...the conversation America's president should be having with the Iranian people. We should seize the chance to tell some of the region's most pro-American people how their own president has isolated them, denying their great culture its place in the world and the region a constructive dialogue.Intelligent people like Reza Aslan also agree that "because the president of Iran is basically a powerless figure, the only way he can bring any authority to himself is by using the bully pulpit, and he uses it with enormous sophistication by essentially setting himself up as some kind of pan-Islamist leader."
There's a reason the late Tom Lantos, Congress's only Holocaust survivor and a formidable diplomat, applied for a visa to enter Iran every year for the last decade of his life. What better way to puncture the petty lies of a demagogue than to force him to confront a man who has lived the very history he denies and trivializes?Some have asserted that meeting with Iran's leaders would legitimize Ahmadinejad, who is neither Iran's supreme leader nor someone whom Obama specifically promised to meet. Curiously, many critics then hype Ahmadinejad as a threat of historic proportions, thereby granting the stature they seek to deny.
Aslan gives that quote at about the three-minute mark in this clip:
Too bad those in Strassel's camp -- which apparently includes whoever uploaded the above Youtube video, based on the absurd title of the clip (along with being "insane," "Reza Aslan" is apparently not even Mr. Aslan's real name, given that his name appears in unnecessary quotation marks) -- just don't seem to understand such seemingly simple logic.