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Friday, March 03, 2006

Ahmadinejad isn't Iran any more than Bush is the US

Maybe less so, according to Chris Floyd:
First of all, Ahmadinejad's malevolent blather does not represent the entirety of the Iranian people--or even the entirety of the Iranian government, as even a cursory examination of current Tehran politics shows--any more than George W. Bush and his rapacious gang of cronies and cranks represents the entirety of the American people. (Although at the moment, Bush has far greater control over the American government than Ahmadinejad has in Iran.)

Second, and perhaps most importantly, it is highly unlikely that Ahmadinejad would have ever been elected president if Bush and his crony-cranks had not relentlessly and ruthlessly undercut every attempt by the moderate government of Khatami to forge a new relationship between Iran and the United States. The greatest opportunity came after September 11, of course, when Iran sought to help the US break al Qaeda, a common enemy that threatened both nations. But Bush and his circle, as we now know, were not interested in breaking al Qaeda or fighting terrorism; they were interested in "establishing a military footprint" in Iraq, as part of a wide-ranging plan to "project dominance" over the energy resources of the Middle East and Central Asia, while fomenting "creative destruction" throughout the region, in the belief that when the resultant rivers of blood had at last subsided, there would be a series of obedient client regimes installed in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere--including, in the dreams of some of the crankiest cronies, new, even more obedient American satraps in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Floyd's excellent article includes quotes from Khatami and the Iranian press refuting Ahmadinejad's more outrageous statements. A sample:
"The persecution of Jews, just like Nazism, is a Western phenomenon. In the east, we have always lived side by side with them. And we follow a religion that states that the death of an innocent person is the death of all of humanity," Khatami said

Ahmadinejad also came under attack from the prominent and centrist Shargh newspaper, which complained that "the Holocaust has, as wished for by the president, become a topic of our foreign policy. The Jewish question was never a problem for Iran or Islam, and is a Christian-European problem," the paper argued. "Don't we have enough with the nuclear question, human rights, free elections and political in-fighting, so do we need to add another problem to that?" it said, saying Iran would be better off "thinking of the creation of a Palestinian state rather than the destruction of Israel."
Not to brag (much), but I saw this coming almost three years ago:
Iran poses a dilemma for the Bushies: no single autocratic leader to demonize. The country is run by a combination of democratically-elected secular leaders and Islamic clerics. I get the feeling that Bush is hoping for a revolution to overthrow the existing government not because it is so bad, but because it isn't bad enough. Another Iranian revolution might generate a Saddam-type figure on whom the Bushies could focus hatred, eventually leading to Bush's next fix for his war addiction.
Why does this no-good simpleton rich boy get everything he wants?