Donnerstag, Mai 18, 2006

Mad Dogs and Iranians...

...out in the noonday sun.


Ahmadineschad rejects the offer of the EU before it is even made as a pathetic sop and an insult to Iran.

Do we see a pattern building here? Ahmadineschad has the external boogeyman that he needs to maintain his internal power plays, of suppressing alternatives, increasing control and a general extension of Islamist control over Iranian society. I've now seen estimates that Ahmadineschad can only count on 15%-20% of the populace for direct and unequivocal support, and oddly enough this 15%-20% basically controls the county as is.

Regardless of what the EU or the UN will offer, it will be ridiculed and rejected out of hand.


Because Ahmadineschad needs to be able to do this, be able to "show up" the West. All he needs to do is start strutting and preening, and add a few pounds so that he doesn't merely act, but also looks like Mussolini.

This is the Iranian tactic: buy time, buy time, buy time. Ridicule your opponent and make yourself appear to be the paramount of reason and the epitome of the cultured, wise leader, your external opponents will fall over themselves trying to get on your good side and your internal opponents will be severely weakened as well. "Standing up to the West" is guaranteed to get the attention of the populace, one that has been inculcated in blaming the West for their decline (Islam and Mossadegh), one that has been taught that the problems the country is facing are not domestic problems, home made problems, but are instead the result of a conspiracy to deny Iran its rightful place in the world of nations and scheme of things, to deny Iran the same status as a great power.

Because Ahmadineschad and Co. believe that this is Iran's proper position, as *the* dominant power in the Gulf region. Not merely that this is something they'd like on an abstract sort of level, but more fundamentally that the Persian Empire needs to be reborn and that Persian dominance of the region is a god-given right, as it were, so that the benevolant dictator - Ahmadineschad - can exercise the power that Iran has as the principle center of Islamism.

In other words, he's behaving like the Germans and the Italians did in the late 1930s: bluff and see how far the stupid bourgeois, corrupt and incompetent, will allow power to be seized on the flimsiest of pretexes.

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