Friday, April 14, 2006

The madman of Tehran

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is completely crazy. Just in case you weren't quite sure, consider this: According to the AP, the Iranian president today declared that Israel is "heading toward annihilation," a "permanent threat," and "a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm".

One storm? As in a nuclear one?

I've recently argued (see here and here) that non-military options need to be considered in response to the Iranian nuclear crisis and that a window of opportunity now exists for such options to be pursued. But, clearly, we're dealing with a madman here. I'm still hopeful that a potentially disastrous military strike can be averted, disastrous in terms of the repercussions throughout the Muslim world, and it may very well be that Ahmadinejad's fiery comments were intended largely for domestic consumption, but the prospect of Iran with a nuclear bomb, with a madman at the helm, and with Israel as a prime target is truly worrisome.

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9 Comments:

  • If we dont nuke Iran like now we all could be dead in a few years.

    By Blogger Wally Banners, at 4:25 PM  

  • I'm reluctant to discount Ahmadinejad's barbaric statements, but I think you have to look at his audience. Rhetoric is often a way to shore up his revolutionary and radical credentials. Of course, the fact that this would work in Iran is disturbing, but I think you have to be cautious about assuming (1) that Admadinejad has complete freedom of action, and (2) that his rhetoric reflects his actual intentions, and (3) that Iran is a monolithic political culture.

    He is certainly a scary son of a bitch and, I suspect, he is scaring a lot of Iranians. But I would not simply write him off as an insane fool. As the first George Bush used to say, we need to keep our powder dry, especially since, at this point, Iran is really not a major threat to anyone.

    By Anonymous Marc Schneider, at 4:43 PM  

  • Except he's not in charge. The man in charge in Iran ever since Khomeini died is Ali Khamanei, especially in foreign policy and security, and certainly in terms of Iran's nuclear policy.

    By Blogger Tequila, at 5:16 PM  

  • Ahmadinejad is trying to goad the U.S. into an attack. This would rally the Iranian population behind him (the guy is not popular at all), and it would precipite a Shia revolt in Iraq.

    Since Bush is as insane and as politically without scruples as Ahmadinejad, I am afraid that he'll respond to the challenge.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:03 PM  

  • Ahmadinejad plays a smart, though risky, political game. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:06 PM  

  • The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, propose to the international community that the state of israel is moved to Europe, particularly in Germany and Austria, continent and countries where from originates the majority of the inhabitants of israel, rather than the middle east, its current location, where obviously, it never has been integrated with the local populations.
    This proposal stands to reason and contrasts with the insane idea to establish a Jewish state in the middle of Arab populations. One would have liked that it was considered a few tens of years behind, at the time where the situation with the middle East was not as degraded as it is it now and where the plan of occupation of the Palestinian territories (colonization) was less advanced. It would have been possible to organize the return of the Jews in their countries of origin as returned the other deportees of Europe there. One cannot sees indeed why the Arab populations of Palestine must support the Israeli occupation whereas the persons who caused Jewish persecutions are not originating in these regions! It is completely absurd and unjust and the argument of the Iranian president is from this point of view, unstoppable.
    Now, the conclusions he draws from that are debatable, to wish the end of israel is not the solution, as to wish the end of Palestinian by colonizing them is not either. His remarks have the merit to draw the attention on the slow genocide of the Palestinian people. The occident believed it could get rid of the Jewish problem by putting it on the back of arab populations. What a historical error! Even if arabs living after the war were more flexible than those nowadays, it were certainly the worst idea of the century to establish them in an environment which was to them in all points foreign.
    Then, is it possible to put things in order and to put an end to this population transplant against nature? Undoubtedly, one will need a voluntarist policy of the international community which must act confronted to the failure of the state of israel. Counting on the deterioration of the situation does not lead to anything, one does not make people bend when they defend their territory, the Israelis learned it at their expense and American in Iraq too.
    The Israelis are in front of a wall, they created places of concentration for the Palestinian population to control the one they could not deport, and don’t know what to do now. A situation which should be familiar for them but that they seem to discover each day so much the improvisation of their actions is striking, without pun. They cannot from now on live any more without their enemy. The enemy is necessary. He justifies the use of the force, he legitimates the expansion of the colonies, he replaces any discussion. There never was negotiation between israel and Palestine, only confrontation, the invasion of Palestine carried in germ a final tragedy, and it will be tragic.

    By Blogger Astral, at 5:54 AM  

  • As we should've asked in Iraq, it boils down to this question: wwcpd? (What would colin Powell do?) A reasonable man who was systematically excluded the first time around, he should be the person that Bush consults. It'll never happen, of course, but it's a nice thought.

    By Blogger cakreiz, at 11:14 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:48 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:35 AM  

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