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NYT Calls Ahmadinejad “Puzzling, Conciliatory”

From his understanding fans at the New York Times:

Ahmadinejad, at Columbia, Parries and Puzzles


September 25, 2007

He said that there were no homosexuals in Iran — not one — and that the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews should not be treated as fact, but theory, and therefore open to debate and more research.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, aired those and other bewildering thoughts in a two-hour verbal contest at Columbia University yesterday, providing some ammunition to people who said there was no point in inviting him to speak. Yet his appearance also offered evidence of why he is widely admired in the developing world for his defiance toward Western, especially American, power.

In repeated clashes with his hosts, Mr. Ahmadinejad accused the United States of supporting terrorist groups, and characterized as hypocritical American and European efforts to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“If you have created the fifth generation of atomic bombs and are testing them already, who are you to question other people who just want nuclear power,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said, adding, pointedly: “I think the politicians who are after atomic bombs, politically, they’re backwards. Retarded.” …

[H]e said Iran could not recognize Israel “because it is based on ethnic discrimination, occupation and usurpation and it consistently threatens its neighbors” — and conciliatory — he said he wanted to visit ground zero to “show my respect” for what he called “a tragic event.”

And he said that even if the Holocaust did occur, the Palestinians should not pay the price for it…

The Iranian president, who was seated 10 feet away from him on the stage, wore a frozen smile. The anti-Ahmadinejad portion of the audience, which looked to be about 70 percent of it, cheered and chortled.

Mr. Bollinger praised himself and Columbia for showing they believed in freedom of speech by inviting the Iranian president, then continued his attack. He said it was “well documented” that Iran was a state sponsor of terrorism, accused Iran of fighting a proxy war against the United States in Iraq and questioned why Iran has refused “to adhere to the international standards” of disclosure for its nuclear program.

“I doubt,” Mr. Bollinger concluded, “that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad did not directly answer the questions, but he did address them. Before doing so though, he said pointedly:

“In Iran, tradition requires when you invite a person to be a speaker, we actually respect our students enough to allow them to make their own judgment, and don’t think it’s necessary before the speech is even given to come in with a series of complaints to provide vaccination to the students and faculty.”

He added, to some cheers, “Nonetheless, I shall not begin by being affected by this unfriendly treatment.” …

Inside the auditorium, the Columbia students laughed appreciatively when Mr. Ahmadinejad pushed back against the attempts by Dean John H. Coatsworth, the event’s moderator, to get him to stop rambling and answer questions directly.

“Do you or your government seek the destruction of the state of Israel?” Mr. Coatsworth asked.

“We love all people,” Mr. Ahmadinejad dodged. “We are friends of the Jews. There are many Jews living peacefully in Iran.” He went on to say that the Palestinian “nation” should be allowed a referendum to decide its own future.

Mr. Coatsworth persisted: “I think you can answer that question with a simple yes or no.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad was having none of it. “You ask the question and then you want the answer the way you want to hear it,” he shot back. “I ask you, is the Palestinian issue not a question of international importance? Please tell me yes or no.”

For that, he got a round of applause from the students, who had lined up four hours before the speech to get into the auditorium…

What a travesty.

Despite the preposterous claims of the New York Times, there is nothing “puzzling” or “bewildering” or least of all “conciliatory” about Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks.

And there is nothing even slightly nuanced about his positions. He has made them abundantly clear for years now.

It is a joke that the New York Times and the buffoons running Columbia would pretend that hearing Mr. Ahmadinejad speak would somehow shed new light on his views.

Hopefully the New York Times will offer him a half-priced full-page ad, so that he can further clarify his thoughts.

We also hope that all the students who applauded and cheered this murderous maniac can enjoy the experience of living under his enlightened dictatorship some day.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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