Call it Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Mein Kampf moment.
Eighty years ago, Adolf Hitler published an autobiography-cum-manifesto. Its title translates as “My Struggle.” In it, Hitler talked of his desire for revenge against France, the German nation’s need to control more land, and the means by which his National Socialist Party could gain power.
It also included, of course, a clear indication of his genocidal intentions against the Jews.
Last week, Iran’s president echoed those themes. He talked about his “struggle” — the word translate into both Arabic and Persian as “jihad” — his desire for revenge against America and the West, the Islamic nation’s need to control more land, and the means by which his Militant Islamist movement could gain global power.
He also included his genocidal intention to wipe Israel “off the map.”
Of course, there are differences between Hitler in 1925 and Ahmadinejad in 2005. Perhaps the biggest is this: When Hitler made his threats he was an obscure politician whom hardly anyone took seriously.
By contrast, Ahmadinejad is the president of a large and wealthy nation that operates terrorist organizations and is well on its way to developing nuclear weapons.
Had Hitler’s threatening words inspired serious action then, millions of people — Jews, Gypsies, Czechoslovaks, Americans, British, Russians and others — would not have been slaughtered in the 20th Century.
If Ahmadinejad’s threatening words inspire serious action now, millions of people may be spared in this century. But while President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and others responded with strong rhetoric, neither penalties nor restraints seem likely to be imposed on the Islamist Fascist regime in Tehran. Indeed, not a single European ambassador was withdrawn — not even temporarily.
In most Arab and Muslim capitals there weren’t even rebukes for Ahmadinejad. The exceptions were Egypt and the Palestinian Authority which, along with Jordan, have recognized Israel. Muslim leaders who make that concession, Ahmadinejad promised, will “burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury.”
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