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Why Ahmadinejad Is Smiling

Posted on Sep 29, 2007

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad definitely got the villain treatment during his recent U.S. visit, but Mosaic asks whether it’s Americans he’s even talking to. After all, getting tough with Uncle Sam earns big points in the Middle East.

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By boggs, October 8, 2007 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Ahmadinejad would be an idiot to not be getting his country ready to defend itself against the terror and the pre-emptive assault that has been promised them by our “little lying, arrogant, wink and shrug, and trigger happy leader.”

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By Alan Richard, October 2, 2007 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


“Gay” is not a virtue, any more than “black” or “female” is a virtue.  Civil rights are, however virtuous, and they are more virtuous the further they extend.

I realize that “gay” is not embraced everywhere in the US (being a gay resident of Texas for the past 15 years and having grown up in Iowa, I think I have my share of inside knowledge on that subject).  In the United States, gay people are beaten and murdered all too frequently, and all too frequently the case is not solved or the perpetrators are given light sentences.  But the last I looked, the United States does not execute teenagers for homosexuality and violent police raids on gay gatherings in coffee shops and homes have become rather rare here.  This is not the case in Iran.

One does not have to be an advocate of invasion (I am not) to recognize that the current president of that country is a heartless demagogue who plays on ignorance and religious irrationality to shore up a corrupt regime flawed to the core because it can do nothing without the approval of a panel of Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells.  In fact, if we haven’t learned how to recognize such a person in this country, we had better, because our current leader is as close to one as we’ve ever had.  It is not an insult to expose the facts about such a person’s actions, whether they are president of a country or not; it is essential.

Here is a basic principle that those of us on the left had better learn and learn fast: the enemy of my enemy is NOT necessarily my friend.

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By gronamox, October 2, 2007 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

The truth is that Iranians are completely embarassed by Ach…he is such a blow hard and an unpopular maniac that the result is-he is cutting his own throat every time he opens his mouth.  Even the Ayatollah has had it with this moron.  So, let him talk.  Iranians don’t want war or bombs; they want lower prices at the gas pump.  Ach’s days are numbered so let’s just keep counting.  As far as the nuclear issue-just a big fat lie folks.  Weapons of mass destruction and all that jazz…forget about it.  North Korea helps Syria-they can’t even shoot a missile ten feet in the air.  Iran can’t centrifuge cotton candy.  Please, please, wake-up. More Cheney lies. Israel has it covered.

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By Shandooga, October 2, 2007 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

Americans have, once again, proven themselves to be irretrievably stupid and woefully disrespectful in vilifying a man of whom they know little, a head of state who made a trip halfway around the world to be insulted by people who haven’t even finished school.

It’s not like the lies the US followed into Iraq have passed so far into history that one could be forgiven for not remembering. The bogus war in Iraq is still a current event!  How is it that the idiots are again lining up at the BS buffet to gulp down the vomit of the same lies they were force-fed in 2003?

So what if Iran has no openly-acknowledged homosexual society? When did gay become a virtue? Half of the US doesn’t embrace homosexuality, should Texas therefore be bombed? Of course not—the MilitAry indusTRIal compleX already has control of Texas oil.

Americans are utterly self-centered and have no ability to empathize with people whose first language isn’t English and who don’t love mayonnaise.
It is, therefore, difficult for Americans to grasp why Iranians might deny the holocaust. 

From a middle-eastern perspective, one day they’re minding their business and the next, British ships full of homeless Jews come and point guns at them forcing them out of their homes. Whatever your opinion of the holocaust or Israel issue, from the Iranian perspective there is really no time, or even dialog between them and their new aggressor-neighbors that one might reasonably expect sympathy for the Jewish plight. Americans are well-aware because the event has been well publicized here (at at time when technology couldn’t fake the imagery) and the Israelis have not engaged in organized, armed conflict on US soil. Considering the eviction of the Palestinians, the 6-day war, Gaza occupation, et al. Why should they even care?

Perhaps there was talk of “wiping Israel off the map” (must leave room for doubt, after all, I heard it on the “news”) but we’ve heard tough talk before from 2 super-power nations who, ultimately, did nothing to each other.

Remember the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine under which the US and Soviet arsenals were built?  India and Pakistan both have a history of conflict and nuclear weapons yet neither has dared to use them. Why pretend to be so certain that Iran would? If Iran wants to make a nuclear weapon, it is a sovereign nation. What of it? Israel holds nuclear weapons, why not even the playing field?

The US has more nuclear weapons than anyone and is the only nation ever to use them. Americans are the last people who should talk about what other nations are doing—in any respect.

What if the truth is that the Iranian nuclear aspirations are truly innocent? If Iran wants to sell all of its oil for a tidy profit and supplement its own energy needs with nuclear energy, what of it? 
Iran has done nothing wrong except sit atop the mint worth of oil to which it is rightly entitled. Oil which China needs to feed its burgeoning economic engine; an exporting and saving machine the growth of which threatens the continued United States’ runaway borrow and spend habit.

It is clear, therefore, why Iran has to be stopped. What isn’t clear is how Iran could be stopped from doing something that they were never doing in the first place.

If Ahmadinejad were shrewd, he’d take a lesson from Sadaam and step down now. It would take at least a few years for the US governmedia to demonize his replacement and that would at least delay the unjustified vaporization of millions of innocent human beings who happened to have been born in Iran.

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By cyrena, October 2, 2007 at 12:25 am Link to this comment

#103747 by Non Credo

Non Credo…

I agree. I’ve said the same many times on this site myself. I’ve even written a few papers on it. (My Professor was really impressed, and HE’S one of the best! - so I’m bragging on us both a bit here). Have you ever read any of his work? Richard Falk?

You HAVE to. Meantime, want me to post my paper on Iran and the NPT? I’m telling you, I may not be up on the Israeli Lobby as much as I should be, but I can tell anybody anything they want to know about the International Laws and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (that Israel has never agreed to) and Iran’s nuclear technology program. I might even though in some of what he has actually SAID…in his OWN words, (not DC’s words that have been put out for the American public) but his actual statements, such as:

Iran (as an Islamic Republic) has no WANT or NEED for nuclear WEAPONS. They DO have every right however, to the technology that allows it’s use for many things, including energy and other scientific uses…medicine comes to mind, since they have been a law-abiding participant to the Treaty. (again, unlike Israel, who happens to be sitting on an ARSENAL of the WEAPONS).

Never mind. I won’t post it. (I was just kidding anyway) But, do read some of Dr. Falks work if you have a chance. He’s a nice Jewish dude, who happens to also be quite brilliant, which is why we can’t allow him to retire, even though he’s prety old. smile

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By Homer Hewitt, October 1, 2007 at 4:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Some of the News
That may be True

Iran Calls Log Cabin Republicans Terrorists

Iran’s President Ahmadinejad announced today that Iran had declared the Log Cabin Republicans a terrorist organization. He called on the UN to authorize strong sanctions because of the organization’s continuing efforts to introduce homosexuality into Iran. The President said that this was the greatest threat to the straightness of Iran since the Sodomites’ efforts in 100 BC.


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Paolo's avatar

By Paolo, September 30, 2007 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

“After all, getting tough with Uncle Sam earns big points in the Middle East.”

Exactly how is Ahmadi-Nejad “getting tough” with the USA?

Is he threatening to nuke us, as almost all US presidential candidates have said they would “keep on the table” as an “option” regarding Iran?

Iran is developing uranium enrichment technology: something they have absolutely every right to do as signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Israel, by the way, refuses to sign on to the NPT. But there is ZERO evidence Iran has any nuclear weapons program whatsoever! Furthermore, all their leaders proclaim that possessing nukes is counter to Islam.

Again I ask: in what way did Ahmadi-Nejad “get tough” with the USA, other than refusing to kowtow to threats?

Frankly, given the context of hostility to Iran shown by this administration, plus every major presidential candidate, I think Ahmadi-Nejad has been temperate by comparison.

Do I support Iran’s repression of religious minorities, women, and gays? Of course not—but threatening to nuke them is hardly likely to induce them to change.

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By siri, September 30, 2007 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The treatment afforded President Ahmedinejad in New York last week was appaling.  Since when can we not agree to disagree with anyone without making barbarically rude and uncivilized statements to their face?  Since when do Americans INVITE a speaker and then proceed to disrespect and insult that same speaker?  That was not the way I was raised, nor was it ever the policy of the country in which I was raised.  It was unacceptably boorish.

And as far as to whom he was speaking, and the dissing of Uncle Sam being popular in mideast countries, let us be clear here that the dissing of Uncle Sam is pretty much accepted OVER HERE as well these last 6+ years. 

I don’t agree with Iran’s president, and he’s certainly guilty of flagrant anti west rhetoric that can be conceived as borderline nuts or is downright offensive, HOWEVER, HE WAS INVITED and even his odd ideas looked better than the treatment he was afforded in our nation.

I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!  That civilized and respectful place wherein I was born and raised.  This administration, the entire Bu$h cabal cannot be gone soon enough for me.

I was as embarassed by the treatment of President Ahmadinejad last week as I EVER get every time some idiot or poor soul is obliged to hand pResident Bu$h a microphone!

We are better than that!

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Sovereign Citizen of the FORMER United States of America

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By Thomas Billis, September 29, 2007 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Ahmadinejob runs for President here I am sure he will make statements favorable for us.Until then no matter what he says we should always show why we are better.Bollinger in his please come to Columbia you prick speech plays right into the hands of the people in middle east who think our motives are not pure.

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By Shandooga, September 29, 2007 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Think chess:

Murdering Sadaam had nothing to do with “freedom”, democracy, WMDs, Kurds or anything they said. Destroying Sadaam even had little to do with Sadaam himself. Sure, he was probably funding the suicide bombings in Israel (which, not coincidentally, seem to have ceased) but there are long term goals to consider.

China’s booming economy has invested much-needed money in this nation of non-saving borrowers so it isn’t good business to attack China—yet. There will be time for that later.  The Chinese economy, meanwhile, remains a great potential threat to the US.  If they stop saving and start spending, what will the US borrow for the war in Iraq (and Iran)? The potential Chinese threat is all but totally dependent upon their increasing oil imports.

The US has allowed the doubling of gas prices here to engender favorable sentiment toward it’s rather obvious move for oil in the middle east but it is also, covertly, moving to control all of the oil imports to China to control the pace of its booming economy and make sure that their savings remain available for the US’s endless appetite for borrowing for war. 


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By ezeques, September 29, 2007 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Religion poisons everything.

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By lilmamzer, September 29, 2007 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

#103412 by weather

Again, the firm and irrevocable truth remains, before Israel, Islam was of little concern to America.


Do some reading and educate yourself.

The US has had a very uneasy relationship with Islam for hundreds of years, going back to the enslavement of American merchant seaman by the Islamic Barbary states.

American attitudes towards Islam have been shaped by first hand knowledge relayed by many generations missionary, educational, and medical relief organizational work that started very early in the 19th century.

Israel as a modern nation state has been tangential to American perceptions of Islam since 1776. If anything, Americans view the incessant genocidal Islamic jihad against the Jews of Israel with understanding and compassion, as they should.

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By writeon, September 29, 2007 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s a mistake to take him too seriously. Iranian internal politics, like the rest of that society, is far more complicated that most Americans, especially, seem to realize.

He’s not a President with powers like Bush, or anywhere near it. His real power is serverely limited by Iran’s collective leadership. He isn’t even head of the Iranian army, or the Revolutionary Guards. He has mostly influence, but not much real power.

So building him up as Hitler or an enormous threat is silly and counterproducive, unless one want’s an excuse for attacking Iran and he fits the bill.

It’s dumb to provide him with a platform though. The more the United States attacks him, the more people in the Middle East take notice of him. Is this a sensible strategy for the United States? Many of his statements are very clever. What he appears to be doing is putting the conflict between the US and Iran into a wider frame. That is the conflict between Israel and the Arab world. So any attack on Iran will be seen as the US and Israel attacking the entire Muslim Middle East. This is a samrt tactic from Iran’s side, wrapping themselves in the anti-Israel camp for protection and possible reprisals.

Once again one has to ask is building Ahmidinejad up and inflating his importance really in the interests of the United States? The reception and treatment he received in America was a disgrace and so stupid and ignorant. He looked like lone hero walking fearlessly into the lion’ den, to most people in the Middle East and the wider Muslim world, and he was treated not like a guest but like a thief. This kind of reception plays really badly in Arab culture. It makes Ahmidinejad look really good, and Americans look like barbarians and more importantly weak and afraid of his words, which makes his statements appear far more powerful than they really are.

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By Frank, September 29, 2007 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Weather, you imbecile, Israel does not impose hasidic law on anyone. Iran does impose Islamic law on everyone in the country.  Israeli woman who do not wish to follow Hassidic customs can renounce that religion or follow another tradition. Iranian woman have no such option without the risk of state sanctioned death.

FYI, I am an atheist American of Scots-Irish decent, not a zionist, nor a conservative.

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By Douglas Chalmers, September 29, 2007 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Ahmadinijad is still smiling? I wonder why? Hasn’t he been told, already?

I wonder why the USA’s “Crusader Rabbit” is so sulky lately, too?

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By rage, September 29, 2007 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Granted, a couple times, Ahmadinejad’s cheese has slipped off his cracker. He’s been off on a few tears that betrayed more than a modest level of certifiable craziness. Still, he’s brought us nothing to challenge our own Chimperor McFlightsuit. Dumya still reigns as the most cerebrally limited leader in the modern world and the absolute worst President in world’s history of any nation EVER. Oddly, though, the world allows him to top himself, making a bigger ass of himself and humiliating us to tears with his every utterance.

No matter how far out his depth Dumya has recklessly plunged, never once has this Connecticut born Texas clod been introduced with a malicious and insulting disclaimer like the one Columbia University issued when introducing the President of Iran. Columbia University then went on to shell Ahmadinejad with a prejudicial barrage of pre-approved leading questions taken from a carefully hand-selected audience of anti-Iranian hecklers. Columbia University did not invite a guest speaker so much as lure a target into an ambush. There was nothing eruditely academic about this indulgence of discourse, if in fact we can honestly define this as discourse in free society.

Like him or not, agree with him or not, we should have been able to hear what he wanted to say without prejudice and malice aforethought. Then, we should have posed queries that opened informative debate about Iran and Iran’s relationship to America, without attacking Iranians for their religious beliefs and practices. That their women wear the burka and ours go nearly naked says little about either society. So, they stone. We lethally inject. Every ethnic culture and society of the Human Race has its heights and depths. These points are commonly where intellectual discourse is initiated through public discussion and civilized debate. Nothing is ever accomplished from a prideful exploitation of one’s perceived opponent’s faults with a distinct intent to penalize, insult, and embarrass.

Just because Darth Cheney is craving the natural resources and unfettered economic domination of the region does not make Iran a clear and present danger to American interests, prime for another lethal illegal, unilateral invasion. Cheney needs to focus on presenting American taxpayers with the evidence of our profit from his Iraq venture. Hell, we’ve paid for the oil. Now what has the oil actually paid for? American troops have yet to be showered with flowers and candy as liberators. President Al Maliki has yet to commission an artist to capture a fitting likeness of Dumya for the Baghdad piazza in Iraq.

Hearing what Ahmadinejad had to say at Columbia University would have been beneficial to our gathering substantial evidence against the Bush and Cheney demands for endless war and instability in that region. We need to grow up and get beyond Ahmadinejad’s being the President of a sovereign nation that is against the existence of the state of Israel, favors Palestine, practices a fundamental non-Christian faith that abhors homosexuality as an abomination, and believes in the 2nd class citizenship of women. None of that at all justifies our potential hostile exportation of Freedom, Liberty, and American ways through carpet bombing Iran. America herself and many of her diplomatic allies boast human and civil rights offenses and malignancies to parllel and even exceed Iran. What’s more and worse is that many of these hypocritical nations sanctimoniously boast a civilized Christian heritage.

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By vet240, September 29, 2007 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

First, the cultural differences between the West and the Mid-East mean little. Remember, women in America didn’t get the right to vote until 1920, only 87 years ago, and they didn’t get it based on the “goodness” of mens’ hearts either.

The issue of the West medling in mid-east politics is obviously going to be an “internal issue” in the country effected by the afore mentioned medling.

The British were the earliest medlers going back to the “Holy Crusades”.

The British also occupied India, Iraq and Palistine for years.

Regarding Iraq,as seen in this quote from the Global Policy Forum web-site, “Britain set up a colonial regime in Iraq after a long military campaign during World War I. In response to Iraqi resistance, including a country-wide uprising in 1920, British forces battled for over a decade to pacify the country, using airplanes, armored cars, firebombs and mustard gas. Air attacks were used to shock and awe, to teach obedience and to force the collection of taxes. Winston Churchill, as responsible cabinet minister in the early years, saw Iraq as an experiment in high-technology colonial control. Though officials in London sometimes had qualms about the violence, colonial administrators on the ground like Gertrude Bell expressed enthusiasm for the power of the imperial military enterprise.”

Palistine, another British holding at the end of WWII became the landing place for voluntarily displaced Jewish people. They immediately set about a movement which would lead to the UN recognizing their right to the land Never mind the one million palistinians who lost everything due to the new order imposed by the West through NATO.

I personally believe the Israel exists simply because the West needed a permanent foot-hold in the Mid-East. This was done realizing the impossibility to occupy nations regardless of the sophistication of the military might brought against the occupied (except for the Bush gang). Israel was the permanent burr under the saddle so to speak.

The West, instead of aiding in the permanent resolution of the Palistinian demands continue to feed the masses of their populations dis-information about the political positions of the Mid-East nations. Much like this article.

The issue has been so widely distorted that now both the left and right of many nations view the demands of Mis-East leaders as self-serving anti-West positions.

When in fact the Mid-East, because of their oil has been abused by the industrial West since the industrial revolution.

I think when leaders such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad say they like the people of a nation but completely dis-like the leadership they are being honest. I think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really believes that the people can change the policies established by their leaders.

What he may not understand is that America has been controlled since the Marshall Plan by the Multi-national corporations to such an extent that the people may never be able to retake control.

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By weather, September 29, 2007 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

frank adjust your wife’s wig. Hassidic woman don’t even a have a chance to disclose their constraints.

Again, the firm and irrevocable truth remains, before Israel, Islam was of little concern to America.

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By Frank, September 29, 2007 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

An Iranian’s Woman’s View on Islamic Laws

My name is Shiva Mahbobi. I am a women’s rights activist from Iran and a member of the public relations of the International Committee against Stoning (ICAS).

First of all, I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to this conference and also would like to thank all of you for being here.

24 years ago when the Islamic regime of Iran announced that all women must wear the Islamic dress code (Hijab), thousands of women came to the streets of Tehran to protest against this law. They were chanting “Women’s Rights are Universal” and “we didn’t take part in the revolution to go backwards”. They said NO to the compulsory Islamic dress code and NO to the Islamic rules and policies. Since then women in Iran have been fighting against the Islamic laws and traditions; they have fought against sexual apartheid, and have fought for freedom and equality every day of their lives. I am sure you would do the same thing if you were told starting from tomorrow:

You will be separated from men in all public places including universities and transportation.

You have to obey the Islamic dress code and you will be punished if you don’t.

You have no right to travel without the permission of the male of the family.

You have no right to divorce and if you get divorce you won’t have the custody of your children.

You will face imprisonment, flogging and paying fine if you were arrested while walking with your boyfriend or wore make-up
You have no place to go and seek refuge if your husband abuses you, beats you up or rapes you.

You have no right to work if your husband disagrees.

You will be subjected to oppression and discrimination in all aspects of your life.

You will be stoned to death if you have sexual relation out of marriage.

In Iran where an Islamic state is governing the country and law is based on Islam, stoning which is torture and a gradual death and the most inhumane and horrifying form of punishment is carried out for women and men (mostly women) for committing extra-marital relationship. Stoning has been officially introduced in the country’s penal codes.

According to article 102 of Islamic Penal Code, A man is buried to his waist, while a woman is buried up to her chest and stoned to death.

Article 104 defines the size of stones and stipulates: In stoning to death, the stones should not be so large that the person dies upon being hit by one or two of them, neither should they be so small that they cannot be called a stone.

An eye-witness in Iran has described a scene of stoning in the city called Gohardasht in Iran:

“To the astonishment of the people, the two sentenced were dragged to the designated area; their hands were tightly tied behind their backs and their whole bodies were covered with white shroud. Then the mercenaries dug holes in the hill of soil and the sentenced were covered up to their waists in dirt. In order to prevent the sentenced from escaping, water was added to the soil. Then the cleric ordered the stoning. Within the first few seconds, the two sentenced lost control because of the intensity of pain; they bent to the ground while blood leaked out from under their grave clothes. After a few minutes, the cleric announced that the “evils” had died and proclaimed the end to the stoning. “

It’s hard to believe that cruel laws such as stoning are still happening in the 21 century and in fact it’s the law of a country.

Since the Islamic regime of Iran came to the power, tens of women and men, again mostly women, have been stoned to death and many including Ferdos.B, Shahnaz and Sima have been sentenced to stoning and are currently in prison.


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By Sally Ricevuto, September 29, 2007 at 4:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The U.S. has the tendency to vellify all those who do not agree with its policies. Ahmedinejad might be controversial but he has not launched distructive wars like George W. Bush and lied to his population.Thank you Mr. Dajani for Mosaic it’s trully a great service.

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