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September 24, 2007

More, More, More Pelley

This exchange is fairly funny:

PELLEY: President Bush has pledged that you will not be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon and will use military force if necessary.

AHMADEINEJAD: I think Mr. Bush, if he wants his party to win the next election, there are cheaper ways and ways to go about this. I can very well give him a few ideas so that the people vote for him. He should respect the American people. They should not bug the telephone conversations of their citizens. They should not kill the sons and daughters of the American nation. They should not squander the taxpayers' money and give them to weapons companies. And also help the people, the victims of Katrina. People will vote for them if they do these things....I'm a Muslim. I cannot tell a lie. I am supposed to tell the truth. What I'm saying is that President Bush's conduct in Iraq is wrong. And his wrong conduct is behind his party losing the previous elections. This is very clear. The American people are very much dismayed with the behavior and the conduct of the present administration. They are not dismayed with Iran. In fact, the two nations are very close to one another.

Say what you will about Ahmadinejad's intentions, but that's a fairly good read of contemporary American politics.

September 24, 2007 | Permalink


Great, now the Republicans have another stick to beat Democrats with!

Posted by: al-Anon | Sep 24, 2007 12:07:32 PM

I don't think he's giving a particular "good" read of contemporary American politics. I think he's merely saying what is reality to any casual observer of what is going on in the USA. Simply because the Beltway press doesn't acknowledge any of it doesn't make Ahmadenejad particularly insightful for pointing it out.

This is much like "what do you admire about Bush?" / "Well, I admire him because he's nice to his dog."

Ahmadenejad isn't being insightful for stating the obvious and being more clueful than a Beltway reporter-- you're supposed to do that anyway.

Posted by: Tyro | Sep 24, 2007 12:10:41 PM

From the mouth of the Iranian President, this conventional read of American politics is a way of suggesting, rather forcefully, that the propaganda wave against Iran is concocted by Bush for domestic political reasons. That's the deeper truth, here, which ought to get our intention.

That Bush lied the U.S. into Iraq is conventional wisdom, too, but it does not seem to inhibit, oh, say, HRC, from climbing on board the same propaganda wagon with regard to Iran.

The U.S. takes a hostile view toward Iran, and a friendly view toward Saudi Arabia, for highly questionable reasons, which suggest deep-seated corruption.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder | Sep 24, 2007 12:59:39 PM

that's a fairly good read of contemporary American politic

Oh big whoop. Your average third world subsistence farmer has a keen grasp of what's going on in the U.S. when compared to, say, David Broder.

Posted by: calling all toasters | Sep 24, 2007 1:15:21 PM

Poor conclusion, as usual.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 24, 2007 3:35:56 PM

if there is a bigger Bush toady somewhere than Pelley someone should point him out. Giuliani is for making anti-Petraeus talk illegal; how about Pelley reporting being illegal too?

Posted by: della Rovere | Sep 24, 2007 3:47:25 PM

What happened to the liberal bullshit detectors? They are busted to the American left or the Persian right.

Not for Ezra, only the commenters: I would expect a reporter to ask some tough questions that permit the subject to answer claims of his adversaries. You all have some difficulty seprating the reporter's views (whatever they are) from his role.

Posted by: slickdpdx | Sep 24, 2007 7:25:17 PM

I think Ahmadinejad's last comment is particularly illuminating. I studied with Dr. Shaul Bakhash at George Mason University (thank god Haleh is home safe) and one of the things I left his class with was an understanding that the Iranian people and the American people actually are quite close culturally and philosophically. Even though it's presumably illegal, Tehran has quite a few satellite dishes bringing down the latest in American culture. Until our latest provocations it was hard to get a crowd together to shout "Death to America" anymore. The Iranian people have problems with our government (starting with our assistance in the overthrow of Mossadegh) but they don't hate the American people. Hell, their government really isn't that different from ours. Their "Supreme Court" just happens to interpret Sharia rather than a Constitution. If Sharia is the problem, what's with our good relations with Saudi Arabia? If it's the unelected religious court -- well there's a little bit of that in our nation too -- we call it the Supreme Court. At least their "Supreme Court" hasn't thrown out popular election results.

And just to throw it out there -- while I know this is not a crowd to favor military action against Iran anyways -- do we really want to try to attack a nation that fought Iraq for 10 years to a draw? I don't see that working well for us or the world. Yes, Iran's government does some horrible things. Many governments do, and we're not busting for war with them. Yes' Iran's government seems to be at least casually interested in nuclear weapons, but there are other nations with nuclear weapons -- India got to break the NPT and still get special status with the US.

It does our credibility no favors to continue to play these games. Today, Ahmadinejad looked (to me, and I'm notably wrong on many things) saner than the Americans attacking him. That can't be a good thing if he's the root of all evil as we're told.

Posted by: James Hare | Sep 24, 2007 8:13:15 PM

Although I agree that Persians are great people, the government of Iran is a nightmare far beyond the concerns often expressed about Bush. The carnage in Iran is largely the result of Iranian, not American foreign policy, but I don't see much concern about that here.

All this fawning over Ahmadinejad's commentary is unseemly.

Posted by: slickdpdx | Sep 24, 2007 8:32:32 PM

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