The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Iranian News Agency: Onion Poll Fake But Accurate

Iran’s Fars News Agency is standing by its story: American rural whites really would vote for Ahmadinejad over Obama. They’re not bothered by the fact that the source for their original story was a fake poll from the Onion. No matter, say the editors of Iran’s Fars News Agency, the Onion‘s poll was fake but accurate:

“Although it does not justify our mistake,” he [an unnamed editor] said, “we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the U.S., a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the U.S. political system to President Barack Obama.”

The truly alarming thing about this story is that the editors of Fars, who bear the chief responsibility for telling Iranians what’s going on in the outside world, seem to be living in a dream world. The best and perhaps the only hope for avoiding war between the U.S. and Iran at this point is for the Iranians to realize that President Obama is serious in his threats that he will not allow Iran to get the bomb—and that the man running to replace him would, if anything, take an even tougher line on the nuclear program. The American people don’t want a war with Iran, but if the Iranians don’t understand how concerned and how angry people here are over their nuclear drive, they are likely to miscalculate and end up in a military confrontation that nobody really wants, and that they can’t win.

Advice to Fars: stop wasting time with the Onion. Your country is in serious trouble. It’s courting a disastrous military conflict with the United States. The Arab world is doing its best to kick it out of Syria and Lebanon, and both the Israelis and the Arabs are begging us night and day to attack it sooner rather than later. Russia and China won’t help beyond casting votes at the UN.

You don’t have time to surf the web, check your Twitter feed, see what’s on Gawker and keep up with the Onion. You’ve got a country to save and a war to avoid, and you need to get cracking.

Published on October 2, 2012 5:30 pm