From: The American Thinker
But contrary to the appeasement crowd, Mahmoud isn’t Mao. Here are some important differences.
1. Mao didn’t belong to a suicide cult, but Ahmadinejad says it over and over again
“He who is ready for martyrdom is always victorious.”
“Martyrdom is the peak of mankind’s perfection and the martyrs enjoy the highest status of humanity in this world and the Hereafter.”
”People spend tough years of strenuous work in a bid to achieve the peaks of grandeur and pride, while our dear martyrs achieved those high peaks in shortest possible time.”
2. Mao didn’t look forward to Armageddon – he was an atheist. Mahmoud believes in the return of the Twelfth Imam, to bring about the conversion of the heathen amidst flame and fire.
3. Mao was personally corrupt to the eyeballs, but Mahmoud’s been put into power by Counsel of Guardians, in part because he is personally ascetic, “the street sweeper of the people.” As the UK Guardian quaintly puts it, he is “A devout working-class hero.” Mao liked an endless series of underage girls. Mahmoud may get off on self-flagellation.
4. Mahmoud came of age as an Islamic Revolutionary Guard during the Iran-Iraq war, when he would send men and boys (and possibly himself) to kill Iraqis behind enemy lines. According to some sources, boys with plastic “keys” to martyrdom would be sent into minefields to blow themselves up, and clear the way for assault troops. Iranians recruited the devout followers of Khomeini to assault Iraqi artillery until the trenches piled high with the dead.
Experiences like that mark any human being, traumatize them, and in the context of a suicide cult, can make it easier to start another war. Hitler was a poison-gas survivor in World War I, but it didn’t stop him from starting World War II – just the opposite. For Hitler, World War II was revenge for the “stab in the back” that made Germany lose World War I.
Mahmoud’s personality therefore may be frozen in his past. He may think of himself as a miraculous survivor, and may harbor deep guilt feelings toward his dead comrades. That kind of guilt about holy martyrs is a powerful theme in the Persian Shiite tradition, updated by Khomeini circa 1979.
5. There is reason to think that Mahmoud believes himself to be appointed by Allah. That kind of grandiosity is consistent with a nuclear suicide-homicider.
All that doesn’t mean Ahmadinejad will push the button as soon as he gets one. The fact that he’s a scary guy is one reason why the Mullahs put him into place. They know all about psychological warfare. (They always accuse the United States of using it.) Mahmoud acts as a scary guy because that’s the message they want to send. But he may not be acting.
So Tehran has set up a confrontation that is entirely unpredictable.
To understand the limits of our knowledge is the beginning of wisdom.
Read it all. Contains interesting internal links.