Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ahmadinejad

Although I usually agree with Bull Moose, there are times when I don’t even know where he is coming from. This is one of those times. In a recent post, he compared President Ahmadinejad to Hitler. While the verdict is definitely still out, I don’t really see any connection at this point in time (besides some anti-Israeli comments). The Iranian government is not showing any desire to add to its territory, nor does it have any policies segregating minorities.

The fact is that the article that the Moose links to, suggesting how Ahmadinejad is consolidating power, is being misrepresented. That article actually talks about how Iran is finally talking with one voice right now. Although the article says that Ahmadinejad’s power is increasing, it isn’t really clear whether he is taking it from the clerics, or whether they are giving him some room to move because they are mostly on the same page.

The situation in Iran right now is really interesting. President Ahmadinejad and the clerics have some difficult situations in front of them. Their economy is at a low, unemployment is high, and ethnic tensions are growing. If this continues, the public faith in their government could deteriorate. At the same time, the article mentioned above suggests that the government is talking with one voice and indicating that it wants direct talks with the US.

With those conditions present, there is reason to believe that Iran is serious about some sort of normalized relations with the US. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that they will want to use the image of the American devil to create a common enemy for Iranians and divert attention away from their own problems. I still would recommend direct talks, even if they are only brief, to see which is their real goal.

And this is why I don’t agree at all with linking Ahmadinejad to Hitler. It is way too soon to even see what his real intentions are. At times he comes off as conservative as the clerics, but other times he seems to favor granting more rights to women and helping out the nation’s poor. I don't recommend giving him a nuke, but we should at least see how weak he is and how badly he wants to talk.