Now that the president of Iran is nearing the end of his whirlwind tour of the Big Apple, what have we learned?

Well, from the president of Columbia University, we have learned that Ahmadinejad is a “petty and cruel tyrant."

From some Columbia students, we have learned that he is another Hitler.

From Ahmadinejad himself, we learned that there are no homosexuals in Iran, and that women are treated well in his society.

All of these assertions are, of course, patently ridiculous. To be a dictator of any kind, you need to be actually running the country. Ahmadinejad is little more than a figurehead. Iran is run by a bunch of conservative Muslim clerics, who publicly want to take Iran back to the 15th century, but privately are doing their best to steal all the money they can before the country goes bankrupt.

To say that he is another Hitler is also ridiculous. Hitler had at his disposal the most feared military in history. Iran doesn’t. Ahmadinejad may be a Holocaust denier, but that doesn’t make him another Hitler.

And what can you say about the assertions of the crazy loon from Tehran? Really, you just have to shake your head and laugh, and many did at Columbia University.

We should resist the temptation to make the Iranian president look like the next Saddam Hussein. He doesn’t run Iran. He is for all intents and purposes a joke, even to his own people.

Instead we should have a simple three-part message to the folks who really run Iran. Stop killing our troops in Iraq or face the consequences. Don’t even think about building nuclear weapons (the French even agree with us on that one). And the 15th century is really overrated — come join us in the 21st.

Forget Ahmadinejad. Focus on the clerics.