Scorpio’s World

Thoughts on Politics, Race, and Middle Earth

“The Beautiful Ones”

Posted by scorpiomkm on September 25, 2007

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Ahmadinejad questions 9/11, Holocaust

By NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press Writer 

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

Ahmadinejad retorted that Bollinger’s opening was “an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here.”

“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.

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.

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.

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.”

He also said Palestinians must determine theirown 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.

Ahmadinejad denied he had questioned whether the Holocaust occurred.

“Granted this happened, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?” he said.

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.

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.

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.

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.

“You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated,” Bollinger told Ahmadinejad about the leader’s Holocaust denial. “Will you cease this outrage?”

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.

President Bush said Ahmadinejad‘s appearance at Columbia “speaks volumes about, really, the greatness of America.”

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.”

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.

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.

“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.

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.”

___

 Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator.”

                      ~ President of Columbia University

Since when does a University President not only have to defend the University’s Right & Obligation to invite World Leaders to their Hallowed Halls of Learning; but to the SHAME of it all …. I guess NOW these Leaders of the university feel the apparent NEED to INSULT their Guests with mean spirited and vulgar remarks?

That’s what President Bollinger (Columbia University) did in his Opening Remarks today!!

This is INSANITY at its heights!!

A UNIVERSITY President!!

I expect such numbskull and IGNORANT behavior from the Main Stream lackey Media. After all, they just parrot the Agenda of Bush and the Right wing neoconneonazis: but a University President?

I expect such rudeness and insults from ‘Death Eaters’ and moronic “Me Tooers“, that merely want to show that they’re part of the crowd that find it now envogue to HATE Iranians (just as it was envogue to demonize Saddam during the United State’s run up to ‘Shock & Awe’): but a UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT?

And the United States is PROUD of this behavior, which makes this insanity even more sickening!!

A UNIVERSITY is a place where Ideas and Reasoning (often differing ideas and thought) are RESPECTFULLY discussed, listened to, and examined. Now it appears that America’s longing for a HitlerianFourth Reich” and a gross “Me Too-ism” has made its way even into the heart and soul of our Higher Places of Learning and Research. But mark my words: this slippery slope of Intolerance, Racism, and Totalitarianism that we’ve been falling down these past 7 years has just become even steeper whenever a UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT not only feels the need to Justify a university’s actions ~ but worse a UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT has the timerity to mimic the shoddy behavior and mentality of the ‘Larger Society’ towards the university’s OWN GUEST as well.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not ~ I REPEAT ~ did not EMBARRASS himself or Iran today. But rather it was America, in the eyes of the World, that looked the Classless, Careless, and ‘Mean Spirited’ bully-thug  that has long been claimed by both loyal Friends and determined Adversary alike.

I watched Ahmadinejad‘s entire Speech today. And I can only surmise that the MAIN REASON he has received so much ATTENTION and HATE from Right wingers, Christian Fundamentalists, neocons, ‘Good ol‘ Boy’ Americans, “Me Too-ers” and Death Eaters alike is simple:

The United States WANTS to “Shock & Awe” Iran, and thus America is knee deep into its DEMONIZING STAGE of this man.

Simple as THAT!

See, before America kills, she must first DEMONIZE. Hell, nothing new in that. America demonized Africans during Slavery; America demonized Native Americans before stealing their Land; Americans demonized the Chinese when they came here seeking jobs in the gold fields or wished work on the railroads; demonized the American Japanese during World War II; demonized Saddam before “Shock & Awe”, and I’m just listing just a few examples of this long held strategy for the masses fomented by the government.

So nothing NEW here. All tyrants and Totalitarian States do it!!

What I find NEW though, is the fact that EVEN ‘Higher Places of Learning’ (like Columbia) are conspiring to ‘Dumb Down’ and lower its OWN Standards just to OBVIOUSLY keep Jewish endowment checks flowing into its coffers ~ and Public Heat off!!

Disgraceful.

The Beginning of the End of what USE TO BE the late GREAT United States of America as she was hoped for. 

And there’s nothing over the horizon, that I can see, that can turn this long slide around!

  Truly: The Beautiful Ones are not yet Born!”

                             Not in Mordor anyway.

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