Wednesday, May 17, 2006

“You Don’t Want Drama!”: Iran and the ’95 Source Awards

“You don't want drama, no!
You don't want none, no!
You don't want drama, no!
You don't want none, no!”

I propose that from this point on, any public address from Iranian President Ahmadinejad be preceded by 8 Ball & MJG’s “Don’t Want Drama.” The hard thumping bass and pulsating resonance from P. Diddy’s synthesizer would set the perfect stage for the potential global drama his rhetoric can incite.

Seriously though, does anyone else find the daily sound bites offered by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be amusing drama of the most epic global proportion? Perhaps amusing is too sensational of an adjective. To avoid sensationalist claims, I’ll just say refreshing.

Either way, Ahmadinejad is calling the West on what he believes to be its bullshit, inciting fear in the hearts of powerful and resentful global leaders. As evidence of Ahmadinejad’s gumption, let’s take a look at just a few of his most recent comments with respect to Iran’s right to develop its nuclear capabilities:

In rejecting a possible European offer for incentives, including a light-water nuclear reactor, to give up nuclear pursuits, Ahmadinejad responded:

"We don't need incentives," Ahmadinejad said on state-run TV. "They cannot stop our progress by offering us incentives… Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?"

In response to US accusations of Iran working toward nuclear weapons -- an allegation Tehran denies:

“Why are you still acting and talking as though these are colonial times,” Ahmadinejad said Wednesday. “We do not demand anything more than our rights.”

That’s real life theater only rivaled by hip-hop beef.

If you will, allow me to make another reference to popular urban culture: with every additional soundbite, Ahmadinejad reminds me of New Jack City’s Nino Brown in the famous courtroom scene where he justifies the presence of drugs and violence in America ([testifying in court] I'm not guilty. You're the one that's guilty. The lawmakers, the politicians, the Columbian drug lords, all you who lobby against making drugs legal. Just like you did with alcohol during the prohibition. You're the one who's guilty. I mean, c'mon, let's kick the ballistics here: Ain't no Uzi's made in Harlem. Not one of us in here owns a poppy field. This thing is bigger than Nino Brown. This is big business. This is the American way.). Pardon my regular New Jack City references, but the film is powerful on a number of different levels and can be tangentially applied to a wide scope of social dillemmas. In this comparison, Brown and Ahmadinejad are clearly comfortable calling the West on it's bullshit.

That said, I look forward to President Ahmadinejad’s next public address, as each one instantly evokes memories of the ‘95 Source Awards and the grand posturing the media never tires of.

“You Don’t Want Drama!”


Brother Spotless said...

I find it interesting that both Presidents (Iranian and American) inspire thoughts of Nino Brown...

The rhetoric from both during their respective "heydays" (Bush pre-Iraq II War, and Ahmadinejad now) is similar in an eerie way. They both boast unnecessarily, as if they cannot be beaten militarily or politically (a quick glance at the US death toll in Iraq, along with another look at Bush's poll numbers should show us all that no one is invincible).

While some of his soundbites are initially funny, the context of what Ahmadinejad is talking through is quite frightening. If he is as arrogant as, say, the Bush administration, he may actually attack us. He'd more than likely lose the war and end up like Saddam, but we'd be attacked...again. With 9/11 not far from our memories, do we really want to take this cat lightly??

Brother Afrocan said...

Well the Iranian president can talk smack because he knows the US is over-extended in Iraq to do anything about it. He wasn't talking sh!t before Iraq was invaded because he knew then the US could just as easily have opted to attack Iran instead of Iraq. At the time Bush was looking for a war with anyone- to vent built up anger from 9/11 and also a war is great way to get re-elected (though that is the conspiracy theorist in me talking).

Also the Iranian president knows Europe is not about to go to war with anyone- the overly-liberal citizens are still smarting from the uncomfortable memories of their colonialist forays and the two world wars. No European nation is about to get into a pre-emptive war with ANYONE. But if attacked, then all bets are off.

However, the Iranian president chest thumping does concern me for two reasons primarily. First the effect it has on the commodity markets (read OIL), commodity markets are totally dependent on futures contracts. And the very volatile futures are highly levered to perceptions. The perception that there may be no oil tomorrow or next month is enough to drive the price of oil today sky high, regardless of whether the fears materialize or not. Yes I am guilty of driving a gas guzzling SUV but regardless of what you drive, with the average American’s commute at 50 min a day, it would be crippling if gas rises and settles at $5.00 a gallon.

The second concern I have lies with Israel, simply put, those Jews don’t play! They keep it gangsta! If Israel for even one second fears that the security of their nation is in jeopardy- as they undoubtedly would once Iran can enrich enough plutonium to form a weapon. Israel will strike, very swiftly and coldly. All this talk by the Iranian president is only making Israel increasingly antsy. If I were to put money on which will be the next country to strike another with nuclear weapons, my money is on Israel. Israel has the weapons and they are not afraid to use them and they could care less what the west thinks. Of course, any strike by Israel will definitely awaken the wrath of the entire Middle East- and Islam- can we say welcome to world war 3?

RAK said...

What Israel are you speaking about? Israel cares a lot what the West thinks, they just don't think Iran is close to a nuke for about a decade.

The country most likely to use a nuke is the US which has considered using tactical nukes as bunker busters to attack such things as possible Iranian nuclear weapons program sites.

Israel also has said that Iran's size and its WMD programs make it highly unlikely that Israel would be able to pre-emptively strike Iran's WMD sights like it had done to Iraq decades ago. in other words, what we need least right now is an arrogant Iranian president disrespecting any attempts at moderation and an American president who has us stuck in an unnecessary war and is unwilling to actually engage Iran in any way whatsoever.

unfortunately, that's what we've got...

Brother Spotless said...

Afrocan, another reason why Ahmadinejad hasn't said much in the past (and probably the most important reason) is because he wasn't Iran's president until recently. It's hard to talk trash without a podium...

Brother Afrocan said...

Great rebuttal Spotless and I def. got served on that oversight. I would ask though, 'IF' this was 2 years ago prior to the US attacking Iraq, do you think Ahmadinejad would still be willing to spew rhetoric and pose a bigger risk to US national security than his neighbor Saddam? Or do you feel like I do that he is a clever politician that is speaking because he knows nothing will come of it? due to an over-extended US in Iraq led by a president who's approval ratings are in the gutter? (subjective/speculative opinion of course)

Rak, this is the Israel I am talking about-
and while you are at it google "Israel, Condemned, West" a whole lot of rebukes for a country that cares alot what the west thinks.

Brother Spotless said...

Good points Afrocan. I don't know what Homeboy would do if he were the leader of Iran in 2003. My guess would be that he'd stand by and watch the US attempt to take over the world ("It's Pinky and the Brain...") like the rest of the world did. However, no one thought of the US or our leadership in quite the same way as they do now; they thought we were arrogant before, but all of the actions since Iraq II has clearly put us in a worse light.

My point is that everything has changed since 2003. Iran's leadership has changed. Bush's arrogance, along with his approval rating, has subsided. Saddam is in court and his son's are dead. Osama is running free...well, maybe not everything has changed. But world politics has changed enough that you can't know with any certainty what Ahmadinejad would do back then...

Brother Afrocan said...

Spotless, since you won't touch the past, would you be willing to go out on a limp and predict the future? Do you predict any pre-emptive strike in the near future? This is ofcourse a pre-emptive strike by the US or Israel, because Europe is not about to attack anyone. China and Russia are likely to sit back and watch because an Iranian nuclear weapon is a threat to US, Israel and EU security, they have no beef with the Chinese or Russians

without the threat of a pre-emptive strike, I think Iran will continue to flip the bird the rest of the world and accelerate their nucular (bushism) program and soon have enough enriched uranium for a bomb. That said, the west may just stand pat as they did when India and Pakistan got their nuclear game-on. Ofcourse once Iran has one, the rest of the Islamic world will want to get in on the action.

Brother Spotless said...

The US really doesn't have a choice but to sit back, at least with the military. For one, a pr-emptive strike would be political suicide for anyone who proposed it at this point; we are still reeling from the last one. Second, our military is stretched too thin as it stands today. If Bush's border proposal stands, the US would have 6,000 less troops to use in Iran. the US really doesn't have the military resources to do anything right now. It's a situation where the US HAS to use diplomacy. Convince other nations that it is in their interests to pressure Iran to act in accordance with international law.