Monday, September 24, 2007

Our "friend" Ahmedinejad

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, president of Iran, is well known for his radical anti-western ideas. Who could forget:
  • His constant denials of the holocaust of Jewish people in Europe during World War II?
  • His invitations to the world to "wipe Israel off the map"?
  • His nuclear program for "civilian purposes"?
  • His measures to purify the Persian culture from western influences, banning western music and eliminating any foreign word from the Persian vocabulary?
It may be hard to believe, but there is a person who can easily forget about all those comments and ideas... and such person is, of course, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad himself. Or, at least, he can pretend that he never thought about his radical ideas according to the situation and his interests.

Ahmedinejad visited recently the United States to give a conference at Columbia University, an event highly criticized and protested against by several student societies and organizations. The ideas given on his speech could not be more risible and hypocritical. Some of the highlights he touched upon were the following (my comments in red):
  • His regime does not support terrorism (let's not forget about Hezbollah and Hamas, among others).
  • The conflicts in Middle East need to be addressed through dialogue (which is true, but his regime has not particularly supported that option in the facts. He rather invites leaders to "wipe Israel off the map").
  • Most of the world believes that Iran's nuclear program has a civilian purpose (Do you know any person, apart from Ahmedinejad and his friends, who buys this argument? I don't).
  • Iran's foreign policy is all about security and peace for the world (by providing weapons to kill US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq).
  • There is no homosexuality in Iran (there is, but it's banned and severely punished).
Logically, Ahmedinejad's points caused some laughs to the audience. He went to Columbia to demonstrate his talent to lie and to change his speeches and ideas as he considers appropriate. His goal was probably to show himself as a centered, caring and friendly leader to people in the US to gain some international support and to clean his own (and his regime's) highly rusted reputation in the western hemisphere. But the damage and the danger that he has set to Iran and the world will take much more than that to be repaired.

Click here for more information about Ahmedinejad's speech at Columbia University
Photo by AP


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