Commentary Magazine


Contentions

The Modest Mahdist

If a foreign regime harbors terrorists, the United States will view that regime as a terrorist entity. But if you’ve done time as a terrorist yourself and harbored other terrorists, you’ll be treated like a visiting academic. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, currently overseeing military operations against American troops, is now enjoying his third Autumn in New York. To put this in perspective, remember that Cat Stevens couldn’t get into the U.S. for a few years because he changed his name to Yusuf Islam. Is it any wonder Iran fails to take American power seriously?

When Ahmadinejad was in New York last year, he spoke at Columbia University where the university’s president called him names and where he himself said crazy things like there are no homosexuals in Iran. Americans were supposed to be happy about the way things worked out, as Ahmadinejad was revealed as a loony leader hanging onto reality by a slender thread. But the only result of that trip was that Ahmadinejad learned about the Western concept of message discipline. This is from the indispensable MEMRI website:

Iranian sources told the Saudi daily Al-Watan that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statements will be less harsh during his expected visit to the U.S. than they have been in the past.

Parliamentary National Security Committee chairman Alaa Al-Din Boroujerdi even said that Iran was capable of maintaining parliamentary relations with the U.S. Congress.

No doubt, some members of the U.S. Congress agree. Nancy Pelosi, in particular, has credited the success of America’s troop surge to the “goodwill of the Iranians” and said she sees “an opening” for common ground in Ahmdinejad’s recent statements about the U.S. Plainly, the Iranian president is gunning for a relationship with Pelosi and the more ridiculous members of her party. After he addresses the UN General Assembly tomorrow with his toned-down message of peace and diplomacy, look for a statement from Pelosi about a new chapter in U.S.-Iran relations. There are those who claim Ahmadinejad’s chronic brazenness is the result of his not understanding the West. But he understands the West perfectly.



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