December 5, 2006

THE SUPREMO GREASES THE SKIDS (via David Hill, The Bronx):

Hardliners turn on Ahmadinejad for watching women dancers (Robert Tait, December 5, 2006, Guardian)

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, who flaunts his ideological fervour, has been accused of undermining Iran's Islamic revolution after television footage appeared to show him watching a female song and dance show.

The famously austere Mr Ahmadinejad has been criticised by his own allies after attending the lavish opening ceremony of the Asian games in Qatar, a sporting competition involving 13,000 athletes from 39 countries. The ceremony featured Indian and Egyptian dancers and female vocalists. Many were not wearing veils.

Women are forbidden to sing and dance before a male audience under Iran's Islamic legal code. Officials are expected to excuse themselves from such engagements when abroad but TV pictures showed Mr Ahmadinejad sitting with President Bashar Assad of Syria and Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, during last Friday's ceremony in Doha.

Religious fundamentalists, usually Mr Ahmadinejad's keenest supporters, are asking why he attended a ceremony that violated his own government's strict interpretation of Shia Islam.

Stick a fork in him.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 5, 2006 9:20 AM

FYI... Probably just a rumor but Ayatollah Ali Khamenei might've been sent to a hospital with a heart problem.

Posted by: tps at December 5, 2006 9:32 AM

We need to start gaslighting both sides as much as possible, and deal with Syria at the same time. The President has to strike while the Ahmadinejad is hot, as it were.

Posted by: ratbert at December 5, 2006 10:13 AM

Everytime you have a made prediction over the past 3 years the opposite has happened 99% of the time. Iraq, elections, world affairs...the list goes on. Now I just expect the opposite to happen. Instead of stick a fork in him, I'm going to go with he becomes the most powereful Iranian leader in the past 100 years.

Any insight into the Ohio State/Florida game? I'll be a lock to win by taking the opposite.

Posted by: BJW at December 5, 2006 10:18 AM

Iraq, Iran and the elections have all gone precisely according to what we predicted. Indeed, we said it was unlikely he'd be allowed to finish his term when he was first elected because Khamenei opposed him.

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 10:43 AM

This is my favorite blog in the world OJ - but come on. Iraq has gone like who predicted? I know since 2003 I have been saying here no war, not one, has been won the way we are fighting this one. In fact before the 2004 elections you and many others were saying Iraq was not even on the radar screen because things were slowing down. Iraq is THE issue of the day, I know you don't believe that most Americans really care that much but let me tell you they do..A LOT.

Ahmadinejad will not only finish this term, he will be "elected" to another. Why wouldn't he? He has made the Iran THE major power broker in the entire middle east. Read the new piece in Commentary how we need to bomb them now before it's too late. This really gives a good background on how important Iran has become to the entire equation. Iran is the issue, and the mad mullahs know it. They would never upset the apple cart while they are holding all the cards.

As for the elections...60/40 nation is all that I need to say. I would agree that if most Americans paid enought attention to important facts and events we would be at 60/40. But they don't...most are more interested in what color of underwear Brittany Spears is wearing.

Posted by: BJW at December 5, 2006 11:16 AM

We said that Kurdistan should be recognized as an independent nation before we invaded. We said troops should be withdrawn by Memorial Day 2003, but no later than Labor Day. We said that while the desire for a multiethnic/multireligious state was admirable it was unlikely to work and the Sunni would probably have to leave or be exterminated. We said that the President and Karl Rove would withdraw troops prior to the 2004 and then 2006 elections precisely because staying would be a domestic political liability, just as it is a mistake on the ground in Iraq. We underestimated how little the president cares about mere politics and believes in his dream of an Iraq that will never exist.

Most Americans don't care, but by waging two elections on the war instead of on his domestic achievements the President fought on indefensible turf and cost himself. Elections are about turnout. Positive turnout would have come on the domestic issues where he's won big. He ginned up turnout on the war where the isolationists have the advantage.

Khamenei wants a reformist president so he'll have one. He set up the last race to be a Moin vs. Rafsanjani run-off--a win/win for him--but underestimated how much he'd alienated reformist voters. He's learned his lesson.

Even having run a terrible campaign the GOP lost only those seats it was expected to. There were no upsets. And it will easily win back the seats it lost in '08 with McCain or Giuliani at the top of the ticket.

You're dwelling too much in the moment. Conservatism is the long view.

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 11:27 AM

But the new mullah running for supreme black turban is even more of a hardliner, fortunately he's 71.

Posted by: Sandy P at December 5, 2006 11:45 AM

the harder the line the less interest they can have in a politician with an alternate power base.

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 11:48 AM

BJW -- Haven't you been paying attention??! Lateley Brittany hasn't been wearing any underwear.

Posted by: Twn at December 6, 2006 1:42 PM
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