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Howard Gardner
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Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

Malignant Megalomaniac

When Admedinejad was new on the scene, I thought he just craved respect and recognition, and that if he received such attention, he would behave reasonably. Now it is clear that he is megalomaniac with malignant intention.

I would recommend that as a personality, Ahmedinejad should be completely ignored. Instead, the U.S. and other nations should deal through established channels with offices and positions in Iran, rather than with specific persons. Moreover, we should deal with these agencies in exactly the same way as we would deal with a leader who was reasonable and personable. Over time, if there is no reciprocity, I would vote for ever greater toughness and boldness, short of military intervention, which would be calamitous. I would counsel Israel to do the same.

Iran is not North Korea . It is a diverse, pluralistic, society -- as we saw following the faux election results --- and eventually the more moderate and more Western-oriented segment of the population will gain (or regain) hegemony.

By Howard Gardner

 |  September 29, 2009; 5:40 AM ET
Category:  Leadership personalities Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Alliteration is not going to solve this problem. Breaking their toys, and punishing them if they respond, will. The way to get rid of Makmud is to embarrass him in front of his henchmen.

Posted by: carlbatey | September 30, 2009 1:03 AM
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Alliteration is not going to solve this problem. Breaking their toys, and punishing them if they respond, will. The way to get rid of Makmud is to embarrass him in front of his henchmen.

Posted by: carlbatey | September 30, 2009 1:02 AM
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Malignant Megalomaniac? Jesus, Gardner, you fooled me! I thought this was going to be an article about Obama.

Posted by: iamafg | September 30, 2009 12:37 AM
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I concur with the other Israeli operatives who comment on these sites: Bomb Iran for Israel so we can keep the money the US gives us to keep building settlements on occupied land.

Posted by: DaveMiner | September 29, 2009 10:38 PM
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The singular and most important purpose of the muslim religion is to dominate the world. It has a hold on the mideast and is finding some moderate resistence in expanding outward from there. Since Joan of Arc's defeat of the muslim hordes at Tours they have festered and are now gaining strength against the west. The advent of the nuclear age has enabled the most pronounced of their members to advocate a jihad against all non believers. When they gain their intended nuclear arsenal they will unleash it against any and all. Make no mistake. They will use their weapons when they get them. Iran is the most fundamental of the religious zealotries along with the Taliban in Afghanistan. We, the United States of American must be the Joan of Arc in the 21st century and send the muslim zealots back 1200 years to their beginning and let them start over. The sooner the better. If Obama wants to be the "chosen one" here is his chance for immortality. Wipe out the nuclear ability of the Muslim world. Now you know.

Posted by: joegeshel | September 29, 2009 6:04 PM
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gardner has corrupted public education with his phony multiple intelligence bunk. he got rich on it. we got bored with it. finally, teacher workshops are countering his "findings".

but, what the heck is he doing writing about iran and foreign policy? huh?

what's next cooking lessons? the guy who mows my lawn or the gal who cleans my house( each with their respective intelligence, ha!), have an opinion on bandits with nuclear weapons. the post is silly for allowing this.

Posted by: fshaffer | September 29, 2009 4:52 PM
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What a load of manure. The incompetent Jimmy Carter encouraged and gave his blessing for the Ayatollah Khomeini to return to Iran from his exile in Paris. He arrived on February 1, 1979. Iran has been at war with the United States since that date.

Admedinejad is just the latest leader in a 30 year long war with America. Failure to take military action soon will result in the death of millions of Americans.

Posted by: alance | September 29, 2009 4:34 PM
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Tuatha-De-Dannan has an excellent point - even if I don't agree with everything he/she says (sorry, I don't know enough about some names to figure out whether they are male or female!). No one in the west, especially us, have been honest brokers with Iran, and they have suffered greatly as the result of our policies - why should they trust us again?

On the other hand, while we should realize that Admedinejad is playing to a local audience (all politics is local!), we need to be careful in not giving him, in any way, respect when he makes absurd statements. We should NOT be respectful or over react to his statements, but hold him accountable for them, realizing that he is playing to the fanatical element among the clergy that support him. When we ridicule these statements we are, indirectly, ridiculing those to whom he is accountable. We have seen that they are, in fact, responsive to pressure, and no one likes ridicule. If he makes too many outlandish statements that are met with ridicule, the presure will be on them to replace him with someone who will be taken a little more seriously.

On the other hand, we also need to be careful in dealing with him, realizing that he is playing to fanatical elements who, at present, are setting the agenda for Iran. We should see his statements as a reflection of concerns in that section of Iranian society, and ask "what is behind these statements," "what is the true concern," and address that to those whom he represents.

Finally, we need to look at the whole of the Middle East, and ask how we can become honest brokers in the area, and deal with concerns for stability, security, freedom and prosperity for all the people in the area. Iran is not Afghanistan - it is a well-developed society that holds many western values, values education, etc. It has the potential to be an ally - we blew it when we backed the Shah, we blew it when we backed Saddam in his war against Iran, and we have blown it, over the long haul, by not engaging and backing the Iranian people. Let's not screw it up again.

Posted by: garoth | September 29, 2009 11:09 AM
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When Israel or America test their weapons they claim is for defence/deterent purposes. Amazing thing is though, America's weapons have been used to invade, occupy and serve as a catalytic agent(albeit unintentionally)for the destruction of Iraq's infrastructure whilst effecting "regime change" (euphemism for installing a compliant, Israeli approved puppet government)! They are still looking for those incredible and fantastical Nuclear Bombs they claimed Saddam had developed! Afganistan was next on the invasion and occupation list with a now universially acknowledged corrupt compliant puppet government installed. In 1953 the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Dr Mossadegh was overthrown by a CIA funded, organised and trained coup! This exercise was all planned,conducted and facilitated from within the American Embassy fully exploiting diplomatic immunity! The Shah was a compliant American puppet who used the feared SAVAK to detain, murder and torture any dissent! Thousands died! Iranians are pretty much as other folk in that they turned to their religion for deliverance and fell victim to the doctrines of the Mad Mullahs! It is not reasonable to really expect Iran to have a great deal of trust in the Westand its stated intentions. America was not alone in this atrocity against Iran, other Western nations were als involved! They have also learnt the recent lesson of Iraq, to avoid invasion they concluded they must be strong enough to resist America or face the consequences! How many Iranians died when America's proxy agent Saddam waged war against Iran with weapons of mass destruction (e.g.Toxic Gas) supplied by America?? Iranian paranoia about its defence capability and readiness is not entirely unjustified. Try to see things from their perspective after having suffered some rather unpleasant consequences from past dealings with America and the West! Failure to take cognizance of these issues will possibly result in taking action that will result in yet another festering sore motivating future generations of aother Muslim country seeking revenge on the West!

Posted by: tuatha-de-dannan | September 29, 2009 9:27 AM
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