Monday, September 24, 2007

The hand puppet doesn't move without the hand

From The New York Times:

Political analysts here say they are surprised at the degree to which the West focuses on their president, saying that it reflects a general misunderstanding of their system.

Unlike in the United States, in Iran the president is not the head of state nor the commander in chief. That status is held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, whose role combines civil and religious authority. At the moment, this president’s power comes from two sources, they say: the unqualified support of the supreme leader, and the international condemnation he manages to generate when he speaks up.

“The United States pays too much attention to Ahmadinejad,” said an Iranian political scientist who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “He is not that consequential.”

[. . .]

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s power stems not from his office per se, but from the refusal of his patron, Ayatollah Khamenei, and some hard-line leaders, to move beyond Iran’s revolutionary identity, which makes full relations with the West impossible. There are plenty of conservatives and hard-liners who take a more pragmatic view, wanting to retain “revolutionary values” while integrating Iran with the world, at least economically. But they are not driving the agenda these days, and while that could change, it will not be the president who makes that call.

“Iran has never been interested in reaching an accommodation with the United States,” the Iranian political scientist said. “It cannot reach an accommodation as long as it retains the current structure.”

What the Times is trying to do is make all the fuss over Imadinnerjacket's attempt to visit Ground Zero seem misplaced and a bit hysterical. However all they succeed in doing is reminding us why we should be focused on jacket-boy. He is nothing, has never been anything and never will be anything, other than a hand-puppet for the people who really rule Iran.

He says no words which they do not put into his mouth and takes no actions which they do not direct him to take.

By watching him we learn what the people who really run that unfortunate nation are really thinking and planning.