It seems to be taken out of The Transformers, He-Man, or something else made to appeal to a ten-year-old.
Tehran, January 10 – Political commentators and officials have taken note recently that despite the caricatured, moralizing fantasy connotations of the term, there exists a country controlled by a person with the title “Supreme Leader.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran, currently under the control of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, refers to him by that title, and all indications point to the fact of Iran being an actual, true location, not some imaginary realm out of science fiction, adventure fantasy, or superhero comic books that any normal human would associate with the laughably bombastic moniker.
“It turns out Khamenei is the second to hold the title,” observed one diplomat, suppressing a chuckle. “The first was the cleric who led the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and its enduring icon, Ruhollah Khomeini. And it looks like there’s no sense of irony intended by these people. It’s amazing.”
Others shared the diplomat’s surprise. “Wait, is this a thing?” inquired CNN personality Jake Tapper. “This has to be a prank. No one who wants to be taken seriously would knowingly be that clumsy. Please tell me it’s just some people trolling. Please.”
Some observers, however, see a measure of sophistication in Iran’s use of “Supreme Leader.” “I realize it seems to be taken out of The Transformers, He-Man, or something else made to appeal to a ten-year-old,” explained Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “But that might be intentional, and not a ham-fisted attempt to intimidate or command respect. I think, rather, that the choice of a title so transparently dumb is to exploit the Western Liberal mentality of seeing non-Westerners as inferior, as incapable of exercising moral or intellectual capacity, perhaps as a result of past Western oppression, real or imagined. This way they can manipulate the Western Left and its acolytes by appearing to conform to its comfortable, condescending stereotypes about Muslims as victims of whom volition cannot be demanded, and thereby to elicit further sympathy and support.”
“In any case,” he continued, “it is hardly the first case of totalitarians using such nomenclature. Think of North Korea, with its ‘Dear Leader’ and ‘Fearless Leader,’ even the term ‘Supreme Leader’ itself. If there’s another dictator who pulls off the comic-book-villain role better than Kim, I’ll eat my words. And look at how so many on a certain part of the political spectrum in the West counsel indulgence of his megalomania as if he is owed something.”
The consensus among observers remains, however, that Khomeini and Khamenei had even better terms at their disposal, but unfortunately they elected not to choose more awesome-sounding titles such as Grand High Inquisitor or Darth anything.
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