Today is the Jewish holiday of Purim. (Unlike the biblically-based Jewish holidays, this is one, like Chanuka, on which I’m allowed to blog!)
As well explained in the Book of Esther, it’s the holiday of turnabout, surprises, false identities, intrigue, perhaps some emotional legerdemain, and not a little spiritual confusion. The outcome isn’t always funny, or even fun, except perhaps in the sense of the divine comedy.
It all comes around in the end, though!
Iran’s nuclear arsenal is a problem for which the blame can be shared across all Western regimes. And I don’t blame Russia, China or North Korea, really, because they’re doing exactly what Russia, China and North Korea will do. But this is not a Republican or a Democrat thing; it’s a disaster thing and a lack of guts thing and a collective-action-dilemma thing.
So here’s the thing:
The international community can give Iran “as many deadlines as they want, we don’t care,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech to thousands of supporters in the southern city of.
Ahmadinejad dismissed the threat of sanctions, saying Iran wants talks “under just conditions where there is.”
“We told you that we are not afraid of sanctions against us, and we are not intimidated,” he said, addressing the West. “If Iran wanted to make a bomb, we would be brave enough to tell you.”
As the crowd cheered: “We love you, Ahmadinejad,” the Iranian leader lashed out at Washington, vowing Iran will stand up against U.S. attempts to “dominate the Middle East.”
If you wanted to make up a scenario where a modern-day, psychologically dented, ideologically bizarre and, natch, antisemitic regime vaulted itself into great power status and the ability to threaten the whole world with (small H) holocaust … and said all the leader of that country had to do was follow the Hitler-at-Munich playbook to a T … in what possible respect would it look any different from how Iran looks right now?
Cross-posted on Right Wing News.
The New York Times gives us a primer on how Red is Red:
Like an envious underachiever, Vladimir V. Putin’s party, United Russia, is increasingly examining how it can emulate the Chinese Communist Party, especially its skill in shepherding China through the financial crisis relatively unbowed.
United Russia’s leaders even convened a special meeting this month with senior Chinese Communist Party officials to hear firsthand how they wield power.
In truth, the Russians express no desire to return to Communism as a far-reaching Marxist-Leninist ideology, whether the Soviet version or the much attenuated one in Beijing. What they admire, it seems, is the Chinese ability to use a one-party system to keep tight control over the country while still driving significant economic growth.
And that differs from Stalinism exactly how? Besides not being called Communism, I mean.
The Kremlin’s strategy was apparent in regional elections last week, when United Russia lieutenants and government officials used strong-arm tactics to squeeze out opposition parties, according to nonpartisan monitoring organizations. United Russia won the vast majority of contests across the country.
Far behind was the Russian Communist Party, which styles itself as the successor to the Soviet one and has some popularity among older people. The Russian Communists have also sought to build ties to their Chinese brethren, but the Chinese leadership prefers to deal with Mr. Putin’s party.
Sure. Why deal with loser commies when you can deal with the new, improved winning kind?You really do need a scorecard these days. Just be sure there’s a floorboard you can hide it under when they guards start heading across the courtyard, comrade.
The late-evening ruling was a rare victory for Stalin’s critics in their fight against efforts to rehabilitate the dictator, who according to the rights group Memorial ordered the deaths of at least 724,000 people during a series of purges that peaked in the late 1930s. But defendants said that having the case even make it to court was evidence of a chilling tendency to question the dark side of Soviet history.
Well, you can’t have everything, comrades. It’s all you can do sometimes just to un-make an omelet.
A photograph of the Iranian president [Ahmadinejad] holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots.
A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.
This is only partly funny. It is also only partly surprising. Jews do have a way of rising in prominence regardless of where they are. When they are in the wrong place, unfortunately, their rise … does the Jews, and the world, no favors. And typically, unfortunately, they assert their purported non-Jewishness very assertively against Jewish values and people, perhaps to “prove” how not-Jewish they are or, perhaps, for more complex moral and psychological reasons.
Which is why they should, you know, be in the right place, by which I do not mean a place found on the map.
And in this case, by the way, what’s the real story? Well, continue with the article:
The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth.
Well, there you have it. No wonder they converted — they had a Jew-hating mamzer like this for a kid!
UPDATE: Glad I got that in before the inevitable debunking:
Professor David Yeroshalmi, author of The Jews of Iran in the 19th century and an expert on Iranian Jewish communities, disputes the validity of this argument. “There is no such meaning for the word ‘sabour’ in any of the Persian Jewish dialects, nor does it mean Jewish prayer shawl in Persian. Also, the name Sabourjian is not a well-known Jewish name,” he stated in a recent interview. In fact, Iranian Jews use the Hebrew word “tzitzit” to describe the Jewish prayer shawl. Yeroshalmi, a scholar at Tel Aviv University’s Center for Iranian Studies, also went on to dispute the article’s findings that the “-jian” ending to the name specifically showed the family had been practising Jews. “This ending is in no way sufficient to judge whether someone has a Jewish background. Many Muslim surnames have the same ending,” he stated.
Turban-tip to LGF.