The Signs of the Times: The Eschatology of Ahmadinejad’s final Speech Before UN

The speech by the President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the 67th UN General Assembly was religiously charged. Yet, there is no analysis of this in the media. What was interesting was not that he opened with praise to Allah, but that he closed with an Islamic eschatological vision that was the point of the various injustices and failures of capitalism (and communism) his speech outlined.

Here is what he said.

Ahmadinejad said “God has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named (inaudible), a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ and the righteous.”

He then expounded further, “He will come to return all children of Adam, irrespective of their skin colors, to their innate origin after a long history of separation and division, linking them

What if Bush had made similar eschatological condemnations of the Islamic nations and world’s leaders in their face?

to eternal happiness and joy. The arrival of the ultimate savior, Jesus Christ and the righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars, but through thought, awakening and developing kindness in everyone. Their arrival will breed a new life in the cold and frozen hearts and body of the world.”

It is a shame that the media is so religiously illiterate that they thought this was just religious rant or doctrinaire speak. All the injustices and failures he talked of were simply setting the stage for an eschatological warning to the nations of the earth that we are on the verge that Islam will reign as a punishment. These are the signs of the times.

Curiously, though I do not say this in the spirit of conspiracy, the UN transcript I’ve quoted from says the name of the individual who will come with Jesus in judgment was inaudible – more illiteracy. In fact, I heard it quite clearly. His name is also stated in the official transcript from the Iranian government.

The one who will come that Ahmadinejad is referring to is the Imam al-Mahdi, who is not mentioned in the Quran. According to tradition, the Mahdi will appear to bring justice and truth to all, when the entire world will accept Islam. His death (before the day of resurrection) will bring turmoil, uncertainty, and temptation. There is not agreement over the Mahdi’s precise relationship to Jesus, but Ahmadinejad was clear that they will appear together. The various interpretations are a denial there will be a Muslim Mahdi, since the second coming of Jesus alone will fulfill this role. Others believe Jesus will return as a just judge, but he will die after forty years and be buried in a spot beside Muhammad’s tomb in Medina that has been reserved for him.

The Imam al-Mahdi is the divinely guided one, and is a concept developed by the Shiis and some Sunnis into that of a messianic deliverer who will return to champion their cause.

What is clear, and was clear in Ahmadinejad’s speech, is that the Imam al-Mahdi will appear when the world is irretrievably corrupt. We are witnessing the signs of this time. His reign will result in a time of natural abundance, justice, restoration of faith and of defeat for the enemies of Islam.

Apart from the US representative remaining absent and the Canadian delegation walking out, the Israeli delegation was not present. The speech took place on Yom Kippur. Was this as a result of the UN organizers diplomacy, or did their fabled tolerance fail them by not selecting another date?

It is strange that George W. Bush was constantly attacked by the US media for using religion in his rhetoric and bringing America to the precipice of intolerance. Yet, here in New York this speech is not analyzed in the religious sense in which it was intended. What if Bush had made similar eschatological condemnations of the Islamic nations and world’s leaders in their face? What if a future President Mitt Romney were to outline a Mormon eschatology? Yes, violent demonstrations and flag-burning across the Islamic world.

And that’s time

In a short hour and a half, made up of minute responses and thirty second followups, the GOP candidates once again took the stage to answer questions from semi-respectful moderators.  In a debate most looked forward to by Ron Paul fans, Paul received very little time. We have seen pretty much all there is to be seen about candidate style, and many of these questions were repeats.  So here are the winners and losers:

The Good

Mitt Romney won this debate.  His answers were calming, yet clear and determined.  He portrayed the very stature Americans are looking for in a Commander in Chief, and he highlighted American Exceptionalism.  This area is a strong suit for Mitt, and one that does not involve any sort of past flip flops or policy changes.  His answers should give him a bump among social conservatives who are inspired by terms like American Exceptionalism.

Newt at one point had to school the moderators on war versus criminal law.  In some ways this debate seemed frustrating for Newt, but that is an aspect of him his followers often like to see.  Newt brings the fight to the moderators and to the left and usually wins.  Many of his answers were right on, but others were somewhat vague.  One thing that Newt will lose points for is how loosely he called for covert operations in countries like Iran and Syria.  This is something Newt has brought up as a policy in debates and speeches in the past, but is something better left unsaid.

Jon Huntsman did well in the debate.  The question on a tradewar with China is a favorite of most media moderators because it gives them a chance to toss Huntsman an easy softball.    Foreign policy hits many of Huntsman’s strong points without touching many of the issues that conservatives hate him for.  It won’t matter though, Huntsman is done.

The Bad

Santorum did pretty well.  He has the unfortunate bad luck of being a candidate on the back end of two long wars and sharing a policy that sounds eerily like Bush’s.  On the other hand, Santorum seemed to be saying that we need to keep funding Pakistan and being their friend because they have a Nuke.  True or not, Santorum is not going to win American hearts saying implying that we must borrow from China to pay off Pakistan to be our friend.

I have a feeling that media moderators purposefully cut Paul’s debate time short on debates like this to get his supporters riled up.  Get ready, we are going to hear about that for the next week or so.  Paul didn’t do bad for most of the debate, but some of his stances are really not correct.  The idea that the United States must capture a citizen who has declared war on the United States and bring them in to face civilian court, or that non-uniformed terrorists have any sort of rights under US law is wrong and violates precedent.  Gingrich and Perry were absolutely right on those counts.  Paul’s supporters were being their typical selves in the debate as well, to the point where the mods had to admonish them to be respectful.  They are another liability of Paul’s with the overall GOP.

Herman Cain reminded me a lot of Rick Perry in recent debates.  Without 9-9-9 to fall back on, Cain was slow in responses, vague, and seemed as though he would happily defer to a future self, surrounded by knowledgeable generals and advisers.  That’s great, but that is not leadership.  In that respect, Huntsman showed up Cain, and even Gingrich, when he said if a nuke was loose in Pakistan he would secure it.  Cain really did not give a performance that screamed “I am a leader”.  Instead, each response sounded like “How can I answer this without ruining my campaign”.

The Ugly

Michele Bachmann continues to be unimpressive and unmemorable.  She scored some points rebutting Ron Paul, but seemed to spend most of the night trying to get the moderators to let her respond to other candidates.  She also seemed to get less time.  However, I will give her a great deal of credit for her answers on ways to trim military spending without hurting the military.

Rick Perry still doesn’t debate well.  And once again he found himself as the butt of several jokes, made both by the moderators, himself, and Senator Graham.  Perry’s idea of zero based budgeting for foreign aide is a great idea, but the only reason it’s his is because he got to say it first.  Gingrich and Romeny both articulated it better when Perry was done.

But allow me a Newt Gingrich moment to say this.  The real loser was Barack Obama.  The candidates made it clear, once again, that every single one of them would run foreign policy better than Obama.  Several drove home the point that Obama had a range of good choices and bad choices and made all the bad ones and none of the good ones.  The only ambivalent candidate who actually seemed to end up on Obama’s side for some things was Ron Paul.  This is one of the aspects of Newt Gingrich’s leadership because he has focused these debates on defeating Barack Obama, and when Newt sets the tone the other candidates usually follow.

Rand Paul – Sweet Spot or Easy Target?

Bookmark and Share    In 2008 we were introduced to the Ron Paul Revolution.  Everyone from right-wing libertarians to hardcore liberals were donning Revolution shirts.  Ron Paul, a staunch pro-lifer and limited government candidate, gained support from right-wingers who were tired of bailouts, debt and big government.  As an anti-war candidate, he drew in many Bush hating moderates and liberals whose biggest beef was the Iraq war.

Despite stocking conventions and straw polls with loud, rambunctious supporters, Ron Paul remained a second tier candidate throughout the primary and eventually refused a third party run.  The biggest hit Ron Paul took was from establishment Republicans and supporters of the war on terror.  Many of us viewed his protectionist ideas as nice on paper, but naive after 9/11.

2010 Kentucky Senate Candidate Rand Paul

Enter Rand Paul in 2010.  Dr. Rand Paul is running for the Kentucky Senate seat previously held by Jim Bunning.  Paul is running against state attorney general Jack Conway.  So is he a viable 2012 candidate simply because he shares the family name?

Rand’s family name will certainly help usher him into the spotlight and could attract many of the libertarians, independents and moderates who who loved his father,  however the very thing that made his father so popular with those groups will make Rand popular with his own party.  Rand is not as protectionist like his father.  Rand’s views on war and national defense may not match up with the so-called Neocon view of spreading freedom or the Bush doctrine, but he does understand the importance of winning the wars we are in.  He also supports a strong national defense as the number one constitutional job of the federal government.

Rand Paul’s doctrine is one of Conservative Constitutionalism.  With an eye on returning to the Constitution, staunch pro-life stance, and fiscal conservatism, Rand Paul will be a darling of the Right.  At the same time, his message of limited government, relegating social issues to the states, desire to shed light on the Federal Reserve, and anti-UN stance will continue to attract Libertarians.  Finally, just like his father, his genuineness and political prowess may capture the hearts of many non-political, average Americans.

So is Rand Paul a potential sweet spot candidate for the Republican party?  He must be doing something right because of the attacks he has already faced on a national level.  For example, Rand Paul believes in constitutional limits on the Federal government.  For him, that means the government cannot legislate racial equality in people’s minds and should not force private individuals with private businesses to serve people they don’t want to.  In the minds of his opponents, it means that Rand Paul is a racist who believes blacks should drink at different fountains, and they have been very effective at leveling this attack.

Rand Paul also opposes abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.  However, he supports use of the morning after pill.  These two views are enough to give everyone on every side of the abortion debate enough ammo to gun him down.  On the other hand, the average American who opposes abortion, taxpayer funded abortion, and especially taxpayer funding of overseas abortion still elected President Obama, and Obama supports all three.

It is too early to tell if this Conservative Constitutionalist will be a 2012 contender.  At this point he has less political experience than our current President.  My guess is that he will make an attractive Vice President pick.  Paul’s political future has two speed bumps before we can get a clearer picture.  The big one is winning his 2010 Senate campaign.  The second is Steve Beshear’s 2011 governor’s race.  If Democrat Beshear wins a second term, Rand Paul may not be willing to sacrifice his seat in a tightly controlled Senate.  In Kentucky, the governor fills Senate vacancies.

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: