Ahmadinejad is Genghis Khan with a nuclear bomb....
He threatens, he arrests...and no one does anything...
Joseph Stalin was once described as "Genghis Khan with a telephone". President Ahmadinejad may soon be Genghis Khan with a nuclear bomb. Admittedly, Ahmadinejad hasn't yet committed mass murder on that scale, although when he promised to "wipe Israel off the map", he showed that he would – if only he could. And he may treat his own people slightly better than Genghis Khan treated his. But as Dr Johnson said, "there is no settling orders of precedence between a louse and a flea".
Ahmadinejad has imprisoned thousands for protesting against the brutality, incompetence and illegitimacy of his rule; he has condoned the imposition of the death penalty for any Muslim who converts to another faith; and he supports punishing adultery by stoning those involved to death.
There has been a global campaign to persuade Iran to end stoning, a disgustingly barbaric punishment which inflicts pain of the same order as impaling, Genghis Khan's favourite method of execution, and may take even longer to cause death. It centres on the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 44-year-old mother and widow who was convicted of adultery in 2006 and punished with 99 lashes. She has been in prison ever since, as the judges decided that 99 lashes wasn't a severe enough sentence for the crime of loving someone who isn't your spouse: she deserved to be stoned to death.
When her lawyer (who fled Iran, after discovering that he was about to be arrested) alerted the world, the campaign began. A petition was created; more than 300,000 people signed it; several celebrities stated their disapproval in the strongest possible terms; and a number of Western governments made official protests.
And what happened? Far from condemning stoning, or reducing the punishment, Iran's Supreme Court has just ruled that a couple who had both been convicted of adultery should also be stoned to death. The authorities seem impervious to attempts to shame – or at least to embarrass – them into disowning such a medieval practice (although to be fair to the Middle Ages, stoning wasn't that common even then).