Maziar Bahari at PostGlobal

Maziar Bahari

Tehran, Iran

Maziar Bahari is an award winning documentary filmmaker and journalist from Iran. His films include “The Voyage of the Saint Louis,” “Targets: Reporters in Iraq,” “Football, Iranian Style” and “Along Came a Spider” for which he received an Emmy nomination in 2005. He is also one of very few journalists who has worked in Iraq consistently for the past four years. Bahari is the Newsweek correspondent in Iran. Close.

Maziar Bahari

Tehran, Iran

Maziar Bahari is an award winning documentary filmmaker and journalist from Iran. more »

Main Page | Maziar Bahari Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Ahmadinejad in 2009

Why America’s favorite rogue leader won’t be exiting the stage anytime soon.

» Back to full entry

All Comments (24)

thzr cftlsu:

kxifz dwjezk zbxkaqcug clngetwv fgctjaius olkyq mfwnl

HonestAbe:

I repeat, "HASSAN ROUHANI"

HonestAbe:

HASSAN ROUHANI, THAT'S THE GUY WHO IS GONNA BE IRAN'S NEXT PRESIDENT AND NO ONE IS EVEN TALKING ABOUT HIM, NO ONE EVER THOUGHT AHAMAD WAS GONNA BE IRAN'S PRESIDENT, NBC'S REPORTER WENT EVEN AS FAR AS SAYING THAT RAFSANJANI'S ELECTION MEANS BACK TO THE FUTURE FOR IRAN, BUT WE ALL KNOW WHO BECAME PRESIDENT, CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT, ROUHANI.

HonestAbe:

I THINK ONE WHOSE NAME IS MISSING HERE IS "HASSAN ROUHANI" IRAN'S FORMER NUCLEAR NEGOTIATOR AND CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, HE IS CLOSE TO THE AYATOLLAH, HE SPEAKS THE LINGO UNDERSTOOD BY THE WEST, HE IS SHARP, HE IS IN CONTROL, ON THE WHOLE A VERY CLEVER MULLAH.

Anonymous:

Israel is a liberal democracy that the jew haters/Israel bashers would prefer not to acknowledge. It is why a new Harvard study showed overwhelming support by Arab Israelis for living in Israel than any other part of the arab world. Anyone nation that chooses to foster an agenda of violence, hatred and intolerance is no different than Nazi Germany. Iranians have a decision to make, it will be interesting to see who they choose.

Patrick:

By re-electing Ahmadinejad the Iranian people might as well be wearing a giant "Kick Me" sign on their backs. I know it's none of my business as an American citizen but it would be nice if the Iranian people would at least think twice about giving the crazies who are currently running our country a perfect excuse for continuing their toxic crusade.

Anonymous:

It is most amusing to read comments from the pro-Israelis (many of whom are rightwing Ashkenazi from Russia these days) to talk about Russia, China, Cuba as a comparison angle. They pretend that Israel is a liberal democracy like Sweden, forget their state is still very much of a socialist rules, Romanian rules on security, internal spying and torture in their prisons and of course the stale apartheid as the last beacon of racism.....and they set out to critize others.

Grow Up Already! And do you forget that it was the Persians that liberated your lot....the mother of all strategic blunders --of its time, I might say!

Oy!:

There was a Holocaust survivor who said you should believe a man when he says he'll kill you.

Read Natan Sharansky's book about democracy. He says there are two types, a Fear Democracy and a Free Democracy. In a place, like most of the Arab/Muslim world and certainly in the territories, 'twas a Fear Democracy. Where one can't practice a religion, speak out, criticize the government, vote, etc without fear of negative consequences, there goes a Fear Society.
Israel, alone in the ME, is a Free Society/Democracy. Arafat and Hamas, and the group in Lebanon are merely the sham of a freely elected democratic process, in reality, they are no different than an election in Russia, China, Syria, Cuba, etc, where the people really aren't free to choose. Ditto Iran...

Ed:

Uh Shalom, grow up. Mao used to say worse things than Ahmadinejad about destroying west, etc. and he had the capacity to do it. But everyone knew it was hyperbole. So is Ahmadinejad's rhetoric. Israel has a problem with itself and is just looking for a foreign enemy to blame it on.

Shalom Freedman:

This was informative in regard to potential opponents of Ahmadinejad. But it was also misleading in describing Ahmadinejad, his character and program. Ahmadinejad and in fact the Iranian Government as a whole is presently pushing for a nuclear capacity for Iran which will if realized, break down all nuclear proliferation efforts and possibily lead to nuclear disaster for a good share of Mankind. Ahmadinejad is also a Messianic Islamist who is waiting for the Thirteen Imam and claims to be willing to go through the catastrophic period before Islam will rule the world as a whole. Ahmadinejad calls repeatedly for the destruction of Israel, and is a Holocaust- denier. He repeatedly speaks about defeating the United States not only in the sense of removing it from the Middle East but in the sense of dethroning it as a world- power.
He is a major danger to Mankind as a whole.
It is of course true that the Iranian mullah- leadership also share a lot with Ahmadinejad. But he is the aggressive leader, the one who will push to the disastrous conflict.
The American goal of regime- change peacefully is of course a right one. But it is extremely doubtful that it is going to happen. As it is very unlikely that U.N. sanctions are going to lead Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

ZZim:

Uh, Joe, let's try a thought experiment. If you tied Obama down and gave Jackson a knife, he would just cut the ropes and let him up.

If you gave Ahmadenijad a nuclear missile aimed at Israel and a button... what do you really think he would do?

What if he knew Isreal had hundreds of bomber jets and about 50 or so nuclear bombs (which they do).

What if he knew that they didn't?

joe Andhra:

Ajad's statement about wiping Israel off the face of the earth was rhetorical. much like Jesse Jackson wanting to cut Obama's nuts off. But it provided an excuse for the Israel lobby to use this as an opportunity to take out Iran as they did with Iraq. I don't see why Iran cant have nukes. evrybody else does!

Anonymous:

بازی بین نوکران سفارت روس و خودفروختگان سفارت انگلیس همواره و مانند زمان مظفرالدین شاه و محمد علیشاه ادامه دارد.

megan:

what about the economic disaster he's exacerbated? he's been unable to help much of the poor who voted for him. and what about the crackdowns? seems to me that khatami would be a shoo-in if he ran again.

Dave:

Well put. The only reason we constantly hear about Ahmadinejad is because he is such an easy target for the Israelite / neoCon propaganda machine. He is, at best, a paper tiger, but a wonderful excuse to start another war or two for Israel.

Moley Russell's Wart:

"...Ahmadinejad does his best to be a man of the people and tempers his zealotry by smiling often and cracking lots of jokes in public..."

It's a wonder why Dubya won't engage Iran, seems he and Mahmoud operate the same way.

Vercinget:

More similar to the USA than I was thinking. More similar. Yes.

faithfulservant3:

Bahari wrote:

"This creates cynical voters in a country where people generally don’t trust the politicians anyway. Hence, people vote for the candidate they find the most genuine and honest compared to the others."

I guess Iran is not that different from the US and Europe after all.

Joe B:

The reason people in Iran vote for Ahmadinejad is the same reason why people in America vote for Republicans like Bush: fear and nationalism/tribalism. The critique of the Iranian reformists (too smart, too nuanced, too respectful of other nations) sounds exactly like the critique Republicans use against Democratic candidates like Kerry and Obama, and people regrettably fall for it.

TT:

Too early to tell. The Leader's choice of hardline Ahmadinejad was to set up a mirror image for the hardline, apocalyptic Bushsim zeal and his crusades, God's work, etc. etc....after having a period of testing Bushism with Khatami's civilised, professor-like approach.

So, the result of Iranian elections will probably reflect the intentions of the next U.S. president, about 5 months into the job!

In Bushism, all options are on the table!


Lauren:

Sid - Isn't that exactly what this article is - a frank look at Ahmadinejad and how he relates to his constituency?

ZZim:

Aren't we running out of "rogue leaders" these days? Saddam (hanged), Khadafi (cowed), Kim (likewise)... who does that leave?

Asad? Sort of, but not really. He's sort of belligerent in public, but a pretty good ally in secret.

The Castro brothers? Too old.

That guy in Venezuela? Nah, just in incompetant wanabe.

Mugabe? Umm, he never mattered much outside his little country. The Myanmar junta? Same deal.

Various non-State leaders like Bin Laden (hiding in a cave) and a few no-name Islamist types.

I guess that just leaves Ahmadinejad.

Sid:

It is somewhat funny in how occasionally the American media publishes stories on the seeds of discontent on Iran: men in hookah bars lamenting the economy, a guy visiting claiming "we want to be more like you" etc. but rarely does our media publish how Ahmadinejad connects to his constituency or why he gains supports. Rather than talk up the bogeyman of the Muslim mullahs and their "incredible" oppression, our media needs a rather frank look at the realities of iranian law in practice, as it applies to civilian population and its longer term implications. But I'm not holding my breath.

Nasiri:

I totally agree. Ahmadinejad seems to be the only Iranian politician who knows his people inside out and knows how to communicate with them. In that respect he is very much like Ayatollah Khomeini.

Post a comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

Categories

  • America's Role
  • Business and Technology
  • Culture and Society
  • Environment
  • Human Rights
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Islamic Movements
  • Israel-Palestine
  • Security and Terrorism
  • The Global Economy
  • The New Asia
PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send your comments, questions and suggestions for PostGlobal to Lauren Keane, its editor and producer.