Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Daily Kos, Iran, and Middle East Media

In response to Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia, there was this diary at Daily Kos Hat tip to Little Green Footballs

No wonder those that are beating the war drums against Iran didn't want Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak any place American might hear him. Thanks
to Columbia University and CPAN he was heard by many. He sounds entirely too
reasonable. Hearing his own word doesn't help the cause of demonizing him as a
madman and the most recent Hitler. This is someone we definitely should be
talking to. so in the interest of promoting peace and knowledge, I present these
short excerpts from his talk at Columbia University today.

Now, this is an opinion probably not even shared at most of the Daily Kos. The point here is not to find the most outrageous example of outlandish analysis of his speech here in the American media. This particular diary should remind us what the reaction to his speech will be and has been in the Middle East media. This is the sort of analysis you can find in the Middle East, courtesy of Al Jazeera

Iran hasn't given any hint about attacking anyone, unlike the U.S. & UK who
invaded countries that didn't threaten them.
Iran has not, I repeat NOT given
any hint or word about attacking anyone, unlike the U.S., Britain and their
allies who invaded countries that DID NOT threaten them.
The U.S. needs to
keep oil trade under U.S. dollars; the provocation for war is the American way
of securing its finances."

His audience is not and never has been anyone in the United States. By providing him a platform, Columbia provided him with an opportunity to propagandize in a presitigous American University for a Middle East audience.

I have no doubt that Bollinger, and the rest of the Columbia staff did what they thought was right, however they just don't understand who they are dealing with. If they think this was anything but a PR coup for Ahmadinejad they are fooling themselves, they fooled themselves frankly into believing that this would do anything but raise this guy's profile at the exact moment that he was starting to be quite isolated. Here is how I saw it

You have to understand who you are dealing with and Ahmadinejad is a sociopath. He is only going to manipulate this to his advantage the way he always manipulates everything. Does any really think it hurts his public standing that Bollinger questioned him on civil rights, the Holocaust, etc. He wasn't performing for our media or the Western media in general. He was performing for the Middle East media, and they won't spin it as being called out, but rather standing up to the mean, mean Americans and showing them who is boss. His standing in the Middle East just improved exponentially thanks to the useful idiot Lee Bollinger. In the larger scheme of things his appearance at Columbia is not going to change things in the Middle East in any substantial way. Ahmadinejad is not going to be able to ride this to any sort of long term PR success, however as Americans, we must do what is in the best interest of America not the terrorists. Inviting Ahmadinejad did not help America and it did help our enemy and frankly enough is enough.

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