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Friday, October 20, 2006

Ahmadinejad threatens the free world. Isn't that cute?

The problem with the prevalent Western liberal attitude is that it cannot accept the existence of a fundamentally irrational player on the world scene. If one believes that all problems can be solved through negotiations, as the EU, UN and American Left do, then one must also believe that the other side is always rational and has the roughly same value system that you do.

So the head-in-the-sand crowd will always insist that if only we keep talking like civilized humans, the other side will act reasonably - because that's what we would do, and we are all the same under the skin, let's sing Kumbaya together in four-part harmony.

Ahmadinejad's outrageous pronouncements have become so commonplace that the Western press seems to be treating him more like an eccentric Kaddafi than a Hitler. Let's look at what is happening, just today:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday called the U.N. Security Council and its decisions "illegitimate."
Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands gathered at a pro-Palestinian rally in the capital Tehran Friday that “Israel no longer has a reason to exist, and will soon disappear. The Zionist regime, thank God, has lost all reason to exist”.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Europe on Friday it was stirring up hatred in the Middle East by supporting Israel and said it “may get hurt” if anger in the region boils over.

“You should believe that this regime (Israel) cannot last and has no more benefit to you. What benefit have you got in supporting this regime, except the hatred of the nations?” he said in a speech broadcast on state radio.

“We have advised the Europeans that the Americans are far away, but you are the neighbors of the nations in this region. We inform you that the nations are like an ocean that is welling up, and if a storm begins, the dimensions will not stay limited to Palestine, and you may get hurt,” he said.
"You imposed a group of terrorists ... on the region," he said, addressing the US and its allies. "It is in your own interest to distance yourself from these criminals... This is an ultimatum. Don't complain tomorrow."

"Nations will take revenge," he told a crowd of thousands gathered at a pro-Palestinian rally in the capital Teheran.

Iran, nearing a confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, has developed a missile called "Zelzad 1." Its namesake is a Koranic verse that tells of a conflagration which precipitates Judgment Day. The missile is emblazoned with the slogan: "We will trample America under our feet. Death to America."
The fasting people taking part in the rallies are chanting such slogans as "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" to express their hatred of the world hegemonic powers.
By the way, the last sentence was repeated verbatim in no less than 11 different articles from the Iranian press.

So, we have a man who is openly pursuing nuclear weapons, openly threatening the Western world and openly laughing while the EU and UN continues to try to "negotiate" with him, buying him all the time he needs to turn Iran into a superpower.

He also knows that by repeating his ideas about Israel and America over and over again, he will get gullible "open-minded" Westerners to eventually think, "Say, let's investigate if what he says is true." It is not a huge leap from Ahmadinejad's words to those of Walt and Mearsheimer.

Ahmadinejad's threats cannily exploit the Left's fear of conflict. If supporting Israel will inevitably lead to war, and war is to be avoided at all costs, then maybe it is better not to support Israel. All the pseudo-intellectual anti-Zionist rationalizations follow from the primal fear of conflict. The Left's antipathy towards Israel is not from naked anti-semitism nearly as much as out of this fear.

It is another variant of the century-old threat of the mythical "Arab street" which worked so effectively with Britain and its White Paper as to result in the deaths of untold thousands or millions.

Oh, we will talk a good game, saying how unacceptable it is for Iran's president to speak like this. But we won't actually do anything, just as we didn't do anything about North Korea despite a decade of warning.

Short-term self-interest of the West is the greatest ally that Ahmadinejad has.