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January 16, 2007
Did the Mullahs destroy the Golden Mosque of Samarra?
For many months Al Qaida in Iraq has tried to stir up a civil war between Sunnis and Shi'as. They have told us so. In order to provoke the usually apolitical branch of Iraq's Shi'a Islam, a truly sadistic Al Qaida network has blown up hundreds and hundreds of Shiite worshippers at mosques and outdoor markets with car bombs.
The single most notorious act blasted the top off the minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra on April 1, 2005. More than any other barbarity, this act of vandalism is responsible for the near-civil war now going on between Sunni and Shi'a militias.
Because the Great Mosque is a Shi'a site of worship dating back to the Abbasid Dynasty of the 9th century, it was always assumed that the Sunni extremists did it --- Al Qaida or the Baathists. But that assumption is now in doubt. Last week it was revealed that Ahmadinejad's regime in Tehran has been actively supporting and training both sides in Iraq to commit atrocities in order to stir up a civil war.
According to the UK Sunday Telegraph,
Sunnis and Shi'as consider each other to be heretics, and both claim to be the only true heirs of Mohammed. US intelligence sources therefore tend to assume that Tehran would never support Sunnis against the Shiites. Last week's intelligence catch shows they were wrong.
A straightforward explanation can be found in the writings of Ayatollah Khomeini himself, the fountainhead of Tehran's radical ideology. As far as Khomeini was concerned, it was fine to destroy Iran itself in order to promote his brand of radical Islam. This may be the single most important thing Khomeini ever wrote:
"We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world." (1) (Italics added)
That passage was quoted in Peter Wehner's excellent primer on Islamist ideology written for President Bush.
It explains why Ahmadinejad would want to stir up civil war in Iraq so badly as to possibly blow up one of the holiest sites of his own creed. "With martyrdom everything is possible" is Ahmadinejad's slogan. (It is worth remembering that at the end of World War Two, the suicidal faction of the Japanese regime also threatened to assassinate the Emperor himself if he surrendered to the Americans. It is the mad logic of martyrdom war.)
This news doesn't prove that Ahmadinejad ordered the Golden Mosque of Samarra to be decapitated. The Telegraph, however, claims that he has paid those who did so to stir up civil war afterwards. So we know with reasonable certainty that the destruction at the Golden Mosque hasn't stopped the Mullahs from paying off those who did the deed.
In the nuclear age, the single most important question is: Are our opponents rational, in the sense that they do not want to commit national suicide? Rational nations will not use WMDs to the point of self-destruction. However, if they are psychologically equal to Hitler in his bunker or the most extreme Japanese suiciders, then all bets are off.
(1) Quoted by Matthias Kuentzel's "From Khomeini to Ahmadinejad," Policy Review, December 2006 & January 2007.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com, whenever possible.