Channel: Fareed Zakaria

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Why Iranians got their jeans in a twist

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For more Last Look, watch GPS, Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN It’s no surprise that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offended some Iranians with what he said at the United Nations recently, describing the country’s new president as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But that comment actually wasn’t what sparked an anti- Netanyahu Twitter campaign in Iran, although it was a clothing related faux pas. Netanyahu said: “I think if the Iranian people have their way they would be wearing blue jeans, they would have western music, they'd have free elections.” Perhaps Mossad missed this one. But we could have helped him out here. You see, Iranians do wear jeans. They've done so for years. We saw a lot of people in denim when we were in Tehran two years ago. As we said at the time, Tehran is a bustling cosmopolitan city, and its people are very fashionable. But Iranians found his comment condescending. They took to Facebook and Twitter and the message was clear. Zip it, Netanyahu, we wear jeans. They posted pictures of Iranians doing just that. Praying in jeans. The ayatollah reading to a child in jeans, and photos like the one in the video, mocking Bibi’s famous red line speech.

Zakaria: Authority has collapsed inside GOP

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Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN In trying to explain how Washington got into the mess it is in, pundits and politicians have focused on ideology. They point out that the country has become more polarized, as have political parties, in particular the Republican Party. The diagnosis is accurate but there is another, distinctive cause of the current crisis that might have even more long-lasting effects – the collapse of authority, especially within the Republican Party, which might mean that these new tactics of threats, crises, and deadlock are now the new normal. On the surface, the behavior of the Republicans today looks a lot like that in 1995 and 1996, when the party took a strongly ideologically oriented position, stood its ground, and shut down the government. But that movement was led by a speaker of the house, Newt Gingrich, who inspired, shaped, and directed it from start to finish. John Boehner, by contrast, has openly acknowledged that his understanding of leadership is to "sort of manage whatever [his] people want to do," as CBS's Bob Schieffer memorably put it. It proved easier to resolve the crisis in the 1990s because Gingrich had the power to speak for his side. Watch the video for the full Take. For more, read the Washington Post column.

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