When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad drove the US delegation out of the UN General Assembly by alluding to 9/11 "truth" theories during a speech, the general media narrative was that he's batshit crazy.
This isn't without good cause. A quick perusal of 9/11 "truth" theories quickly reveals those who believe such theories to be demonstrably nuts -- Scott Stockdale's objections and all.
But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have seized upon a key strategic interest with his comments: keeping the international community divided.
As the University of Alberta Gateway's Ryan Bromsgrove points out, Ahmadinejad has managed to solidify his position at the head of an anti-Western, anti-capitalist global bloc (regardless of how genuine he could possibly as such, considering that he leads a mass oil-exporting country).
"The focus of the media has been on his suggestions about 9/11, and how the US delegation walked out on his speech. Relatively few news stories say much about what else he said -- he opened his diatribe with a religious criticism of capitalism, then moved on to the international response to 9/11. He described three potential viewpoints on the attacks -- that they were carried out by a terrorist organization, that they were the work of the American government, or that they were co-ordinated by a terrorist organization with the support of the US government -- and what groups he thinks holds each one. Critically, however, he didn’t reveal which he himself ascribed to. He then went on to remark that the wars spawned by 9/11 killed thousands more people. This was followed by a reasonable plea for nuclear disarmament and nuclear energy, and ending with a lengthy religion-infused call for peace, justice, love, and the end of capitalism."Moreover, how "reasonable" a plea for nuclear disarmament from the leader of a country that is currently in the process of arming itself with nuclear weapons is also extremely questionable.
But aside form this detail, Bromsgrove seems to have seized upon a successful gambit to make himself look reasonable, and his global adversaries seem unreasonable:
"Regardless of what Iran’s actual motives may be when it comes to nuclear weapons, power, and world peace, what is key is that much of the speech had the appearance of being reasonable. But by provoking western countries to walk out with two minutes of conspiracy nonsense, Ahmadinejad cunningly allowed himself to appeal to his own country, allies, and those sitting on the fence, while also being able to claim that despite making some very reasonable calls for peace and nuclear disarmament, the West wouldn’t listen to him. Sure, the western media will predictably demonize him, but he has nothing to lose there. Where it counts for him, he’ll likely strengthen his own support -- indeed, Iranian MPs released a statement giving their full support to Ahmadinejad’s speech before the UN General Assembly -- while making it look like it’s the US who are unwilling to negotiate"Of course we know that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't interested in world peace by any means. He's more interested in keeping power in Iran, and he seems to know that repeatedly stirring up hostility against Iran will keep him entrenched among nationalistic elements within Iran, while continually feeding hostility against Israel will give Iranian nationalists something else to look at.
Underscoring Ryan Bomsgrove's article is a sobering reminder: while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may want the western world to believe him to be crazy, a calculating Ahmadinejad is much more effective -- and dangerous -- than he would be if he were merely crazy.