Ahmadine-who?

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

These days, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the new Anbar: If you haven't heard of him, you just may be spending your time under a rock... an even bigger one than the one that shielded you from Anbar news. He made huge waves last week with statements like, "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals, like in your country. We don't have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon." In the past, he's questioned whether the Holocaust actually happened, and argued Israel's conflict with Palestine stems from misplaced blame for that horrific era. So how much does a world leader with such (Scary? Laughable? Extreme?) views matter? He's more of a figurehead in Iran than a leader, though few would dispute that Iran itself definitely does matter... What do you think?

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I think Ahmadinejad has been very effective driving up oil prices and the subsequent revenue has propped up an unpopular regime.

Sent by scot | 2:25 PM | 10-1-2007

By attacking Ahmadinejad the way they are, the US and Israel only drum up sympathy for him at home. He is very unpopular in Iran. So all this talk of evil and regime change, etc. only serves to unite the Iranians behind a platform of nationalism (we still remember 1953 and the CIA coup against Mossadeq). So long as the US turns a blind eye to other countries' nuclear programs (including Israel's) while fighting Iran on it, and so long as it unconditionally supports Israel (not its existence, which should be supported unconditionally, but its policies, particularly in relation to the Palestinians), all the US is really doing is giving ammunition to opportunists like Ahmadinejad. He has failed to deliver on his campaign promise of economic reform and life is difficult in Iran, but the US is creating excuses for Ahmadinejad to shirk his internal affairs responsibilities and play an Asian Chavez.(And please keep in mind that criticism of Israeli policy is NOT synonymous with anti-Semitism, no matter what anyone says.)

Sent by Sammi Malek | 2:34 PM | 10-1-2007

Ahmadinajad declared the US and the CIA are terrorists organizations. If you look at the comments on this post on Digg.com, there are many people who agree with that statement.

Sent by Amy | 2:34 PM | 10-1-2007

Ahmadinejad is far more important as and example of an epidemic in this world of politicians in power, who are totally disconnected from reality, than he is as an individual. Other examples include: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Hugo Chavez, the members of the Burmese Junta, and many more.
This epidemic may be the result of many things, but it must be a symptom of a serious mental illness of the world population at large.
These people could not be in power without the acquiescence of millions of citizens.

Sent by William McDavid | 5:07 PM | 10-1-2007

I would agree with the John Mueller, the author of "Overblown" (as in The War on Terror) who refers to Ahmadinejad and others of his ilk (Castro, Noriega, Saddam Hussein, etc.) as a "devil du jour". He believes, and I agree, that we who live in the U.S. devote much more time to them than they deserve.

Sent by John McGinnis | 5:12 PM | 10-1-2007

What do I think about Ahmadinejad? I
think he's a little jerk with a big
mouth. Does he really believe the things
he says? Nah, I think he is like these
radio talk show hosts - spouting rot to
get a reaction.

Sent by charles odell | 5:45 PM | 10-1-2007

In a poll I saw recently on the BBC website, the US was the second least trusted country, as viewed by people around the world. Iran was number 1. In our face-off with Iran, are we looking in a mirror? Our government exhibits the same intransigeance as Ahmadinejad, and is known to have used nuclear weapons. Coincidence?

Sent by Marcia Marvin | 6:31 PM | 10-1-2007

Sure you don't have homosexuals, YOU KILL THEM. they are so deep into the closet that the SHOES dont even know they're there

Sent by tim | 7:02 PM | 10-1-2007

I grew up in pakistan. We didnt discuss sexuality on TV that includes contraceptives, homosexuality, teenage pregnancy. Irani leader did not know how to react to this question. this is a cultural miscommunication

Sent by Ariba | 1:29 PM | 10-2-2007