Michael Totten

Albania Sure Isn’t Arab

Albania is at least a nominally Muslim-majority nation with a functioning parliamentary democracy. And its prime minister Sali Berisha just described Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the new Nazi.

“Iran and its leader Ahmadinejad are the new Nazis,” he said, “and the world must learn from the Holocaust and stop them before it’s too late. The Holocaust taught the free world’s conscience not to let such a scenario repeat itself.” Plenty of Arabs would happily compare Ahmadinejad to a Nazi, but they’re a lot less likely to make a Holocaust reference while doing so.

Berisha also said Albania, which is a member of NATO, would assist in military strikes against Iranian nuclear weapons facilities.

I met him briefly in Tirana a few years ago at a conference and was stunned to discover he’s as pro-Israel and he is pro-American. “Israel will accept an independent Palestinian state,” he said. “But Israel cannot accept the fundamentalists amongst Palestinians because their ideology is identical to that of the Nazis.”

I wish I could say the revolutions in the Arab world would lead to the same end point as Albania’s anti-communist revolution—and Albania took quite a while to sort itself out—but they will not. The Arab states will need at least one more revolution before they can possibly resemble Albania.