Surreal is how many people around the world describe the situation in Iran: one of the world’s great and sophisticated cultures under the rule of backward-looking mullahs who think stoning adultresses, hanging homosexuals, threatening Israelis with annihilation and building a bomb is all in a day’s work. Complete with a hate-spewing, Holocaust-denying demagogue who thinks he’s the chosen instrument of God — though he was rejected by Iranian voters in the last election — the group of clowns, thugs and religious zealots in charge of Iran looks like something out of a satire by Swift or Voltaire.Distinctions between reality and illusion are not always clear in contemporary Iran; the latest evidence comes from FARS, an Iranian news agency which implausibly claims to be independent of the government. While trolling through western news sources looking for important news, the editors came across a shock Gallup poll: 77 percent of white rural voters in the United States would rather vote for Iran’s President Ahmadinejad than President Obama.Datelined Charleston, West Virginia, the full story is as follows:
According to the results of a Gallup poll released Monday, the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than U.S. president Barack Obama. “I like him better,” said West Virginia resident Dale Swiderski, who, along with 77 percent of rural Caucasian voters, confirmed he would much rather go to a baseball game or have a beer with Ahmadinejad, a man who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and has had numerous political prisoners executed, than spend time with Obama. “He takes national defense seriously, and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does.” According to the same Gallup poll, 60 percent of rural whites said they at least respected that Ahmadinejad doesn’t try to hide the fact that he’s Muslim.
The source for the story was something called The Onion; to the thoughtful and competent people explaining the worldview of the Iranian government to the rest of the world, news from this source is as good as from any other.It’s just possible, however, that FARS may have stumbled on a way to end the US-Iranian standoff. We suspect that if President Ahmadinejad, the Supreme Leader and Guide of the Iranian Revolution and a few of their closest aides and supporters were to rely on the Onion report and venture into the hills of West Virginia for a few friendly encounters with the locals, US-Iranian relations would quickly take a turn for the better.