There is something hypnotic about the 15th century painting by Hieronymus Bosch, The Ship of Fools.

The painting being very small, I used to use a magnifying glass to identify all of the secrets packed into it by the artist. The Ship of Fools hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris, and contains hints of gluttony, pride, defying God, complete disregard for reality if not utter contempt for it. As far as the fools on board the ship are concerned, only they themselves exist, they and the objects of their lust. Below in the deep river lurk the troubles, just a moment before they strike at the ship and sink it. It is clear that the people on board the ship, all of whom are strange to the extent that they border on the insane, have no idea what lies in store for them and their whimsical desires. They’ll find out soon enough.

The regime in Iran today is analogous to the ship of fools, in my opinion. The troubles afflicting it have already begun to break through the surface. Why do I believe this to be the case?

President Ahmadinejad, the head of the governmental establishment, has spoken too much. When we sting someone, the enjoyment we feel is cursory. Later we will the price for that, perhaps even years later. And Ahmadinejad spoke too much: against the Holocaust, Israel will disappear, against the reformists, against the United States, against Bush, against Europe, against Iran’s Persian past, against the Arabs, against homosexuals, against the economy, against Communism, against the Chinese-against nearly everyone. Everyone else is stupid, no one else understands, everyone else is wicked, only he is the true shining light of the world.

As long as the Revolution maintained a resounding silence, as was the case when Khomeini reigned, for example, it was respected out of fear. Today Ahmadinejad has exposed all of the flaws and weaknesses of the Revolution, which has babbled itself to death. It has lost the fear of the masses and the world. It appears now in the figure of a small, foolish man who is incapable of keeping his mouth shut at any opportunity. The man who believes that a halo began to appear around his head after his speech at the UN (that is what he told his confidants, and they admitted as much).

That is the rule: the more that is said, the more likely you are to suffer from verbal contretemps, insulting others, and general mistakes. The Iranian king of fools has gotten Iran and its regime into trouble-perhaps forever. Now is the time for payback.

Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind

The Iranian shah fell because his secret police killed hundreds of demonstrators. Every killed demonstrator encouraged the following day’s riots and the demonstrations. Khamenei and Ahmadinejad forgot that lesson, and they have authorized killing 32 liberal demonstrators thus far. The road taken by the Islamic revolution upward, climbing over the bodies of the people who were killed in the demonstrations, is going to be the same road as its slips downward. That which went up might come down in the very same way.

The Revolution in Iran seized territory and control of the state, but it completely ignored the technology of the Information Age. It rose to power thanks to the television, which controlled the world at the end of the 1970s, but it never became familiar with the internet. At most, it censored it-Google, Facebook, the text messages sent over cellular telephones. But it is the new technology that is bringing it down. The websites run by the opposition, the blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter. There is nothing like the thousands of young Iranians who are logged online for hours on end. Iran has one of the most hooked-up populations in the world, with tens of thousands of active bloggers.

The Revolution was confident that this was a virtual phenomenon, that those people didn’t truly exist, and that perhaps it was better that they blow off steam by means of the internet. The Islamic Revolution was wrong, and it is those websites that now are directing millions of people. They are enlisting, directing, collecting funds and won’t let things continue to be the way they were.

That is why I was surprised to see that the director of the Israeli Mossad had failed to understand that everything had changed in Iran and would never go back to being the way it used to be.

Is he like Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin who admitted that he doesn’t know how to send an email? Doesn’t he understand that it was technology that propelled the Islamic Revolution into power and that it’s technology that is likely to bring the very same Islamic Revolution down?

How did the regime in Iran dare to dismiss with such disdain, with the merest flick of the hand, with flaunting arrogance, the real results of the presidential elections? How did it dare? That was its hubris, the sin of pride. Ever since the downfall of Saddam Hussein, who balanced out and neutralized Iran, some people in Tehran came to feel as if they were the lords of the world. They’d gotten rid of Bush, they were in the process of taking over Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinians, and they would get Saudi Arabia in the future as well. They were the future, and they were its emissaries in the present. The sense of lordship in the Persian Gulf, in the world, the intoxication with the sense of power, led them to believe that they were the masters of the world and could do as they pleased.

Ahmadinejad, aware of the great scam, quickly announced that his victory was a “divine victory.” This immediately reminded us of another “divine victory,” one much closer to home. Now we too have skipped a heartbeat. How could we have been duped into believing Nasrallah’s vapid bragging? How was the Israeli public foolish enough to be taken in by Nasrallah’s lies?

What do we learn from all this?

That the whole Islamic Revolution was merely a scam? Devotion to God merely in order to seize control of the reins of power? In order to gain control over the masses? If the elections were from God, and the elections were a scam-what does that say about Khomeini’s revolution in its entirety? You understand. That is precisely why Hieronymus Bosch drew in the center of his painting a monk and a nun sitting together enjoying the pleasures of the flesh, irrespective of true religion and its spiritual aspects. They are at the center of the ship of fools.

The official Iranian media has barely mentioned the millions of people who have thronged to demonstrate in Tehran and other cities across the country. In dictatorships, whatever does not appear in the state media doesn’t actually exist. So were there demonstrations or weren’t there? If there were, who is the truth and who is the fiction here? The demonstrations that never existed or the Iranian media, which is more akin to science fiction? And we believed the photographs of the missiles, the centrifuges, the visits by Ahmadinejad in God knows what locations and all of the other lies. I already showed you in one of my previous articles on this website that you would do well were you not to believe a single word that comes out of Iran. It is a country run by Photoshop.

The Iranian aspiration to achieve nuclear weapons can’t be stopped, that’s a fact, said Ahmadinejad, invoking his usual superciliousness and unflappable self-confidence, which naturally conceals a profound fear. But as I wrote on this website previously, the attainment of nuclear weapons is a Sisyphean effort for the Iranians in which every effort that is made will only push off the achievement of their goal. It is clear today to the regime that the Iranian public will never accept complete isolation, such as the isolation that was imposed on North Korea. The fact of the matter is that millions of people poured out into the street to demonstrate over far less.

If that is the case, then perhaps real sanctions might stand a real chance of success, primarily in motivating the millions of people necessary to put an end to the isolation. It is interesting to note: when Arab states suffer from isolation and sanctions, the masses blame the West. In Iran the people aren’t ashamed to blame their own regime for the catastrophe. They aren’t afraid of self-criticism, which is a very good thing, of course.

The coercion, the disdain for everyone who is not a member of the regime, the arrogance, the sense of endless power, the mass conference titled “The world without Zionism” and the cartoons against the Holocaust-all of that led to an enormous amount of hubris, to the sense that they were the lords of the land. It was then that I realized: there is no difference between the Shah’s final days in power and the twilight of the Islamic regime in Iran, whose time is over. Back then the Shah and his confidants languished on an island and delighted themselves on the pleasures of life that were imported directly from Paris and Berlin. Today the senior regime officials, mainly from the Revolutionary Guards, sit back and delight themselves on the pleasures of life that are imported directly from Paris and Berlin.

The Shah funneled billions of petrol dollars out of the country; they funnel billions of petrol dollars out of the country. The Shah completely ignored his public and regarded it as a cow to be milked; the top regime figures today do the same, going so far as to steal the public’s voice-the ballots it cast in the elections. The Shah felt all-powerful, with tremendous military might (the sixth strongest army in the world!); today, too, the army generals say that there won’t be a revolution, we’re too strong. That is what the shah’s generals said as well.

The Iranian public sees and is appalled. It grit its teeth until it finally went into the streets-then and now as well.

They are so enamored with their imaginary might that they say with the flick of a finger: Israel will disappear, Hizbullah will be victorious, Hamas will control, the United States will collapse, Europe is sinking, the Islamic economy will defeat capitalism, we and we and we. Ahmadinejad is deserving of the same status as that of the president of the United States. Bragging, arrogance and intoxication so strong that he believes his regime has been given an angelic halo. Look at the person holding a knife at the helm: he is challenging the Master of the world in the heavens. By so doing, he is saying: I am the master of the world.

And for that haughtiness, that arrogance towards history and the world-those are all things that one ultimately has to pay for. [CREDIT TO ISRAEL NEWS TODAY FOR THE TRANSLATION]