Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Iran, Ahmedenijad and the Bush/Cheney Administration

The Bush Administration has had a field day in the effort to demonize Iran and the visiting President of that country. Starting with the orchestrated escoriation of Ahmedenijad by the President of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, who unashamedly heaped insults on his captive guest to the walk out by the US delegation during Ahmadenijad's address at the UN, the Bush Administration has managed to put its worst display of crude diplomacy and downright lack of class. Not that this Administration has ever been "guilty" of good taste and decency when dealing with nations and people it considers unfriendly. The net result of this petulant behaviour of taking umbrage where none was shown is that all good Americans who feel this could have all been handled with dignity and class with better result now have been smeared and stained by the disgraceful act of bad host by an Administration that vaunts its claim to moral high ground in its dealings with Iran.
Mr. Bollinger, who asserted that he is a Professor, chose a very funny way of showing it by going into the gutter to find words to insult a guest whose only crime is having accepted an invitation to speak at Mr. Bollinger's home turf. It was at best a cowardly display of self righteous indignation to use the advantage of home court to insult and ridicule a head of state, calling him a petty and cruel dictator. To his credit, Ahmadenijad patiently sat through Mr. Bollinger's tirade, punctuated by raucuous applause by the equally misguided half of the audience in attendance who supported Mr. Bollinger's distasteful remarks.
The stage for all that happened Monday was set by the 60 minutes reporter who interviewed the Iranian leader. The reporter, whose name I forget, was clearly out of line and acted more as an interrogator than a reporter. He too, managed to insult a head of state by accusing him of murder and saying he has blood on his hands. The implication here is that Ahmadenijad is complicit in the alleged involvement by Iran in supplying IEDs that are killing US soldiers. Never mind that the Bush Administration through the Pentagon supplies Israel with sophisticated and deadly war arsenals that the IDF uses to kill Palestinians and Hezbollah fighters, not to mention innocent and unarmed Palestinians and Lebanese. Perhaps the same reporter is unaware that in the eight year long war between Iraq and Iran, the US supplied Saddam Hussein, an ally at the time, with all the weapons that Iraqi soldiers used to kill Iranian soldiers and civilians. It was US supplied Stinger missiles that helped the Afghan Mujahideen fighters destroy Soviet MIGs and kill their pilots. The people of East Timor will attest to the fact that the US, under President Gerald Ford, along with Henry Kissinger supplied the arms to Indonesia under President Suharto with which the Indonesian military slaughtered thousands of East Timor citizens. It goes without saying that the 60 minutes reporter would never in a lifetime suggest, as he did when interviewing Ahmedinejad, that the sitting US Presidents at the time of these events had blood on their hands. It is clear that in the deadly and sordid business of arms trade in which the US is the leader, it matters only whose ox is being gored.
Ahmejenidad is also castigated for his single minded support of his country's nuclear program. His detractors say he poses a threat to Israel and the US if Iran is allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. The double standard implicit in this argument is laughable were it not such a serious issue. Here we see again, that Iran is singled out, against every sensible logic, for demonization. Israel, India, Pakistan, China, all of the Western Alliance and the Soviet bloc, have nuclear weapons stockpile. In addition, the US has the dubious honor of being the only country in the history of the world to have used nuclear weapon against a civilian population. Where is the moral high ground for saying the Iranians should not have nuclear capability?
Perhaps, the most difficult indictment of the Iranian leader to understand is the one that accuses him of denying the holocaust. Holy, sacred cow!!! Most of the world know that the Jews suffered terribly under Nazi Germany, culminating in the holocaust. Equally, over 95% of the world population believe in God. However, there are thousands, if not millions who deny the existence of God. This latter is totally acceptable and goes by the name of religious freedom. A majority of the world population also believe in the story of creation, as told in Genesis. But the argument persists till today against this almost universal belief. But it is never considered blasphemous to declare that one is either an aetheist, a believer in evolution versus creation, or that the world is flat rather than the proven fact that it is actually round. The holocaust, a tragedy in a world full of many equally tragic events has become the universal sacred cow that must not be gainsaid. I suspect Ahmajenidad would be much safer denying the existence of God than question the holocaust. The logic here is not only baffling but preposterous.
It is widely rumoured that the Bush Administration is hell bent on waging war on Iran and these drum beats of accusations levelled at Ahmedenijad are merely a prelude and a pretext for justifying this insane adventure. Obviously, Vietnam and Iraq have not served as object lessons to the US in the futility of war.


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