October 28, 2005
Ahmadinejad and Israel
What's going on in Iran? First the country's president calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Naturally, this doesn't go down well at all internationally, with the Israelis going so far as to call for Iran's expulsion from the UN. So Iran's Moscow embassy issues a statement saying the president didn't mean to "speak up in such sharp terms," and we are reminded that such statements are made all the time during rallies but don't really mean anything.
So the new president made a stupid diplomatic error, not realizing his new position makes his words carry more weight. And after his country's ambassadors are summoned to various European capitals to explain their government's actions, all this will die down, right? So then why is Iran stupidly upping the ante by ordering its diplomats in Western countries to launch protests there against Europe's attitudes towards 'Zionist crimes'? My own take is that Iran's foreign policy, more or less directionless since Ahmadinejad came to power a few months ago, is starting to go down the tubes.
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Much of what I've read recently suggests that he simply doesn't have the experience or political acuity for the job. Nor does he appear to have a Karl Rove type handy to prevent such blundering.
Posted by: eerie at October 29, 2005 01:26 PM
What a fucking dumbass. I could put it more politely but it wouldn't be as accurate.
The problem with this kind of idiotic hate-filled rhetoric is these kinds of leaders seem to forget that Israel takes these threats very seriously. It's not just a political game to them; wars of extermination are nothing new to Israelis. But I guess Iranian extremists never learned the lesson Syria, Egypt, and Jordan learned. Yapping off about pushing them "into the sea" may get you points at home, but you better fucking believe there are consequences.
Posted by: zurn at October 29, 2005 02:37 PM
On the more legal scale, a clearcut violation of UN Charter, esp Article 2.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 29, 2005 06:18 PM
This could be a dumb move but I'm not sure it's clearly one.
If Israel gets nervous and strikes against nuclear production facilities, this will help the Iranian government, popularity-wise, especially if there are there's a lot of colalteral damage. It might not help Iran with you and I* but it might help Iran with non-Iranian Muslims and it's quite likely to get Iranians closer to the government. The US would look bad too if it let Israeli planes get through Iraq.
Note that I'm not saying it's an unambiguously smart thing, just that it's not an unambiguously dumb thing.
*Because of what that statesman said and because Iran owning nukes is a Bad Thing.
Posted by: Baal Shem Ra at October 30, 2005 01:21 AM
Yes, I agree that a strike on Iran from Israel could result in that. At least one Iranian student I've talked to mentioned the exact same scenario and concern. However, I've already conceded that such plotting can score political points. Such leaders may not care about the consequences if all they're concerned with is making a theocracy with them at the top. While that thinking may make them shrewd conspirators in that respect (and so maybe not dumb), it still makes them dumbasses.
Posted by: zurn at October 31, 2005 05:23 PM