Its first analysis is that Ahmadinejad wants turn back the clock to the 1979 Iranian revolution - and then the Times admits that Iranian unity didn't occur until the Iraq/Iran war, so that doesn't make sense.
Then the Times posits that he wants to isolate his country so he can more easily move Iran's nuclear program forward (why exactly he wants to do this, the Times doesn't explain). But if this was true, the Iranian "news" agency would not be bending over backwards to find allies who agree with him and to negotiate with Europe - see this, this, and this just from today. A significant part of Iran's press is obsessed over international relations.
And finally the august NYT contradicts it's own analysis yet again:
The anti-Israeli oratory also has roots in the president's domestic standing.And then a couple of paragraphs later,the NYT demolishes its own argument:
Some Iranian analysts say that by increasing the world's hostility, Mr. Ahmadinejad is hoping to reproduce that sense of internal unity.
Iranian analysts say he is also trying to satisfy, and perhaps distract, supporters who have begun to feel disappointed that he has not provided financial relief. Throughout his campaign, Mr. Ahmadinejad promised to try to redistribute the nation's vast oil wealth.
"His comments are more for domestic consumption," said Saeed Laylaz, an Iranian political analyst. "He wants to control the domestic situation through isolating Iran. Then he can suppress the voices inside the country and control the situation."
With Iran facing a raft of problems - widespread unemployment, collapse of rural life as more people head to the cities, and a general sense of drift among the young - Mr. Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel have drawn little domestic attention.So here we have three theories from "experts" where the NYT's own facts do not fit the theories, but amidst all the handwaving the reader gets the impression that Ahmadinejad has no interest in actually exploding nuclear weapons over any other country.
Here is a textbook case where liberal wishful thinking trumps facts.
The AP has a slightly better analysis, arguing that his anti-Israel and anti-semitic comments are"part of a strategy to keep anti-Israel sentiment alive in the Middle East." But even so, they uncritically quote an Iranian "hard-line lawmaker": "'The bottom line is he wants to keep anti-Israeli sentiments alive,' Afrouq said. 'He doesn't think of military action.' "
The real bottom line is that the media does not even want to admit the possibility that someone could be evil. This goes against all liberal thinking - no one is bad, just misunderstood.
No one outside of Charles Krauthammer mentions Ahmadinejad's messianic tendencies and his obsession with the second coming of the "12th Imam". No one wants to talk about how the year before his "World Without Zionism" conference he had a "World Without America" conference.
It appears to little old me, without reading Farsi, that Ahmadinejad is looking to move the center of the Islamic world to Iran - and his Islamic world is the of the Islamofascist variety. His threatening statements against Israel and the West are not meant for domestic consumption, rather for worldwide Muslims already being indoctrinated in hate against the West.
He does view the 1979 Iranian revolution as important because it was a victory of Islam over the decadent West, represented by the Shah. But Muslims look at it from a global perspective, not a national one. The surge of militant Islam is not a localized phenomenon. From an Islamist viewpoint, the entire world will become one ummah and a victory in Iran is just one step on the way to worldwide Islamic domination.
This is why the issue of "Palestine" is so important to him - it represents the closest encroachment of the hated West into the Muslim geographic center. But beyond that, the Westernization of Arab countries and Turkey are another threatening trend - witness his recent banning of Western music in Iran. By turning his country into a shari'a state, with the "pure" morality of Islam, Ahmadenijad is trying to influence and pressure other Muslim nations towards fundamentalism and zealotry. And he knows that he has a ready audience in Arab countries. His being elected president has, to him, given him a world stage to promote Shi'ite Islamic supremacy as interpreted by his religious leaders - and he is wasting no time to take advantage of his new prominence.
After all, as I have mentioned before, Holocaust denial is nothing new in that part of the world. But when was the last time it made world headlines?
Ahmadinejad wants nothing less than to turn the world to Islamic extremism, and to be its leader. Threatening Israel can get attention - but destroying Israel would give him a legacy as well as energize the entire Muslim world behind his cause.
Because in the end, given a choice between the most liberal and Arab-loving Israel that Meretz could dream up and a crazed trigger-happy Muslim nutcase, the Islamic world has consistently sided with the nutcases.