For months, neoconservatives have been pushing for regime change in Iran. In their latest effort to beat the war drums and undermine diplomacy, they are attaching great significance to August 22 – the date Iran said it would respond to an incentives package from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
August 22 is a day “some Shiite sects believe”¦could correspond to the end of the world.” That’s enough for neoconservatives to conclude Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have “chosen to launch the apocalypse” tomorrow.
Here’s a look at the rhetoric being pushed by neocons to scare the American people into supporting military action:
- “What is the significance of Aug. 22? ["¦] This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.” [Bernard Lewis op-ed, Wall Street Journal, 8/8/06]
- “We all hope and pray that August 22 is not the day Ahmadinejad has chosen to launch the apocalypse, but there is little doubt in the White House and at the CIA that the Iranian leader is feverishly trying to build, buy, or steal nuclear weapons, and that he will quite likely use them once he has them.” [Joel Rosenberg, National Review, 8/10/06]
- “Will [Ahmadinejad] attempt to make good on these threats this year on the anniversary of the Miraj [August 22], illuminating the night sky over Jerusalem? Will Western powers heed Farid Ghadry’s words and move to stop Iran before it is too late?” [Front Page Magazine, 7/27/06]
- “It’s an important symbolic day for jihadists. And I’m curious to see what happens on Tuesday. [Ahmadinejad] may just say no or he may do something a little more dramatic, launch a missile or something, to show that – Iranian defiance of what looks like an impotent West.” [Bill Kristol, Fox News Sunday, 8/20/06]
- “‘The only thing we can know is that the date was not chosen by accident,’ said Robert Spencer, Director of Jihadwatch.org and an adjunct fellow at the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative think tank. ‘It does seem very likely, very probable, that he has something major in mind, whether only a major announcement or a major attack, we will soon see.’” [The Blotter, ABC News, 8/21/06]
It’s worth noting that a bipartisan group military experts believe there are no good military options against Iran.