Tell It Like It Is

To the Editor:

It has been a national pasttime of ours since Hitler to apportion a great deal of undue credit onto our would-be enemies, and Max Bryer ’08’s editorial on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fits in this tradition nicely (“An Impotent U.N. and a Big Dictator,” Oct. 4).

We should, however, be very careful about how we choose to see the despots in our midst. With respect to Mr. Ahmadinejad, we are dealing with a man occupying a position of very little power with respect to the armed forces of Iran. If Iran is indeed attempting to obtain nuclear weapons — and it’s not entirely certain it could any time soon — these would fall under the control of the Revolutionary Guards who, in any case, respond not to Mr. Ahmadinejad, but to Ali Khameini. Further, and events within Iran in the past year have only sharpened this point, it would probably not be in the interests of Mr. Khameini — or anyone else with a thinking apparatus, Mr. Ahmadinejad included — to use such devices on a nuclear-armed Israel. Much less the United States, France or Britain.

There is, of course, the little matter of Mr. Bryer calling the United Nations irrelevant. Such cliches are, unfortunately, too common and taxing to respond to here. Nevertheless, I would like to make a rather bold point: Labelling the United Nations ‘impotent’ is truly passe post-2003; but saying so about Mr. Ahmadinejad … well, that would be a bold suggestion indeed!

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