Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Ahmadinejad Effect

Some Western observers have been puzzled by Iranian President Ahmadinejad's palpably outrageous statements concerning Israel and the Holocaust in recent weeks. Yet the matter is probably fairly simple: the President is merely making use of a technique long ago perfected by leaders of totalitarian states in the days of the Cold War, a technique which mainly consists of the taking of extreme positions which can subsequently "criticized" by other powers in the same political axis for the purposes of PR: thus, by making public criticisms of Ahmadinejad's tirades, both China and Russia can appear to be "moderate" and "sensible", thus reassuring a Western political commentariat which often tends to take things at face value.
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