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60 minutes interview with Iranian President
August 13, 2006 10:45 PM   Subscribe

60 Minutes interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Some have described Iran's president as just another middle eastern wacko along the lines of Saddam and Bin Laden. After viewing the 60 Minutes interview, what is your take on things?
posted by mk1gti (118 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wacko, like a combo of Saddam and Bin Laden and Bush.
posted by rbs at 10:48 PM on August 13, 2006


I see a man using his wits and knowledge of history to try to keep his homeland from being occupied and its resources plundered.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:59 PM on August 13, 2006


what is your take on things?

I vote just another middle eastern wacko.
posted by sour cream at 11:01 PM on August 13, 2006


He really doesn't come across as a wacko, I think... He may, in actuality, be another insane muslim extremist, but he certainly makes his case well.
posted by borkingchikapa at 11:05 PM on August 13, 2006


Blazecock Pileon: Is he correct in his interpretation of history?

Is the world now mature enough to differentiate between Zion and Judaism?
posted by Milliken at 11:05 PM on August 13, 2006


I see a man using his wits and knowledge of history to try to keep his homeland from being occupied and its resources plundered.

Ahmadinejad good, Bush bad! Baa! Moo!
posted by Krrrlson at 11:09 PM on August 13, 2006


Blazecock Pileon: Is he correct in his interpretation of history?

I'd be careful enough to say his interpretation is selective, but the classic role of a state is to protect its people, culture, livelihoods, etc. In the capacity of state leader, his answers are, right or wrong, along the lines of preserving the state of Iran.

It's clear his life has been dedicated to the defense of his homeland, that it motivates his worldview, and that consideration of that should be on the mind of whomever is unlucky enough to have to draw up military plans for an Iranian conflict.

While I have very serious qualms about his other comments regarding Israel, I have no reservations stating that writing him off as a wacko is both simplistic and foolish.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:15 PM on August 13, 2006


What a shitty interview. We've learnt nothing. I'd like to see someone, anyone, sit down with Bush and be that condescending, arrogant and rude, instead of fellating him like they usually do.
posted by Jimbob at 11:17 PM on August 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


No wackiness detected.
posted by jkafka at 11:17 PM on August 13, 2006


Ahmadinejad good, Bush bad! Baa! Moo!

Black-and-white views of the world, such as that presented in the comment above, should remind voters why the United States is currently in the quagmire it is in. Simple-minded interpretations are often based on willful, if emotional displays of ignorance, and lead to poor planning and decision making.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 PM on August 13, 2006


He was spinning like mad, but it felt like there was some actual substance underneath. But I don't think he trusted the reporter, and didn't want to submit to his framing of the issues, and thus was doing a lot of bobbing and weaving. It's frustrating that he didn't really TALK that much, and didn't give clear answers.

Having just finished Confessions of an Economic Hitman, I hear echoes of that book... that America is trying (and mostly has succeeded) to build an empire by using banks and loans as its weapons. When the banks fail, the jackals go in and heads of state die.... when the jackals fail, the army goes in. Saudi Arabia signed a sweetheart deal for us where they sell us all their oil and we build them a modern nation (paying, it seems, far too much for the privilege). Iraq and Iran wouldn't go for that deal.

He's echoing some of the same things... it sounds like our economic assassination strategy is becoming abundantly clear to the rest of the world, even if we at home have no idea what's going on.

So Iran, like Iraq, isn't toeing the line. They have the right, by treaty, to refine uranium, and we're trying to change the terms of that treaty unilaterally. We're making lots of noise in the world and trying to paint them as a threat, because Iran isn't interested in being part of the empire. They will not be subservient, ergo they must be destroyed.

The thing is, I don't think we CAN destroy them. Iraq was an economic basket case from 10 years of sanctions; invading it was like beating up a little old lady. And we're STILL getting our asses kicked.

Invading Iran would, I think, be essentially suicidal.
posted by Malor at 11:20 PM on August 13, 2006


It's frustrating that he didn't really TALK that much, and didn't give clear answers.

Exactly. But this guy loves to talk, and the interviewer wouldn't let him, butting in trying to "frame" things in a light the US government would like as soon as it sounded like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was about to say something intelligent or interesting. Man, if you want the guy to hang himself, at least give him enough rope.

Send in a British journalist next time. They do a much better job. Hell, invite him into Parkinson.
posted by Jimbob at 11:25 PM on August 13, 2006


Having just read an interesting book on why the world hates us so damn much, I found myself thinking "wow, he's not totally insane"...

But he still never answered to the "why should israel be wiped off the map" questions or other inflammatory things he's said.. I think he's still a wacko, but did a good job covering that up in the interview.

Sadly, and shamefully, I must say that his people have some very valid reasons for hating america, and it's not that they "hate our freedom"... but that doesn't mean I want them to get nuclear arms.. quite the contrary, I don't.

One book is as good as the next about framing some facts and making a point, so I haven't really decided what my interpretation of history is just yet. I can say with relative certainty though that I now have a much better understanding of why the arab world despises us so much. I only hope that further research proves to me that there's some middle ground to the truth and that they're slightly misinterpreting/spinning things/blowing things out of proportion just like we probably are.
posted by twiggy at 11:27 PM on August 13, 2006


Too bad we couldn't have that nice Pahlevi dude running things for us there, again. Iranians were certainly a very friendy, democratic, and peace-loving people then. I wonder what happened.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:28 PM on August 13, 2006


We've learnt nothing.

Yeah, I think he knows full well the holocaust occured and denies it as part of a whole keep-em-off-balance, never-give-an-inch, bs-baffles-brains, argue-everything style. He's good at answering questions with questions, not answering questions, changing subjects, finding opportunities to speechify.

And, I have to say frankly, I see this exact same behavior in a lot of leaders and spokespeople in the middle east on all sides. I'm realize I'm looking at all this thru a TV lens but still, one is rarely treated to reasoned, calm discourse. A lot seem to have this take-it-to-the-wall, shout-em-down, shock-and-awe, stick-to-your-own-agenda-at-all-costs interaction style.

Maybe he's just a creature of his environment.
posted by scheptech at 11:30 PM on August 13, 2006


Black-and-white views of the world, such as that presented in the comment above, should remind voters why the United States is currently in the quagmire it is in.

Ironic, since your sockpuppeting commenting history is highly suggestive of the exact black-and-white view you decry.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:43 PM on August 13, 2006


Mike Wallace:

Has Washington threatened you?

Hahahahahahaha...
posted by Unregistered User at 11:51 PM on August 13, 2006


Krrrlson, I've decided to take my response to you offline; please check your email if you have the time. Thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:07 AM on August 14, 2006


baa, moo.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:29 AM on August 14, 2006


"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest"

--Denis Diderot
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:34 AM on August 14, 2006 [2 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon's comments: measured, thoughtful, balanced. (good)

Krrrlson's comments: kneejerk, one-sided, prejudiced. (bad)

Just sayin'.

And, PareidoliaticBoy, that Diderot quote rocks.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:13 AM on August 14, 2006


Realplayer!? Fuck that shit.

Anyone got a youtube link!?
posted by delmoi at 1:14 AM on August 14, 2006


Malor, best comment on this so far. And I think I have to really agree. What the fuck are we doing? Short of a fullscale nuke strike, I don't see how we can prevent them from going 'nucular'.

But then again, maybe there's some supersecret weapon or something that we've been holding back while we are getting our asses handed to us by assymetric warfare in Iraq. Sure. That's it. We've got some hidden ace in the whole.

I don't think so. It's apparent that the asshats in charge in the US (Rumsfeld etc.) are bound and determined to play a game of nuclear chicken with these guys. And I'm pretty sure they're not going to blink. I'm willing to bet that those guys BELIEVE in their version of God and an apocalyptic worldview with much more fervor than we do. (Do I think the guy is crazy? Yes. Does that mean we should discount or ignore him? Hell no.)

I'm afraid that no one is going to blink. Then Really Bad Things will happen.

I guess that's what happens when we let idiots steal elections and run countries and military/economic machines and stuff.
posted by geekhorde at 1:15 AM on August 14, 2006


Ahmadinejad good, Bush bad! Baa! Moo!

How many wars has Ahmadinejad started?
posted by delmoi at 1:16 AM on August 14, 2006


I still say if we slipped all these guys some E that all this shit would be over. Might be a little 'Brave New World' a solution, but I'd be cool with it. Mandatory medical sanity. Or at least hugs.
posted by geekhorde at 1:24 AM on August 14, 2006


Aaah! But how many people has Bush executed?

Oh...never mind...
posted by Jimbob at 1:24 AM on August 14, 2006


fwd me a copy of Krrrlson vs. Blazecock email fight plz, tia
posted by Jimbob at 1:28 AM on August 14, 2006


Reading the report, it struck me that Ahmadinejad didn't say that Israel shouldn't be. He was saying that Israel shouldn't be where it currently is. And it didn't sound like he was wanting the 'solution' to Israel to be killing all Israelis. It sounded like he just wanted the Israelis to go away somewhere else. Now, this may be just a careful framing of his opinions designed for sensitive Western ears, but it didn't sound like the insane wackjob that he's supposed to be. Does anyone know what his actual opinion on the matter is as expressed in Iran, to Iranians?
posted by talitha_kumi at 1:29 AM on August 14, 2006


I can say with relative certainty though that I now have a much better understanding of why the arab world despises us so much.

Iran != Arab.
posted by delmoi at 1:32 AM on August 14, 2006


I'm willing to bet that those guys BELIEVE in their version of God and an apocalyptic worldview with much more fervor than we do.

Are you sure about that?
However one views the above, recent developments may save us from Jr.
posted by Unregistered User at 1:35 AM on August 14, 2006


And it didn't sound like he was wanting the 'solution' to Israel to be killing all Israelis. It sounded like he just wanted the Israelis to go away somewhere else.

Yeah, and this is going to happen how?
posted by criticalbill at 1:47 AM on August 14, 2006


It sounded like he just wanted the Israelis to go away somewhere else.
Yeah, and this is going to happen how?
posted by criticalbill at 1:47 AM PST


looks like a large part is elsewhere already....
http://www.jafi.org.il/education/100/concepts/demography/demtables.html
posted by rough ashlar at 2:09 AM on August 14, 2006


Invading Iran would, I think, be essentially suicidal.
posted by Malor at 11:20 PM PST


What is the other option?

"Dear anyone who isn't America,

Our citizens need electrical power. We want to use nuclear energy to generate power. Because we are being stopped from making steam via nuclear fission, we instead will just burn oil to run the steam turbines. That means, in the interest of the citizens of Iran we won't be shipping out any more oil. We need the oil to run our own needs.

Have a nice day
"
posted by rough ashlar at 2:16 AM on August 14, 2006


I don't know, criticalbill. How about giving individual Israeli families something to reward them for moving elsewhere? How many people would be willing to relocate for a big enough fee?
posted by talitha_kumi at 2:18 AM on August 14, 2006


He seems a tad more sophisticated than Bush/Blair. I found watching the interview with Beethoven's '9th symphony stretched to 24 hours, with no pitch distortions' paying in the background (http://www.notam02.no/9/) added the required gravitas.
posted by kingzog at 2:38 AM on August 14, 2006


Realplayer on cbs crashed both firefox and safari on my mac. I found it on both youtube and google video, however I'm not sure if it is the same since they both only show slideshow pics over the audio. Can't play the CBS vid to compare.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 2:44 AM on August 14, 2006


Anyone think Iran could hold the key to the next presidency, like how it helped Ronnie way back when? This time, it would be a Democrat though, and it would be found by brokering a peaceful dissolving of any nuclear program, rather than that whole arms N hostage thingy?
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 2:45 AM on August 14, 2006


Anyone think Iran could hold the key to the next presidency, like how it helped Ronnie way back when? This time, it would be a Democrat though, and it would be found by brokering a peaceful dissolving of any nuclear program, rather than that whole arms N hostage thingy?
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 2:45 AM PST


The reason the nuclear power reactors are being made is for electrical power.

And solution would have to address that need for them to generate power.

Wind machines? Nano-solar?

They've spent alot of money on them thar nuke plants. If they are to be junked, how would the US taxpayer be tapped to have Iran write off that investment?

Or have 'em write a check from the Leo Wanta money?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:52 AM on August 14, 2006


Echoing Jimbob's comment way up there. Crappy interview on its own; even moreso given the chummy treatment usually given the Bush crew.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:57 AM on August 14, 2006


You can have nuclear power plants that can't be used to create nuclear bombs (light water reactors, for example).

I've heard some neocons say things like "Why would they need nuclear reactors when they have so much oil?" It's amazing how short sighted these people are.
posted by delmoi at 3:09 AM on August 14, 2006


"White House staff members, who are trying to prevent Iran from developing its own nuclear energy capacity and who refuse to take military action against Iran "off the table", have conveniently forgotten that the United States was the midwife to the Iranian nuclear program 30 years ago.

The Iran-based newspaper Baztab recently reported that the United States had provided 5 kg of 19.7% enriched uranium to Iran before the revolution. The 1979 revolution marked a turning point in US policy, justified by a government that was becoming more fundamentalist and anti-Western. This previous involvement provided foreign countries the opportunity to keep tabs on the progress of the Iranian programme, but since 1979 foreign involvement in the programme is virtually null. wiki
posted by adamvasco at 3:43 AM on August 14, 2006


The copy, and the editing, are both incredibly biased. And, you know, I grew up watching 60 Minutes every so often, I went into this thinking, "hey, it's Mike Wallace, this might be neat." (I've hardly watched any American news in the past, oh.. four or five years.) Not five minutes into the piece I was pretty much turned off by how Wallace was acting. And, sure, it's annoying when your guests don't answer certain questions, but you could at least take a bit of time to perhaps engage in a dialogue with an interviewee. Ahmadinejad didn't seem to be completely evasive, especially considering so many of the questions were of the "have you stopped wanting to kill all the jews?" variety.

Whoever wrote the copy past the second page seems to have at least gotten more of the dialogue in (and if I'm not hallucinating, a bit of a jab at the whole process), as evidenced by the second half of page 3. (Which I was going to quote here, but it's a lot longer than I thought.)

I do realize that Iran is not all milk and honey; I'm not a kneejerk apologist, or at least I don't think I am. I just think this did very little justice to Mr Ahmadinejad, Iran, the concept of an interview, and journalism in general. At the end of it I'd much rather sit down for coffee with him than Wallace, any day.

On another more removed note, I am sad at how much I find myself so totally siding against the entire American government/military/corporate/media complex these days, like it's just one big undifferentiable unit. I think of myself as a fairly intelligent, informed person, and I'm just not seeing any differences among it all, any fighting back, any redeeming characteristics. I care very much for my American friends, and I really would like everything to be alright, but I... don't know. This sucks.
posted by blacklite at 4:03 AM on August 14, 2006


adam, one thing it's important to remember is that the US isn't one monolithic entity... it's a country where the entire government can potentially change every four years. (this used to happen more often before gerrymandering.)

In other words, it's quite natural and normal for a democracy to be a bit schizophrenic and haphazard in its approaches. In a democracy where there is no unified vision of what the country is about, the schizophrenia can be extreme.

blacklite: It's okay to be pissed at Americans. We are continuing to let this stuff happen. It's not Bush's fault, it's OUR fault, because we're not up in massive protest. Government of, by, and for the people, and the people aren't doing their job.
posted by Malor at 4:28 AM on August 14, 2006


If you believe that Hezbollah, funded and armed by Iran, is benign, then read over this assessment on what is taking place in America:
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2006/07/hizballah_activity_in_north_am.php
posted by Postroad at 4:31 AM on August 14, 2006


Apart from both interview's content, hear hear, Jimbob and Kirth Gerson. Compared to the guy seen here Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seemes atleast prepared to be interviewed (of which 60 min takes advantage) instead of having a monologue.
Other than that they all have had the same horrible mediatraining which makes me hate politics so bad.
posted by stFire at 4:51 AM on August 14, 2006


Not to Godwin the discussion or anything, but saying that "Israel shouldn't be where it is" rings of Leibensraum type claims, rather than something legitimate.
posted by swerdloff at 5:04 AM on August 14, 2006


I don't follow you, swerdloff. Could you elaborate?
posted by talitha_kumi at 5:16 AM on August 14, 2006


For that matter, doesn't almost any claim to a piece of land ring of Lebensraum? Personally I don't see religious content as a valid reason to claim either.
posted by stFire at 5:18 AM on August 14, 2006


What can I say - the guy wants Israel wiped off the map. In the opinion of many MeFites, it probably makes him a hero. :(
posted by elmwood at 5:33 AM on August 14, 2006


Well shit, it's the opinion of a whole other group of MeFites that Iran should be wiped off the map. So what can you do?

Oh what's that you say? You don't have anything personally against the Iranian people...
posted by Jimbob at 5:38 AM on August 14, 2006


He's good at answering questions with questions, not answering questions, changing subjects, finding opportunities to speechify. And, I have to say frankly, I see this exact same behavior in a lot of leaders and spokespeople in the middle east on all sides.

Because in contrast, Western politicians are a model of openness, honesty and clarity. They don't use every question as a hook to push their own agenda, and would never dream of avoiding the press by -say- not talking to them.
posted by Slothrup at 5:41 AM on August 14, 2006


elmwood, pulease....

[somebody yells at me for running a red light; he probably wants me dead]
posted by stFire at 5:42 AM on August 14, 2006


For some reason, I think he says those things about Israel for political reasons and not because he really means them.

And, btw, it's not a completely bizaare, absurd position to believe that creating a Jewish homeland where it was created was unfair to the Palestineans, and may have been a mistake. That's not the same thing as saying that Israel should be wiped off the map.
posted by empath at 5:50 AM on August 14, 2006


(some of those things about israel), I meant to say.

I'm sure that he has incredibly warped ideas about Israel and Judaism and is personally anti-semetic. I just don't know whether I believe he is a zealot about destroying Israel or whether a lot of that is a bluff, just l like I don't know how much of his nuclear program is a bluff.
posted by empath at 5:53 AM on August 14, 2006


"Why would they need nuclear reactors when they have so much oil?" It's amazing how short sighted these people are.

True enough. One question I see nowhere addressed, however- When is peak uranium?

Seriously, anyone have a clue?
posted by IndigoJones at 5:54 AM on August 14, 2006


swerdloff, are you claiming that Iran wants to depopulate Israel/Palestine so that Iranians can populate the area?

because i don't agree that that is the motivation of anyone in Iran.
posted by eustatic at 6:20 AM on August 14, 2006


Eustatic - you can stop after "depopulate Israel".
posted by dsquid at 6:48 AM on August 14, 2006


I think we need a little reset here:

And it didn't sound like he was wanting the 'solution' to Israel to be killing all Israelis. It sounded like he just wanted the Israelis to go away somewhere else.

It's not up to him or anyone else to decide where israel goes. It is where it is. It's not up to a committee to move it.

You can have nuclear power plants that can't be used to create nuclear bombs (light water reactors, for example).

Scientifically speaking, this is true of course. But in the case of Iran, it's false. They want nuclear weapons. There are four local nuclear powers within striking distance of them - Israel, Russia, Pakistan, and India. It reasonable to think they want some deterrent capability. It's also reasonable to think that some of the more deranged elements in the theocracy want to put nukes on a truck and give the keys to Hezbollah. Finally, it is reasonable to accept that you will never know the true intentions of anyone in Iran or the region completely, so Iran policy amounts to a judgment call, and this government happens to be taking the position that they are a threat.

On the other hand, Iran may be saber rattling to add $10 a bbl to the price of oil, because that uncertainty premium goes right in their pockets. Under this theory, they want to keep the issue alive as long as possible without resolving it either way (i.e. without actually getting the nukes and without actually striking a deal not to get them).


Malor, best comment on this so far. And I think I have to really agree. What the fuck are we doing? Short of a fullscale nuke strike, I don't see how we can prevent them from going 'nucular'.


Well, you could always bomb their reactors. The US is still exceptionally good at blowing things up from the sky. The question is, what happens after we do this?
posted by Pastabagel at 6:51 AM on August 14, 2006


I was expecting more from Mike Wallace in the interview regarding professionalism, instead he came off as elitist, pompous and condescending.

Regarding Iran's president, sure he didn't answer all the questions but he did a much better job of maintaining his compusure than Wallace did.

And he did have some valid issues to discuss as well.

And if I remember correctly Wallace had the same interview technique with Vladimir Putin, which resulted in Putin letting Wallace have it with both barrels.

I think it would have gone much better with a british journalist interviewing the Iran president rather than Wallace. If all he can do is try and bully and insult people instead of engage them in thoughtful and revealing dialog perhaps it's time he be put out to pasture. . .

Perhaps Carole Coleman, the Irish reporter who interviewed Bush would be better for the job?
posted by mk1gti at 6:54 AM on August 14, 2006


IndigoJones: I remember reading a year or two ago that, if the whole world converted to nuclear power and we kept up our current rate of growth in energy use, the world would use up all known yellowcake reserves in ~80 years.

Which is supported by a quick google now, with some results that claim we passed "peak uranium" about 20 years ago.
posted by Pinback at 7:03 AM on August 14, 2006


I was expecting more from Mike Wallace in the interview regarding professionalism, instead he came off as elitist, pompous and condescending.

Why were you expecting more? Unless he's interviewing a celebrity or some local yokel, Wallace always looks like a dope. In the US, TV reporters are more like actors - they are on because they present an image of something, like credibility, insight, etc - but that doesn't mean they posses the actual characteristics of the image the present.

Elsewhere, tv reporters seem to be more like newspaper reporters in the US - they have to get the story, ask tough questions, etc. to keep their careers alive.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:03 AM on August 14, 2006


Why were you expecting more? Unless he's interviewing a celebrity or some local yokel, Wallace always looks like a dope.
posted by Pastabagel

One of the many reasons I gave up TV for the most part years ago and never looked back. . . Ah, cable television how I do not miss thee. . . .
posted by mk1gti at 7:07 AM on August 14, 2006


Or maybe even less - "if nuclear power supplied the world with all its electricity, then the total quantity of useful ores on the planet would be sufficient to keep the nuclear industry going for just six years."
posted by Pinback at 7:08 AM on August 14, 2006


. . . it's a country where the entire government can potentially change every four years.
With six-year Senate terms and lifetime Supreme Court appointments? You're not talking about the U.S., are you? What are you talking about?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:11 AM on August 14, 2006


. . . it's a country where the entire government can potentially change every four years.
--------------------------
With six-year Senate terms and lifetime Supreme Court appointments? You're not talking about the U.S., are you? What are you talking about?
-------------------------

I'm not seeing the whole thing either. The reasons above plus all the corporate lobbying that is part and parcel of U.S. government these days = mediocrity no matter which of two (and only two) partys is in power.

Ask yourself this question: How many other countries around the world use the U.S. form of government instead of the parliamentary form that most other nations use?
posted by mk1gti at 7:15 AM on August 14, 2006


Age has a funny way of magnifying our eccentricities. In Wallace's case, he has become a cringe-worthy parody of himself. His demeanor in that piece was embarrassing unprofessional - even for him. He should stay in retirement before he tarnishes his rep any further.

I also felt like there was a twinkle in Ahmadinejad's eye that was saying, "You pathetic, demented old bastard. If a younger, more sane man were talking to me like this, I would order him BOILED ALIVE!"
posted by MaxVonCretin at 7:15 AM on August 14, 2006




The reason the nuclear power reactors are being made is for electrical power.

I have to say I'm surprised by how many people seem to believe that Ahmadinejad wants nuclear reactors only to produce power. To me, this seems fairly unlikely. Whatever its electrical needs, Iran has strong incentives to produce nuclear weapons, especially given US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and the current conflagration in Lebanon. Ahmadinejad's hardline rhetoric further supports this conclusion. Needless to say, I do not trust a word out of the Bush Adminsitration, but considering the response of Europe and Russia, I think the odds that Iran is trying to produce weapons-grade uranium (and then a weapon) are, very conservatively, somewhere around 1 in 3.

As Malor and others are noting, the question then is what to do about it. I would have thought that engaging Iran with some actual diplomacy would have helped, but then again I would have thought that naming Iran as a member of the "Axis of Evil" would perversely support the hardliners the USA so strongly opposes. Whoops. I guess that's what Bush did.

Anyway, it seems to me that a big part of the problem is that the Bush Administration's catastrophic foreign policy has lent creedence to anybody who happens to take an anti-Bush, anti-US position. I mean, whatever your stance on Israel and its policies, Ahmadinejad's holocaust denial is profoundly distasteful. If the day-to-day violence in the middle east weren't so fucking awful, I would say that this is the major tragedy (from an American perspective) of his presidency.
I guess this is my long way of saying that we might want to consider the possibility that:

Ahmadinejad bad, Bush bad! Bah! Moo!
posted by huzzahhuzzah at 7:16 AM on August 14, 2006


True enough. One question I see nowhere addressed, however- When is peak uranium?

Seriously, anyone have a clue?
posted by IndigoJones at 5:54 AM PST


Depends. How much re-processing and use of other fissionalbe materials goes on.

As short as 30 years, as long as 'forever', with some USGS documents saying 338 years.

If other methods can make electricity cheaper, the need for fission plants to make civilian power will go away.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:16 AM on August 14, 2006


One question I see nowhere addressed, however- When is peak uranium?

this breaks my firefox, but works in IE:
Nuclear Fuel Supply Calculator (Java)

I'm too dumb to make any sense of it, and too lazy to research the credibility. but they have some interesting maps to fiddle with, (Java; breaks my firefox, too) and it seems like there's a lot of raw data available at the WISE-Uranium site.
posted by carsonb at 7:24 AM on August 14, 2006


I have to say I'm surprised by how many people seem to believe that Ahmadinejad wants nuclear reactors only to produce power.
posted by huzzahhuzzah at 7:16 AM PST


I do not have to be 'suprised'. That is their official position.

If one has a different way to create the electrical power which is less costly (lives/environment/money/other metrics) then the officially stated reason "goes away".

At the point were electrical power can be obtained in another way, the offical reason can be removed from the table. IF the plants and reprocessing were to then continue..well...that would be a violation of the signed treaties.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:25 AM on August 14, 2006


Surely, affixing the proper label to him is important. We need to keep things in their tidy little boxes for organizational/filing purposes.
posted by spock at 7:33 AM on August 14, 2006


Wacko, of the evil and hate fueled variety. It's kind of like listening to an interview with a Klan Grand Wizard.
posted by caddis at 7:37 AM on August 14, 2006


It's not up to him or anyone else to decide where israel goes. It is where it is. It's not up to a committee to move it.

i think the right question is what israel should be

having said that, i'm not clear on why it's the iranian president's or the iranian people's business ... after all, they don't seem to have been displaced ... and if they announced that all palestinian refugees can come to iran and settle down as citizens, i must have missed it
posted by pyramid termite at 7:42 AM on August 14, 2006


I have to say I'm surprised by how many people seem to believe that Ahmadinejad wants nuclear reactors only to produce power.
posted by huzzahhuzzah at 7:16 AM PST

I do not have to be 'suprised'. That is their official position.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:25 AM EST


Of course, it was the official position of the Bush Administration that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9-11 attacks and that he had WMDs. Yet many of us were rightly skeptical of these claims from the start. My surprise is not that Ahmadinejad is saying Iran just wants to produce power; my surprise is that so many people take this at face value.

It is true that there is no violation of the NPT to build civilian nuclear power reactors. But it is a violation of the NPT to, while working on nuclear reactors, also make a nuclear weapon. And it seems to me that this is exactly what is happening.
posted by huzzahhuzzah at 7:42 AM on August 14, 2006



I'm not seeing the whole thing either. The reasons above plus all the corporate lobbying that is part and parcel of U.S. government these days = mediocrity no matter which of two (and only two) partys is in power.

Ask yourself this question: How many other countries around the world use the U.S. form of government instead of the parliamentary form that most other nations use?


US government is designed to be mediocre, the framers of the constitution intended it that way. They were the ones who wrote in the four year presidential term, six-year senate term, and lifetime court appointment after all. And it was the first US president who decided that presidents shouldn't serve more than two terms. They could have made themselves kings with power for life, yet they chose not to. It's called checks and balances, and they fully understood the possiblity that they might be checking benevolent rule or balancing good ideas with bad ones.

These guys were all wealthy landowners/businessmen who didn't want power consolidated in the government. The fact that companies must now lobby the government is prrof that too much power has reverted to back to the government.

By contrast, most parliamentary systems were established precisely to consolidate power in the party that won the election, with full knowledge that the state would be the most powerful force in every secotr of society, and that consequently, whoever ran that government would be the most powerful person in the country.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:45 AM on August 14, 2006


Sadly, and shamefully, I must say that his people have some very valid reasons for hating america, and it's not that they "hate our freedom"... but that doesn't mean I want them to get nuclear arms.. quite the contrary, I don't.

Yeah, the funny thing is, lots of Iranians don't hate America, and in fact, they think their regime is crap. But they had this big revolution back in 1979 with the aim of getting rid of a totalitarian nutcase and wound up with another totalitarian nutcase. So they aren't into another big war, and are trying incrementally to change things, including boycotting elections after the majority of progressives weren't allowed on the slate. Hence the man you see before you, a man who doesn't necessarily represent the feelings of most Iranians. (Most of this info comes from this book, but I've been reading a lot about Iran lately.)

And you know, I really hope they do get nukes. Because as far as I can see it's the only thing that's going to stop our stupid government from starting up the most useless war ever. After the revolution, when Iran was still battling out exactly what kind of government they were going to have, we had the brilliant idea of backing Iraq in an attack, hoping to cause the teetering government to collapse. Instead, the outside attack just solidified Iranian support of the regime. Likewise, the best way to guarantee the failure of democratic liberalization in Iran is for America to start a war. The Iranians have suffered from British and American invterventions for a century and have been fighting for democracy since 1906. Maybe we should just leave them alone. If it takes them having a nuke to get that space, well, I can't really blame them.
posted by dame at 7:54 AM on August 14, 2006 [2 favorites]


Ahmadinejad sounded considerably like our own failed statesmen. Unless you actually believed that Saddam's 16 rusty missiles were a threat to American security, that taking out Noriega would stem the flow of narcotics, or that the lives and legitimate desires of the majority of Vietnamese could be compared to a game of dominoes.

The Persians and Arabs are no more afraid of our threats and bombs and technology than the Vietnamese were. The Apocalypse is not at hand just because nations disagree on the course of global affairs. America will continue to lose face as long as our leaders continue to categorize disagreement as either demonic or disingenuous. Ahmadinejad would have done well to remind the audience that "Don't tread on me!" once summarized American diplomacy and ideals.

And to those that support Israel at all costs, I ask how is an Arab attempt to reclaim the Palestinian homelands with Iranian backing so very different from the Jewish attempt to reclaim the Jewish homeland with British backing? Is it might makes right or first come first served? Ah yes, one should never ask questions when G-d's on your side.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 7:57 AM on August 14, 2006


Age has a funny way of magnifying our eccentricities. In Wallace's case, he has become a cringe-worthy parody of himself. His demeanor in that piece was embarrassing unprofessional - even for him. He should stay in retirement before he tarnishes his rep any further.

Thanks for saving me the typing.

Also, the guy is not as batshit insane as the Western media makes him out to be. Could still be a sociopath, but that's not the impression I got. [I am not a mental health professional]

We'll see what happens when he blows off the Security Council later this month. Is it Iraq all over again? It will be if Cheney calls the tune.

I would think a US bombing campaign in Iran WOULD pretty much fan the fires of war nearly worldwide. Sure, the US could bomb Iran back to the 1950's, but expect Israel to be up in smoke within weeks as well. I have a hunch it's a tradeoff the Muslim world is willing to make and have made plans to execute.
posted by crowman at 8:01 AM on August 14, 2006


er, make that the RADICAL Muslim world.
posted by crowman at 8:03 AM on August 14, 2006


I ask how is an Arab attempt to reclaim the Palestinian homelands with Iranian backing so very different from the Jewish attempt to reclaim the Jewish homeland with British backing?

Oooh shit, you'll bring out the bastards with comments like that. You know the type - the ones who insist that no other country can ever be morally equivalent to the US / Britain. They will tear your argument to shreds in seconds, then go tell the chaps over at FreeRepublic what a good patriot they've been.

I agree dame. Let them have their nuclear weapons, if they're such a great peace-securing deterrent. Once Britain, France, the US, Russia, and hell, Israel, have destroyed their nuclear arsenals, and have replaced their nuclear reactors with solar power, maybe then they will be in a moral position to lecture Iran.
posted by Jimbob at 8:06 AM on August 14, 2006


I read that the cost of uranium is kept low at the moment as so many governments have so much of it stockpiled. When that runs out we will still have 30 years or so of increasingly hard to refine and subsequently expensive uranium available for mining.
posted by asok at 8:08 AM on August 14, 2006


Bush Officials Defend India Nuclear Deal
Under the agreement, India would place its civilian nuclear facilities, but not its nuclear weapons program, under international monitoring and would continue a ban on nuclear testing. The United States would give India access to U.S. nuclear technology and conventional weapons systems.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:11 AM on August 14, 2006


Jimbob - I realized that after the fact. I retract it, I was drunk at the time.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 8:13 AM on August 14, 2006


Make no mistake, this is why Bush wants to into invade Iran. It's why he invaded Iraq.

Did Mike Wallace ever bring that up? Of course not.
That would have been actual news--something corporate "journalists" try to avoid passing on to the public.
posted by wfc123 at 8:22 AM on August 14, 2006


Iran's president starts blogging (here, with English translation available).
posted by rory at 9:43 AM on August 14, 2006


I'd be curious to hear MeFites' opinions on President Ahmadinejad's alleged role in the Iran hostage crisis. Most media outlets dropped the story when CIA issued a statement doubting his involvement — but this is the same CIA who said Iraq was filled with WMDs, and most MeFites are mighty critical of that particular intelligence failure. Do you take their word about this?
posted by cribcage at 9:46 AM on August 14, 2006


*blink*

...

Didn't Mike Wallace, like, retire? Just awhile ago? Didn't they do a whole hour long expose on his life and that he used to wanna play violin but it's a good thing he gave that up cuz he sucks... Why's he still on Sixty Minutes? They gave him a gold watch and everthin'!

"He should stay in retirement before he tarnishes his rep any further."

He should quit before he throws out his hip! Or before his pacemaker goes out on him! Or before he falls down somewhere and can't get back up!
posted by ZachsMind at 9:52 AM on August 14, 2006


I'm disappointed that anyone could watch this interview and even hypothetically dismiss Mr. Ahmadinejad as a "wacko." While I am far from pleased by his responses, clearly he showed no signs of insanity or mental incompetence.

1) Mr. Ahmadinejad was almost always evasive, but this evasion appeared to be an intellectual tactic to avoid Mr. Wallace's framing of the issues.

2) Mr. Ahmadinejad did not stoop to mindless, reflexive jingoism.

3) Finally, Mr. Ahmadinejad also appeared to have a sense of humor about the situation.

Citing these specifics, I would suggest that Mr. Ahmadinejad is an intelligent, knowledgeable person who responded to Mr. Wallace's questions from a standpoint of the good of his country as well as the good of his own political career.
posted by bshock at 10:16 AM on August 14, 2006


(Many thanks pinpack, rough ashlar, and carsonb. Always been mildly curious, now rather more vitally curious.)
posted by IndigoJones at 10:21 AM on August 14, 2006


While I am far from pleased by his responses, clearly he showed no signs of insanity or mental incompetence.

Unlike his interlocutor.
posted by blucevalo at 10:21 AM on August 14, 2006


Well shit, it's the opinion of a whole other group of MeFites that Iran should be wiped off the map. So what can you do?

Can you elaborate on this "group?" I can count them on the fingers of one hand... even if I lose four of those fingers in a tragic saw factory accident.

In other news, can anyone verify/disprove this?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:25 AM on August 14, 2006


bshock - dude denies that the Holocaust happened and calls for the destruction of the state of Israel.

wacko. No matter how he conducts himself over tea.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:37 AM on August 14, 2006


There's a "group" in MeFi? Quick! Make them take off their shoes and throw away their Mountain Dews! Quick! Before they board the thread!
posted by ZachsMind at 10:51 AM on August 14, 2006


If he wants to relocate Israelis, he can start by offering a nice piece of his own country to the descendants of the 100,000+ Persian Jews who have fled Iran since 1948.
posted by rottytooth at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2006


Mike Wallace is a miserable embarrassing wreck, and Ahmadinejad is a cheap embarrassing stooge.

...you'd think that would have made for more entertaining fare.
posted by aramaic at 12:13 PM on August 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


With the quality of governments these days worldwide it would seem citizens would be better of being ruled by rabid circus monkeys. . . .
posted by mk1gti at 12:23 PM on August 14, 2006


fingers_of_fire:

I, and most other people on Metafilter, would consider you a wacko. %90 of your comments on the blue are in threads about Israel's bad behavior, where you mindlessly defend Israel's despicable actions towards it's neighbors, and question the humanity of the oppressed.

The state of Israel is doing more to guarantee the destruction of it's racist government (What Ahmadinejad wants, not the destruction of Israelis) than any other force on the planet.
posted by blasdelf at 1:23 PM on August 14, 2006


This interview will be replayed on C-Span tonight at 8, followed by the entire 90 minute interview unedited.
posted by nevercalm at 1:24 PM on August 14, 2006


...question the humanity of the oppressed.

How exactly is Israel oppressing poor little Mahmoud? Or are you counting the bombardment of his lapdogs in Lebanon?
posted by Krrrlson at 1:31 PM on August 14, 2006


Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
posted by caddis at 2:12 PM on August 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


"...it would seem citizens would be better of being ruled by rabid circus monkeys. . . ."

FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE--

*Zach is suddenly strangled by his own lower intestine*
posted by ZachsMind at 2:19 PM on August 14, 2006


I'm living in a glass house because I believe that Israel's form of government can only serve to engender hatred, death, and tragedy — among Israelis and all of it's neighbors and captives?
posted by blasdelf at 5:47 PM on August 14, 2006


oops! I'm sorry, that should have been "her neighbors and captives"

I know how touchy you guys can get about people not referring to your beloved ethnocentric Zion in the innocent virginal feminine, since there certainly could not have been any fault in the logic of those who founded her, considering the golden opinion the world has of her.
posted by blasdelf at 5:56 PM on August 14, 2006


troll
posted by caddis at 6:25 PM on August 14, 2006


You didn't answer my question blasdelf.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:34 PM on August 14, 2006


It's not up to him or anyone else to decide where israel goes. It is where it is. It's not up to a committee to move it.

That's funny, since it was pretty much created that way.
posted by odinsdream at 6:37 PM on August 14, 2006


Not going to touch the "Who has the right to blow who off the map" argument,

but re peak uranium:
The growth in nuclear power has been essentially flat for the past twenty years. As a result, there's been little incentive for to find new uranium deposits - the existing mines have been adequate to meet the (stable) demand. Now that more and more utilities are talking about new reactors, Uranium prospection is hitting a fevered pitch. Expect the "known yellowcake reserves" number to grow substantially in the next ten years. Then there's reprocessing, breeding and even the thorium fuel cycle. There are plenty of issues with nuclear power, but the availability of fuel isn't really one of them.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:58 PM on August 14, 2006


blasdelf - so if I agree with you that he walks on the desire to destroy a "racist" government, will you grant me that Holocaust denying is the sure sign of a wacko?

As for referring to Israel (or any other country) as "her", way to take issue with how something is said, which, of course, has no bearing whatsoever on WHAT is being said.

Lastly, I'm perfectly comfortable with you - or anyone else - disagreeing with my opinions, but when you call them mindless, it's insulting. Having lived for a short time in Israel and visited Jordan and Egypt, and having spent a lot of time reading about, discussing, and studying the Middle East, I don't think that my comments or opinions are mindless. Apparently when you come across something that doesn't fit into your line of reasoning, it's mindless. I'm sorry for you. You'll miss out on a lot.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:35 PM on August 14, 2006


I was expecting more from Mike Wallace in the interview regarding professionalism, instead he came off as elitist, pompous and condescending.

I'm surprised nobody's brought up Mike Wallace's interview with the last Iranian president, Rafsanjani. (Or were there some in between?) That was about, what, nine years back? That was the most horrible interview I'd ever seen. I didn't see this one, but with Rafsanjani, it wasn't just that Wallace was rude and arrogant, it was that he had been clearly prepared and rehearsed to be rude and arrogant. That level of nastiness doesn't happen by accident. I'm surprised Ahmadnijad agreed to the interview knowing it would be Wallace, again.
posted by BinGregory at 11:39 PM on August 14, 2006


To all those who call him a 'whacko' what's whacko about him?

His point about the location of Zion is quite good.
posted by Sukiari at 1:38 PM on August 15, 2006


for those that missed the broadcast as i did, it's now available on youtube for your research viewing pleasure . . .

video of the unedited interview available on youtube

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN



this is the CBS 60 Mins Edited Version
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four
posted by nyoki at 1:40 PM on August 15, 2006


I'll pass on the bit about the location of Zion, as that's clearly an unbridgeable difference. That said, denying the Holocaust, in my book, is irrefutable evidence of whacko-ness.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 2:11 PM on August 15, 2006


Sukiari - entered into the big book of Klan, please don your hood
posted by caddis at 7:03 PM on August 15, 2006


So is fellating Ahmadinejad Metafilter's official new fad?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:36 PM on August 15, 2006


So is fellating Ahmadinejad Metafilter's official new fad?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:36 PM PST


Naw, but you should go and get some so you stop looking at everything as a fellating.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:25 PM on August 16, 2006


Did you run out of Iranian government talking points that quickly?
posted by Krrrlson at 3:57 PM on August 16, 2006


Did you run out of Iranian government talking points that quickly?
posted by Krrrlson at 3:57 PM PST


Oh, you wanted talking about Iran? Your statement "So is fellating Ahmadinejad Metafilter's official new fad? posted by Krrrlson at 10:36 PM PST" makes it look like you are not able to have a reasonable discussion.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:17 PM on August 16, 2006


This made me miss Peter Jennings.
posted by blendor at 3:13 PM on August 17, 2006


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