There aren’t too many world leaders more atheistic in their worldview than Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. That’s why a statement he issued last week while meeting with Iranian Health Minister Mohammad Farhadi is bizarre, ominous and deserving of a little attention.

Castro praised the vision of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and said the Koranic model of government should be considered as a substitute for Western-style systems.

Fidel pointed out that Khomeini had predicted the fall of Communism in a letter to then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

“A world order based on the Koranic model, which was proposed by Imam Khomeini as a substitute for Western models of state administration, must figure in the agenda of every future forum for alternative world orders,” said Castro. He added: “We also have a common enemy that always threatens us — an enemy that has invaded all the countries of the world.”

Guess who Castro is talking about. That’s right, “the Great Satan.”

Has Castro suddenly found religion? Don’t bet on it. This man’s faith has always been in power and power alone. So why is he courting Iran, the leading proponent of Islamic militancy in the world?

Castro has provided the answer — a common enemy. The Islamic world knows it will never be strong enough, by itself, to overthrow the existing world order where Western materialism reigns supreme. But it could challenge that status quo with the right alliances.

One has to wonder, if a hardened Stalinist like Castro is ready to embrace the Islamic political system, how far off is a complete alliance between the world’s other socialist, totalitarian regimes and the Muslim world.

How much trouble could the “world’s lone remaining superpower” have, for instance, if China and the Arab world form an axis? Or, even more likely, if Russia’s brief experiment with democracy fails and its already close ties with Islam grow tighter?

All this brings to mind another story that broke in the establishment press last week — the fact that Iran is already armed with nuclear weapons. While this fact has actually been one of the worst-kept secrets in the world among those who observe such geo-strategic issues, the confirmation ought to serve as a wake-up call to the sleeping West.

Where did Iran get its nuclear weapons? It bought them from former Soviet states. Russia, meanwhile, continues to aid Tehran in the development of nuclear reactors and technology, which, one day, will allow Iran to produce its own bombs. China, as we are learning, continues to assist Iran with its missile-guidance technology.

What do all of these countries have in common? A common enemy.

Castro’s biggest regret in life is that Soviet nuclear weapons were turned away from his island police state during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He and his political right hand at the time, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, believed such an arsenal was the only way to achieve parity with the “Yankees.”

Fidel is an aging despot. He’s nearing the end of his life. He is even beginning to talk about a transition of power to his younger brother, Raul. But would his life really be complete if he were to die without seeing his arch-enemy, the United States of America, brought to its knees?

Iran only has two targets in mind for its small, but growing, nuclear arsenal — Israel and the United States. If Castro’s terrorist agents could help deliver one of those bombs to one of those two targets, is there any doubt Tehran would go along with the plan?

The greatest external challenge facing the United States today and for the foreseeable future is this growing alliance between China, Russia and the radical Islamic world. The greatest internal threat to the United States is the kind of moral and spiritual decay that is leading our nation toward defenselessness.

Now does Castro’s fawning over Iran begin to make a little more sense?

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