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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Iranian boogeyman?

So I have watched bits and pieces of the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad address at Columbia yesterday and I have to say that the Iranian President is quite the rambling buffoon. Really, his remarks ran all over the place, swinging wildly from the bizarre to the patently untrue to the completely absurd and fantastical. He nearly brought the house down by saying, "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country". Dana Milbank covers most of the highlights here but suffice it to say, Ahmadinejad’s performance revealed a stunningly ignorant blowhard. For all of his posturing and demagoguery, there appears to be very little substance or intellectual discipline to the man.

Contrast his bumbling randomness with the commanding, focused presence of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. Khomeini was a convincing menace. By comparison, Ahmadinejad looks like a dullard who buys his suits off the rack from J.C. Penney’s, the Frank Drebin of Middle Eastern autocrats. Were it not for the fact that he is in charge of a potential nuclear threat, he would be hard to take seriously. It was so bad that Columbia’s President, Lee Bollinger, concluded the debate thusly, “Today I feel all the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for."

Sounds about right to me.


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