Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad speaks

It's been a weird couple of days for Iran's nutty little president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, since arriving in New York City for UN meetings. The Great Satan wouldn't let him lay a wreath at Ground Zero; it would have been "a travesty" said Condi. Picky, picky... Iran didn't send those guys to crash the planes. A Saudi prince, who could arguably be said to have had more to do with the tragedy than Ahmadinejad, got to see the handiwork of his fellow countrymen up close and personal when he was given a tour of Ground Zero by Rudy Giuliani. Oh well, that was Then, this is Now. The war drums weren't beating for Saudi Arabia at the time.

The little dictator got to give his speech at Columbia University... introduced as "a chance for students to "confront the mind of evil" and calling Ahmadinejad "a cruel and petty dictator" -- whoa, unnnn-comfortable moment or what! An intro like that has to be a hard act to follow... I mean, without, you know, killing anyone. But he soldiered on with his weird and rambling speech. Some of it was batshit craziness ("There are no homosexuals in Iran") and some was just strange (a biblical defense of the importance of science? Huh?). The Q&A was heated, he was repeatedly boo'd... nonetheless, the event was still a bit of a triumph for free speech. Especially when you see the version of it that Iranians got from their media:
Holy sanitized news reporting, batman. 2/3 of the way down the page, Ahmadinejad is reported as saying that "Iranians hate war and all types of aggression". Just a little lower in the column to the right, a link titled "Najjar: Iran to give crushing response to any threat". Oooooookay!