Mahmoud Ahmadinejab in America

  1. i listened to mahmoud at columbia yesterday. have to say i was happy, (and surprised) to hear lee bollinger's introduction. however, iranian press didn't like it.

    of course the funniest part was the following:

    an unidentified student said, "iranian women are now denied basic human rights, and your government has imposed draconian punishments, including execution on iranian citizens who are homosexuals. why are you doing these things?

    ahmadinejad (via translator): in i-ran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country.

    audience: (laughing)

    ahmadinejad (via translator): we don't have that in our country!

    audience: (laughing)

    ahmadinejad (via translator): in iran --

    audience: (booing.)

    ahmadinejad (via translator): in iran, we do not have this phenomenon. i don't know who's told you that we have it.
    **********************************************

    of course - he denies the holocaust.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/topnews/idusn2428553420070925?feedtype=rss&feedname=topnew s&rpc=22&sp=true

    "at columbia, university president lee bollinger pulled no punches. he called him a "petty and cruel dictator" and said his holocaust denials suggested he was either "brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated."

    (sorry about the link to reuters-i can't make it work)
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Sep 25, '07
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Roy . . . where are you?


    steph
  4. by   zooz
    In my opinion, I think Bollinger's "introduction" (more like covering his bootay) was the wrong move for many reasons. Most importantly, it put Ahmadinejad on the defensive and gave Iran and certain other countries one more reason to see the US as the "hypocritical attacker."

    My thought on this type of thing: Get whoever is going to be doing the talking relaxed and comfortable--meaning a fact-based, but neutral intro--and let the truth come to light when they speak. We're never going to get down to his real opinions (some of which are probably far worse than what he said in his most recent speeches or even denying the Holocaust) if he perceives himself to be attacked from the get-go.

    Now the Q&A section is a completely different matter. That is, the way I see it, where the hard hitting attacks in the form of questions should be. But not right off the bat.


    I'd be interested to see how the Iranian media is portraying this. I bet they show loop after loop of Bolinger's intro and then Ahmadinejad defending himself. And then a big round of applause to top it all off.
    Last edit by zooz on Sep 26, '07
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    the iranian response as reported initially by ap:

    headline: "iranians criticize columbia university's combative introduction for ahmadinejad -- iranians on tuesday called the combative introduction of president mahmoud ahmadinejad by the head of columbia university 'shameful' and said the harsh words only added to their image of the united states as a bully. "in a region where the tradition of hospitality outweighs personal opinions about people, many [in tehran] thought columbia university president lee bollinger's aggressive tone -- including telling ahmadinejad that he exhibited the signs of a 'petty and cruel dictator' -- was over the top. '. . . . .

    also, "the chancellors of seven iranian universities issued a letter on tuesday to bollinger saying his statements were 'deeply shameful' and invited him to iran" to see the truth" . . . .

    ahmadinejad (via translator): "i want to complain about... from the person who read this political statement against me. in iran, tradition requires that when we demand a person to invite a speaker, we actually respect our students and the professors by allowing them to make their own judgment, and we don't think it's necessary before this speech is even given to come . . . ."

    http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/070925/w092547a.html
    ************************************************** **

    i don't think he should have been invited to speak in the first place. his country is arming terrorists who are killing american soldiers.

    as to bollinger - i'm not sure what his motives were but i'm glad that someone finally spoke up in public about the truth of this man. i've heard alot of people say that he should not have attacked him, that the speaker was owed respect - at least during the introduction. i don't think so . . . he is owed zero respect.




  6. by   Spidey's mom
  7. by   fergus51
    I think his stance on homosexuality is as silly as our own leader's (we have em, but they can change if they want to). Anti-homosexuality is the one thing that unites the major monotheistic religions.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    Hi Fergus!

    I wonder if this guy's ranting and raving can stand alone and we can comment on that w/o bringing the prez into it?


    steph
  9. by   elkpark
    Quote from stevielynn
    Hi Fergus!

    I wonder if this guy's ranting and raving can stand alone and we can comment on that w/o bringing the prez into it?


    steph
    Why shouldn't we be able to make whatever comment (within the TOS) related to the topic that we see fit? I agree with fergus (as usual; hi, fergus! ), and my first thought on listening to Ahmadinejad the other evening was that he doesn't sound like any more of a deluded idiot than our own "President" ...

    I also thought that Bollinger was seriously out of line; invite the guy to speak or don't invite him, but don't invite him and then seriously trash and insult him in your introduction. I thought Bollinger's performance was v. rude and craven (since the sole purpose was to try, at the 11th hour, to cover his own butt) ... No wonder the rest of the world considers us obnoxious bullies -- we have certainly reinforced that perception at every turn in this entire sorry episode.
  10. by   zooz
    Quote from stevielynn
    the iranian response as reported initially by ap:

    headline: "iranians criticize columbia university's combative introduction for ahmadinejad -- iranians on tuesday called the combative introduction of president mahmoud ahmadinejad by the head of columbia university 'shameful' and said the harsh words only added to their image of the united states as a bully. "in a region where the tradition of hospitality outweighs personal opinions about people, many [in tehran] thought columbia university president lee bollinger's aggressive tone -- including telling ahmadinejad that he exhibited the signs of a 'petty and cruel dictator' -- was over the top. '. . . . .

    also, "the chancellors of seven iranian universities issued a letter on tuesday to bollinger saying his statements were 'deeply shameful' and invited him to iran" to see the truth" . . . .

    ahmadinejad (via translator): "i want to complain about... from the person who read this political statement against me. in iran, tradition requires that when we demand a person to invite a speaker, we actually respect our students and the professors by allowing them to make their own judgment, and we don't think it's necessary before this speech is even given to come . . . ."

    http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/070925/w092547a.html
    ************************************************** **

    i don't think he should have been invited to speak in the first place. his country is arming terrorists who are killing american soldiers.

    as to bollinger - i'm not sure what his motives were but i'm glad that someone finally spoke up in public about the truth of this man. i've heard alot of people say that he should not have attacked him, that the speaker was owed respect - at least during the introduction. i don't think so . . . he is owed zero respect.
    i'm not sure if i agree wholeheartedly with the invitation either, but at least it gives the opportunity for more discussion. either way, there is a history of inviting unsavory political figures to speak in the us. arafat, amin, castro, the list goes on.

    i'm not saying ahmadinejad deserves any respect, i just think demonizing him in the introduction to an event that he was invited to was the wrong way to go.

    i would have liked to hear what he had to say without all the "in iran we would never treat a guest like this..." this situation gave him an incredible opportunity to play the "what a rude host" card that he never should have had in the first place.

    he isn't that well liked in iran, but this experience surely gave his image a much needed boost over there. i'm sure the ayatollah is pleased.



    and where is roy? i thought he'd be all over this topic.
  11. by   ElvishDNP
    I'm not saying I think Ahmadinejad is a prince; far from it.

    The questions/comments Mr. Bollinger makes, however, are poorly-timed. If you want to make the comments, fine, but they would have, IMO, been better placed at the end.

    It does indeed make us look bad as a nation by saying these sorts of things before the guy even gets on stage. I think Ahmadinejad is a nutjob myself, and I agree with a lot of what Mr. Bollinger said, just not its timing.

    I would have liked to hear what he had to say without all the "In Iran we would never treat a guest like this..." This situation gave him an incredible opportunity to play the "what a rude host" card that he never should have had in the first place.
    My sentiments exactly. (see, something else we agree on... )
    Last edit by ElvishDNP on Sep 26, '07
  12. by   CHATSDALE
    anyone has the right to say anything they choose but i don't believe that comparing amadinejad to bush is the smartest thing i ever read
  13. by   fergus51
    Quote from stevielynn
    Hi Fergus!

    I wonder if this guy's ranting and raving can stand alone and we can comment on that w/o bringing the prez into it?


    steph
    Well, not really if I already did it and I brought three of the world's major religions into it too. People can ignore it if they don't want to talk about it. One person's anti-homosexual beliefs makes me think of others and the society and religions that creates those beliefs. I don't think it exists within a vacuum.
  14. by   fergus51
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    anyone has the right to say anything they choose but i don't believe that comparing amadinejad to bush is the smartest thing i ever read
    Pointing out one similarity isn't truly comparing them. I could point out that Hitler was a vegetarian and so was Ghandi. That doesn't mean I think they are comparable in most ways. It means I acknowledge that they have one common trait.

    Back to the topic at hand... I think he's a nutcase. I don't know why he would be invited here to speak. I don't know why anyone would care what he has to say. I don't know why anyone would be surprised that they punish their criminals severely. I don't know why anyone would invite someone anywhere just to trash talk them. It all seems pointless to me.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Sep 26, '07

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