Stakelbeck in Glenn Beck's Fusion magazine on the Iran Threat
I published an article in this month's edition of Glenn Beck's Fusion magazine (subscription only), called "The Coming of the 12th Imam," about the Iranian threat to the United States. You can read the full article below, and I encourage you to pick up the magazine.
My article is part of a special issue called, "I Stand with Israel" that also features pieces from Pastor John Hagee, former Israel Ambassador to the U.N. Dore Gold, and many more. Here is my piece:
The Coming of the 12th Imam
By Erick Stakelbeck
“You’re in range—and within eight years.”
The message was simple, yet starkly effective.
It was February 2011, and I was sitting in a conference room in Jeru¬salem, meeting with officials from the highest levels of the Israeli government. The topic was Iran’s ongoing push to acquire long-range missiles that could one day hit the United States.
As the hour-long meeting drew to a close, an Israeli official went around to each member of our small group of American journalists and asked where we lived. Whether the answer was ‘Washington, D.C.,” “New York City” or “Atlanta,” the official’s response was always the same: “You’re in range.” Meaning that the East Coast of the United States—and possibly points farther inland—could soon exist under the threat of Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles that will very likely be nuclear-tipped.
The Iranian regime is working feverishly to acquire such a capability, and the Israeli official’s estimate that the mad mullahs were eight years away from doing just that might have been too conservative.
Indeed, U.S. defense officials have warned that Iran could have ICBM’s as early as 2015. And any delivery problems the Iranians encountered would surely be solved with eager assistance by allies like China, Russia and North Korea. Of course, Iran could simply pass off a nuclear device to Hezbollah or Al Qaeda operatives to detonate on U.S. soil, bypassing any delivery hiccups altogether.
Combine the progression of Iran’s long-range missile technology with estimates that the Iranians could have a nuclear warhead as soon as 2012, and you have a truly apocalyptic sce¬nario for the United States—unless the Obama administration first obliterates Iran’s nuclear facilities and begins to aggressively promote regime change in Tehran. Two prospects, of course, which are about as likely as Mahmoud Ahmadenijad hosting a Passover Seder.
The risible lack of urgency on the part of the Obama administration in the face of what is clearly an imminent threat posed by Iran boils down to one simple fact: They utterly fail to grasp the message behind one of the oldest and most fervent rallying cries of radical Islamists worldwide, “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.” Meaning that once the Jews are eradi¬cated, Christians will be next on the jihadi chopping block.
For the Iranian regime, Israel is merely the “Little Satan.” America is the “Great Satan” and thus, the ultimate prize. Israel is the proverbial canary in the coalmine and first line of defense for the rest of Western civilization in the struggle against Islamic fascism and terror. If this lone bastion of democracy, freedom and human rights in the heart of a chaotic, hostile Middle East were destroyed by an Iranian nuke, Europe and America would immediately find themselves in the crosshairs. Or as Spain’s former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar—a great friend of Israel—told me during an interview for CBN in 2010, “if Israel goes down, we all go down.”
Which brings us to the driving force behind Iran’s quest for weapons that could wipe the entire state of Israel and Western capitals off the map and create a horrific world war: that is, ideology. The Iranian regime is steeped in an apocalyptic belief system that claims the Islamic messiah, also known as the “Mahdi” or the “Twelfth Imam,” cannot appear to lead the forces of Islam to victory over non-Muslims and establish his global empire unless certain condi¬tions are present on Earth: namely, chaos, uncertainty and war.
In the current uprisings sweeping across the Middle East, Iran’s leaders see exactly those conditions beginning to develop. They consider them a divine signal from Allah that the Mahdi is near—and they are preparing accordingly.
In March, I obtained a propaganda video produced by the Iranian regime that labeled the revolutions in Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere in the region as End Times indicators that were foretold in Islamic scripture. The video, which was provided to me exclusively by a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps who goes by the pseudonym “Reza Kahlili,” is called “The Coming is Upon Us.” It was made in conjunction with the office of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and, according to its producers, received the stamp of approval of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. The Ira¬nian regime’s intention was to distribute it widely throughout the Middle East in hopes of sparking further uprisings.
The video claims that Iran is destined to rise as a great power in the last days to help defeat America and Israel and usher in the return of the Mahdi—with Ahmadenijad, Khamenei and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah—an Iranian proxy—all hailed as pivotal Last Days figures whose rise was predicted in Islamic scriptures. Ahmadenijad is even identified as the man who will conquer Jerusalem and eliminate the Jews as a prerequisite to the Mahdi’s appearance. Once this messiah figure does appear, the Iranians believe, he’ll lead the forces of Islam in their final showdown with America and the West.
Soon after I exposed The Coming is Upon Us on CBN News, Iran’s regime, according to Iranian media reports, engaged in infighting and finger pointing. The regime never meant for the film to be seen by a Western audience, and was angered that its plans for the immediate future were on full display for all to see.
Ultimately, The Coming is Upon Us showed that Iran’s leaders not only believe in messianic “Twelver” ideology: they are actually shaping policy around it. And that means the “Great Satan” is firmly in the crosshairs whether the Obama administration wants to acknowledge it or not.
Erick Stakelbeck is host of CBN’s Stakelbeck on Terror show and author of the book, The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat, published May 2, 2011 by Regnery.