Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad unpopular. Don't rescue him

Iran's President Ahmadinejad is unpopular at home and it's getting much worse. People in the street have been telling jokes about him - he has a PhD in traffic - but now the elites and people in government are joking as well.
The jokes—and who is delivering them—tell the story of a man whose power is on the decline as Iran’s economy collapses around him. Prices for basic goods are skyrocketing, and the government is unable to cope with increasing poverty. Just last month, over 50 Iranian economists sent an open letter excoriating the president’s mismanagement of the economy.
He has made himself an issue around the world. But he is not getting the job done at home. The economy is stagnant. The third largest producer of petroleum is importing gasoline and the price is shooting up. This is good. The people of Iran want him gone. More at the link below. What could go wrong. "Please bomb me," he is saying. "Please, George Bush, bomb me." That would raise his stock: an attack by the US. Monica Maggioni writes at Foreign Policy:
Nobody knows this better than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As his support within Iran has evaporated, he has cranked up the anti-American rhetoric, and the U.S. military has publicly accused the Pasdaran of arming insurgents in Iraq and even Afghanistan. At this point, the only way Ahmadinejad can revive his flagging fortunes is by uniting his country against an external threat. U.S. officials adamantly maintain that Washington is committed to using diplomacy to resolve the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program and its aggressive role in the region. Yet pressure is mounting in some branches of the Bush administration to take military action against Iran. That pressure should be resisted. For military action would give Mahmoud Ahmadinejad exactly what he wants most: job security.

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