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Iran, the Paper Tiger

youknowwho

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/opinion/12iht-edcohen.html

I thought this is a realistic and honest assessment of the current situation.
it's a short but interesting article.


LONDON — I had breakfast last month in New York with the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Other journalists had lunch or dinner. Ahmadinejad’s passion for the hidden Imam, whose imminent return he expects, is matched only by his passion for Western media.

At the time I chose not to write about the meeting. I was too disgusted — by the media merry-go-round, by more incendiary provocations from Ahmadinejad, and by the sterility of an Iran debate that turns in the tight circle formed by fear-mongering, ignorance and the ghastly stew of Western carrots and sticks.

Ahmadinejad is a one-trick pony. His thing is double standards. Ask about the Iranian nuclear program, he’ll retort with Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal. Ask about Iran’s economic difficulties, he’ll see you with September 2008. Ask about rampant capital punishment, he’ll raise you a Texas. Ask about Iranian lying, he’ll counter with human rights and Abu Ghraib.

Not surprisingly, in Fareed Zakaria’s “post-American world,” he has an audience. He’s adept enough, with a touch of Tony Curtis in “The Boston Strangler,” switching personalities with eerie ease.

Throw in some headline-grabbing lunacy — 9/11 as self-inflicted, or the Holocaust as invention, or “Iran is the freest country in the world” — and you have a post-modern media star and villain.

And what do all his words amount to? I’d say not a whole lot beyond unnecessary misery for 71 million isolated Iranians. This guy is all hat and no cattle.

Ahmadinejad is odious but I don’t think he’s dangerous. Some people do of course find him dangerous, especially in the Israel he gratuitously insults and threatens, and yet others — many more I’d say — find it convenient to find him dangerous.

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