Image for representational purposes only.
Last week marked the seventieth anniversary of World War II. Sixty million people were killed in the war, among them six million murdered Jews who perished in Hitler’s death camps.
On Thursday, The Jerusalem Post published an important article titled “The war that could have been prevented.”
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The article was written by Eliezer Shenvald, who heads the Meir Hesder Yeshiva in Modi’in in Israel. He wrote that there were many opportunities to stop Hitler that the Allied forces missed.
Here is what Shenvald wrote:
From the moment Hitler came to power, his intentions were clear, and they became clearer and clearer as time progressed. No sophisticated military intelligence was necessary to predict his goals, or to understand that the events associated with his rule weren’t sporadic or localized.
Already in 1933 Germany withdrew from the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments and cunningly defied the Versailles Treaty regarding military training and arms production. In 1935 Hitler publicly announced the nullification of the Versailles Treaty and the enlargement of Germany’s army and arms production. In 1936 Hitler sent German troops to invade the demilitarized Rhineland, thus breaching the Locarno Treaty of 1925, and entered into a military alliance with Mussolini. The Allies choose to ignore Hitler’s violations, as well as his 1938 annexation of Austria, the “Anschluss.”
At the end of that year, in the Munich Agreement Hitler demanded to annex “only” the Sudetenland, and promised not to attack Czechoslovakia. The allies betrayed Czechoslovakia and gave in to his demand, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain waved the agreement in the air and announced the achievement of “peace for our time.” Half a year later Hitler conquered all of Czechoslovakia, took control over Slovakia and forced the Lithuanians to give up the port city of Klaipeda.
From the moment Hitler came to power, he made no attempt to conceal his metaphysical hatred for the Jews and his intention to wipe them out. Very few in the Jewish community took his threats seriously, even while it was still possible to escape.
Even when news leaked out about the methodical annihilation in the death camps, there were those who chose to deny it, or to hope that “it won’t happen to me.” Appeals to the Allies to help stop the machine of destruction fell on deaf ears or were met with denial.
He then explained what caused the Allies to hesitate in declaring war on Hitler in the early stages:
We can call this the “denial syndrome” which is a psychological phenomenon and part of human nature. When there is a far-off danger which is getting closer, and to deal with it requires great resources and sacrifice, people choose to use all their mental powers to ignore it or to find an alternative, “softer” and less threatening interpretation.
Unintentionally, the future is jeopardized by this unwillingness to act responsibly in the present.
This absurd trait contradicts the basic human survival instinct, which drives us to prepare for danger in order to stay alive. Yet this phenomenon repeats itself throughout history. When “the writing on the wall” says that danger is at our doorstep, the human race refuses to read it, and instead enlists its intelligence to create an “alternative story” which won’t require it to take drastic steps.
In the end, the price for this self-delusion is very high, and then mankind tries to justify itself and soothe its conscience by saying that events were impossible to predict, and that all we have now is the advantage of hindsight. In the case of World War II, the price for this denial was indeed terrible.
An ancient tradition tells us that when Alexander the Great conquered the world, his teacher Aristotle said to him: “Now you have won ‘the small war,’ however you won’t be considered valiant until you win ‘the great war’ against the evil inclination!”
So we see that it was clear that it is easier to win a great, difficult and painful war than to deal successfully with human nature, that is, to control and utilize it rather than be enslaved by it. Seventy years after the victory over Hitler, can we finally learn this critical lesson?
It is clear that Shenvald meant to warn the world not to repeat the mistakes of World War II because of what the world is doing – or actually not doing – with regard to Iran now.
Indeed, if one takes a look at the current situation in which six world powers try to avoid a military confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program and its push for hegemony, the similarities become obvious.
There is, however, one big difference. Whereas Hitler talked about his intentions openly, the Iranians are hiding their real intentions by using strategies that are rooted in their interpretation of Islamic law and Shiite tradition.
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This is an aspect that is absent in the public debate about the interim agreements with Iran.
Much is said about the intentions and strategies of the U.S. administration and the other parties negotiating with Iran, but the public (and apparently, this includes the Western negotiators) knows little about Iran’s strategy in its negotiations with the six world powers.
A month ago, Leo Hohman, an editor of WND, wrote an article titled “Obama taken for fool by classic Muslim ploy.”
In the article, Hohman explained how deceit is an integral part of Iran’s negotiation strategy with the six world powers.
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This deceit is part of the so called al-Taqiah (Kitman) tactic, which derives from a Quranic verse in Sura 3:28 that allows Muslims to lie for the cause of Islam. From the outset of the Islamic revolution, Iran has used Taqiah in the development of its nuclear program and in the negotiations with the West.
Hohman interviewed Joel Richardson, author of the New York Times-best seller The Islamic Antichrist and its sequel Mideast Beast. Richardson looks at the preliminary nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S. with five other world powers and sees the marks of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.
“If one wishes to have even a basic understanding of the underlying principles involved in Middle East politics, then one must first understand the history and implications of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah,” Richardson told WND.
He believes Obama committed a “brazenly amateur” gaffe by failing to understand who he was dealing with – an Iranian regime steeped in Islamic law.
The rules the mullahs follow trace back to the life and example of Muhammad, he said. “And one of the most important tactical victories in Muhammad’s career is what is known as the Treaty of Hudaibiyah.”
Muhammad made this treaty with the pagan Quraysh tribe of Mecca, the most powerful tribe in the region at the time.
The Qurayshis entered into a 10-year peace pact with Muhammad and lived to regret it.
It appeared to be a lopsided treaty in favor of the Qurayshis. For instance, if one of Muhammad’s followers wanted to leave and join the Qurayshis, they were free to do so. But if one of the Qurayshis wished to become a Muslim, they were to be rejected and returned to the Quraysh.
But Muhammad saw an opportunity.
Freed from any military threat from the most powerful tribe in the region, he suddenly “received a revelation” from Allah, Richardson said.
This revelation can be found in Surah 48 of the Quran. It begins with “Surely We (Allah) have given to you a clear victory.”
With the Quravshis sidelined, Muhammad began attacking several large Jewish tribes in Arabia.
Any men who joined the Muslims in war would receive a significant share of the plunder, booty, slaves and female prisoners.
The Jewish villages fell like dominoes, and the wealth of the Jews became that of the Muslims.
Within two years, the Muslims went from about 1,200 men to more than 10,000.
Muhammad then launched a surprise attack on the Qurayshis and defeated them. The Muslims stood alone as the most powerful group in the Arabian Peninsula.”
“The takeaway is that Muslims today look to the example of Muhammad and the Treaty of Hudaibiyah as one of the primary go-to strategies to defeat their enemies,” Richardson said. “Enter into a treaty, a covenant, a ceasefire. But it is only for the purpose of gaining strength to eventually defeat your enemy.
“Muslims today clearly understand ‘Hudaibiya’ to be a code-word which, in brief, means ‘kiss the hand of your enemy until you have the opportunity to cut it off.”
“The Iranian regime, perhaps better than any in the Middle East, knows how to play the long game, Richardson said.
“They are brilliant strategists. Today, they are celebrating the gullibility of the Obama administration in making such significant concessions, and agreeing (purportedly) to lift sanctions. They danced circles around our president.”
It is no coincidence that Obama’s deal with Iran last 10 years, precisely like Muhammad’s so-called treaty with the Qurayshis.
After the 10 years, the Iranians would then be free to continue work on their nuclear weapons, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“The problem is, they will never actually stop,” Richardson said, citing a Times of Israel report. “They will continue work on day one.”
“Our president has been taken, the American people have been made fools, and the security of Israel has been sacrificed on the altar of Obama’s legacy. That legacy however is already dissipating in thin air even before the ink is dry.”
Another important principle that drives the Iranian regime is a theory of government called velayat-e-faqih, literally meaning the guardianship of the religious jurist.
The essence of the theory, developed and applied by Ayatollah Khomeini, is that one man with a thorough knowledge of Islamic law is designated as vali-e-faqih: heir to the Prophet Muhammad and the Imams (leaders).
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He also acts as vice regent to the Mahdi, the messianic Twelfth Imam of Shi’ite Islam.
The vali wields absolute authority and sovereignty over the affairs of the entire Muslim nation. No public or private matter concerning a Muslim or anyone living in the Islamic world is beyond the vali’s jurisdiction.
The doctrine was introduced in 1970 and has been in force since the Islamic revolution in Iran.
Another pillar of the valayat-e-faqih was the export of the Islamic revolution and fundamentalism.
Khomeini believed that the Iranian people, the Muslims in general, and eventually the whole human race should submit themselves to the theocratic rule of the Islamic Sharia law and the Shia clerical leadership
Next in importance to velayat-e-faqih during Khomeini’s rule was the Mahdi doctrine. The Mahdi doctrine now plays an important role in the actions of the Iranian regime and certainly in the actions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
According to this Shia theory, the active participation of the pious in the creation of mayhem and war in the world could actually lead to a hastened return of the Mahdi.
The Mahdi doctrine was used by Khomeini during the Iran–Iraq war in order to motivate the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who were part of the Revolutionary Guards’ Basij militia.
Khomeini even hired professional actors to play the role of Mahdi in the front lines during this war. Khomeini however, never embraced the Mahdi doctrine in the way that contemporary Iranian leaders do.
Former President Ahmadinejad, for example, was linked to the Hojatieh Society, founded in 1954. The mission of the Hojatieh was to fight the Bahai faith to pave the way for the appearance of the Mahdi.
Contemporary influence of Hojatieh
Following the unrest around the Arab world, Iranian leaders claimed that the developments in the region prove the victory of the Islamic revolution and will hasten the return of the Mahdi.
Another development that Iranian leaders believe will occur prior to the arrival of the Mahdi is the collapse of the U.S.-dominated world order.
Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani said: ”The developments in the Middle East and Europe and the tsunami of Islamic nations seeking justice will pave the way for the reappearance of His Holiness the Mahdi”
He added: “Today, people have awakened in the furthest corners of the world… In Islamic countries, these uprisings raise the slogans of Islam and religion, and in non-Islamic countries they chant the slogan of freedom.”
Ayatollah Hussein Nouri Hamedani discussed the Islamic awakening in the Arab countries: “Just as the Supreme Leader predicted, the Islamic awakening has already crossed the borders of regional nations and has penetrated Europe. We are now witnessing public protests in Spain, Portugal and Italy.”
In 2011, Iranian leaders began saying that the collapse of the U.S. was imminent.
Ahmadinejad stressed in a ceremony marking the 22nd anniversary of Khomeini’s death that “Washington is nearing its endpoint, as its hegemonic, political and economic plots against the regional and world nations have reached a deadlock and it is on the verge of collapse.”
He underlined that “(Global) hegemony, today, is the last impediment to the monotheism front, and if we can overcome this hurdle, the monotheistic movement to achieve prosperity will be given a free run.”
At about the same time, the conservative daily Khayan, which is affiliated with Iran’s Supreme Leader, published an article on the crumbling American policies towards Iran and the Middle East.
According to Khayan, America was shocked by the sudden collapse of Arab regimes and is currently showing a lack of control over regional issues. Therefore, the newspaper stated, “the Iranian regime should exploit this opportunity to run full steam ahead.”
At the end of February 2011, an Iranian video titled ‘The coming is upon us’, about the imminent arrival of the Mahdi, was posted on the internet. The video was an abbreviated version of a documentary produced by allies of the Iranian Islamic regime in response to the recent crisis in the Middle East. Its intention was to show how these violent chaotic events indicate the imminent arrival of the Mahdi and the unification of the world under Islam.
As Western Journalism reported at the start of the Saudi-led air campaign against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, sowing chaos in Yemen and Saudi Arabia is part of the Iranian Mahdi doctrine.
Those who say that current Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is less influenced by the Mahdi doctrine overlook the fact that he thanked the Mahdi for his election as president of Iran.
Furthermore, Rouhani called the current negotiations with the U.S. an ‘active Jihad.’
“Our negotiations with the world powers are a source of national pride. Yesterday your brave generals stood against the enemy on the battlefield and defended their country. Today, your diplomatic generals are defending our nation in the field of diplomacy – this, too, is jihad,” Rouhani said after the news broke about the Framework Agreement with the six world powers.
Rouhani also practices the al-Taqiah tactic. He bragged on Iranian television about his deceit during his term as Iranian chief negotiator during talks with three EU powers in 2003.
Iranian leaders are convinced that Iran will succeed in its quest for world hegemony. They have seen that the West caved in time after time during the negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program and perceive Obama’s policies in the Middle East as a show of weakness.
On Thursday, two top Iranian generals taunted the United States, saying the much-discussed military option to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities is “ridiculous,” that Washington knows it can’t be done, and that their country “welcomes war with the US.”
“We welcome war with the US as we do believe that it will be the scene for our success to display the real potentials of our power,” said Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, issued a similar statement:
“The military option that the Westerners speak of constantly is ridiculous and they know that if the military option could have produced any result, they would have already used it many times, and today they have shifted their focus to other types of threats and to the soft war front,” Jafri said.
He then proclaimed: “Today, the Islamic Iran’s pride and might has made the world’s biggest materialistic and military powers kneel down before the Islamic Republic.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, bragged Wednesday that the US “can’t do a damn thing” to harm his country’s nuclear facilities.
None of the Western powers who intend to resume their negotiations with Iran this week responded to this latest show of open Iranian hostility.