One of the advantages of having a satellite radio is that I have news from about 15 different sources at my disposal. On the drive from Vancouver to Kelowna yesterday afternoon I decided that I had had enough music for a while and switched over to the live feed from CNN TV.
The show I tuned into is hosted by Glenn Beck and he was talking about the Iranian threat.
Its somewhat ironic because I was remarking to a friend just earlier at UBC that I was unsure about the idea of "provoking" the Iranians. I'll admit, I hadn't followed the situation that closely and was fairly ill-informed, so I welcomed the chance to listen in on this discussion about Iran.
Talk about an eye-opener.
Now, being on CNN, he was talking directly of a threat against the United States. But as their closest neighbour and an identified target of terror groups like Al-Qaeda, we need to be just as weary as our neighbours to the south.
Luckily, I stumbled upon a transcript of the show. I won't post the entire thing, but i'll provide the following lengthy excerpt (which I urge you to consider as North Americans) for your benefit:
I need you to listen and read these words very, very carefully, "The annihilation of the Zionist regime will come. Israel must be wiped off the map. And God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism", end quote. That, my friend, is a quote from the president of Iran.
So today, there`s a congressional report, it came out I think yesterday afternoon. It says we need more hard evidence on Iran. Really? I thought that last quote was pretty compelling. You know, Iran wants to vaporize us. Now, the pinheads in Washington are playing politics with it. The Republicans are saying, you`d better pay attention to this. Democrats are saying, all right, please, everybody, just calm down.
You want to know why I take the words of President Tom so seriously; while he might sound crazy, if you remember back in the 1980s, another guy sounded crazy too, when he said things like that, Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan sounded crazy to the Soviets when he called them an evil empire. President Tom, just like President Reagan is not bluffing when he promises his people that he will take this empire down.
You know what, look at the cover of this report, that was out. This is the congressional report. See here, is President Tom, he is standing behind a podium that says "A World Without Zionism." Now if you look here, can we bring this up? This is what`s behind him. This is a creepy hourglass, with down at the bottom, this represents the United States. It`s in pieces. You really think these guys are on the up and up?
Look, the point is, there are two kinds of people. There are the kinds of people that make threats and those who make promises. You know the difference in your own lives. If you`re a parent, and you have a kid who is misbehaving, you tell them, you better stop or you`re going to get punished.
The kid will keep misbehaving if you are the kind of parent that never lives up to your promise. You`re just making empty threats. I`m going to spank you, and then you never do. Now when you`re dealing with crazy people, they don`t make threats -- they make promises. You need to take them at their word.
The same thing applies to Iran. The United Nations, they make threats, they don`t make promise. They make threats. "Oh, you`d better stop making those nukes by the end of the month, or there`ll be sanctions." No there`s not. You know it and I know it. I guarantee you, there will be no sanctions.
But back in 1997, Osama bin Laden, he promised us. He promised us he would strike at the heart of the United States and four years later, he made good on that promise. So when President Tom promises that soon, we will experience a world without America, I`m telling you, he means it.
I also know, I`ve done enough homework on these guys to know they are a genuine threat. They`re the real reason we went to Iraq, not weapons of mass destruction, that was good, that was just a sidelight. We went there to crush the head of the snake.
I also, I don`t know, if President Tom will succeed in making his promise come true. The only way he won`t is if we wake up. But our intelligence community is afraid of it`s own shadow. But, you know what, don`t take my word for it, former CIA director, James Woolsey -- he`s here with us tonight. Am I wrong on this, Jim?
JAMES WOOLSEY, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: No, I think the thrust of what you`re saying is on the money. You know, you`re right about Ahmadinejad. He`s like Hitler. Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf" and he said he was going to establish a 1,000-year Reich and kill all the Jews.
WOOLSEY: And people said he`s crazy, so.
WOOLSEY: It`s just talk. But it wasn`t just talk. And Ahmadinejad is waiting for the hidden imam to return from the eighth century because he thinks that will help him bring about an end to the world. This guy is really far out there, but he`s far out there in his objectives. It doesn`t mean that he`s not shrewd. Hitler was a really shrewd operator in the `30s, and this guy, you know, the Persians invented chess, and the rulers there in Iran are moving their pieces like Hezbollah and Hamas and Moqtad (ph) al Sadr in Iraq in order to protect their queen, which is their nuclear weapons program.
BECK: We could find ourselves in a position of inaction because our intelligence community -- because of what happened this Iraq -- freaked out, right? They`re afraid of their own shadow.
WOOLSEY: Well, it`s complicated. I think that they have an inclination to talk too much just to what they call controlled assets, that is spies that they`ve recruited and pay. And what they call liaison officers, that is intelligence officers, and friendly intelligence services. And that`s a pretty small share of the world. A lot of people have a reluctance to do what you were just doing, which is read what Ahmadinejad says and take him seriously. He`s got a strategic advisor, named Abase (ph) who says there are 29 sites in America and in the West, which if we take them down we`ll destroy the Anglo-Saxons. You know, there`s some very serious threats against our existing, in Iran today.
BECK: They are absolutely serious. So when you look at all of this stuff and if you were sitting there in your former position, you go into the Oval Office, and you would say what? Mr. President today you must -- fill in the blank.
WOOLSEY: Well, directors of Central Intelligence normally don`t give policy advice, and they really shouldn`t. They ought to say here`s how I see it, as distinct to, what you ought to do. But I think what`s important is that both on the Sunni side of the great divide within Islam, by Al Qaeda and the Wahabis (ph), actually, in Saudi Arabia and the on Shiite side, with Ahmadinejad and the others, there are fanatic movements that are rooted in this world`s great religion. And we haven`t figured out how to deal with theological totalitarianism. We haven`t had to face that in many years. Now, during the Cold War, the Soviets were cynics, their ideology was dead. These are not dead ideologies in what the president calls Islamic fascism. BECK: So what do we do? What would you be recommending?
WOOLSEY: We`ve got to do a bunch of things.
WOOLSEY: One is that we ought to -- I think try to make sure people understand that we`re going to have to combat this kind of ideology much more strongly than we had to deal with the soviet ideology, during the Cold War. This is real trouble because there are young men in streets of Riyadh, and Cairo and some few in Britain and maybe even a few here in the United States that are really signed on to that fanaticism. And it`s a very, very serious problem.
BECK: Sir, I --
WOOLSEY: I think we need to move away from oil.
BECK: Sir, I really only have 10 seconds. If I could get a yes or no answer from you. If we fail in destroying this, globally, do you believe it`s the end of the West?
WOOLSEY: Maybe not the end, but it would be a huge blow to us and we`re going to be struggling with this for decades.
Now i'm not saying I take everything any media outlet says as the Gospel truth, but listening to this sure gave me a wake-up call on the whole Iranian threat.
I'm going to do a little more digging on this file for my own benefit, as should you.
After hearing this, I think we all need to become a lot more informed about Iran and what they can and will do if they get the chance.
And by "we", I mean all freedom-loving people of the world... regardless of where they live... regardless of their cultural background... regardless of their religion.
I, like many, am guilty of having become complacent with regards to the situation in the Middle East. It so dominates our news cycles that many of us are de-sensitized towards the words we hear and, since we haven't seen an attack on North American soil since 9/11, we are increasingly falling back into a false sense of security.
We owe it to ourselves to wise up to this new and real threat, and we need to ensure that our Leaders deal with this threat before the threat comes over to "deal" with us.