You know how you know you're probably a miserable, murderous, Middle East tyrant? When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls you up and says, "Bashie? Mahmoud here. Oh, good, good. Azam and the kids are terrific! Thanks for asking. Listen, Bash, I absolutely adore your work. You know that. Great stuff. There's no one who can brutally put down an uprising like you can. Oh, stop, you flatter me. That? That was barely an uprising! That was, like, two undergrads with a Tweeter machine and a little tear gas. No, but you. You're the man. You can't see this, but I'm high-fiving you right now! Ha ha ha! No, but listen hear me out for a second here. Maybe you should think about turning down the dial a bit on this whole 'mass-murdering of your own people' thing? What? No! Not too much! Never too much. But you know how the Westerners are. They're all 'barbaric' this, 'unarmed protesters mowed down with gunboats' that. Oh crap! I'm late for my two o'clock gay hanging. Can we pick this up tomorrow? You got it. Send my love to Asma. Saw the Vogue spread. Fabulous."
Yeah. That's how you know you're probably a miserable, murderous, Middle East tyrant. [NYT, image via Getty]