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Who Does Iran Want as the U.S. President?

Time’s Joe Klein says McCain:

In any case, don’t be surprised if Ahmadinejad pulls a bin Laden and “denounces” McCain just before the election this year.
Why? Because the last thing Iran’s leaders want is an American President who doesn’t play the role of the Great Satan. They need the mirage of an implacable, saber-rattling foe to distract their population from the utter incompetence of their government. An American President who said, “Let’s talk,” would lead an awful lot of Iranians to ask their leaders, “Why aren’t you talking?” That was certainly the case after the reformer Mohammed Khatami won a surprise landslide election to become the Iranian President in 1997. The Clinton Administration began making quiet diplomatic overtures toward Khatami, and a handshake between Clinton and him was choreographed for the 2000 U.N. General Assembly meeting — but Khatami backed out at the last minute, under pressure from his clerical superiors. In recent Iranian elections, the mullahs have made sure that reformers like Khatami were ineligible to run for the presidency and the Iranian parliament — although there are indications that Khamenei considers Ahmadinejad to be an unnecessarily bellicose embarrassment as well.

Joe Klein ends his analysis with this warning that electing John McCain will start WWIII:

At a crucial moment, John F. Kennedy received two messages from the Soviets — one bellicose, one accommodating. He chose to ignore the bellicose message and very likely saved the world. “You probably would’ve chosen the wrong message,” I teased McCain. “I probably would have,” he laughed. He was joking, but given his behavior of late, you’ve got to wonder.


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