The first thing that you can do is commit to seeking out the truth.
Here are two excellent analyses of the Iranian President, his visit to NYC and his role in Iranian politics. Both articles are well worth reading in their entirety.
Ahmadinejad's New York state of mind
By Hooman Majd
Ahmadinejad is a shrewd politician, a populist who tailors his remarks and speeches for specific audiences, and plays as good a propaganda game as anyone in the Byzantine maze of Iranian politics. Although his tactics backfire as often as they succeed, he once again managed to forcefully project himself onto the world stage with the welcome assistance of the press, and accomplish much of what he set out to do within the boundaries of his authority. The raison d'être of his visit, a declarative laying out of Iranian policy in front of the world body -- including a reiteration of Iran's nuclear ambitions -- would have to closely reflect the views of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the true center of Iranian political power. But the words uttered in Ahmadinejad's address to the U.N. would be his own, and he is not one to lose an opportunity to further his own agenda, especially in the media capital of the world.
In the eyes of Muslims, his day at the U.N. served to show him as a world leader of great importance, and audiences watching throughout the Middle East undoubtedly noticed not only that the television cameras turning on him frequently as President Bush spoke, but that he politely sat and listened to Bush's speech at all. In contrast, worldwide telecasts showed the U.S. delegation rising and walking out en masse, as they customarily do whenever an Iranian president takes to the lectern. Diplomacy, which is fundamentally about reciprocity, often means that if one party snubs another, the other responds in kind -- but Ahmadinejad's tactical refusal to play by those rules and to instead show respect to the leader of the U.S., begged the question, "Who's the unreasonable man?"
excerpt from the
Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 broadcast of Democracy Now
The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States
AMY GOODMAN: I interviewed exiled Iranian activist Azar Derakhshan earlier this summer. She's the editor of the Women of March 8 magazine and helped organize the 2006 European march against anti-women laws in Iran. I just want to play an excerpt from my conversation with her. This is Azar Derakhshan.
AZAR DERAKHSHAN: I have seen a portrait in the media, Western media. In the media, there is two sides. There is the United States and government of Iran. There are clashes. And the people, the voice of people is absent completely. And the opinion of -- foreigner opinion, they think that this thing, the future of Iran is going to be decided by these two powers.
I try to tell to the people in foreigner countries, in European countries, it's not true, this portrait. There is another fact, very important. The people of Iran, the movement, they are going to take the future. They are not forced to choose between neither the United States, neither the government of Iran. There is another force in Iran. If really somebody wants to prevent the war, the clashes, should be support this movement, this movement for equality, for freedom.
We don't need United States to liberate us. First of all, we are here, and this is our legitimate to liberate ourselves. We want to decide about our future ourselves. We want to fight our native enemy by ourselves. We don’t need -- that’s first. Second one, we already have seen, because Afghanistan and Iraq, they are neighbor of Iran. And the women of Iran, they can see it. Maybe before, not, but right now it’s really -- it’s enough to know what kind of program they have for the people of Iran.
AMY GOODMAN: Iranian dissident, Azar Derakhshan. Professor Abrahamian, your response?
ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN: Well, I think she's right in that there are -- Iran is a very complicated society. There are very different political movements. And the idea that somehow it's a frozen system, that it's not going to change, already precludes any type of possibility of negotiations and changes. In fact, the Iranian system has an electoral system -- is and electoral system. We are going to come up with elections very soon. There is no guarantee that Ahmadinejad would be re-elected again. It's very possible that reformers, liberals, would get in into power again.
AMY GOODMAN: When is the election?
ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN: In less than two years' time. And the base, in fact, of Ahmadinejad’s -- I would say the core base -- is very similar to Bush's core base. It's about 25%. For him to get re-elected, he has to stretch out and find independents and others, and this is going to be very hard. If the reformers can actually rally around one candidate, as they did in the 1990s, they could have landslide victories, in which over 70% of the electorate was voting for liberals and reformers.
AMY GOODMAN: And what direction would a US attack on Iran push the election?
ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN: Oh, it would play right into the hands of Ahmadinejad, because you would have a national emergency. He would declare, basically, the country's in danger. Everyone would have to rally around the flag. People who disliked him would keep their mouth shut. At a time of when the existence of the state is in question, you don't mess around with the leaders. He would basically be able to act as a much more of a strongman national leader.
Sadly, the highy promoted and much anticipated interview by Christiane Amanpour with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was cut from one hour to 5 minutes. Anderson Cooper felt compelled to dispel any rumors that CNN canceled the interview.
Lieberman-Kyl Amendment Passes
OK, So You Don't Like Ahmadinejad