Chapter Twenty Three




The leaders of the numerous Muslim-dominated nations were assembled together in a meeting of unprecedented size. Despite the commonality of their religion, their immediate objective and their emotional volatility, it was precisely the latter characteristic that had maintained their separation to this point. Now the magnitude of the cause before them and its promise of the ultimate fulfillment of their most cherished dream had subdued their natural antagonism toward each other, even to the extent of creating a short-lived bonhomie among them.

But as the conference unfolded into detailed planning, it was this same characteristic of angry, hair-trigger tempers that rather quickly erupted into an ill-tempered squabbling which threatened to put an abrupt end to this particular meeting despite their common objective, which was to create the condition wherein they might observe with delight the end of the Jews as a nation and a people.

“No! No no, NO!” shouted the head of the Pakistani government, stamping his sandaled feet in anger. “I will not permit the merger of my army and my weaponry with other armies. I will embrace my brothers-in-arms in our holy war against Israel, but I insist that my army will remain mine and mine alone.”

“But you do not understand, my brother,” said the Yemeni leader. “We must operate as a cohesive unit if we expect to defeat the little Satan, Israel.”

Enraged by the condescension of this pompous pipsqueak from the insignificant realm of Yemen, the Pakistani reached over and tugged quite hard at his well-groomed goatee, eliciting a howl of pain and a fist in the eye.

“Gentlemen, Gentlemen!” the Iranian leader shouted, clapping his hands in disapproval. “Stop this immediately!” He signaled to his bailiffs, who rushed toward the grappling men and forced them apart. It was a scene that was repeated numerous times over the three days occupied with discussions of plans to remove Israel from the face of the earth. The meeting was scheduled to last for a week, but the mutual distrust and anger among the participants was more than the Iranian leader could endure. Declaring a consensus on his tactical viewpoint at the threat of nuclear retaliation upon any dissenting nation, he outlined his plan, the timetable for its execution, and the joint order of battle. Having accomplished that, he dismissed the congregants, declared all hotels and accommodations closed, and left the assembly. That done, he telephoned the Russian leader with the news of his actions. He considered the man to be his subordinate in all things, particularly with respect to religious matters. But never to his face. And deep down, although he refused to openly acknowledge the fact even to himself, the Iranian understood the Russian to be the most powerful man in the world.

The strange, pervasive inability of brother Muslims to get along with each other had exposed the modern world to their self-willed pride and focus on hatred at the expense of love many times over, as exemplified by the Iran-Iraq conflict and the Arab treatment of the Palestinians, using their suffering as a political tool against the nation of Israel. Their behavior actually was the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy recorded by Moses almost at the beginning of Scripture, in Genesis 16:

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar, her maid, the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband, Abram, to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, The wrong done me be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her what pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.


          “And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, from where camest thou? And where wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress, Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shall bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.


          “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.”


The only thing that had kept the world at large from calling out the most self-serving offenders was the hatred of these fanatics toward non-Muslims, which surpassed the vehemence of their discontent with each other. The consequent intimidation with the threat of violence against any individual, group or nation that spoke out about this situation was sufficient to silence their weak-kneed and fearful potential adversaries.

The Russian leader sighed to himself upon hearing from the Iranian about the necessity for his unilateral action at the conference, lamenting the childish hostility that interfered so irritatingly often with their own objective of causing the final destruction of the Jewish nation. How could one teach those idiots the wonderfully evil principles of Machiavelli when they couldn’t pay attention long enough to grasp the basics? On the other hand, he mused, perhaps it is far better that I, alone, understand Machiavelli’s principles.

The Russian leader had read the medieval Florentine’s The Prince years ago in college, and had been a disciple of his ever since. He recalled the essence of how one particular passage of this deliciously dark manual on how one might obtain power over others at their own expense might be most appropriate to this present situation. Arising from his spartan chair, he went over to the far wall, which held his favorite books. After a short search he extracted a short tome bound in a black cover, and returned to his chair, where he opened the book to where his favorite passage was exposed:

“A prince should therefore disregard the reproach of being thought cruel where it enables him to keep his subjects united and obedient. For he who quells disorder by a very few signal examples will in the end be more merciful than he who from too great leniency permits things to take their course and so to result in rapine and bloodshed; for these hurt the whole State, whereas the severities of the Prince injure individuals only.

“And for a new Prince, of all others, it is impossible to escape a name for cruelty, since new States are full of dangers.”

How true, the Russian said to himself, grinning at the black wisdom of the passage and the spectacular results he himself had achieved in applying it. Am I not the king of Russia? he gloated. But now he had unfinished business that required some planning with the assistance of Mr. Machiavelli. He turned to the appropriate page and began reading:

“In short, with mercenaries your greatest danger is from their inertness and cowardice, with auxiliaries from their valour. Wise Princes, therefore, have always eschewed these arms, and trusted rather to their own, and have preferred defeat with the latter to victory with the former, counting that as no true victory which is gained by foreign aid.

“I shall never hesitate to cite the example of Cesare Borgia and his actions. He entered Romagna with a force of auxiliaries, all of them French men-at-arms, which whom he took Imola and Forli. But it appearing to him afterwards that these troops were not to be trusted, he had recourse to mercenaries from whom he thought there would be less danger, and took the Orsini and Vitelli into his pay. But finding these likewise while under his command to be fickle, false, and treacherous, he got rid of them, and fell back on troops of his own raising. And we may readily discern the difference between these various kinds of arms, by observing the different degrees of reputation in which the Duke stood while he depended on the French alone, when he took the Orsini and Vitelli into pay, and when he fell back on his own troops and his own resources; for we find his reputation always increasing, and that he was never so well thought of as when every one perceived him to be sole master of his own forces.

“I am unwilling to leave these examples, drawn from what has taken place in Italy and in recent times; and yet I must not omit to notice the case of Hiero of Syracuse, who is one of those whom I have already named, He, as I have before related, being made captain of their armies by the Syracusans, saw at once that a force of mercenary soldiers, supplied by men resembling our Italian condottieri, was not serviceable; and as he would not retain and could not disarm them, he caused them all to be cut to pieces, and afterwards made war with native soldiers only, without other aid.”

I must ensure, the Russian leader mused, closing the book and placing it on his desk, that the Iranians, being the most noble of that ignoble lot, stay in the forefront of the battle to win some early victories but die in the process. They can be followed by the other non-Russian arms, so that they all can be decimated by the Israelis and become too weak to challenge my own ultimate leadership.  Then, when they also have been cut to ribbons, I will bring my own troops into the fray for the ultimate victory over that pathetic little nation, Israel.

The Russian, having formulated the process by which he would emerge from the clash with Israel in a position of unprecedented strength, stood and, walking back over to the bookcase, reinserted the tome back into its correct slot. But then a disturbing notion came into his mind, the thought that despite this upcoming victory, and despite the cowardly manner in which the Western powers would back off from any open confrontation with the attackers, the North American leader was still a formidable rival. Worse, judging by the actions he had taken from the beginning of his debut as American president, he also must be a disciple of the dark Florentine. This could not be allowed to persist. Jumping ahead of the imminent conflict with Israel, he began to plan the destruction of the Great Satan, which, as the North American nations merged into a yet larger entity, had become too large to continue to exist.

Eventually it was the Russian leader who traveled from country to country within the Mideast bloc of nations, personally mending the antagonism of each ruler toward the others and bringing them to an understanding that without at least a temporary unity, they could never hope to accomplish their common objective. That done, and with admirable swiftness, the Russian brought each of those nations into the grand order of battle, with a sufficient number of very minor changes as to convince them that the battle plans were his own rather than those of the heavy-handed Iranian. By this device he won their loyalty, if only temporary, so that when the battle began, he, rather than the Iranian, would be their actual commander.

The final visit of his goodwill campaign was to the Iranian. In addition to his insistent praise of the Iranian for his magnificent battle plans, he pressed on with other flatteries and culminated his visit with the promise of first entry into Jerusalem and unopposed access to the spoils therein. Then he turned firm and, with glaring eyes, demanded the Iranian’s unreserved allegiance to him as chief commander. Filled with fear at the unexpected vehemence of this turnaround of disposition, the Iranian leader immediately acquiesced. Satisfied, the Russian departed for home to put the finishing touches on the plans for the impending battle.    


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