Mr. Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, is back. He was met by a welcoming committee; no, not just by the well-wishing Orthodox New York rabbis (the self-hating Jews!) who are as anti-Zionist as he is, but by the Iranian American "Green" folks who cannot stand the sight of the diminutive firebrand fellow.
Ever since his address at Tehran University on the occasion of the Quds Day (the plight of the Palestinians day) a couple of weeks ago, we have been hearing and reading about the horrible lies uttered by the Iranian president again that the Holocaust never happened.
Outside of some little known fringe elements and weird Jewish sects, Ahmadinejad does not seem to have any sympathizers here. He is very short and looks like he needs a shave and a proper haircut. He does not dress well, either. In stark contrast, when you see photos of, for example, Mr. Netanyahu and President Obama taken at a White House meeting, the Israeli Prime Minister looks elegant and authoritative; and if you didn't know better, you'd think he was the President of the most powerful nation on earth and Obama was his underling! Or is this really the case?
Last year, the president of
Why, one might rightfully ask, is Ahmadinejad so
pissed at the Zionists and their supporters that he is blaming the problems in
the Middle East and
Could it possibly have anything to do with the fact,
for example, that
As was the case regarding his first publicized
utterances about the Holocaust and wanting to "wipe Israel off the face of the
map", the latest statements attributed to Mr. Ahmadinejad need not be
scrutinized to see what the man actually said or intended to say. From as high
up as the White House and the State Department, down to our television news
anchors and national and local newspapers, the near unanimous view is that the
Iranian president does not believe the Holocaust ever took place, and that he
intends to destroy the Jewish state of
Any attempt to clarify Ahmadinejad's statements by pointing to misquotations, mistranslations from Farsi into English, colloquial parlance versus literal interpretations or contextual manipulations, will fall on deaf ears. Then, why doesn't Mr. Ahmadinejad or his handlers at least try to clarify all this misunderstanding that has been causing such turmoil in the Western circles?
Is it, perhaps, because he does not really believe that the misrepresentations of his position are caused by accidental glitches in translation, as many believe? Maybe, on the contrary, he thinks that the distortions of his views are quite deliberate, as I personally believe, in which case, anything he says will face the same fate; so why even bother.
Another well attired, very articulate gentleman, Lou
Dobbs of CNN, the man who just might make himself graciously available for a
Senate or even a higher position some day, perhaps along with the other
legend-in-his-own-mind, Bill O'Reilly of Fox fame, had a couple of "experts" on
his show a few days ago to talk about the recent decision by Mr. Obama to back
off from installing the missile defense shields in Poland and the Czech
Republic, supposedly designed to protect Israel, Europe and even the United
States from Iranian attacks. Of course everybody with a modicum of international
savvy knew that the missile shields had nothing to do with
The two "experts" were not in disagreement regarding
the real and present danger of an Iranian ballistic missile attack, but
disagreed on whether the deployment of deterrent arsenal on board ships in the
On the background was the map of
Naturally, there was no expert to debate whether the whole charade about an Iranian missile or nuclear threat has any foundation in reality or is just a political ploy to serve other ulterior agendas.
So, in addition to what we know about the president
of Iran's intentions to destroy Israel, the American people also know that Iran
is developing all kinds of ballistic missiles to attack the rest of the world.
Next, of course, is
And then there is the monumental issue of human rights violations in the Islamic Republic, particularly the violations of the rights of those very special humans who were protesting the results of the recent presidential elections that they claimed were fraudulent. Naturally, as is always the case, if things don't go your way, something must have gone wrong! Can we recall any exceptions to this rule anywhere?
Millions, according to the opposition figures, had
demonstrated in the streets of
Of course, casualties in any number are not
acceptable, even if the protesting mobs attack public facilities or storm the
armories and threaten the riot police. But to get a feel for the scale of such
atrocities, we might compare the figures to those in the most recent protest
demonstrations in Western China, or Sri-Lanka, or
It might also be interesting to imagine what the
outcome would be if such large scale anti regime demonstrations were to take
place in our "friendly, moderate" Islamic country,
It might be equally interesting to imagine a huge crowd of angry anti-war protesters charging the Pentagon or the State Department while chanting "death to the dictator". I just wonder how peacefully the police and the National Guard would have reacted to that.
I know many were disappointed that the protests in
First, let us look at the Holocaust denial issue:
Regardless of how you translate, transliterate or interpret Mr. Ahmadinejad's words spoken on several occasions about the Holocaust, it would be quite safe to assume the following:
He believes that the concept of anti-Semitism was
He asks; if Holocaust has taken place in Europe and
admittedly by the Europeans themselves, why then have the European nations not
created a homeland for the dispossessed Jews somewhere in
He goes on to claim that the "illegitimate" state of Israel, helped and protected by its Western benefactors, has been committing atrocities against the native inhabitants of the land they have usurped, and continues to carry out its aggressive policies with impunity and without regard to international norms.
To put it bluntly, Ahmadinejad does not like Zionism
and believes that, like Communism that disappeared in
Here we can come up with a few important questions. First of all, why does Mr. Ahmadinejad, if he is really not a Holocaust denier, explain his position more clearly so that he is not blamed for denying a historical truth that the event did take place? He clearly must know better.
The answer might be, because he does not consider the issue of Holocaust as a sacred, untouchable subject, any doubt cast upon whose established narratives to be tantamount to committing a cardinal sin.
Then again he might be so mad at the Israeli regime that he enjoys taunting the Zionists by deliberately questioning the authenticity of the Holocaust narratives.
Finally, let us simply assume the worst, that he is genuinely of the opinion that the whole story is no more than a myth created by the Zionists and their colonial protectors to justify the creation of a homeland on top of another people's ancestral territory.
In his interviews by television network anchors during his current visit, Ahmadinejad asked why the issue of Holocaust has overshadowed all other, far more important, issues of international concern here in the West. Didn't tens of millions of others also perish during the same war, he asked. By asking this question, and pointing to the fact, as he has done in the past, that opening the discussion regarding the details of the Holocaust is prohibited in the West, he is clearly implying that this sacred veil of secrecy was created by the Zionists to promote their own agendas to this day.
On the basis of that assumption, let us examine what actual damage his utterances might be causing, and to whom. What kinds of "harm" are done, and to whom, by Ahmadinejad's "denial" of the Holocaust?
Will the world leaders believe him and suddenly
withdraw all financial, military and diplomatic support from
Would Ahmadinejad's lying about the Holocaust create loss of fortunes or, heaven forbid, lives, anywhere in the world? If he is just lying through his teeth, he is only doing damage to his own credibility and to his own country's relations with the rest of the world. So, what do we care?
In contrast, there are lies, distortions and disinformation that do cause immense harm all the way around. We are not talking about hurting people's "feelings" or denying them their lunch ticket, as the Israeli scholar and the son of Holocaust victims, professor and author Norman Finkelstein describes as the Holocaust Industry in his book of that name.
We are talking about lies such as those that have
cost a million innocent lives in
The current charade staged at the Senate to justify another immense expenditure for the redeployment of upgraded missile defense shields by our armed forces is a sign that the military-industrial complex still rules. The three and four-star generals appeared so serious when making their presentations about the danger Iran poses to our security and how prepared they are to ward off any potential attack upon our soil, to make us all feel at ease that we are in such good hands!
Yes, there is no denying that Iran might be posing a real and present danger or threat: it is the danger or threat that Iran might actually defend itself and retaliate against aggression with all its might. Is that what is worrying our military chiefs?
Second issue is the established nonsense that the
Iranian president wants to destroy
And then there is the issue of
I was about ready to post this article on my web
site when the bold graphics on the TV screen announced "Breaking News". The CNN
morning anchor, Heidi Collins, had not even had enough time to put on her full
makeup when she excitedly announced the discovery of a clandestine nuclear
enrichment site in
Right after this shocking news, President Obama appeared on the screen, accusing Iran of cheating again and demanding that Iran adhere to its obligations under the NPT agreements, and that IAEA should immediately begin monitoring the activities at the new facilities.
The construction of such facilities in the vicinity of a major metropolitan area could not have been too "clandestine". You cannot hide a pink elephant inside a chicken farm! According to reports, the White House knew about it in January of this year.
In conclusion, let us look at the text of Ahmadinejad's speech and see what the man said at the United Nations General Assembly on September 23.
Once we ignore the usual religious invocations and appeals to the Almighty for the salvation of the human race,
what remained from his address was his very real and
down to earth complaint regarding the current affairs, particularly in the
The issues of great gravity and concern centered around superpower, meaning the United States and its Western allies, manipulating the region's social, political and economic affairs to the detriment of the region's nations on the pretext of promoting freedom and democracy and eradicating terrorism. He referred to it as the neo-colonialists' predatory capitalism that is ravaging the planet with little regard for the welfare of the less advantaged in the world.
He also blamed
Granted, Mr. Ahmadinejad was his usual self, not holding anything back in his address. His tirades about the Israelis and their supporters were blunt, scathing and to the point. He had no problem showing his disdain against a regime that, as he said, has been threatening to attack Iran in violation of all international laws and the UN Charter.
No doubt, Ahmadinejad said many things that did not sit well with those who marched out of the session in protest. The question is, what did he say that was not true?
No one should be blamed for not liking the Iranian president, for whatever reason, personal or otherwise, or whether they are Americans, Europeans, Jews, Iranians or Iranian Americans. He is very easy to dislike. And, he is clearly not fazed at all by the way the media here have treated him.
But to discard what he has been saying about the real and present troubles in his region, just because he questions the authenticity of a sixty-year-old sacred cow or because the adjectives he uses in describing the behavior of certain "friends" of a superpower are harsh, is not fair, honest or productive.
Kam Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion. He is available to conduct lectures and seminars on international affairs, particularly in relation to , with focus on US/Iran issues, at formal and informal gatherings or academic centers anywhere in the country. To make the necessary arrangements, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Mr. Zarrabi and his work is available at: www.intellectualdiscourse.com.
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