Friday, July 17, 2009
I feel a bit of trepidation every time I see news that Ahmadinejad is to give a speech, as even though I don't expect he will, there is always the faint possibility that he would suddenly come up with something very conciliatory to the rest of the world, placing the onus on other countries to either pick human rights (the voters of Iran) or diplomacy (indirectly recognizing his government by directly dealing with them).
But then Ahmadinejad comes up with gems like this one that make everything better. According to Press TV, Ahmadinejad said in his speech that Iran will strike its enemies "in the face so hard they will lose their way home". It's the classic staying on the offensive and blaming the rest of the world approach. This approach works quite well when there is a clear enemy and the person making the statement has a fair amount of popularity (or fear) at home, but without that it's more reminiscent of the GOP during the 2008 elections. You all remember this I'm sure:
This is the wrong approach to use when you are deeply unpopular with the people of your country, and especially wrong when the economy is as bad as it is now. Luckily Ahmadinejad only seems to know how to double down and increase the rhetoric, and that's a very good thing. I suspect his speech today has only served to strengthen the will of Iranians to make their voices heard at Friday prayers and in the streets tomorrow.
I'm a bit too sleepy right now to try to find the transcript of the speech in Persian, but if you know where it is let me know in the comments below and I'll add it to the main post tomorrow.