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Friday Oct. 15, 2010 6:40 PM (EST+7)
ANALYSIS: Ahmadinejad's tour to Lebanon is revealing

Read more: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Lebanon, Israel foreign policy, Israel - Lebanon relationship

RAMALLAH, October 15 (JMCC) - Lebanon’s southern border, so often a battleground, hosted the last part of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s tour yesterday. Robert Fisk analysis the man conducting this provocative visit, so well received by Lebanon’s Shia Muslim population.

He looks like a shepherd, but he might have been the Shah. And there he was last night, the President of Iran, one of the triple pillars of the Axis of evil, scarcely two miles from the border of that holy of holies which every American president must support – the State of Israel, or the Jewish State of Israel, as its government claims it to be. The Shia Muslim crowds loved Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They adored him. For weeks, they had been told he was coming. Shah-like was his welcome.

For it was in Bint Jbeil – his last stop last night – that the Shia Hizbollah destroyed at least 10 of Israel's tanks in the 2006 war, and the message was perfectly clear. The West might think it was putting Ahmadinejad back in the box, sanctioning Iran for its mysterious nuclear projects, cursed by Israel for its threats. But here was the little man himself – even the Hizbollah leader, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, had grovelled to him on Wednesday night – taunting the Israelis within visible distance of their border. It was a state with no future, illegitimate; it should cease to exist. He had been saying this for 48 hours.

But something rather dangerous was getting loose last night. Watching Ahmadinejad, you got the feeling that he really believed all this flannel, that the fawning and pampering and ecstasy might have gone to his head. Was this not, after all, the same Ahmadinejad who claimed that a ghostly halo hung over his head when he first addressed the United Nations? The Lebanese, clogged into their traffic jams – courtesy of the Great Man – did indeed claim he was the Shah. How could such a silly man lead a wonderful, brilliant country like Iran? one of them asked me last night.

Read more at The Independent…






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