Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not joking when he talks about eradicating Israel, and in that sense, he should be taken seriously. But when it comes to being a spokesman for a modern-day Third Reich? His performance on 60 Minutes was, in a word, laughable.
RealClearPolitics' John McIntyre wrote about the Iranian president's interview with Mike Wallace: "I found his answers to Wallace extremely cunning, crafty and dangerous." Dangerous, yes. Cunning and crafty? To a 12-year-old, maybe. Ahmadinejad's response to Wallace's questioning about his glorification of martyrdom: "You should understand the definition of martyrdom to appreciate what I've said."
Oh, give me a break. Bill Clinton tried that with the word "is."
Throughout the interview, Ahmadinejad was evasive and coy. He feigned cluelessness, pretending not to comprehend the gist of some of Wallace's more pointed questions. At other times, it seemed like he was reading from Cindy Sheehan's crib notes. And he was consistently disingenuous.
Mike Wallace has been criticized for supposedly soft-balling with Ahmadinejad. In Wallace's defense, he tried his best to wrest straight information from the Iranian president's torqued responses without actually jumping up and strangling the guy, which I found myself wanting to do repeatedly throughout the interview.
But in all fairness, he was slightly more convincing than Baghdad Bob.
Bottom line, it alarms me that such a rank amateur, schooled as he is in the art of seventh-grade debating methods, could have an entire nation under his sway.