Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

At the latest U.N. conference, Iran's President again said he 'doubted' the holocaust occurred, and called Israel racist. Clearly he's pretty crazy, but I think his latest moves outline that we clearly need to start talking with him. He's said he's excited to talk with America in a civilized manner again and would be willing to bring concessions to his development programs in order to appease the rest of the world if it means beneficial and fiscal changes come to Iran and it's people. What a revelation!

That in and of itself is encouraging, but the three most encouraging and pleasingly startling aspects of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are: 1) He has called the Iranian imprisonment of an innocent Iranian-American journalist from America INSANE and that she must be freed and deserves a fair and full trial with Americans present. 2) He has blamed the world's financial mess on the US (it was our fault, c'mon, admit it, people), but said he believes we are 'genuinely apologetic' about the situation and are 'working as tireless sages' to fix it. Those are some pretty strong and seemingly un-quarrelsome words, especially coming from someone who so many refer to as 'the new Hitler.' 3) And finally, he believes American capitalism is the 'norm' for so many European and Western countries, while socialism remains prevalent in Eastern countries, but believes that if the world can become more stable and unfaltering because of this, then he will be a supporter so long as (and this is a direct quote), "all countries are considered more or less equals and given the opportunity to sit at the table as a friend and fellow person."

All right, so he's clearly crazy. We know this. But look at some of the glimmers of hope in what he's said. It is encouraging and thought-provoking. Has he turned a corner? Realized America is an enemy, but can also be an ally? Is he willing to concede that a nuclear (nu-clear not nuc-u-lur) war would destroy his country and annihilate him? Is he willing to not attack Israel so long as it does not attack his country? And finally, is he willing to place politics as the coat at the back of his chair and sit down to eat with UN leaders and express gratitude, praise and hope? I surely hope so.

We need an open dialogue with him and other tyrannical leaders, including Chavez and Kim Jong Il. We can't embrace him and praise him obviously, as so long as he makes threats against other countries he's a 'terrorist,' but we can calm him and work with him.

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