Monday, September 24, 2007

Welcome to NY, You Medieval Vantz*

So the President of Iran went to Columbia University today and he got a good taste of what freedom of speech is about. I applaud Mr. Bollinger for challenging him in no uncertain terms. Mahmoud is a gifted provocateur and he should get as bad as he gives. Why should anybody treat him with kid gloves?
He is a liar and a hypocrite and a world-class manipulator, and when he got a chance to answer to some pointed questions, he didn't. Why? Because as a tyrant he only knows demagoguery. He is not used to open, frank debate; just to spin and sophistry.
He loves to bandy freedom of expression about, but in his country people are not free to express themselves unless it suits the Islamic revolution. He denies aiding terrorism; he is simply lying. Hezbollah exists because Iran pays for it. He claims there are no homosexuals in Iran, which got him apparently, the most scorn. Perhaps he thought he'd be talking to a bunch of American yahoos. He was sorely mistaken.
Basically it was a conversation with a skilled sociopath.

As I have pointed out before, his extremely savvy oversimplification of the fate of the Palestinians and the Holocaust presents, in my view, his most dangerous argument, because it looks to delegitimize Israel.
Ignorant people will just nod their heads in agreement when asked what do the Palestinians have to do with the Holocaust? Well, there are many historical circumstances and missed opportunities and deeply complex political reasons why the Palestinians ended up the way they did. Had the Arab countries not attacked Israel in 1967, perhaps a different fate would have ensued. There is no pretending that Israel has been entirely blameless, but Israel is certainly not the only culprit of the situation today. The Arab countries don't give a whit about the Palestinians as long as they continue being their pretext to attack Israel (which allows them to divert their citizens from the realities of their own appallingly undemocratic countries). If they cared, they'd be helping get these people a state and an infrastructure and a functioning economy, not just sponsoring terror groups, as they do. They would achieve so much more by creating the economic and social conditions where a state would be inevitable. The way it stands right now, how can anybody think something resembling a state can be achieved, when the Palestinians are killing each other for power?
Israel and the Holocaust cannot be blamed for that. History does not work in a neat, linear way, as Mahmoud would have it.
On both sides, ideology and sheer hatred have trumped common sense and pragmatism. As long as that continues, with louses like Mahmoud fanning the flames, there will never be peace.
In the meantime, I wish him the worst.

*louse in Yiddish. An obnoxious, disagreeable person. A nit.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed. Now how do we prevent this rhetoric from proliferating in the region? It certainly doesn't help that we have a yahoo idiocy making decisions there for us....