Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

September 26, 2007

Ahmadinejad Visits America

Filed under: politics — codesmithy @ 11:02 am

I haven’t been able to track down all the footage to Ahmadinejad’s Columbia speech yet.  However, I have caught portions.  It is tough because he is speaking a different language, so the two processes of translation tends to garble some of the meaning.  In addition, the president himself, like all politicians, can be pretty evasive.  However, the people interviewing haven’t been helping much either.

Challenging the president of Iran on the human rights record of his country is fair.  Condemning public executions, women and gay rights abuses is also fair.    Although, we must correctly understand his position and also live up to the standards we are judging him by ourselves.

Two charges level against him are:

  1. Holocaust Denial
  2. Wiping Israel off the Map

The beauty about a public forum is that you can actually get Ahmadinejad to clarify statements that he made that you find offensive.  As for Holocaust denial, this one has been tackled before.

He doesn’t seem to denying the Holocaust.  He is arguing that the Holocaust does not justify complete victimization of Palestinians in order to create Israel.  The whole debate surrounding Israel and Palestine is extraordinarily distorted in America.  I don’t think that Americans understand that their government has been party to a extraordinarily small minority on the issue.  The fact that American’s are so woefully uninformed is part of the reason why we can’t connect with good questions and more a indictment of us than him.

The other issue is whether Ahmadinejad said Iran should “wipe Israel off the map.”

Again, it seems to be a misinterpretation of what he is saying.

I don’t consider Ahmadinejad an ally.  However, we need to be especially clear of what his crimes are.

His government supporting Shi’ite militias in Iraq.  Human rights abuses.  Support for other terrorist organizations (like Hezbollah).  Development of nuclear enrichment programs.

All these issues are better addressed diplomatically for now.  War with Iran is almost certainly to cause more problems than it will solve, a lesson we constantly reminded of with our war in Iraq.  A plausible scenario on how bad an air-strike on Iran might go is given by Scott Ridder.

War with Iran might be unavoidable.  But, one thing is certain, I do not trust the current Commander-in-Chief to make that determination and execute it.  Nor should anyone else.

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