Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Shah with a turban

Thomas Friedman, New York Times - I'd like to thank Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his observation that the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews was just a "myth." You just don't see world leaders expressing themselves so honestly anymore — not about the Holocaust but about their own anti-Semitism and the real character of their regimes.

But since Iran's president has raised the subject of "myths," why stop with the Holocaust? Let's talk about Iran. Let's start with the myth that Iran is an Islamic "democracy" and that Ahmadinejad was democratically elected.

Sure he was elected — after all the Iranian reformers had their newspapers shut down, and parties and candidates were banned by the unelected clerics who really run the show in Tehran. Sorry, Ahmadinejad, they don't serve steak at vegetarian restaurants, they don't allow bikinis at nudist colonies, and they don't call it "democracy" when you ban your most popular rivals from running. So you are nothing more than a shah with a turban and a few crooked ballot boxes sprinkled around.

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