Bernard Lewis Watch

At a time when nattering bloggers, columnists, traditional conservatives, and even neoconservatives are openly questioning our rightly guided President's mental and psychic faculties, we need you, oh wise and venerable Princeton high priest of neoconservative orthodoxy, to really show us the true straight path to enlightenment, to rally our troops around the “doctrine” that bears your name and directed us so brilliantly in liberating and controlling Iraq.

We cannot think of anyone who has been so astonishingly consistent in his prediction accuracy about what would happen after the US invaded Iraq. Even as you now counsel patience, we can see that your vision of secular democracy, imposed forcefully and creatively from without, is now flourishing everywhere in the Middle East. It is simply miraculous that with a track record like yours, you retain such a bipartisan following among US political leaders.

We are of course most grateful that two weeks ago, you capped off your distinguished career by giving us clarity for today – August 22nd. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, you drew from your vast experience to declare that Iran's President Armadinejad – indeed all of Islamic Iran – was the real crazy threat to the world and must never be permitted to have nuclear anything. Islamic Iranians are, well, just too, too, too… Islamic, to be permitted the luxury of a MAD nuclear capacity.

In your essay, you selectively invoked a 25 year-old quote from Iran's revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, to inform us that Islamic Iranians really can only think in terms of a cataclysmic choice between annihilating the rest of the world, or joining hands in martyrdom. Never mind that this quote came in the context of perceived global support for Iraq' invasion of Iran, and no, you never mentioned that Khomeini himself interpreted his own model for Iran's relations with the world, “neither East nor West,” as meaning ties between respectful equals, rather than the old “lion vs. lamb” patterns.

You instead keep it brilliantly simple for us – and especially for our much challenged President. Its either us, or them. Let's not be confused with the quarter century of subsequent smokescreen meant to conceal Iran's true intentions. So if they're not with us, they must be against us.

From your ascended status, you specifically prophesied for us that today, August 22nd could “possibly” be the day the end of the world will be made manifest by Iran. You were suspicious that the Iranian President had chosen today for Iran's response to the latest round of European proposals to rein in Iran's nuclear program. Given that some Muslims commemorate this as the day of the Prophet Mohammad's miraculous flight to Jerusalem, you warned that, “this might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world.”

You didn't even need to cite any evidence of such actual thinking; your steadfast WSJ editors have such faith in your genius. Yahr!

So if you have not yet taken flight yourself, we beseech you now to help us mere mortals fathom how Iran's announcements today simply comfirm your divinations of the end of the world. As such, how should we then live? How shall we respond in unison to any suggestions to the contrary? And which stocks of companies on the plains of Armageddon do you advise for us to sell short?

First published in

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