Thursday, September 27

Mahmoud Ahmadinajad’s Columbia University Speech

Much has been written and discussed about Mahmoud Ahmadinajad, the President of Iran. The speech that he gave at Columbia University adds further grist to the mill of the credibility of this notorious, self-righteous dictator. He has made no bones about his desire for Israel’s destruction at almost every opportunity granted to him. He started his speech with a “soft-serve” technique, trying to win the hearts of his audience. He is an expert at rhetoric and camouflage of his true intentions. His evasion of loaded questions was so blatant that the intelligent listener could be left in no doubt as to the half-truths that were part of his speech.

Perhaps it was a good idea of the university president, Lee Bollinger, contrary to what many think, to have invited this undesirable, notorious, Iranian dictator to address an audience at Columbia University. By giving Ahmadinajad a platform for his speech, the American people can judge this unsavory character for what he really is and treat him with the contempt that he deserves.

He started his speech by quoting from the Koran, which was out of context. A lot of the speech was a sort of preamble about research – pointed remarks leading up to his views to further research the irrefutable facts concerning the Holocaust. He was trying to tell his audience almost apologetically that he does not deny the Holocaust but it needs to be further researched. The bottom line of that is obvious. He wishes to deny the Holocaust in a rather obtuse way to make the denial acceptable.

Assuming (in Ahmadinajad’s view) that the Holocaust did occur, Israel has no right to be established on the backs of the Palestinians. This point is odd and contradictory in Ahmadinajad’s “logic”. In other words, Ahmadinajad believes that the Holocaust resulted in Israel’s unjustified existence and this resulted in Palestinian suffering. He never referred to Israel but rather to the Zionist enemy. The point is that Ahmadinajad is not a Holocaust denier in the true sense of the word. He even stated that. He is using the Holocaust cynically to justify Israel’s destruction thereby negating his ambiguous approach to classical Holocaust denial.

Those people who admire Ahmadinajad for standing up against the US must understand that this despot is no democrat, liberal or even a leftist. He is not a humanist that cares about human rights. His views are closer to classical fascism. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that does not care about the Palestinian people at all. According to Ahmadinajad:

After all, it happened in Europe. The Palestinian people had no role to play in it. So why is it that the Palestinian people are paying the price of an event they had nothing to do with?

The Palestinian people didn't commit any crime. They had no role to play in World War II. They were living with the Jewish communities and the Christian communities in peace at the time. They didn't have any problems.

And today, too, Jews, Christians and Muslims live in brotherhood all over the world in many parts of the world. They don't have any serious problems.

But why is it that the Palestinians should pay a price, innocent Palestinians, for 5 million people to remain displaced or refugees abroad for 60 years. Is this not a crime? Is asking about these crimes a crime by itself?

Why should an academic myself face insults when asking questions like this? Is this what you call freedom and upholding the freedom of thought?

And as for the second topic, Iran's nuclear issue, I know there is time limits, but I need time. I mean, a lot of time was taken from me.

We are a country, we are a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency. For over 33 years we are a member state of the agency. The bylaw of the agency explicitly states that all member states have the right to the peaceful nuclear fuel technology. This is an explicit statement made in the bylaw, and the bylaw says that there is no pretext or excuse, even the inspections carried by the IAEA itself that can prevent member states' right to have that right.

Of course, the IAEA is responsible to carry out inspections. We are one of the countries that carried out the most amount of level of cooperation with the IAEA. They have had hours, weeks, and days of inspections in our country, and repeatedly the agency's reports indicate that Iran's activities are peaceful, that they have not detected a deviation, and that Iran -- they have received positive cooperation from Iran.

But regretfully, two or three monopolistic powers, selfish powers want to force their word on the Iranian people and deny them their right. “

He uses Palestinian hardships cynically in order to justify his hate for Israel and the US. As regards the Palestinians, the following post puts it concisely:

Neither Bollinger, Nor Ahmadinajad. I watched some of Ahmadinajad show at Columbia University. It was carried live on MSNBC. I don't know where to start and I don't have the time. But let me first say something about the university president Lee Bollinger. The same Zionist hoodlums, who just yesterday were attacking Bollinger, will be praising him tomorrow morning. They will express their pride in one of the most demagogic college presidents in the US. As one commentator on MSNBC (and FOX News) said: he succeeding in making Ahmadinajad look good on US TV. He allowed Ahmadinajad to score points, among the international audience in particular. Bollinger always came across, not as president of a university, but like a typical sleazy politician who is willing to say anything, to pander to any crowd, provided it kept him in his job, or propelled him to a better job. He came across as small and presumptuous: especially when he claimed to speak on behalf of the civilized world. Bollinger has proven at Columbia to be the enemy of free speech: and when a professor at his university (Joseph Massad), was coming under attack from Zionist hoodlums around the country, he in fact spoke in favor of restricting freedom of speech, and said that freedom of speech applies in public institutions. And this Bollinger tries to grandstand: would he also have the courage to call King Abdullah (of Jordan or of Saudi Arabia--take your pick) a dictator? I can see him personally bestowing honors and awarding honorary doctorates to dictators provided they contribute to Columbia's endowment, and provided they follow US foreign policy orientations. As for Ahmadinajad: I don't understand why students (presumably leftists? or pro-Palestinian activists?) were applauding him. For what? Ahmadinajad is not a leftist and he does not even deserve the support of advocates for Palestine. If those who were applauding were just pleased to hear praise for the Palestinians and criticisms of Israel--rare indeed in the US--they should know that fascists and Nazis are often critical of Israel--but from their own anti-Semitic perspective. There is nothing worthy of leftist support in Ahmadinajad: the economic policies of his administration have squeezed the poor further, and his economic policies are not popular with the Iranian masses. More importantly, those who may sympathize with Ahmadinajad should note that his stupid and ignorant statements on the holocaust have hurt the Palestinian cause and not helped it. Ahmadinajad is the greatest gift to Zionist propaganda since Ahmad Shuqayri in the 1960s.”

Ahmadinajad made a rather surprising statement that defies all logic. He stated that there are no homosexuals in Iran and therefore there is no problem with homosexuality. Strange! According to Ahmadinajad, the Iranians must be some sort of a super human race if homosexuality does not exist in Iran! If a president of a country can make such an over-generalization surely this should be a red light as to his credibility even when he talks about the “marvelous democracy and rule of law” existing in Iran under his leadership.

The tragedy in Iran is its president – a total megalomaniac – who is dangerous and untruthful. His lies are so transparent that anybody can see through them. Like Hitler, he has the gift of rabblerousing the unfortunate and disguising his evil intentions. This is especially true when he talks about the Palestinian’s plight for which he does not really care.

This tyrant has been talking about human rights abuses, but not a word about human rights abuses in his own country against Iranians who do not think like him. He is a master of deception and lies. According to Amnesty International:

“Violations of human rights continue unabated in Iran. Amnesty International “again” called on the Iranian authorities to uphold their obligations under international law and ensure that no one is detained for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression or association.

Paris, 15 Jul. (IPS) Amnesty International and other human rights organizations expressed concern at the increasing violations and disregards of the Iranian Islamic regime for human rights, freedom of the press and the civil society, as seen by the recent closure of two pro reform newspapers and one news agency, the arrest of several women activists, 16 students and a popular union leader, described by the authorities as “hooligans”.

In a statement, the London based Amnesty International said it “is greatly concerned by continuing human rights violations in Iran, including new arrests of human rights defenders and the high rate of executions, including the first execution by stoning confirmed by the authorities since a moratorium on stonings was announced in 2002”.

For its part, the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) “deplored the arbitrary and repressive methods of a regime whose Culture Minister recently accused the media of promoting a “creeping coup” against the government”.

In its statement, Amnesty International “again” called on the Iranian authorities to uphold their obligations under international law and ensure that no one is detained for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression or association, and to impose an immediate moratorium on all executions and take steps to remove the death penalty from Iranian law.

Human rights defenders arrested

Two Iranian Kurdish journalists and human rights defenders were arrested earlier this month. Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, Chair of the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization (RMMK), was taken from his workplace in Tehran by plain-clothed security officers on 1 July. He was facing a one-year prison sentence because of articles he had published in the now banned Payam-e Mardom-e Kurdestan (Message of the People of Kurdistan), but it is not clear if this is the reason for his current detention.
Ajlal Qavami, a member of the RMMK board and former journalist of Payam-e Mardom-e Kurdestan and member of the editorial board of the bilingual weekly Didgah (Viewpoint), was arrested on or around 9 July after being summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj. He had previously been sentenced to three years' imprisonment by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Sanadaj for organizing a demonstration in July 2005 in protest at the killing of Showan Qaderi, a member of the Kurdish minority, by security forces. He had appealed against this sentence but his appeal is reported to have been rejected, although this outcome had not been communicated to either Ajlal Qavami or his lawyer before Ajlal Qavami's arrest.
Sa'id Sa'edi, another Kurdish journalist who was sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment in the same case, may also now be at risk of arrest.”

Is this despot worthy of Palestinian support?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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