You heard it here first-- Ahmedinajad is of Jewish extraction, even more than the Nazi Leadership
Life gets stranger. Some months ago, I put what seemed to me an ambiguous piece of intelligence from a Persian student of mine up, which held that many in Iran were convinced President Ahmedinajad was of Jewish extraction. Now the story seems to have gained legs.
I'm not committing fully yet--how on earth could I--but, well, good grief. It helps explain the mad antisemitism, though I guess you don't need to. Jew-hating is a sort of pathological virus that can strike anywhere.
More stories about the regime like this, in place of Vaudeville bullying, and we'll see where the Iranians are in a year's time. Their oil receipts, after all, can't be that great, although they are not in recession; and even though the coup didn't work at first, things have a way of rolling on over there. The logic of most of their clandestine alliances, too, is that they are going to have to stabilise for money and sell a part of their freedom of manoeuvre to the Chinese.
I most hope that no one strengthens the clearly creaking government by threatening it or worse, carrying out futile military attacks.
UPDATE: Two regular readers have written to me to politely upbraid and to question this post. They have suggested that President Ahmedinajad is, as I characterised him in the past, a working class nationalist. I think that he is, with the important qualification that he also does nothing to make one think that he is not an antisemite or that he wants peace in public, and that he is not playing to the darker parts of human badness where antisemitism lives.
I don't normally declaim in private letters, or repost them, unlike some, but I thought that I'd put what I thought as an addendum to this post since I always have and probably always will think this;
I think the basic point is whether or not Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish democracy. I think that it does. Therefore, denying its existence is to deny the Jews a state.
It is, equally, all very well to say 'but it was someone elses'. Those others could have had their state intact if they had simply lived with the Jews, even if their claim had been a good one. Palestinian Christians almost certainly could have, as could moderate Palestinian Muslims. They could have been rich on gas and trade, and shared Jerusalem. I have a few friends over there right now who are like that.
Instead, evil men like those in Hamas spend their time wanting to wipe out Jews and propagating a fairly nasty Muslim antisemitism which, as a Catholic, I recognise, because we did it too. Others, encouraged by international aid and the post 1968 left, have spent their time advertently or inadvertently supporting and encouraging those bad men. I want nothing to do with people who embrace evil and who won't sort out their own badness, and whose model is a load of corrupt and failed gangster states in the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. If Israel went down, I'd be with it at the fall if I could.
Mr Ahmedinajad, rather than restraining those people, arms them. He kills and represses his own people. He denies the holocaust.
Antisemitism gets votes in many times and places. I've met Chinese antisemites, for goodness' sake. Karl Luger did it in Vienna, and swathes of central Europeans got away with using that as a populist governing style a hundred years ago. Western mayoral candidates and politicians have flirted with it as well. It is quite modern, and it is wrong.
I know how passionately you feel about Cast Lead. Frankly, I understand it; no state, let alone one unrestrained by a residual Christian sense of proportion, could allow its women and children to be indiscriminately bombed by ballistic missile technology fed to people who wanted it wiped out by foreigners who spent their time insulting it. Frankly, in some of my darker fantasies I wish they'd let the Egyptians in to finish the job with Hamas, but they couldn't be trusted to do it (and of course they shouldn't).
I dislike them making me feel like that; and anyway, Israel is ultimately more civilised than many of the states in the region, who would just have wiped out hamas by now if similar movements had emerged on their own territory.
If I thought the Palestinians as an entity wanted their own republic, and wanted peace--as many of the Christian and some of the Muslim and secular ones do--I'd change my mind. Instead, I think they want the Jews wiped out and Israel gone. As Dan Pat Moynihan didn't put it--they can go forth and try. Plenty have, and they're paying for it somewhere else now. You know that story about Eichmann on the day of his death? He addressed his captor as 'Jew' and said that he would see him in hell; the reply was a straightforward one. 'Not today, Adolf'.
I've been teaching a Persian and a Saudi girl today. They were deeply civilised and curious people whom I would not wish dead. I think a Persian war would be a disaster. I would not weep buckets at the end of the Ayatollahs, though.
As for Ahmedinajad, its all quite simple; George Bush felt he had to pretend not be fighting a Muslim war and not a crusade. I think he and the soldiers he commanded believed that he was not doing either too, though I am not so sure about a few of the generals or most of the laptop bombardiers.
Why does Ahmedinajad have to wind up Jews and fund jihads by nutcases, even if he is a natural ally of ours against jihads by other nutcases in Afghanistan? What made Bush one thing and Ahmedinajad the other? Not personal badness but something political or cultural. And why are Iranians--self styled composite Aryans, with all the madness the word implies--so opposed to Jewish states and not, say, Turkish ones, whilst suppressing Arab and Christian and Zoroastrian ones within their own borders?