Tonight I had the privilege of hearing Ken Timmerman, the President and CEO of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran. Mr. Timmerman was speaking at the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts. He was introduced by Rabbi Jonathan Hausmann. In his introduction, Rabbi Hausmann asked some very important questions. Do the Jewish people have a right to a state? Do the Jewish people have the right to exist at all? When Iran threatens to destroy Israel and all Jews, what should our reaction be? The Rabbi pointed out that the Holocaust did not begin with the outbreak of war in Europe—it began with Hitler’s speeches. There are many lessons to be learned from this.
Mr. Timmerman began speaking by telling the audience about a report he did for the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 1992 on programs to develop weapons of mass destruction in Iran, Syria, and Libya. He pointed out that he evaluated these programs by looking at what equipment the countries were purchasing in the international markets. He also reminded us that in 1986, Iran had announced the hiring of A Q Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear program. The Iranians stated that they were simply doing research into uranium. Obviously, it later became clear that was not true.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became President of Iran in 2005. President Ahmadinejad sees his role as president of the country as hastening the return of the 12th Imam (the Mahdi). The 12th Imam was born in 869 and is believed to be living at the bottom of a well until the time that he will return with Jesus (whom the Muslims refer to as Isa) to bring peace and justice to the world. When Ahmadinejad became president of Iran, he and his cabinet signed a contract between themselves and the Mahdi and delivered the contract to the well where the Mahdi is believed to be. The belief in the 12th Imam and his return is something that western countries need to pay attention to. First of all, President Ahmadinejad believes that he can hasten the return of the Mahdi by creating chaos in the world—war, famine, destruction, etc. President Ahmadinejad also believes that when the Mahdi returns, he will wipe out all of the infidels and Israel. At this point Mr. Timmerman pointed out that justice in Islam means that there are no more non-Muslims left. Fitna, another Muslim concept, believes that because we are not Muslims, we are persecuting Muslims. Justice equals dead people and Muslims. The religious leaders in Iran believe that if Israel is destroyed, that is a victory for them. They do not care how many Iranians or Muslims are destroyed in the process.
Mr. Timmerman pointed out that his main concern with Iran had to do with their development of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon. The potential of an EMP was discovered in 1962 when a high-altitude nuclear test above the Pacific Ocean knocked out traffic lights in Hawaii. William Graham was commissioned to study the phenomena and in 2001 was appointed by Congress to study the threat of an EMP attack to America. The first report was issued in 2004; the second report was issued in 2008.
Mr. Timmerman described the aftereffects of an EMP attack on America. All power in America will go out. There will be no running water, no working cell phones, and no working cars. The food supply will run out in approximately four or five days, and the government will collapse. The Iranians are studying EMP and in 1998 conducted a test in the Caspian Sea involving the trajectory that an EMP attack would take.
During the cold war we shielded our infrastructure from the danger of a nuclear attack or an EMP attack with bubble memories. These were phased out in the ‘peace dividend’ that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. None of our power grid is currently protected from an EMP attack. Solar flares can also cause damage similar to that of an EMP.
On February 18, 2011, the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. It has been referred to various committees. That bill, if passed without additional spending, would cost each American consumer $3.30 once and would protect our power grid from an EMP attack. Unfortunately, the bill may never make it out of committee.
Mr. Timmerman pointed out that the hope in this situation is providing aid to the people who support democracy in Iran. That is the purpose of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran. The threat to America (and to the world) is the regime in Iran more than it is the nuclear weapons program in Iran. There is widespread popular discontent in Iran due to the way the regime has mistreated its people. We need to help the people of Iran get rid of the regime. We also need to remember that America is the Great Satan and Israel is the Little Satan. America is the preferred target.
The information given tonight was not comforting—but it painted a clear picture of the danger currently facing America. If our current leaders will not take the steps needed to preserve our country, we need to elect leaders who are willing to take those steps. The Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act needs to be passed and implemented as soon as possible. Also, the American government needs to support democracy in Iran. We have had a hand in installing the Muslim Brotherhood in all of the countries involved in the so-called ‘Arab Spring.’ It’s time we supported people who will actually work toward creating a democracy in Iran.