Start Spreading the News . . .
Yon telescreen informs me that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has landed in New York City, where he will speak at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly and will participate in a political forum at the city’s esteemed Columbia University.
Like any sensible American with a brain not yet riddled by the neuro-mange of ideologically enforced hypocrisy, I welcome President Ahmadinejad to my country and gladly await what he has to say about . . . whatever he’s going to talk about.
I’m telling you, though—glancing through the U.S. national and even some of the international media, you’d think that Adolf Hitler himself were going to be parading down Fifth.
Richard Bernstein at the International Herald Tribune writes:
“Necessarily, on occasion, this will bring us into contact with beliefs many, most, or even all of us will find offensive and even odious,” the university’s president, Lee Bollinger, declared of Ajmadinejad’s impending visit. “We trust our community, including our students, to be fully capable of dealing with these occasions, through the power of dialogue and reason.”
There is of course a difference between a grandiose gesture and a dialogue, so it isn’t inconsistent for the New York police to have said “no” on Ground Zero while Columbia said “yes” to a speech.
Still, the funny thing is that the Columbia invitation may actually play more into Ahmadinejad’s hand than the 9/11 gesture would have.
And this, from the AP:
After Columbia said it would not call off the Monday forum, somel local officials, including City Council speaker Christine Quinn, said the Iranian leader did not belong at an academic institution.
“Anyone who supports terror, pledges to destroy a sovereign nation (Israel), punishes by death anyone who ‘insults’ religion … denies the Holocaust and thumbs his nose at the international community, has no legitimate role to play at a university,” Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said in a statement.
Is Ahmadinejad a nutty guy? I believe so. Has he said some outlandish things and made a career of being resistant to change? Definitely. Do his opinions and actions equivocally represent the majority of his people? Not hardly. Could all of these statements equally apply to our own President? Abso-frickin’-lutely, with a fork in it for good measure.
His request to lay a wreath at the 9/11 memorial has been thunderously booed by Hillary Clinton (running for President, are we?) and denied by the city of New York. You see, Dear Leader has already clearly explained that Ahmadinejad is a Grand Wizard of the Axis of Evil. Therefore, at all costs, we must make his actions fit this preconception—so as a world citizen and a human being, Ahmadinejad will not be allowed to make a gesture of sympathy and respect.
While I recognize that welcoming an authoritarian Muslim leader to the Big Apple with a ticker-tape parade is unrealistic, nonetheless I am appalled at the venomous spittle issuing forth from the glands of the U.S. press. Push the little daisies and make them come up, as the song says.
Praise be to Columbia U. for its bold move to open its doors to dialog and reason. What will Ahmadinejad discuss there and at the U.N.? I have no way of knowing. Here, though, are a few high points I’m hoping he’ll touch:
- He should explain that at no point did he ever call for ‘Israel to be wiped off the map.’ Long ago I posted about this despicably well-propagated mistransliteration here.
- He should reiterate Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy under its own auspices and within its own sovereignty.
- He should reaffirm Iran’s commitment to Middle East peace and to Palestinian sovereignty and should express disappointment with U.S. mudslinging and double standards.
Just some ideas.