Liberal as in Liberty and Freedom. Iranian as in Cyrus and Ferdowsi.
In his "interview" with Ahmadinejad, Mike Wallace, the host of CBS's "60 Minutes" said
: "I couldn't be happier for the privilege of sitting down with the president of Iran." I completely believe him. He was all too happy, in fact, to be able to do his job. Jeff Jacoby, a columnist with the Boston Globe observes
Time and again Wallace let Ahmadinejad brush him off with inanities and lies he would have pounced on had they been uttered by a business executive or an American politician. When Wallace asked why Iranian Revolutionary Guards are helping terrorists in Iraq kill US soldiers, Ahmadinejad's non-reply was that the Americans shouldn't be in Iraq, since it is ``a civilized nation with a long history of civilization." The ``60 Minutes" star's withering rejoinder, according to the transcript: ``Mm-hmm." Wallace didn't press for an answer to his question, so Ahmadinejad flung it back at him. ``According to international laws," he said, Iraqi security is the responsibility of ``the occupation" -- that is, the US military. ``Why are they not providing security?" The befuddled Wallace changed the subject.
Could Wallace not at least ask which way is it in Ahmadinejad's fractured view: Americans should be or should not be in Iraq? Should they or should they not provide security according to their international obligations?
Jacoby also tells us a little anecdote, which I find very befitting for Wallace today:
Neville Chamberlain flew to Munich to see Adolf Hitler, Walter Winchell observed in 1938, ``because you can't lick a man's boots over the phone."
As if having heard that story, Mr. Wallace describes the taste, too: "very smart, savvy, self-assured, good looking in a strange way . . . infinitely more rational than I had expected him to be." To what horrifyingly low levels does Mr. Wallace think our understanding of "rationality" has sunk?