THE RISE OF THE PERSIANS

A worrisome trend is taking hold in the country wedged between Afghanistan and Iraq. What was once the centre of the Persian capital is now Iran. As a hotbed of extremism is stoked by a new leader, the middle east is becoming even more unstable.

Shortly after rising to power, Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, thumbed his nose at the rest of the world and removed the seals that the International Atomic Energy Agency had placed on its nuclear facilities. In a quick escalation, Iran once again began to enrich uranium. While the case can be made that Iran will need the capabilities of nuclear power for its ambitious economic goals, it can also be said that Ahmadinejad is a loose cannon, and appears to enjoy cavorting with danger. The world, however, does not need a new precipice to perch upon. We have been there before.

With their president out and about last week enjoying the annual “Let’s Destroy Israel” festivities that were celebrated throughout the country, Iranians are once again fanning the flames of religious rhetoric and fervor. This is never a good thing, and results in something positive even less seldom. To add fuel to the passions, Ahmadinejad joined in the calls to “annihilate Israel.”

The world’s leaders, those with any semblance of morality at least, were quick to condemn the words and actions of this rising madman, but most Middle Eastern Arab leaders were ominously silent. They are either hoping to win his favour, they feel the same way, or he simply scares them.

With Iran being so high up the list of aggressor nations, especially when it comes to supporting terrorism and war on Judeo-Christianity, it is little doubt that so many are worried, and amazing that so many are not. The thought of Iran obtaining membership into the nuclear club is enough to get me thinking of digging a little room out under my back yard. The thought of a lunatic like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad having control over that technology multiplies the effect ten fold.

To keep us guessing, Ahmadinejad has now recalled over 40 diplomats, presumably to replace them with hard line whackos like himself. This is seen as a precursor to a hardening of foreign policy, and a rebuke to reformers who wish to see Iran become a full civilized member of the rest of the world. It would seem that the powers that be would prefer their people to remain dirt farmers.

In related news, a poll done on the Al-Jazeera website asked whether the world was right to condemn Ahmadinejad’s call to destroy Israel. 40% said no. There were 21,184 respondents to the poll. That in itself is disturbing.