The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens sat down for a breakfast meeting of prominent journalists with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York on Tuesday morning. He wrote up an account of his experience in “Breakfast with Ahmadinejad.” The column is must reading. It concludes on this note:
In the New York Times’s account of the breakfast, reporter Neil MacFarquhar–who asked an opaque question about Cyrus the Great and was roundly mocked for it by Ahmadinejad–described the president’s remarks as “standard talking points” plus “a little fresh bluster.” Perhaps I haven’t achieved the appropriate degree of jadedness, but my own impression of Ahmadinejad was that he was easily the smartest guy in the room. He mocked us in a way we scarcely had the wit to recognize. We belittle him at our peril.