Didn't think so,Blue Ibis
Mon, 24 Sep 2007 22:25 EDT
NEW YORK - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended Holocaust revisionists and raised questions about who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks in a tense showdown Monday at Columbia University, where the school's head introduced the hard-line leader by calling him a "petty and cruel dictator."Comment: At least one faculty member, professor of Iranian studies Hamid Dabashi, thought it hypocritical for Bollinger to invite Ahmadinejad to speak and then insult him before he did.
Ahmadinejad portrayed himself as an intellectual and argued that his administration respected reason and science. But the former engineering professor, appearing shaken and irate over he called "insults" from his host, soon found himself drawn into the type of rhetoric that has alienated American audiences in the past.
Comment: If you watched Ahmadinejad's "60 Minutes" interview, you'd have seen how he threw the abuses at Abu Ghraib, the endless, illegal detention of foreigners at Guantanamo, and the NSA's super-secret surveillance program back at his interviewer.
It's obvious that Ahmadinejad is talking about the U.S. when he talks about nations that misuse power and knowledge to "try to control all in the name of combating insecurity and terrorism." He continues, "They do not respect the privacy of their people, they tap telephone calls and try to control their people... by using precise scientific methods and planning, they begin their onslaught on the domestic cultures of nations."
He provoked derisive laughter by responding to a question about Iran's execution of homosexuals by saying: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country ... I don't know who's told you that we have this."
Comment: We believe that it is fairly well established that Iran does, indeed, have homosexuals. One begins to question what this whole charade is all about with such ignorant remarks being made by the president of Iran. Is it his assignment to make American's really dislike him so it will be easier for the Bush-Reich to bomb Iran?
Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, set the combative tone in his introduction of Ahmadinejad: "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."
Comment: All things considered, that was just plain rude.
Ahmadinejad retorted that Bollinger's opening was "an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here."
Comment: He had a point. You don't invite someone to speak and then insult them. Bollinger exhibited a serious lack of class and manners.
"There were insults and claims that were incorrect, regretfully," Ahmadinejad said, accusing Bollinger of falling under the influence of the hostile U.S. press and politicians.
Comment: If Bollinger didn't insult Ahmadinejad, he would probably lose his job rather quickly.
Ahmadinejad drew audience applause at times, such as when he bemoaned the plight of the Palestinians. But he often declined to offer the simple answers the audience sought, responding instead with his own questions or long statements about history and justice.
Comment: Such problems are not really amenable to simple answers.
Ahmadinejad has in the past called for Israel's elimination. But his exact remarks have been disputed. Some translators say he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," but others say that would be better translated as "vanish from the pages of time" _ implying Israel would disappear on its own rather than be destroyed.
Comment: That is just disingenuous. It has been clearly proven that Ahmadinejad NEVER "called for Israel's elimination."
Asked by an audience member if Iran sought the destruction of Israel, Ahmadinejad did not answer directly.
"We are friends of all the nations," he said. "We are friends with the Jewish people. There are many Jews in Iran living peacefully with security."
Comment: No doubt. He knew it was a loaded question.
He also said Palestinians must determine their own future.
Ahmadinejad's past statements about the Holocaust also have raised hackles in the West, and were soundly attacked by Bollinger.
"In a December 2005 state television broadcast, you described the Holocaust as the fabricated legend," Bollinger told Ahmadinejad said in his opening remarks. "One year later, you held a two-day conference of Holocaust deniers."
Bollinger said that might fool the illiterate and ignorant.
"When you come to a place like this, it makes you simply ridiculous. The truth is that the Holocaust is the most documented event in human history," he said.
Comment: Indeed. And much of the documentation shows that many of the claims of Israel about the Holocaust are twists on the truth, or complete fabrications. The documentation proves that Zionism, itself, was complicit in the Holocaust. Bollinger has only exposed himself as a lackey for the Israel lobby here.
Ahmadinejad denied he had questioned whether the Holocaust occurred.
"Granted this happened, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?" he said.
Comment: And that is really the point, isn't it? If Europeans and Americans "committed the Holocaust" against Israel, how come they didn't mark off some of their own territory and give it to the Jews instead of dispossessing and entire other nation?
But Ahmadinejad went on to say that he was defending the rights of European academics imprisoned for "questioning certain aspects" of the Holocaust, an apparent reference to a small number who have been prosecuted under national laws for denying or minimizing the genocide.
"There's nothing known as absolute," Ahmadinejad said. He said the Holocaust has been abused as a justification for Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians.
"Why is it that the Palestinian people are paying the price for an event they had nothing to do with?" he asked.
Comment: And that is the truth. But I don't think Bollinger wanted the truth. He wanted to demonstrate that he was a good Zionist lap-dog.
Asked why he had asked to visit the World Trade Center site - a request denied by New York authorities - Ahmadinejad said he wanted to express sympathy for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Comment: Refusing him permission to do so was just plain petty. But then, that's what the U.S. has become: a petty tyrant.
Then he appeared to question whether al-Qaida was responsible, saying more research was needed.
"If the root causes of 9/11 are examined properly - why it happened, what caused it, what were the conditions that led to it, who truly was involved, who was really involved - and put it all together to understand how to prevent the crisis in Iraq, fix the problem in Afghanistan and Iraq combined," Ahmadinejad said.
Comment: Another truth that Bollinger didn't want to hear.
Bollinger drew strong criticism for inviting Ahmadinejad to Columbia and had promised tough questions in his introduction. But the stridency of his attack on the Iranian leader took many by surprise.
Comment: He drew strong criticism only because the Israeli lobby and the Zionist controlled media worked very hard to make that criticism seem like it was the true expression of the citizens of the U.S. It is all manufactured propaganda.
"You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated," Bollinger told Ahmadinejad about the leader's Holocaust denial. "Will you cease this outrage?"
Comment: Again, Bollinger shows his lack of class, manners, intellectual integrity and demonstrates his obeisance to the Israeli lobby.
Bollinger's introduction was "very harsh," said Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian studies at Columbia University.
"Inviting him and then turning around and alienating and insulting an entire nation whose representative this man happens to be is simply inappropriate," said Dabashi, who also criticized Ahmadinejad.
Instead of addressing most of Bollinger's accusations directly, Ahmadinejad offered quotes from the Quran and criticism of the Bush administration and past American governments, from warrant-less wiretapping to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
He closed his prepared remarks with a terse smile, to applause and boos, before taking questions from the audience.
In Iran, Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia could be seen on Arabic satellite channels and state television's Arabic-language service, but it did not appear on channels that broadcast in Farsi, the language of Iran.
Asked about his country's nuclear intentions, Ahmadinejad insisted the program is peaceful, legal and entirely within Iran's rights, despite attempts by "monopolistic," "selfish" powers to derail it. "How come is it that you have that right, and we can't have it?" he added.
Comment: Very good question. Of course, we all know the answer: double standards and "The Shock Doctrine." Iran is next in the target for being taken over and having its resources appropriated. It must certainly not be able to defend itself.
President Bush said Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia "speaks volumes about, really, the greatness of America."
Comment: Yeah, right. What speaks volumes about the pettiness of the Zionist controlled Bush Administration is the way Ahmadinejad was treated. And it doesn't speak to greatness, but pettiness.
He told Fox News Channel that if Bollinger considered Ahmadinejad's visit an educational experience for Columbia students, "I guess it's OK with me."
But conservatives on Capitol Hill were critical. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said he thought the invitation to Ahmadinejad was a mistake "because he comes literally with blood on his hands."
Comment: It's pretty well established how much blood is on the hands of the Bush Administration so this is disingenuous at best, psychopathic blaming of the intended victim at worst.
Thousands of people jammed two blocks of 47th Street across from the United Nations to protest Ahmadinejad's visit to New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session. Organizers claimed a turnout of tens of thousands. Police did not immediately have a crowd estimate.
Comment: All organized and paid for by the Israeli lobby and beefed up with every pathological deviant in the area. We wouldn't be surprised if they bussed in protesters.
The speakers, most of them politicians and officials from Jewish organizations, proclaimed their support for Israel and criticized the Iranian leader for his remarks questioning the Holocaust.
Comment: Oh yeah, gotta keep that guilt fence up around the rest of the world.
"We're here today to send a message that there is never a reason to give a hatemonger an open stage," New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.
Comment: And so, George W. Bush and most of the members of his administration, and many pathological sycophants should be kept in the background and never allowed to speak.
Hundreds of protesters also assembled at Columbia. Dozens stood near the lecture hall where Ahmadinejad was scheduled to speak, linking arms and singing traditional Jewish folk songs about peace and brotherhood. A two-person band nearby played "You Are My Sunshine."
Signs in the crowd displayed a range of messages, including one reading: "We refuse to choose between Islamic fundamentalism and American imperialism."
Associated Press writers Karen Matthews and Aaron Clark contributed to this report.
COINTELPRO, Columbia University , Freedom of Speech, NEOCONS, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , SOTT, Lee Bollinger , AIPAC