, and is just around the corner from the place where the 12th Imam, whose return is rumoured by the Iranian president to be imminent, disappeared in the year 878. 

The Twelfth Imam theory is central to the sect to which the Iranian president adheres. In fact, he has publicly stated that he expects the return of the 12th Imam within two years, which he believes will initiate the onset of the end-times and the return of Jesus. 

By all accounts, he believes this with all his heart. Does he, though, desire it enough to precipitate it by becoming one of the worst dajjals of all?

1 Comment

Filed under Chicanery, Conflict

One response to “Flashback: Al-Askariya

  1. Pingback: Iran’s Revolutionary Plan «


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