with this nutcase:
The Iranian news Web site Tabnak reported that Ahmadinejad, while speaking to survivors of soldiers killed during the 1980's war against Iraq, asserted that U.S. officials believe the Mahdi -- or the Hidden Imam whom Shiite Muslims believe will be ultimate savior of mankind -- is coming and they are working to prevent it from happening, al-Arabiya said Tuesday.
Saw this a couple of days ago, then was reminded when I read this at ShrinkWrapped. Key quote:
It is often difficult for Western secular rationalists to appreciate that when paranoid religious zealots make what sound to their ears like irrational statements, the zealots actually mean what they say. Ahmadinejad, the public face of the most religious fundamentalist Twelvers, actually tells us, repeatedly, what he believes. The fact that so many sophisticated Westerners don't believe he means it is their limitation, not a comment on his perspective.
There's a scene in the movie Khartoum when Gordon has just returned from a visit with the current mahdi, and has realized that the guy is not a fake: that he is as devout in his religion as Gordon in his(understandable; Gordon was used to devout people), and that he's not a warlord using the belief to gain followers; he truly believes himself to be The Mahdi. At which point Gordon knows it's war to the knife with him, that there can be no compromise.
Gordon understood what he was facing, and why; our politicians, far too many, don't or won't believe that Ahmadogcrap really means it. And if we're not very damned lucky, an awful lot of people are going to die because they refuse to believe it.