Blowback Works Both Ways
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad knows how to inflame American and Israeli leaders.
He’s claimed 9/11 was an inside job:
Making reference to what he called the “mysterious September 11th incident” and the “slave masters and colonial powers” of the West, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad excoriated Western member nations in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York
Ahmadinejad said after the speech that as an engineer he’s sure the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York were not brought down by jetliners.
Ahmadinejad, in an interview with The Associated Press, says it would have been impossible for two jetliners to bring down the towers simply by hitting them. He says some kind of planned explosion must have taken place.
(Amusingly, this sparked al-Qaeda to supposedly put out a counter-statement defiantly claiming responsibility and condemning Ahmadinejad, although such disputes have not prevented America from claiming that Iran and al-Qaeda were jointly responsible for 9/11).
He’s claimed that the holocaust may have never happened:
During an interview with CNN, which aired Monday on “Piers Morgan Tonight,”the Iranian president said he will not judge Nazi Germany’s extermination of the Jews during World War II.
“Whatever event has taken place throughout history, or hasn’t taken place, I cannot judge that. Why should I judge that? I say researchers and scholars must be free to conduct research and analysis about any historical event,” Ahmadinejad said.
And today, he claimed that Israel was a “nuclear armed fake regime”, and that Israel will be eliminated:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated,” ignoring a U.N. warning to avoid incendiary rhetoric ahead of the annual General Assembly session.
Ahmadinejad also said he did not take seriously the threat that Israel could launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, denied sending arms to Syria, and alluded to Iran’s threats to the life of British author Salman Rushdie.
Ahmadinejad claims that Israel and America are bluffing in their threats to attack Iran:
In a series of combative interviews in New York on the eve of the UN General Assembly, Iran’s political leader said Israel was making a lot of ‘noise’ and encouraging the West to prevent legitimate scientific progress in his country.
Reiterating that he was open to dialogue with the United States on the nuclear issue he also said he was prepared to defend Iran from any external threat.
“Fundamentally, we do not take seriously threats of the Zionists,” he said. “We believe the Zionists see themselves at a dead end and they want to find an adventure to get out of this dead end. While we are fully ready to defend ourselves, we do not take these threats seriously.”
He may be right on that count, because America can ill afford another costly invasion, and nothing less than a full invasion and regime change is likely to in the long run prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.Yet while I believe that an American or Israeli attack on Iran is an entirely foolish policy that will only serve to weaken America and Israel in the long run, it is foolish and dangerous for Ahmadinejad to needlessly enrage the ferocious neoconservative beast.
Ahmadinejad may well be playing the same long game as Osama bin Laden:
We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.
Osama bin Laden
And they may succeed (although those who believe that war is a stimulus that can end a depression will surely disagree — as Antal Fekete has noted, Western governments may look to a new hot war in the middle east as an opportunity to exit an economic depression that they cannot control). But for Ahmadinejad and Iran, it may come at a huge, huge cost — a long painful invasion, ending in death in the street or on the gallows. Neoconservatism — and Obama and Romney are both to lesser and greater degrees neoconservatives — is a violent utopian ideology that seeks to force the entire world — by whatever means and at any cost — to conform to American foreign policy imperatives. As America should have learned a long time ago — and as Ahmadinejad may well soon learn — needlessly pissing off violent utopian ideologues creates blowback.