SOME schizophrenic leaders thrive on challenges and stoke the emotions of their people with promises of impossible dreams. Such leaders claim to possess power, which they don't have, and dare to challenge leaders of superpowers.

Former Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, who was an avid follower of this style of leadership, faced several defeats. Saddam Hussein is another example of a belligerent leader who wasted his regime because of his leadership style. Several African leaders, who didn't have the capacity to pose a challenge in the first place, have vanished in similar fashion. Currently Iran and Syria are treading this path.

At the U.N. this week, before the largest gathering of world leaders in history, there was an underlying tone of challenge in the speech delivered by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His speech sounded as if it were a throwback to the days of Cold War, when the game of creating a balance in the world was played.

History has shown that while the Bolshevik Revolution talked of equality and defending the poor, its leaders exploited it as a means to reach positions of power. Leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution and members of the communist regime enjoyed all the privileges while poor people were left with nothing except bread to eat. Does Iran really think it can challenge the sole superpower when it has no backing?

Syria is posing a similar challenge. But in the end, who will pay the price of such folly? The misguided will be the victims of lies, illusion, and empty emotional promises. The fact that Iran and Syria are challenging the whole world doesn't reflect courage or bravery. This is political lunacy that will harm not only people of these two countries but the entire region. The leaders in Tehran and Damascus are unable to comprehend "realpolitik" because they don't know the art of diplomacy 0r the basics of dealing with the international community.