Monday, September 24, 2007

Mahmoud: From the Left and Right

The blogosphere is ablaze regarding Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia. I wrote about it here on Friday. From the right, we havenear universal condemnation

This event raises deep and complicated issues about how best to express our
commitment to intellectual freedom, and to our free way of life. Although we
believe in free and open debate at Columbia and should never suppress points of
view, we are also committed to academic standards. A high-quality academic
discussion depends on intellectual honesty but, unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad
has proven himself, time and again, to be uninterested in whether his words are
true. Therefore, my personal opinion is that he should not be invited to speak.
Mr. Ahmadinejad is a reprehensible and dangerous figure who presides over a
repressive regime, is responsible for the death of American soldiers, denies the
Holocaust, and calls for the destruction of Israel. It would be deeply
regrettable if some misread this invitation as lending prestige or legitimacy to
his views.

The view from the far left is a whole different

Okay, I admit it. Part of it is that he just looks cuddly.
Possibly cuddly enough to turn me straight. I think he kind of looks
like Kermit the Frog. Sort of. With smaller eyes. But that’s
not all…

I want to be very clear. There are certainly many things about
Ahmadinejad that I abhor — locking up dissidents, executing of gay folks,
denying the fact of the Holocaust, potentially adding another dangerous nuclear
power to the world and, in general, stifling democracy. Even still, I
can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the
Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy
Recall that, back in May, Ahmadinejad sent a letter
to President Bush

For some time now, I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable
contradictions that exist… Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon
Him), the great Messenger of God,
Feel obliged to respect human
Present liberalism as a civilization model,

Announce one's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs,
Make "War on Terror" his slogan,

And finally, work towards the establishment of a unified international
community --- a community which Christ and the virtuous of the Earth will one
day govern,
But at the same time,

Have countries attacked. The lives, reputations and possessions of people
destroyed and on the slight chance of the presence of a few criminals in a
village, city, or convoy for example, the entire village, city or convoy set

It’s a great question, which I’ve wondered myself. He goes

Because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is
occupied, around 100,000 people killed, its water sources, agriculture and
industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, sanctity
of private homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps 50
years. At what price? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of
one country and certain other countries and tens of thousands of young men and
women --- as occupation troops --- put in harms way, taken away from family and
loved ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much
psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide and those returning
home suffer depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of ailments;
while some are killed and their bodies handed to their families.
Ahmadinejad, it would appear, cares more about American troops than
President Bush.

What is really obscene is that this last quote comes from a self described Jewish lesbian. She acknowledges many of his evil deeds though that doesn't seem to stop her from having a crush on him, despite him being evil, wanting to kill all Jews, and of course besides him being the wrong sex. Of course, Bush Derangement Syndrome takes on a new level when a lesbian finds a man attractive simply because that mean, a sociopathic and murderous tyrant, also hates Bush as much as she does.

As for condemnation of his very appearance at Columbia, we have yet to see that. Again, I note that the Daily Kos invited all of the Democratic Presidential candidates to a debate and all but Joseph Biden gladly accepted. I hope that is kept in mind when we are all choosing our Presidential candidate.

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