I find it nauseatingly hilarious that the media and world governments are so smitten by Ahmadinejad. The fascination they have with an insignificant little man they somehow have attached to, and think actually represents Iran, simply because has the title of “President”, is simply astounding.
Let’s be honest first, and then we can be frank. To be honest, the President of Iran is mostly ceremonial. Unlike most countries, Iran’s military does not report to the President. Iran’s military (along with all revolutionary guard, security and police forces) reports to the Supreme Leader. Not only does Ahmadinejad not lead the military, but he can’t even fix your parking ticket! So forget about setting or implementing foreign policy. This is not the guy. The president of Iran is also not popularly nominated. (we’ll get to the election in a sec) Candidates are nominated by yet another council but ultimately the Supreme Leader picks them out of his sweaty turban. So the reason why Ahmadinejad looks like a castrated lapdog on a leash, is because he actually is one. Once the candidates are picked by the SL, an election is held. Yes it looks like a real election. Except here too it doesn’t quite meet international or even common friendly poker game standards. The government conducts the election, usually with the revolutionary guards to prevent “disarray” or to “protect” the voters. The government then counts the ballots. And the government announces the results. Not surprising that the elections appear reasonably successful. People in Iran are fearful of the government, this includes any hint that voting the wrong way, or not voting has “consequences”. So as all sampling or polling or survey taking science tells you, if there is the slightest bias introduced in a poll, the entire result may be tainted. This explains why it appeared that Iranians voted (simplistically explained but actually true) for Ahmadinejad.
Now, let’s be frank. For Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia to treat this non-representative of Iran as a normal western style President, shows how stupid Americans (including Condoleeza) can be at the real world game. To call him President is less than naive, to call him a dictator is an outright compliment. To allow him to speak at Columbia as if he was a) an Iranian or b) representative of the collective thought of Iranians, was guffawingly stupid. My son is getting ready to go to College. Based on the example of collegiate knowledge displayed by Mr. Bollinger, Columbia is not on our list.
You can build a Cadillac in Maine and assemble the rest of it in Texas. And you can put a spoiler and thick tires on a Peykan. But you wouldn’t call either one a Porsche!