Ahmadinejad and Bush
November 4, 2005
The two men could not be more different in almost all respects. But they do have a thing or two in common. For example, they both represent the worst of their country's nature.
Under President Bush, America has become known as an international bully, a nation engaged in torture and humiliation, a friend of the powerful, and an enemy of the weak- hardly the stuff America was founded on, and has been known around the world for.
I remember one Italian friend's story of his father fate at the end of World War II. His grandfather had advised his son to look for American GI's to surrender to, because they would treat him humanely. Now, for decades to come, perhaps generations, Americans will be thought of as torturers.
I remember laughing at an English newspaper's headline after Bush was re-elected: "HOW CAN 59,054,087 PEOPLE BE SO DUMB?"
We can wonder the same way about the people who elected Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This man is completely un-Iranian. The policies he stands for, and the underlying values they represent, are foreign to Iran and Iranians.
It is not any part of our culture or traditions, going back at least 2,500 years, to wish for any people or country to be wiped off the face of the Earth. We simply would not have survived in a diverse neighborhood like the Middle East if we were this intolerant. He is no kinder to his enemies inside the country either, always favoring violence as the first option to deal with problems.
Asked about the demise of the Iranian stock market in the past few months, his reply was, "If it had been possible to hang a couple of people, the Tehran stock exchange would already have been put in order". These values are foreign to me as an Iranian.
Another thing these two men have in common is that they are both supported by religion and the religious, and they both consider themselves to be doing God's work.
I seriously doubt either man represents his nation well, let alone his God.
One good thing about leaders like this, who misrepresent their country's values, is that they awaken their own citizenry, and hasten the day when people reclaim their heritage and identity.