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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Here We Go Again

By Kam Zarrabi, Intellectual Discourse


He's Baaaaack!!


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 Columbia University called Ahmadinejad a petty dictator when he introduced him to the audience that had come to hear what the Iranian president had to say. Many thought Ahmadinejad was so dense that he did not get the point and simply walk out of the auditorium in protest.


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 Iran's negative portrayal in the West, particularly in the United States, on Israeli politics?


Could it possibly have anything to do with the fact, for example, that Israel has been threatening to attack Iran militarily for the past couple of decades?


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 Israel.


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 Iran, but Russia.


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 Mediterranean and elsewhere would be even more effective.


On the background was the map of Iran with circles drawn around it to indicate the range of targets Iran's short and medium range ballistic missiles would reach. Regarding Iran's long-range missiles, one "expert" maintained that Iran is not yet in possession of such weapons, while the other "expert" pointed out that Iran has already managed to send a satellite into orbit!


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 Iran's nuclear ambitions. Just imagine; the Islamic Republic of Iran whose leader wants to eliminate Israel, and attack Europe and the United States, is now building long-range missiles and is trying to develop atomic bombs to carry out its evil intentions!


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 Tehran and elsewhere for several days and on several occasions. The "barbaric" crackdown by the security "thugs" who had shown no respect for civilized values resulted in the deaths of some thirty-five to a couple of hundred demonstrators (not counting the "thugs" themselves), depending on the source of the figures, which, if we take the opposition's own casualty numbers, translates to less than one-hundredth of one percent of the demonstrators.


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 Gaza, or perhaps the friendly, civilized Turkey.


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, Egypt.


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 Iran did not result in truly massive bloodshed and chaos; the scenario did not pan out as hoped by "some"! Did it?


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 created in Europe, even before WWI, in an effort to get rid of their unwanted Jewish populations. The original Zionists, he believes, adopted the same tactic in order to encourage and facilitate the creation of an exclusively Jewish homeland somewhere else (Zionism). He believes that the Holocaust was a ploy, a convenient pretext, exaggerated and embellished by the Zionist propaganda machine and encouraged by the colonial powers (mainly Great Britain), in order to justify the creation of a Jewish state away from Europe in Palestine.


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 Europe - why did they dump the non-indigenous European Jews in the Palestinian lands?


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.


Ahmadinejad blames Israel's leaders and Israel's influence within the American administrations for the decades-long rift between Iran and the United States.


To put it bluntly, Ahmadinejad does not like Zionism and believes that, like Communism that disappeared in Soviet Union, Zionism or "the regime of occupation" as he calls it, will also vanish.


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 Israel? On the contrary, if anything, that would be a good reason to intensify all that to protect Israel from the wrath of a madman! So, the Israeli regime should be happy that Ahmadinejad behaves as he does. What a gift he is to the Zionist cause! I believe Mr. Netanyahu has already said something to that effect!


Will the United States listen to Mr. Ahmadinejad and pressure Israel to move back to its 1948 borders and make reparations to the dispossessed Palestinians? Not in this lifetime!


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 Iraq, not to mention over four thousand young American lives plus tens of thousands injured. We are talking about lies and disinformation about the "dangers" that Iran is posing to the region and the world, which might drag us into another, much deeper, quagmire if we let the theatrical stage show get out of hand.


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 Israel. First of all, he has never declared such a thing and is in no position to make such a decision within Iran's constitution and its political hierarchy. Second, there is absolutely nothing to gain for Iran, and everything to lose, by attempting such a stupid act. Third, Iran does not even have the capability of attacking Israel without being wiped out in return by Israel's vast, illegal, nuclear arsenal and the American support.


And then there is the issue of Iran's nuclear programs. The Iranians have already said that Iran's inalienable, legal under the NPT, rights to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes will not be discussed in any negotiations between the representatives of the G5+1 and Iran. Well, our State Department does not like that. We (really meaning the Israelis) insist that Iran's enrichment programs must be stopped right away because we (actually the Israelis) do not trust neither Iran nor the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for saying that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons or enriching uranium to weapons grade levels.


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 Iran.


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.


Kam Zarrabi is the author of
In Zarathushtra's Shadow

Well, Mr. President, Iran, a signatory to the NPT had already done what you demand. They had already informed the IAEA of the intention to open their new enrichment facilities still under construction, perfectly legal and in accord with the NPT agreement, prior to embarking on the actual operations. We should remember that the additional protocol requiring informing the IAEA prior to the construction of the facilities was rejected in 2003. By inviting the IAEA inspectors to monitor the enrichment process, Iran will remain compliant with the NPT requirements, that the enrichment remains at the level necessary for fuel rod production.


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.


The United States, clearly on behest of the Israeli manipulators, has adopted the position that we cannot tolerate Iran even acquiring the "knowledge" of the technology that could conceivably enable it to build a nuclear weapon. In fact, both the United States and Israel (again, a purely Israeli demand) do not want Iran to be armed with the anti-missile and anti-aircraft "defensive" arsenal that Russia has promised to sell Iran. Why? Are we and Israelis planning to attack Iran and are worried that those missiles might cause us some harm? How obvious could thing get, pray tell?


Perhaps what Iran should do is to declare that, should the threats of harsh sanctions, blockades or preemptive attacks continue, Iran would exercise its legal right to, like North Korea, pull out of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and join Israel, Pakistan and India as non members. After all, what is there to worry about since whether Iran allows intrusive inspections by the IAEA or exercises its legal rights to quit the NPT and kick out the inspectors and monitors, suspicions of its cheating and wrongdoing will continue to haunt it?


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 Middle East.


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 Israel for its treatment of the Palestinian people, whose ancestral land was wrongfully occupied by the Zionists. Most importantly, he complained against the double standards applied by the Western powers when dealing with Iran, whether with regard to its nuclear technology, support for what the West calls international terror organizations, as well as accusations of human rights violations.


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

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 Iran, 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 More information about Mr. Zarrabi and his work is available at:


... Payvand News - 09/28/09 ... --

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