Iran, like Germany in the late 20s and early 30s, has a restive population wishing for a sharp improvement in their standard of living. Ahmadinejad has to either deliver that or explain why he cannot. For this purpose, he has turned to Islamic anti-Semitism and as the Times reports, he has started to raise up a new intellectual elite that uses Jews as a scapegoat for the domestic woes Iranians suffer. They quote an unnamed political-science professor in Teheran as saying, "He is reshaping the identity of the elite. Being against Jews and Zionists is an essential part of this new identity." He has also started large government-works programs and promised all sorts of welfare to garner a populist following.
We have seen this path before. The world should recognize the signs, and the West had better start looking for Churchills rather than Chamberlains, and quickly.