Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Take No Joy in Being Right

The early verdict is in. Ahmadinejad was a big hit and scored a big PR coup following his speech at Columbia University. No, the glorious reviews didn't come from the New York Times or much of anywhere in our own Mainstream Media, but he did score, as I predicted, where he wanted to, all over the Middle East. Here is a sampling of what we will expect courtesy of the Iranian media (Hat tip to Little Green Footballs)

" President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have faced ridicule in the United States by
suggesting there were no homosexuals in Iran, but he won praise at home on
Wednesday for taking his country’s case to “the Lion’s Den.” Generally,
politicians and media in the Islamic Republic — even some who have previously
criticized the president — described Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York as a
triumph and denounced the university president who called him “a petty and cruel
dictator.” ...
The president spoke at Columbia University on Monday and on
Tuesday addressed the U.N. General Assembly, where he told world leaders the
issue of Iran’s nuclear ambitions was “closed” and that military threats and
sanctions had failed.
“By fearlessly and courageously walking into the
‘Lion’s Den’ ... he is sure to become even more of a hero in the Arab-Muslim
street than before,” the daily Iran News wrote
Here is some commentary for a Middle Eastern Blog

Ahmadinejad is hitting the blind spots, the stuff polite society does not talk
about, that is his attractionHis comments on the bomb are more intelligent than
the drivel you read in the Western press by so called analysts.Basically the US,
Western countries have lost the moral highground - Putin's talkbacks prove that
too -- No I would not vote for Ahmadinejad, if I lived in Iran - you vote for
him, he is not a dictator ... to use words like fascism in an Iranian context
does not make sense ... yes the party I would vote for is illegal in Iran ...,
no I would not vote for Putin
The primary thrust of Ahmadinejad's
speech has been completely ignored by everyone. That thrust, was the supreme
nobility of education,knowledge and truth. In an ominous veiled threat to
western Main stream media's cold calculated campaign of darkness and ignorance.
This was an excellent topic for this venue of a University forum. I am amazed at
how this vitally important subject has been totally ignored. It had monumental
implications. Not bad at all for a humble populist game cock like

If that isn't bad enough, here are some comments from BBC online readers (again, the Hat Tip must go to Little Green Footballs, Charles Johnson, the operator has been all over this story)

The president of Iran had a wonderful chance at Columbia to act as the more
educated and civil person, and he used that chance.America needs to recognize
that Iran’s hostilities will not falter as long as ours hold so high. A little
bit of trust could make them no longer have desire to use the weapons they may
or may not have. Unless the west intends on starting a war, it may be beneficial
to placate them, otherwise we won’t make any progress whatsoever.Columbia wasted
a good chance there.

Mr. Ahmadinijad is absolutely correct in saying why talking about Holocaust
is not compatible with freedom of speech.--What do you think would happen if the
west wanted to explore the Mohammed 'story'...Pop eye---Do you think ridiculing
God sent prophets is the same as exploring an event? Would you be happy if
someone did the same to Jesus/Moses?...---Well, do YOU think ridiculing a 6
million people genocide is the same as regarding the life of one? quid pro

The issue is CLOSED. If it is not then it may mean out and out war. Nobody
wants that. He is right in that his country has a right to nuclear energy. A
warring terrorist nuclear state nearby, his country feels unsafe. Much of Iran
was destroyed by Iraq! Ahmadenajad doesn't oppose Israelis but feels Israel
should be elsewhere for everybody's security. If it was, there would be no war
in that area! We speak of antipollutive actions yet deny Iran clean nuclear
energy. Moronic!

I can go on and on, but I think everyone gets the idea. Here are my prophetic words only a couple days ago

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.

I think that in my disgust over this incident I overstated its importance. The dynamic of Middle Eastern geopolitics won't necessarily change from one speech at one naive and misguided Ivy League university. Still, this speech hurt our side and helped our enemies. The magnitude of that hurt is frankly besides the point because all Americans should wonder which side is Lee Bollinger on.

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