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Public Service Announcement The Register regrets to report that the world is about to end. It seems that Iran is going to attack Israel today, 22 August, with nuclear weapons, and initiate World War III, as famous Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis explains in his recent Wall Street Journal editorial.

"...confrontation seems to be looming between a nuclear-armed Iran and its favorite enemies, named by the late Ayatollah Khomeini as the Great Satan and the Little Satan, i.e., the United States and Israel," the professor says.

"A direct attack on the US, though possible, is less likely in the immediate future. Israel is a nearer and easier target, and [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad has given indication of thinking along these lines."

Naturally, this would result in a catastrophic attack on Iran. As for why the Iranians might wish to commit genosuicide, Lewis explains that they're just funny that way: "The threat of direct retaliation on Iran is...weakened by the suicide or martyrdom complex that plagues parts of the Islamic world today, without parallel in other religions, or for that matter in the Islamic past."

Besides, it's been ordained by scripture. "In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time - Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon - and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced."

The professor has read between the lines, and discovered the optimum date for the end of human civilization. "This year, August 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque,' usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel, and, if necessary, of the world."

So, that's it then. We would like to thank our readers for their many emailed comments, flames, and death threats. We've certainly enjoyed our years of keeping you informed and entertained, but all good things must come to an end.

On the bright side, there's no better time for saying goodbye to the world than just as the mainstream press is gearing up to inundate us with speculation regarding the death of JonBenet Ramsey, from broadcast locations in Boulder, Colorado. That we will be spared Greta Van Susteren's daily musings about what might or might not have happened, surely, must prove the existence of a loving and merciful God.

And so we prepare to meet Him with joy and gratitude. ®

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