I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Petty and cruel dictator

One of the bigger political stories of the week was the visit to the US by Iranian prez Ahmadinijad. The university that invited him to speak denounced him as a petty and cruel dictator. And, there is a long list of evidence that Iran is run by cruel dictators--but no evidence it's run by Ahmadinijad. A dictator has the power to issue dictates. In Iran that power rests in religious leaders who decide that teenage girls will be stoned to death for getting knocked up, or who make it possible for Ahmadinijad to assert there are no gays in Iran--since if anyone is caught with homosexual tendencies there, they are put to death. Ahmadinijad is just a puppet. The only power he really wields is the power to give speaches and the power to decide whether or not to wear a tie. If the plane he flew over on had fallen from they sky, it wouldn't have altered the governance of Iran in the least.

The most thought provoking thing about his visit for me, however, was the counter-question: can anyone imagine George Bush going to Iran to speak to a college class where he'd face hostile questioning and an audience that would openly laugh at him? Which then led me to this question: Can anyone imagine George Bush going to an American university to speak to an audience that could ask him questions that weren't approved in advance?

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