MUST DISMANTLE LAST NAME & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & T & lt;/span & he war of words between the United States and Iran heated up last week as President George W. Bush demanded that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismantle his last name or face serious sanctions.
Speaking at the White House, Mr. Bush made it clear that he believed Mr. Ahmadinejad's possession of a difficult-to-pronounce, polysyllabic last name was a provocative act that the U.S. was not prepared to tolerate.
"The time has come for the Iranian president to make a choice," Mr. Bush warned. "Does he want to continue down this dangerous, polysyllabic path, or does he want to join the community of peace-loving, monosyllabic world leaders?"
Under a plan being floated through diplomatic channels, Mr. Ahmadinejad's last name would be subject to U.N. inspections and then dismantled syllable by syllable, ultimately to be stored in a secure U.S. military facility in Tennessee.
Mr. Bush's warning to President Ahmadinejad predictably garnered the support of several of his monosyllabic counterparts, such as Britain's Gordon Brown, South Korea's Roh Moo Hyun and the Czech Republic's V & aacute;clav Klaus.
But his strong rhetoric was less warmly received by members of the so-called "polysyllabic movement," led by Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
"We in the polysyllabic movement were offended by the president's remarks," Mr. Mbasogo said. "If Mr. Bush can pronounce the word 'polysyllabic,' he should have no problem with 'Ahmadinejad.'"
Elsewhere, a Mexican candy has been recalled after containing traces of lead, in a sign of Mexico's ongoing effort to compete with China's candy industry.
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