Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 14-Aug-06
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a very charismatic leader

Web Log - August, 2006

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a very charismatic leader

In his 60 Minutes interview, he was witty, charming, confident and deadly.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on <i>60 Minutes</i>, 13-Aug-2006 <font size=-2>(Source: CBS)</font>
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 60 Minutes, 13-Aug-2006 (Source: CBS)

Mike Wallace joked with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, complimented him, sucked up to him -- all to get him to answer as many questions as possible.

Ahmadinejad didn't fall for any of it. He accepted the compliments as if he obviously deserved them, he ducked the suck-ups, he was forceful when he wanted to be forceful, and evasive when he wanted to be evasive. He totally charmed Wallace and the audience. Even speaking through an interpreter, he easily controlled the interview.

I've previously compared Ahmadinejad to President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy took office in 1960, one generation past World War II, as a young, charismatic leader of a new generation, with to lead with a new vision for America.

Ahmadinejad is the same, one generation past the genocidal Iran/Iraq crisis war of the 1980s. But Ahmadinejad's vision, of course, is to "wipe Israel off the map," and displace America as the leading superpower in the entire Mideast.

Ahmadinejad was at his most deadly when he gave the answer to the question of why he wanted to wipe Israel off the map. He says that the state of Israel was created because of alleged atrocities (the Holocaust) that Jews suffered in Europe.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on <i>60 Minutes</i>, 13-Aug-2006 <font size=-2>(Source: CBS)</font>
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 60 Minutes, 13-Aug-2006 (Source: CBS)

"Well, if an atrocity was committed in Germany or Europe for that matter, why should the Palestinians answer for this?" he said. "They had no role to play in this. Why on the pretext of the Holocaust they have occupied Palestine? Millions of people have been made refugees. Thousands of people to-date have been killed, sir. Thousands of people have been put in prison. Well, at the very moment, a great war is raging because of that."

Wallace was clearly nettled by this response, as he asked Ahmadinejad to keep his answers concise. What a feeble response.

The fact is that this a very powerful argument: Why should Palestinians suffer, become refugees and be killed because of something that happened in Europe?

This argument can be answered by explaining what happened in Palestine in the 1800s and 1900s, and explaining how and why Palestine was partitioned in 1948, creating the state of Israel.

But that means that there's no answer to the argument. If you have to answer that argument with a 15 minute history lesson, then you've automatically lost the argument.

At the end of Ahmadinejad's answer given above, he says, "Well, at the very moment, a great war is raging because of that." He's referring, of course, to the Lebanese war, going on at this time.

The ceasefire is scheduled to go into effect at 1 am Eastern time. As I'm writing this article, on Sunday evening, nobody knows whether there really will be a ceasefire in a couple of hours, and if there is, how long it will hold. For most of you readers, by the time that you read this, you'll know the answer, but I don't at this time.

Both the Israeli and Hizbollah fighters have been firing artillery and rockets at each other. Both sides have escalated the fight in the last hours in order to gain as good a position as possible when/if the ceasefire takes place.

One part of the U.N. ceasefire resolution already seems doomed. A Lebanese cabinet meeting was postponed on Sunday because Hizbollah refused to agree to disarming. Unless Hizbollah's leaders change their minds (and why should they?), it will not be possible for the Lebanese army to move into the buffer zone.

This brings us back to Ahmadinejad and Iran. CNN is reporting that Iran has been giving $300 million per year to Hizbollah, though Iran claims that any money given is for social services, not weapons.

Whatever the military outcome of the Lebanese war, it's clear that the Ahmadinejad is clearly and indisputably the public relations winner, at least so far.

But Ahmadinejad clearly failed in one thing, at least so far: He had hoped to provoke the Palestinians in joining Hizbollah in the fight against Israel, but failed to do so.

True, the Palestinians are cheering Hizbollah and Ahmadinejad for standing up the Israelis, but that's all they're doing -- cheering. They're not fighting. That's because they want Hizbollah to do well, but not too well. The (Sunni) Arabs in general, and the Palestinians in particular, do not want (Shiite) Hizbollah and Iran to have too big a victory.

As I indicated before, in my lengthy analysis of the Lebanese war, from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the single most important thing to be watching for is changes in attitudes and behaviors of the Palestinian people.

Without the Palestinians' involvement, the Lebanese war really does have no point, even for Iran. Iran, Ahmadinejad and Hizbollah have only objective -- wiping Israel off the map -- and they need the Palestinians to do that. By failing to provoke the Palestinians to war, Ahmadinejad failed in his major objective.

But the day is still young. A war between Jews and Arabs is coming, with absolutely certainty, for reasons that I've explained many times since 2003.

In order to motivate a war, politicians have to provide a justification to the people. And now we have a good idea what that justification will be: Why should Palestinians suffer, become refugees and be killed because of something that happened in Europe? (14-Aug-06) Permanent Link
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