Beware Strange Men Bearing Gifts
So....How did he phrase it? Well, according to a transcription posted on The Independent (1), he said it thus:
"On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the great Prophet of Islam, and on the occasion of Easter and Passover, I would like to announce that the great nation of Iran, while it is entitled to put the British military personnel on trial, has pardoned these 15 sailors and gives their release to the people of Britain as a gift...."
The last time I saw such a gift, it involved Don Corleone and an unfortunate horse.
International pressure was certainly a factor--nobody believed that the British sailors were captured in Iranian waters. But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can rest comfortably in the knowledge that he accomplished his primary mission. Though in person he may be physically diminutive in stature, he was able to pull up to the grown-up's table using the booster-seat of this contrived crisis. That's what he really wanted. And he got what he wanted by stomping about and raising a ruckus like a spoiled child who has been spared the rod too often.
Imams, Ayatollahs, and Sheiks (Oh, my!)
Is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insane? Maybe. But likely his madness is just enough to allow his adequate function on the world's stage. He will play his pawns and subsequently be played as one by the Imams, Ayatollahs, and sheiks. For rarely does one who plays humanity cheaply avoid getting played himself. It is the way of totalitarians and tyrants.
Ashes to Ashes
We will undoubtedly hear from the Iranian president again soon as he either creates another crisis or inserts himself into one. Ronald Reagan once famously consigned communism to the "ash heap of history." Certainly, Ahmadinejad will one day join his Islamofascist brethren in that smouldering pile. Let us pray that he does not take a city or two with him as he goes.
(1) Published: 05 April 2007;