Interview with a Madman

 

“Mr. Ahmadinejad is a complex, even bizarre, figure….”

And with that understatement of the year, New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof launches into a description of his interview with the president of Iran. 

Turns out Ahmadinejad is a bit like the Tom Daschle of the Middle East.

…he is small in person, subdued and very soft-spoken…

As with most interviews that tyrants agree to sit for with American journalists (e.g. Stalin’s interview with Eugene Lyons, Fidel Castro’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, Saddam Hussein’s interview with Dan Rather) Ahmadinejad made a concerted effort to come off as a lovely and reasonable chap.  Regarding Iran’s enrichment of uranium, he said that he would be willing to halt those activities if only someone would sell him enriched uranium so that Iran can treat poor cancer-stricken Iranians.

He insisted that Iran will happily give up its enrichment processing if it can get this enriched uranium for “cancer treatment medication.”

“If they were willing to sell us the 20 percent enriched uranium, we would have preferred to buy it,” he said. “It would have been far less expensive. It’s as though you wish to purchase a vehicle for yourself. No one is willing to sell it to you, then you must set up your own production line to produce your own vehicle.”

Ahmadinejad next condemned the Syrian government’s violent persecution of protesters.

Mr. Ahmadinejad called for Syria, his ally, to stop its violent crackdown on protesters, cautioning that “with clashes and confrontations problems will not be solved. They will be multiplied.”

But when, to his credit, Kristof asked him to explain the difference between Syria’s treatment of protesters and Iran’s, the man became delusional and unhinged, as is his wont.

“In Iran, things were quite different,” he insisted, a bit testy. Many of the dead in Iran were members of security forces, he claimed, suggesting that protesters were not deliberately targeted.

I asked Mr. Ahmadinejad what he thought when he saw the famous photos of a young woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, lying on the ground and bleeding to death after she had been shot in the chest.

…He suggested that she had been murdered by his opponents, working with the BBC, as part of a bizarre snuff film.

Ordinarily I’m no fan of Nick Kristof, but in this case I’m pleased to see (in the NYT’s comments section) that the description of his interview has persuaded a majority of his left-leaning readers to acknowledge Ahmadinejad’s wickedness and sheer lunacy.

There are 8 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @flownover

    That is refreshing . I guess even idiots blink at the devil. Never let them forget Neda.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @JimmyCarter

    Perhaps in 2013 We’ll send President Perry to address the Islamic Consultative Assembly and let them know that the jig is up. Then We’ll transfer the UN to the Hotel of Doom where’s there’s plenty of room and they’ll feel right at home.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Jimmy Carter: Perhaps in 2013 We’ll send President Perry to address the Islamic Consultative Assembly and let them know that the jig is up. Then We’ll transfer the UN to the Hotel of Doom where’s there’s plenty of room and they’ll feel right at home. · Sep 22 at 2:49pm

    Sorry but I have to disagree- after the UN building is torn down, it should be turned into a WhirlyBall place.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Member
    @JimmyCarter
    ES

    Sorry but I have to disagree- after the UN building is torn down, it should be turned into a WhirlyBall place. · Sep 22 at 3:06pm

    I don’t see You disagreeing with Me, or am I missing something? I certainly agree with You: Let’s ‘Bump It Up A Notch”

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CaptAubrey

    In the middle of Andrew Roberts excellent history of WW2 and he has a number of quotes and scenes of Hitler acting relatively normal and making pronouncements about one thing or another that are not the violent ranting we associate with his speeches. Just another take on the “banality of evil.”

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @PaulDeRocco
    Diane Ellis, Ed.: Ordinarily I’m no fan of Nick Kristof, but in this case I’m pleased to see (in the NYT’s comments section) that the description of his interview has persuaded a majority of his left-leaning readers to acknowledge Ahmadinejad’s wickedness and sheer lunacy. ·

    The thought that the majority of his left-leaning readers would need to be persuaded of that is creepy in itself.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Inactive
    @redshift

    Oh, now they are enriching uranium for cancer treatment? I thought they were doing it to provide electricity. Does enriched uranium treat cancer? I thought radioactive materials caused cancer.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @PaulDeRocco
    redshift: Oh, now they are enriching uranium for cancer treatment? I thought they were doing it to provide electricity. Does enriched uranium treat cancer? I thought radioactive materials caused cancer.

    It may be used in treatment, but I’m sure it’s in microscopic amounts.

    • #8

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.