Monday, November 28, 2005

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Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad is off his medication again

Since he took office earlier this year, the militance of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad has alienated many of his natural supporters in Iran.

If you think his prior statements have made some question his sanity, however, wait until people read this Financial Times story by Gareth Smyth and Najmeh Bozorgmehr:

A leading website in Iran has published a transcript and video recording of President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad claiming to have felt “a light” while addressing world leaders at the United Nations in New York in September. – a website linked to Mohsen Rezaei, former commander of the Revolutionary Guards – said the recording was made in a meeting between the president and Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, one of Iran’s leading Shia Muslim clerics.

According to the transcript, Mr Ahmadi-Nejad said someone present at the UN, possibly from his entourage, subsequently told him: “When you began with the words ‘In the name of God’… I saw a light coming, surrounding you and protecting you to the end [of the speech].” Mr Ahmadi-Nejad said he sensed a similar presence.

“I felt it myself, too, that suddenly the atmosphere changed and for 27-28 minutes the leaders could not blink,” the transcript continues. “I am not exaggerating…because I was looking. All the leaders were puzzled, as if a hand held them and made them sit. They had their eyes and ears open for the message from the Islamic Republic.”

The staff here at confirms that its eyes and ears will definitely be staying open whenever Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad decides to say something.

posted by Dan on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM


Wow -- now we have 2 heads of state (Nejad and Bush) who think that God speaks to them.

posted by: erg on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

Dan, 50 Cent has people in his entourage that say the same kind of thing after his concerts. Someone should get his people and Ahmadi-Nejad's people together someday.

At any rate it's more original than "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" But that part about not blinking for half an hour is pretty wacky.

posted by: Zathras on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

Okay, who forgot to warn the delegates about the brown acid?

posted by: Jon H on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

Maybe this one has been raised before (and it's a bit off-topic) but where did you get the idea of writing Ahmadi-Nejad? The FT? Everyone else seems to write Ahmadinejad, but I've just looked at his home page and damned if it isn't two words in the Persian. Even Persians (I get e-mails and faxes from American-based Iranian dissident groups) write Ahmadinejad most of the time.

posted by: Contributor A on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

Hersh appeared on Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, and Wolf read out this quote from the New Yorker piece by Hersh:

" 'The president is more determined than ever to stay the course,' the former defense official said. 'He doesn't feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage, "People may suffer and die, but the Church advances." ' He said that the president had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney. 'They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,' the former defense official said."

posted by: joe m. on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

I don't deny that it is quite possible that the Iranian president is a bit off kilter. But I highly doubt he is any more nuts then anyone else, especially idiot policy wonks who believe in the "clash of civilizations" or that it is the "fourth world war" or the "unipolar world" or any of that other bull.

Dan, even though you are probably a very smart man who has learned lots of things about policy and such, you really should be more understanding of the Middle East then you are. If you are going to comment on the Middle East as often as you do, I would hope that you would at least have a basic understanding of the lives of the people there. It is really a problem when American policy people see these places simply as strategic problems, rather then as living places that have people with real lives. regardless of what you may feel about the danger Iran presents (or any other country), they are normal people who live normal lives, have normal beliefs, normal fears, normal passions, normal hatreds and such.

posted by: joe m. on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

What Ahmadinejad says is interesting because he's an ordinary pious Iranian who has stumbled onto the international stage. What he says and experiences is probably what others in his society say and experience-- I don't have any sympathy for it, but making fun of him is the wrong response.

posted by: Matt on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

Really, shouldn't we all at least chuckle at anyone who admits to believing such incredible self-aggrandizing delusions? Isn't making fun an appropriate response?

No apologies are necessary because of the nationality of the pompous dope in question.

Anyway, I'd like to hold world leaders to a *higher* standard.

posted by: Jonathan on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

"Matt" has certainly hit on a novel diplomatic philosophy: the extension of Sen. Hruska's "Mediocre people need representation too" concept to the international sphere. Forrest Gump goes to Teheran. (I hope that magical light didn't have a significant gamma-ray component.)

posted by: Bruce Moomaw on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

"Bruce" should try reading what I wrote. Ahmadinejad's ordinaryness and cluelessness is simply a fact-- my suggestion was that we can learn something from it rather than just making fun of it.

posted by: Matt on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

I'm an Iranian.I feel shame about what my president said .But I think almost all of my people don't believe in what he said in that meeting .I think he is going to be crazy.....

posted by: Emad on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

I think the answer to the Iranian President's interesting remarks is obvious: The UN should follow the courageous lead of the International Red Cross - and cease to recognize Israel.

Allah has spoken - this is His Will.

posted by: Don on 11.28.05 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

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