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By Micah Halpern

Wednesday September 24, 2008


Ahmadinejad is many things but he is far from crazy.

The present and future ruler of Iran is totally in control of his faculties. Thinking of him a raging lunatic is a serious mistake. Thinking of him as an out of control maniac is a serious miscalculation.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is dangerous, very dangerous. He is not dangerous because he is deranged, he is dangerous because he has a brilliant grasp of the way the world works. And the way the world works is not the way Ahmadinejad wants it to work. So Ahmadinejad wants to change the world.

It's that simple.

To discount Ahmadinejad because he rants and raves and makes statements that are so outside the realm of believable that he sounds crazy only puts us, his non-believers, at risk. To minimize his power and his importance as the conveyer of ideas to his many followers is to misunderstand the power that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad truly wields.

There are people who trust his word and believe his rhetoric. There are people who have fallen under the mystique he has created about himself. But there aren't enough people like that. Ahmadinejad is trying to drum up more followers, more believers, and to achieve that aim, he ratchets up his rhetoric.

Ahmadinejad is an anti-intellectual intellectual. He deliberately presents himself as an anti-intellectual, as someone against the intelligentsia and the wealthy elite of Iran. In reality the leader of Iran is a true intellectual, schooled deeply in history and literature.

So when Ahmadinejad makes his statements about Israel or when he denies the Holocaust he is not speaking out of ignorance. He is using buzz words. He know that the words "Israel" and "Holocaust" elicit a visceral, a palpable, reaction in the Arab Muslim world. Ahmadinejad has a reason for what sounds like madness.

His objective is to lead a united Islam under his control.

Ahmadinejad does what he must do to attain the status he seeks. Certainly Ahmadinejad knows that there was a Holocaust in Europe, he knows that the Holocaust resulted in the murder and destruction of the Jewish community of Europe. He also knows that the way to achieve his objective is to feed off of the conspiracy theories that thrive in the Muslim world. And he knows that in order to obtain standing in the greater Muslim Arab world he must pay lip service to the Palestinian cause.

Ahmadinejad does what he believes because he himself is a believer. He rejects the premise that a non-Muslim body can control Muslim land. And there is no more Muslim land than Jerusalem. He rejects Israel's very presence because Israel has shattered Islamic hegemony over the land. And he cannot tolerate or condone a situation that allows Zionists to exist on holy land and a situation that even allows the Zionists to control the holy sites in the Holy Land.

Ahmadinejad acts the way he does because in his own world, he is politically savvy. He will never speak the word "Israel" or use the term "Jewish State" because, surprisingly, the Koran does not always view the Jew negatively. In fact, in the Koran there is at times an intimation that the Jew is valuable and important. Instead, Ahmadinejad uses the term "Zionist entity." That is why he so carefully differentiates between "Jews" and "Zionists."

If there was no Holocaust there is no justification for creating the Jewish State. By rejecting the Holocaust Ahmadinejad takes away the moral, ethical and historical grounds upon which Israel was created. The truth has nothing to do with the reality when you are a motivational Muslim extremist. Theories are built upon emotion and emotion, in Ahmadinejad's case, is used to stoke the passions that will enable him to rise as a leader.

Ahmadinejad is not crazy. He is ruthless.

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4 June 2017 12:14 PM in Columns

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