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The attraction of strange religous ideas

Reader comment on item: The Mystical Menace of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Submitted by Pigfoot (United States), Jan 17, 2006 at 12:52

Many of the world's recent conflicts may have gotten their imputus from such bizzare ideas as the "Mahdi". Hitler and Tojo both came up with mahdis to rouse their people. The main idea may have been to convince the unconvinced that they were indeed superior and had nothing to fear from their enemy. My thesis is that within any populace there is a great "middle" between the "fanatic" and the "I know better". An outcome in a war will depend on these middlists. Conscripting these middlists is not enough. They need a Mahdi they can call their own.

As an aside, the US had no mahdi in " The Nam" (Vietnam) where the slogan was "who cares!". This (about Vietnam), is not some well thought out academic thesis but just a statement as to the way it was.
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