Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the U.S.
The thought of France taking the lead in confronting Iran is as oxymoronic as the thought of Paris Hilton delivering a doctoral thesis on string theory. However, that is exactly what France is doing. Although President Nicolas Sarkozy has not threatened war, he is quite outspoken about the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. Some would like France to be a little more hawkish regarding Iran, but it is important to remember that France is not strong enough to occupy Iran, and any military action would be the nature of a surprise attack. Under these circumstances, it may not be prudent to threaten war. Anyway, it's not like the threat of a French attack really scares anyone, so for Sarkozy, it is advisable to threaten sanctions first.
Sarkozy is also actively trying to reestablish good relations with the United States, which would indicate support in the event of a U.S. strike in Iran. Although the United States probably doesn't absolutly need France's support in the event of an attack on Iran, Sarkozy's support is still important. For years, radical Islamists like Saddam Hussein have been able to count on diplomatic support from France. At long last, however, France is seeing the danger of radical Islam in particular, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in particular.
It is a good thing that France is seeing the light, because Ahmadinejad is a nut. He seems to be under the impression that bold denials will actually make people believe his rantings, as he denied, without putting forth any contrary evidence, that Iran is not producing terrorists, and that it is not supplying weapons or know-how to Iraqi insurgents. It's all a plot by the Americans to make Iran look bad.
His appearance at Columbia University should cemented his reputation as a moron, as it makes the last Osama bin Laden tape look intelligent and insightful. Ahmadinejad stuck to his guns on the Holocaust denial issue, which earned him a well-deserved tonguelashing from Bollinger. He also claimed that Iran doesn't want to go to war with the U.S. (Actually, this is probably true. He doesn't want war, which implies that the U.S. will fight back. He just wants to be able to attack us with impunity.) He also claimed that he doesn't really have a problem with Israel, that he is just looking out for the Palestinians, which is so absurd that it really doesn't require a response.
Ahmadinejad's stance on gay issues would be very funny if it wasn't so very sad. When asked about the human rights abuse towards gays, responded that "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country...we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this". No, there are no gays in Iran. Here is why.
Could conservatives have been wrong about Columbia's invitation to Ahmadinejad? Lee Bollinger harshly criticized him, and it gave those who hate him a chance to show their disapproval. Before walking off the stage, he said: "I am only a professor who happens to be the President of a University. I speak for those yearning to express their collective revulsion. I only wish I could do better." I actually felt proud of Lee Bollinger when he said that. Although I am sure that he is very liberal, at that moment, he was speaking for most Americans.
Liberals have been so against the wars in Iraq and Vietnam that it is probable that they will never consent to a war unless the United States is actively being attacked. (And maybe not even then). This makes the 2008 elections all the more important. If the Democrats get power in 2008, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will get free rein in getting his madman's hands on nuclear weapons, a disastrous eventuality.