Mahmood Ahmadinejad vs. Mike Wallace
I watched Mike Wallace's interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with great interest. If the interview were a boxing match, the Iranian President won in a blow out. This is more a comment on Ahmadinejad's skill, however, than a slap at Wallace. In Wallace's defense, as a guest in Tehran interviewing the President of Iran, he has an obligation to treat the man with a certain amount of deference and respect.
But Wallace really isn't the point here. He deserves credit for just scoring the interview. In all likelihood Ahmadinejad is going to have a profound effect on what happens on the world stage these next five years and Wallace's interview was a chance to at least gather more information on this very pivotal figure.
I found the interview itself quite disturbing. Much has been written about the similarities between today and the 1930's in relation to appeasing Ahmadinejad and Iran, but there was something about the man's demeanor and appearance that I found eerily similar to Adolf Hitler. In the late 1920's and early '30's Hitler was written off as a sort of silly looking rabble rouser by the real powers behind the scenes in Weimer Germany. Even as late as January 1933 when Hitler assumed the Chancellorship, much of the German "establishment" thought that he could be controlled. They were, of course, wrong.
We see similar stories today, speculating on how Ahmadinejad is really just a pawn used to placate the masses and really doesn't have control and/or make the actual decisions in Iran. We'll see.
I found his answers to Wallace extremely cunning, crafty and dangerous. You can almost hear Hitler spouting out "grievances" of the Sudentland Germans and the Germans in Danzig when you hear Ahmadinejad take up for the Palestinians, Lebanese, and Iraqis. Granted, Hitler controlled one of the most powerful and advanced societies in the world by the late-1930's, and Ahmadinejad's Iran is far lower on the scale as a threat to project force. However, Ahmadinejad is making a play in many ways to speak for the world's one billion "aggrieved" Muslims, where Hitler only professed to speak on behalf of a mere 100 million Germans.
The solutions here are obviously not easy. No one wants war with Iran or, for that matter, war with a billion Muslims.
This morning the New York Times editorial page unhelpfully seeks to blame the Bush Administration for this growing crisis, insinuating that if only the United States had played nicer with other countries around the world this problem would magically not exist. The Times is utterly naïve and delusional as to what it might take to neutralize Ahmadinejad, but unfortunately their approach and mindset represents the mainstream thinking of most of our allies.
The truth is the relentless advance of technology will make it utterly impossible to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons at some point in the future, no matter what we do. Given that we cannot change the fact that Iran will gain nuclear weapons, if they want them, the serious policy needs to be towards changing the Iranian regime and its current President.......before it is too late.