While not being an outright example of a clash of civilizations in the Huntingtonian sense, elements of cultural misunderstanding and fears about the system-challenging tendencies of Iran do aﬀect Western perceptions and inﬂuence Western behavior toward Iran. Furthermore, these kinds of reciprocal identity-based fears and projections of the other side’s presumed malevolent intentions tend to be mutually reinforcing. The risk is that they eventually become self-fulﬁlling prophecies.Iran and the West - Regional Interests and Global Controversies [PDF]. [more inside]
Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery. Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits). Increasingly, there is a rift between the President and his Supreme Leader.
Misreading Tehran: Leading Iranian-American writers revisit a year of dreams and discouragement. "With a full 12 months now between us and the election, the time is ripe to start revisiting the hype and hope in a year of writing: which stories were overblown, what stories were missed entirely, and what can be gleaned about Iran's annus horribilis from a more thorough understanding. FP asked seven prominent Iranian-Americans, deeply immersed in both the English- and Persian-language media, to look through the fog of journalism at what actually happened in Tehran -- and why so many of us got it so wrong." [Via]
in a democracy, the ordinary citizen is effectively a king, but a king in a constitutional democracy, a king whose decisions are merely formal
Berlusconi in Tehran by Slavoj Žižek in the London Review of Books
Iran's debate over theocracy took an interesting turn when Ayatollah Sistani the preeminent Shi'a cleric in Iraq made a recent visit. Sistani has stated that in order to be legitimate a ruler should win acceptance from a majority of believers. Threats Watch has analysis on this as the so called Battle for Iran shifts from the streets to the heart of power. How Iran is ruled is both different and complicated. The crisis is far from over; we are now probably at the end of the beginning. Here is a round up of analysis from dianaswednesday. [more inside]
40 million Iranians watched a "remarkable, no-holds-barred" and nationally televised debate between President Ahmadinejad (blog) and his rival, former Prime Minister Mousavi (Facebook). [more inside]
A christmas message from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
What Mahmoud Ahmadinejad needs to survive politically is possibly a War. However the possibility that plans for military action have been torpedoed have brought 'howls' from the neocons.
To read or to write, that is the question! Ahmadinejad explains why he hasn’t been updating his blog. He stated he would update it more often.
"Fascism", in its current hyphenated repackaging, gets bandied about quite a bit these days. So, it may surprise you to learn that the populist appeal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad depends in part on a Persian concept, "gharbzadegi" ("weststruckness" or "occidentosis") whose roots are located in an Iranian adaptation of Martin Heidegger's proto-fascist concept of "The Darkening of the World" by the intellectuals Ahmad Fardid and Jalal Ali Ahmad.
Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, tells Mahmoud Ahmadinejad where to get off. In response, Adams gets called a "Jew hater" who "may have just alienated a good fraction of [Dilbert's] readership." The next day, when Adams clarifies his position, he ends on a perhaps even more provocative hypothetical.
Terrorism finger puppets! Uncanny crocheted likenesses of Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, Ahmadinejad and George W. Bush.
The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities. Now that this former rogue nation has fallen in line, we can turn out attention to the real terrorist threat: Britain.
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?
Websites that changed the world? Bestest best of the web? What have you done for me today, sugar? Aug 13, 2006 — TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's president [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] has launched a Web log, using his first entry to recount his poor upbringing and ask visitors to the site if they think the United States and Israel want to start a new world war. "Do you think that the US and Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another word war" ...word war?
Yesterday, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wrote a letter to the President of the United States of America, George W. Bush. Here it is. (Courtesy Le Monde, 8 page PDF, English.) The letter has been "dismissed by its recipients as a rambling philosophical treatise." (Times) Further coverage at NYT and Le Monde (French). The letter ends 27 years of diplomatic silence.