Space Cookie Extraordinaire
It's an unmistakable case of envy, and perhaps a whole lot of admiration - hero-worship as well. It isn't some namby-pamby world leader that is to be admired, but someone who can be flamboyant and stern at the same time. That would most definitely eliminate someone like President Barack Obama, who has honed skills like holding out a hand in friendship to enemies and unflinchingly offer to do it again, despite a clenched-fist response.
But someone like Vladimir Putin, who builds spectacular mansions for himself, who offends eastern Europe and then spreads the largesse of his offence further to western Europe with impunity because he has what Iran also has in abundance, great stores of petroleum-sourced energy for sale to energy-starved nations, now that's a role model. One, moreover, who sets aside his businesslike persona from time to time to replace it with noble, natural acts.
For example, shooting a wild tiger with a tranquilizer gun, aiming accurately, with the fine precision of a marksman, in the interests of furthering science and animal welfare. Or who leads a flight of patterned endangered cranes. Or, bare-chested, leather-clad, rides a prancing horse on the Russian steppe. How about deep-sea diving and as luck would have it, coming to the surface with a treasured, rare find, an archaeological gem?
That's the inimitable Vladimir Putin. The pride of the Russian peasantry and his former KGB colleagues alike. And if he can do it, why not someone aspiring to and deserving of absolutely the same kind of public notice and adulation? They do, after all, have much in common. And Russia is a great good friend of the Islamic Republic of Iran, aiding its nuclear program, its staunch defender whom Iran's countless critics enjoy degrading.
Vladimir Putin embarks on a dive to an underwater archaeological site at Phanagoria in August of last year Photo by Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images.
So, in the interests of cementing further relations between Iran and Russia, and at the same time indulging in the great compliment of emulation, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a great and noble figure in his own right, albeit still aspiring, has expressed his eagerness to share fame with an adorable little primate that has represented the Iranian Republic to a fascinated world in the past week.
"I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists. Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists", said he - waxing eloquent, according to the Mehr news agency, with the photograph to prove that Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to have transferred his adulation from V.Putin to A.Monkey.
Unsurprisingly, a swift international poll was taken and people clamoured to have their opinion of Astronaut-of-the-future-Ahmadinejad included. They love the monkey and feel, like Senator McCain obviously does, that it's hard to tell Mr. Ahmadinejad from the tiny primate, they're both so adorable. And a huge majority of poll respondents have agreed: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a space cookie.
Gary Clement/National Post