Growing up, many of us witnessed classroom bullies. They taunted and intimidated, showing by their actions they were the classroom tough guy.
Sometimes a bully became brazen enough to pick on someone bigger. This would happen when the bully sensed, although the big guy had size on his side, he was weak in resolve. Thus, by picking on him, knowing he would back down, the bully not only enhanced his own stature among classmates but proved even more intimidating. Meanwhile, the big guy, after repeatedly backing down, eventually lost his classmates’ respect.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE
This sums up today’s relationship between the U.S. and Iran in the world community. Unless one is Rip Van Winkle coming out of a 20-year slumber, it should be clear it is Iran playing the role of the bully.
There are big differences between a typical bully’s role in the classroom and Iran’s role within the community of nations.
The classroom bully normally must use his own devices to intimidate others. Imagine, however, if he were to be given a giant club—courtesy of the big guy—by which he could prove even more intimidating.
With the nuclear deal the U.S. negotiated with Iran and officially implemented on January 16, Tehran received such a club. Contrary to perception, the deal does not deny Tehran a nuclear weapons capability. Instead, Iran has now been given a clear path for obtaining a nuclear club—either legally after 10 years or illegally earlier.
The thought of Iran’s mullahs obtaining a nuclear club should cause grave concerns to those familiar with their mindset.
What is most telling about a bully is how his family is treated. Imagine the threat posed by a bully so out of control, he tortures and murders his own.
This is what Iran’s mullahs are doing. Iran has distinguished itself as the world record holder for the most executions per capita in 2015. Between January 1 and September 15 at least 694 Iranians were executed—the highest rate of executions there in 25 years. Iran also claims the world’s record for executing children—more than eight times greater than its nearest competitor.
The 2015 record occurred under a supposedly “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani. If such a moderate government willingly consumes its own in this way, what is it willing to do to others? Imagine, then, what mullahs armed with a nuclear club are capable of doing.
Further imagine, in the case of our classroom bully, behavior so driven by an apocalyptical belief that nothing will deter him from achieving the doom he seeks.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Soon after becoming president in 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made it very clear that Iran is driven toward such a doomsday by a desire to hasten the return of a mystical religious figure known as the “Mahdi.” He said, “Our revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi. Today, we should define our economic, cultural and political policies based on the policy of Imam Mahdi’s return.”
Iran’s Shiite mullahs believe, although the Mahdi disappeared in 941 and will return one day to make Islam the world’s dominant religion, his return can only be triggered by world chaos. Recognizing this, a nuclear club becomes an ideal tool for creating that chaos.
It is naive to hope the nuclear agreement now in place will lead to a reset in Tehran’s mindset, somehow moderating it before Iran pursues nuclear weapons in 10 years. Such hope is dashed by the contrary 37-year track record the mullahs have established.
Such hope also presupposes Tehran will not continue to use North Korea as a partner in weaponizing its nuclear capability during that ten year period.
Some classroom members might take comfort in thinking a bully can be intimidated against using his club for fear that the big guy, armed with his own club, would ultimately retaliate with it.
A statement by Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini should serve to remove such comfort. Unconcerned about nuclear retaliation against Iran by the U.S. or Israel and that the Mahdi’s return trumps any such fear, he commented, “I say let Iran go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”
Just like the classroom bully, Iran’s mullahs do not fear the big guy. Iran reflects this by a blatant disregard for U.N. sanctions against its ballistic missile program even after the nuclear deal with Tehran would, according to President Barack Obama, supposedly establish a mutually more cooperative relationship. It shows that disregard by arresting and demeaning U.S. Navy sailors, stranded in allegedly Iranian waters, in violation of international law. It shows it by firing rockets close to U.S. warships in international waters. It shows it by flying a drone in a menacing manner directly over a U.S. aircraft carrier.
The late Johnny Cash made popular a song titled “A Boy Named Sue.” It chronicles the life of a boy whose father gave him a girl’s name in hope of giving him a backbone. After years of endless ridicule, Sue recognized this, finally standing up to bullies.
In the world community classroom, we are the big boy named Sue. Sadly, we have yet to find our backbone by recognizing that Iran is not only a bully, but one on steroids—a bully to whom human life has no value in its plans to trigger Armageddon.
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