Me and Fareed.

I feel like standing on the highest mountain, shouting it out to the whole world; so I’m going to say it right here:

I love Fareed Zakaria.

Ok, he’s not the most attractive man… But I love what he has to say and I love how he says it. I’ve been reading him for years, as a columnist in Newsweek and elsewhere.

Anyways, excerpts from one of his latest:

The Year of Living Fearfully

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has gone from being an obscure and not-so-powerful politician to a central player in the Mideast, simply by goading the United States.

Sept. 11, 2006 issue

“…Can everyone please take a deep breath?

To review a bit of history: in 1938, Adolf Hitler launched what became a world war not merely because he was evil but because he was in complete control of the strongest country on the planet. At the time, Germany had the world’s second largest industrial base and its mightiest army. This is not remotely comparable with the situation today.

Iran does not even rank among the top 20 economies in the world. The Pentagon’s budget this year is more than double Iran’s total gross domestic product…

…Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are real and dangerous, but its program is not nearly as advanced as is often implied. Most serious estimates suggest that Iran would need between five and 10 years to achieve even a modest, North Korea-type, nuclear capacity.

…Washington has a long habit of painting its enemies 10 feet tall—and crazy.

…One man who is greatly enjoying being the subject of this outsize portraiture is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

…By turning him into enemy No. 1, by reacting to every outlandish statement he makes, the Bush administration has given him far more attention than he deserves.

…He uses the nuclear issue because it gives him a great nationalist symbol. For a regime with little to show after a quarter century in power—Iranian standards of living have actually declined since the revolution—nuclear power is a national accomplishment.

…By making his dramatic statements, he is taunting the regimes of the Arab world, using rhetoric they dare not, for fear of Washington. His rhetoric is not so new; the Iranian “moderate” Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani said similar things.

…The real shift that has taken place in the Middle East is that 30 years ago most Arab regimes would have made statements like Ahmadinejad’s. Today his “rejectionism” stands alone.”

(Full Newsweek article)






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