The term WMD, in recent history, came to be known as an abbreviation for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Those things that the Americans said existed in Iraq, who dragged the British along with them into a war which rid the world of a dictator, but left a legacy of internal conflict in the country that shows no signs of abating. Oh, and just as an aside there didn't seem to be any WMDs - strange that!
On the other hand we have the North Koreans who most definitely do have WMDs, and a dictator, but nobody seems terribly interested in knocking him on the head and giving that country a chance of escaping from abject poverty and starvation. Where's the justice in that - or did everyone wake up to the idea that invading Iraq under some pretext or other was just wrong? Mind you, Iraq had oil - North Korea doesn't.
But it occurs to me that WMD could just as easily stand for Words of Mass Destruction - at least in Iran most recently where some bloodthirsty cleric is proclaiming that all rioters should be executed.
To re-cap, there can be few people in the world today, civilised or otherwise, who believe that the recent elections in Iran were fair and just. Of course, it is quite possible that both sides were trying to rig the ballot boxes, but there are just too many anomalies in the results to believe that the incumbent President won the election by anything like the claimed majority. He might have won, I cannot comment, but certainly not by the proclaimed majority.
The strength of negative feeling from the opposition within Iran, and from Iranians outside the country, is massive and powerful. They have been giving vent to their feelings, and show little appetite for remaining silent - almost at any cost. Which leads me to ponder on the words of the Islamic Cleric Ahmad Khatami, a known hardliner, who said "I want the judiciary to... punish leading rioters firmly and without showing any mercy to teach everyone a lesson," Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts, said the judiciary should charge the leading "rioters" as being "mohareb" or one who wages war against God. "They should be punished ruthlessly and savagely," he said. Under Iran’s Islamic law, punishment for people convicted as "mohareb" is execution.
One must assume that Khatami is equating rioting against a corrupt President Ahmadinejad as waging war against God; surely a dangerous and heretical supposition, but then perhaps he is becoming fearful of his own position and, like a cornered snake, is prepared to come out fighting.
The fact that inflammatory words can be as destructive as weapons is not in doubt. Comments such as these will lead Iran into a bloody domestic conflict that will end in tears. The fact that these words can can come from a man of religion is even more worrying. If religious leaders promote violence, from a religious base that is supposed to preach tolerance - and by religious base I mean all religions - what hope will there ever be for the people of this world to live a life where differences are respected, where freedoms become the right of everybody, and where the ambitions of dictators are not allowed to flourish. I hope that Iran does not descend into more bloodshed on account of the words of mass destruction uttered by its supposed men of peace.