August 22, 2006


Iranians Upset at Government's Financial Aid to Hezbollah in Lebanon (Ali Nouri Zadeh, 8/21/06, Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Iranian government's pledge of 500 million dollars to Hezbollah has angered many Iranians who say they are still awaiting money to help rebuild their homes that were damaged by wars and natural disasters, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The anger is particularly fierce in the Khuzestan district, which sustained severe damage during the Iran-Iraq war, and in Bam, which was hit hard by an earthquake three years ago. [...]

“Informed sources” told Asharq Al-Awsat that spontaneous demonstrations were staged in Bam and in Khuzestan on Friday as protesters shouted slogans critical of Hezbollah and the government. They were demanding their homes be rebuilt instead of the government intervening in Lebanese affairs.

Ahmedinejad's ravings aren't helping the economy, which is why he won't be re-elected.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2006 3:52 PM

Anyone know why the 13th Imam didn't show up?

Posted by: erp at August 22, 2006 4:13 PM

Because Man can't immanentize the eschaton. He'll return when He's ready--not when a bunch of nutbags insist He should.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2006 4:18 PM

Since he's not really in charge of Iran, what difference does it make if he's re-elected?

Posted by: Brandon at August 22, 2006 6:41 PM

Lowers the noise & reduces the price of oil, which is all that matters in the short term.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2006 7:08 PM

oj, you are charmingly naive in thinking that the Iranian electorate chose Ahmadinajad or will decide whether he continues in office.

But hey - it keeps your narrative consistent.

Posted by: too true at August 22, 2006 8:23 PM

"Ahmedinejad's ravings aren't helping the economy, which is why he won't be re-elected." He will if he's the only one allowed to run by their supreme ayatollah.

Posted by: ic at August 22, 2006 8:25 PM


He wasn't Khamenei's first or second choice, but that's how democracy works when you get the good guys to boycott ellections.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2006 8:26 PM


He wasn't and won't.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2006 8:26 PM

Where are our CIA? Are they supposed to take advantage of situations like this to aid dissidents? May be they are too busy leaking national security secrets to the NYT.

Posted by: ic at August 22, 2006 8:32 PM

When has a "nutbag" like Ahmadinejad left office voluntarily?

We know Khameini isn't going anywhere absent a body bag. Perhaps Mahmoud will provide it.

Is Khameini going to be Hirohito or Tojo? And will it make any difference in the end?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 23, 2006 12:07 AM

His rantings do serve a certain purpose, in the same way Nixon and Kissinger's "madman theory" was used to make the Soviets sweat about going to the aid of the Arab states during the Yom Kippor war -- not that his wackiness is going to keep U.S. bombs off his head if he goes too far with the administration, but his antics are unnerving some of our European allies while at the same time his hostility towards Bush is ingratiating him with folks who think he hats GWB for the same reasons they do (a cause helped by having him spout DNC talking points during his "60 Minutes" interview).

Not the guy the ayatollahs may want running the country on a long term basis, but useful if you're trying to run out the clock while developing your nuclear program and want nervous/clueless allies in the West to help with your stalling tactics.

Posted by: John at August 23, 2006 12:11 AM

Daniel Ortega did. Part of their insanity is thinking that they're popular, so the election results catch them off-guard.

Posted by: oj at August 23, 2006 12:22 AM

Speaking of the insanity of dictators, we watched "Lost City" last night. I thought it dragged and was too stylized, but surprisingly, my husband was mesmerized and actually watched the end feature with some of the actors discussing the film.

Maybe it's a male thing, but the Bill Murray role was off-putting. Short pants with a suit coat. Why? Symbolism gone mad??? The role of an observer/commentator seemed pointless. All his utterances were either swallowed and unintelligible or when clearly audible, were mostly unfathomable.

I like Murray and kinda feel he could have been a bigger star if he made different choices. For the record, Dustin Hoffman, even as the comic relief, was atrocious. However …. the women's clothes were authentic and fabulous. Eat your hearts out people, that's the way we girls dressed in the 50's. Wore high heels all day, every day, and the only part of me still in mint condition, are the feet. Best decade for fashion ever!

Posted by: erp at August 23, 2006 10:30 AM