Polimom’s getting downright dizzy trying to keep up with Iran’s president.
One day he’s not going to discuss a thing with anybody, and the next, he’s “ready to negotiate” (from the San Francisco Chronicle):
Iran’s president said Thursday he was ready to negotiate with the United States and its allies over his country’s nuclear program but he also suggested that any threats against Tehran would make the dialogue more difficult.
Well yes — I can see how threats might make dialogue more difficult. Take the very next paragraph in the article, for example:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also intensified his verbal attacks on Israel, calling it a “a tyrannical regime that one day will be destroyed.”
Am I missing something?
Holding the negotiation flag in one hand while brandishing a fist with the other is… well… unhelpful. Could it be a neurological problem, and not the schizophrenia it looks like?
Sigh… probably not.
A couple of days ago, I posted about Ahmadinejad’s letter – a very odd document (imho) that seemed to think Bush could simply decide to lead the United States according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. It couldn’t be more obvious from such an idea that Iran’s president doesn’t understand the West at all.
On the other hand, Polimom agrees with Sally Buzbee (the AP’s Middle East News Chief) that we don’t understand Iran very well, either (from WaPo):
[…M]any ordinary Americans and Iranians could probably find a grain of common understanding if they talked face-to-face. Many Americans were dismayed by Abu Ghraib and dislike the idea their government would support coups. Many Iranians dislike their country’s religious hard-liners and crave economic growth and freedom.
But the two governments can’t bridge the gap, in part because of mistrust, in part because there are true policy differences, in part because a hard-liner now runs Iran.
However, the mere attempt at communication — even had it been a profanity-laced rant — was ground-breaking, and it’s not surprising that he’s more than slightly miffed at being dismissed. Unfortunately, it’s led to one of the few perceptions shared by both Iran and the US at the moment: the view of each other’s ” bad attitude“.
Is the gap too wide to hope for resolution? Probably (hopefully!) not, but we sure could use a reliable cultural interpreter, don’t you think?