Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 25, 2007

A Boomerang Effect

After watching the video of Ahmedinijad at Columbia University I take away three points:

  • What some called his "ramblings from the Koran" was indeed a quite elaborate mixture of Torah, Bible and Koran sources about the 'divine' human nature roots of search for knowledge and science and therefore on point with the academic event.
  • He was very effective in explaining the holocaust as something that should, just likes physics, be further researched. His question, "Why do the Palestinians have to suffer for this?" will certainly reason with a many of the listeners.
  • His denial of any gay issues in Iran was laughable.

The U.S. media and its commentators didn't listen at all and only repeated the official White House talking points. For an objective aggregation of Ahmedinjad's talk I can recommend Col. Lang's take.

The general atmosphere at the University was hostile. CMU's president Bollinger is just another brown-noser. Compare his unfounded offensing remarks towards the elected President Ahmedinejad with his love for the military dictator of Pakistan.

Following Bollinger's 'introduction', there were quite some boos when Ahmedinejad started to speak. There were little to none when he ended. The speech was effective and it did what its opponents feared. The U.S. correspondent for Haaretz, Shmuel Rosner, analyses: The clear loser from Ahmadinejad's visit is Israel.

In this the event is compareable with the agitation against the MoveOn ad on General BetrayUs. MoveOn certainly did win that fight. The pro-surge propaganda lost. The numbers of U.S. people who want troops out of Iraq, a majority, is the same after the 24/7 "surge" onslaught than before.

The Washington 'centrism' folks, politicians, lobbies, think tanks and media alike, believe they can win with damning a MoveOn advertisment or an Ahmedinejad talk. They are wrong. While their action allows them to highlight their talking points it does not swing opinions. At least not into their direction.

Just like some Usmanov who wants to suppress blogs with unfavorable opinions about him and thereby creates hundreds of copies of these opinions, their actions are helping to build an opposition to them - a boomerang effect.

Let's hope they continue.

Posted by b on September 25, 2007 at 16:01 UTC | Permalink

Comments

I wonder: what happens to men who try reaching their under a toilet stall in Iran?

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 25 2007 16:05 utc | 1

What Ahmadinejad (actually) said from Salon.com

In addition, ralphieboy ,there are 'No homosexuals in Iran', didn't you know that...?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 25 2007 16:45 utc | 2

surely here they are speaking of the good professor bollinger

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 25 2007 16:54 utc | 3

U$,

for that, there are a lot of lonely men with hands missing walking about...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 25 2007 17:12 utc | 4

When demonization (Ahmedinejad) and deification (Petraeus) stop working, it's time to move on to stronger measures.
From the SF Examiner:
Vice President Dick Cheney was philosophical about the possibility of a Democratic president fundamentally reversing the policies that he and Bush have worked so hard to implement in Iraq. "It’s the nature of the business, in a sense," he shrugged during an interview in his West Wing office. "I mean, you get two terms. We were fortunate to get two terms. And I think we’ll increasingly see a lot of emphasis on deciding who the next occupant of the Oval Office is going to be."

Posted by: Dick Durata | Sep 25 2007 17:16 utc | 5

there is a pretty good explanation for why Ahmadinejad stated there are no homosexuals in Iran found in the comments of U$'s link.

You have to understand the mentality and culture of a Persian Man to know why he said that. As an Iranian I can tell you, he could not have acknowledge there are any gay man in Iran. He is representing 70 million people and it would have been unprincipled, untraditional, immoral to acknowledge that there are gays in Iran who are viewed as immoral in an Islamic nation (As they are among some in this country). If you know any Iranian man or middle eastern men go and asked them if their sister is a prostitute or their brother is gay, see what their reaction would be. In middle eastern culture when there is something immoral in your family you do not acknowledge it publicly, hence honor killing. So do not expect a public official who is a representing a nation with strong family values to come out and admit immorality in a nation he or she represent. Ask them privately and they may acknowledge it and justify the killing. But what amazes me is that why do we point our finger at him when we can even deal with this matter in this country, before questioning others we better first look into a mirror.

makes perfect sense unless you insist on judging everyone in the world by your own limited frames of reference.

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 25 2007 17:36 utc | 6

Interesting dick durata...

ho hum, it's just part of the game. It stands to reason, in my opinion, that all world leaders are part of the same gang. There may be a faction or two working against that gang but I seriously doubt it, whether it is chavez, castro, ahmadinejad or putin, they are all working towards the same objective: a global neo fascist corporate police state that further seperates and protects the wealthy elites from the rest of us.


Osama Bin Aiwazz and Ahmadinejinn: Good little puppets

I am now almost entirely convinced this tableau of cardboard cutout super villians paraded in front of us are directly or indirectly stooges of the very "Great Satan" Western globalists they claim to hate.
Mere coincidences, or more evidence of the world being a big WWF wrestling script?

Osama bin Goldstein comes out days after 9/11 saying he is innocent, and the CIA/Mossad musta been behind it

Then he comes out and says "ok, yeah that was me...but wow, the towers falling was a shocker"

Then 3 years later he reemerges to tell people to "vote for Kerry!"
(haha, we get it...voting for Kerry=voting for Osama)

Then he goes into hiding and a tubby Jewish American kid becomes the new spokesperson

Now Osama is back, claiming to now be a green progressive intellectual liberal talking about how great Chomsky and global warming awareness is.

And NOW Ahmadinejad is in the headline news for his "questioning of 9/11"........and the holocaust. Of course.

I swear, I wouldnt be surprised if Osama comes back with another tape saying "oh yeah, Bush did 9/11, check out Loose Change".

I've still yet someone to explain why the new Osama tape freezes up right when he starts talking about current events, or why al Qaeda claims to hate Jews and beheads anyone even remotely thought to be Jewish...
but then says Jews woulda been protected by al Qaeda in WW2(even tho the Muslim Brotherhood al Qaeda precursor was part of the Hitler SS),
proclaims Noam Chomsky a hero and uses an American Jewish kid as their new poster child.

I swear, you can't make this stuff up. I just wonder who's writing the scripts.

As Zawahiri and Osama seem to always come out with a coincidentally timed wag the dog tape saying EXACTLY what will back up the GOP hawk's luntatic rantings and war policies.

Yeah...never mind Osama's family built the twin towers with Rockefeller and are in bed with the Bush family.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 25 2007 17:38 utc | 7

visual for r'giap's #3

Posted by: b real | Sep 25 2007 17:40 utc | 8

on rewatching the video b has offered i am struck by the eloquence & coherence of ahmedinejad. as someone has noted bush is completely incapable of speaking two coherent sentences even in environments he owns or who offer no form of resistance a la the press room at the white house

ahmedinejad's politics are not mine but in this talk he showed great restraint & spoke clearly. whatever the washington post want to see (wmd's in iraq, aq & saddam hussein etc etc) they did not observe & listen to the same speech that i did. it is clear even a largely unsympathetic student body understood the complete inelegance of the situation the president of iran was placed in

there is an excerpt of david halberstams book on korea in vanity fair - where we read of the complete derangement of gen mccarthur & his cronies in inteliigence - who, through vanity & underestimation led their troops to slaughter & long time in detention in north korea. we witness the same level of underestimating going on here. as in iraq a complete absence of understanding of the histroy & culture of iraq. importantly also was missing any form of nuance - of where ahmedinejad actually is placed in the iranian political landscape - which contrary to the crude thinking of rupert murdoch & his mendiants - is hardly hegemonic. there are both qualitative & quantitative differences between a whole series of political impulses

even the classic army & beauracracy are not without their proper differences. there is already quite distinct differences amongst the religious leadership. the opposition itself is largely full of schisms too

when i see the united states at this time - at an elemental level - there exists a far more hegemonic indeed dictatorial situation than the one in iran

on a whole series of questions including homosexuality - which indeed has had a long but but discreet life & is part of its literature - is completely ignored at a public level. this is largely like the vatican telling us that their priests don't molest children, or lord levy suggesting his confession has nothing to do with the way he dealt with the situation in israel & the occupied palestinian territories. we know as he knows - it is not true.

when i see what level the public discourse is at, how it is managed by murdoch ('the evil has landed' 'mad mullah' etc etc) - all i am suggesting is that i take ahmedinejad at his word - on the questions of knowledge & science. & that in any case i would take his word more seriouslyy when he is preceded by some neocon hysteric whose foul mouth besmirched free speech

& i'm sure that is how it was seen by both the persian & arabic audience. or more pertinantly, they watched the u s express a hatred of the people of the middle east & a complete disrespect for their leadership. i don't think that public confuses who with whom

in fact it revealed more about the current politcal landscape in the u s, it expressed darkly what some of us see as the coming war & the brutality with which it will be carried out & apologised for while it sends the bodies of america's working class & marginalised people back home in coffins

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 25 2007 17:52 utc | 9

pepe escobar: 'Hitler' does New York

Whatever his polemical views, for a now-seasoned head of state like Ahmadinejad to turn astonishing US disinformation on Iran, the Middle East and US foreign policy for his own advantage ended up as a string of slam-dunks.

Articulate, evasive, manipulative, the Iranian president - even lost in translation - was especially skillful in turning US corporate media's hysteria upside down consistently to paint those in the administration of President George W Bush as incorrigible warmongers. Both at the National Press Club, via video-conference, and live at Columbia University, Ahmadinejad even had the luxury of joking about fabled Western "freedom of information" - as so many are still "trying to prevent people from talking".

He scored major points among the target audience that really matters: worldwide Muslim public opinion. Contrasting with a plethora of corrupt Arab leaders, Ahmadinejad has been carefully positioning himself as a Muslim folk hero capable of standing up to Western arrogance and defending the rights of the weak (the Palestinians). The way he deflected US ire on the enemy's own turf will only add to his standing.

Posted by: b real | Sep 25 2007 18:21 utc | 10

Pat Buchanan: Infantile Nation

It would be an obscenity, we are told, if Ahmadinejad were allowed to place a wreath at Ground Zero. This is a public relations stunt that should never be permitted.

That the Iranian president has PR in mind is undoubtedly true. Much of what national leaders do is symbolic. But that wreath laying would have said something else, as well.

It would have said that, to Iran, these Americans were victims who deserve to be honored and mourned and, by extension, the men who killed them were murderers. Bin Laden celebrates 9/11. So do all America-haters. By laying a wreath at Ground Zero, the president of Iran would be saying that in the war between al-Qaida and the United States, he and his country side with the United States.

How would we have been hurt by letting him send this message?

He makes lots of other good points as well in this piece.

My sense is that the whole "Iran is our enemy" hysteria/propaganda campaign is backfiring, and that Ahmadinejad accelerated that trend.

Here are two pieces that strongly come out in support of a "hey wait a minute -- let's stop and separate the US national interests from Israel's before it is too late."

Glenn Greenwald: Giuliani's Proposal for Endless Wars Against Israel in the Service of Israel

Like most countries, Israel deems all of its wars to be defensive wars in response to threats. So Rudy Giuliani, as President, would in essence deem any war in which Israel is involved to be, by definition, a war on the U.S., and would use American resources and lives to become involved in any such war and fight on behalf of Israel. Shouldn't the fact that the leading GOP candidate for President believes such a thing be the source of a bit more discussion? Other than John Edwards' views regarding haircuts, is there any major presidential candidate who has espoused a view anywhere near this radical or controversial?

Israel has been involved, and will continue to be involved, in an endless series of wars with its neighbors over matters having nothing to do with U.S. interests. As Matt Yglesias noted, Guiliani's policy would, among many other things, "commit[] the United States to the armed defense of the borders of a country that lacks internationally recognized borders." A Giuliani presidency would mean that we would be almost immediately deemed to be at war with Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. It is hard to imagine a more certain and rapid guarantee of endless American wars in the Middle East than this.

And Congressman Paul Findlay: America's Religious-based Wars: The Price You Must Pay (Speech from 2005, re-posted on Buchanan's website last week)

The cover-up [for the USS Liberty incident in 1967] cleared the decks for massive U.S. aid to Israel. It set virtually a sky’s-the-limit precedent for tapping the U.S. Treasury, the Defense Department’s munitions stockpiles, and all of America’s top-secret technology.

The aid began to soar in all forms-financial, military and diplomatic. All of it was unconditional and remains so today.

No rules or strings are attached. U.S. officials are even denied the usual authority to monitor how aid money is spent. Israel demonstrates its command of the U.S.-Israeli relationship in various ways. One is especially ugly: Israel occasionally tortures detained U.S. citizens, even teenagers, with impunity.

This calamitous criminal tide is the byproduct of President Johnson’s fateful cover-up. And the original, root cause of this horror is the disappearance of free speech and integrity in the making of U.S. Middle East policy. For years, there has been no real debate, no unfettered exchange of opinion, no thorough discussion of this vital of policy anywhere in our government.

There is no dip in U.S. aid even when Israeli prime ministers publicly defy U.S. presidents, as they occasionally do. Our officials routinely look the other way when Israel steals secrets. The imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard was the exception that proves the rule. These crimes get little attention in our thoroughly intimidated major media, but the rest of the world sees our Congress as a bunch of trained poodles that jump through a hoop held by Israel. Once revered worldwide, America is now reviled.


Posted by: Bea | Sep 25 2007 18:41 utc | 11

On homosexuality in Iran a remark from a commentator at Ezra Klein's blog

I'm a 47 YO gay man in LA. I've a friend whose long-time partner is Persian. He and his family fled Iran when the Shah fell. He has a group of 6 Persian friends, they've been close since childhood. They get together frequently and are very demonstrative physically--holding each other, hugging and kissing each other, even occasionally "keeping each other company at night" when they are lonely and drunk.

With the exception of my friend's partner, NONE OF THESE MEN THINK THEY ARE HOMOSEXUAL. They consider what they do as just a part of their friendship and that the condition and lifestyle of homosexuality is an invention of the West. (My friend and his partner, btw, think they are crazy.)

When people laugh at and mock Ahmadinejad for saying the Iran does not have homosexuals like the US (which is true, note the qualifier "like the US." You show me where, in Iran, homosexuals can exist and live a life like we do in the US) all we are doing is showing, once again, how utterly ignorant Americans are about everyone else in the world.

Posted by: b | Sep 25 2007 18:47 utc | 12

DoS,

my limited frame of reference doesn't leave much room for justifying honor killings, even if my sister were a prostitute and my brother a transvestite meth freak.

There is a big difference between acknowledging a simple fact of life and appearing as a guest speaker at the Teheran gay pride parade.

Gay people exist, I have no problem with that and have never seen them as a threat to myself, my family, my family's honor or my country's moral standing.

But there is a bit of hypocrisy in criticizing Ahmadinejad's medieval view of homosexuality in the light of the Republican Party's antideluvean viewpoint.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 25 2007 18:51 utc | 13

I am always astonished how some people ignore the history of their own societies.

The U.S. on the forefront on gays - oh my - at least half of the Repub party believes gays are "cureable". The anti-sodomy laws were stricken down in the US when? Tell me - when? It was 2003 - 4 years ago.

But crusing on "progressive" blogs today all I see is condemnation of Ahmedinejad for not acknowledging gays in his country.

Ask Hillary Clinton or Obama or Bush publicly if the U.S. government tortures.

What would their answer be?

Posted by: b | Sep 25 2007 19:09 utc | 14

Ah, the good ol' U S of Amnesia... It was only one generation -- 40 years -- ago...

In society at large, the penalties for homosexuality were severe. State laws across the country criminalized same-sex acts, while simple affectionate acts in public such as two men or women holding hands could lead to arrest. Even declaring oneself as a gay man or lesbian could result in admission to a mental institution without a hearing. [...] In particular, during the war the gay population of San Francisco had started to rise as lesbians and gay men purged from the army settled in the city. Over the course of a decade, this, combined with California state's less repressive policy towards gay bars - plus factors such as the validation of homosexuality offered by the literary movement of the "Beats" around writers such as Jack Kerouac - would help transform San Francisco into the "gay capital" of the U.S.

Recently, in Britain we have seen with successive Conservative and New Labour governments, who both support the free market, how the ideology of the family is used to buttress the social and economic system. The two parties' attacks on single parents provide one example.

In the U.S. of the 1940s and 1950s, post-war reconstruction and the shift to consumer production, taking place against the background of the Cold War, resulted in the authorities heavily promoting the model of the orthodox nuclear family. The other side of the coin was a clampdown on those who stepped out of the magic circle of matrimony, parenthood, and home-making by engaging in same-sex relationships.

The inquiries of the House Un-American Activities Committee led to thousands of homosexuals losing their jobs in government departments. The ban on the employment of homosexuals at the federal level remained in place until 1975. D'Emilio demonstrates the comprehensive nature of the attack on homosexuals. In the District of Columbia alone, there were 1,000 arrests each year in the early 1950s. In every state, local newspapers published the names of those charged together with their place of work, resulting in many workers getting fired. The postal service opened the mail of gay men and lesbians and passed on names. Colleges maintained lists of suspected gay students.

http://www.socialistalternative.com/literature/stonewall.html>footnote

There's ample anecdotal evidence that US police in the 50's and 60's were beating and raping (with impunity) gay men and women who had been arrested for "pubic indecency," i.e. holding hands, going to a gay bar -- gay bars being Illegal Dens of Vice at that time and subject to raids. There were good and long-festering reasons for the Stonewall riot. There's an infamous prison at Atascadero, Calif, where many gay men were imprisoned and subjected to ECT and drugs to "cure" their "perversion".

Timmons added, “The laws and customs of the era were stringently anti-homosexual; in California, as in most states, any sexual act except the missionary position between a heterosexual couple was a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Anyone caught doing anything else could be made to register as a sex offender. Repeat offenders and those whose partners were minors were often sent to Atascadero state prison and given electroshock ‘therapy,’ or even subjected to castration. Since any public mention of homosexuality was equated with scandal, few workplaces would retain an employee whose involvement with such an organization became public.” (“The Trouble with Harry Hay”)

As the Mattachine founders met to discuss organizing, the “Lavender Scare” was becoming a sensationalized propaganda component of the McCarthyite anti-communist witch hunt. The Senate was making public its report rooting out “sexual perverts” from government employment.

The deep-freeze Cold War climate was meant to have a chilling effect on all progressive and revolutionary organizing. And the Mattachine founders, as young revolutionaries, understood the powers of the state that the capitalist class could unleash. They were well-aware that the German Homosexual Emancipation Movement and communists were early targets of the Nazi state capitalist regime.

http://www.workers.org/2005/us/lavender-red-38/>footnote

These were conditions in the US within living memory. One generation. And there are still plenty of people who want to restore those conditions. Is having your brain cut off with ECT and heavy pharmaceuticals much better than having your hand cut off? Is the US, or the UK, or any of the so-called "enlightened" Western states -- where the very idea of gay marriage is still enough to polarise the electorate and distract voters from far more significant survival issues -- in a strong position to critique the barbarism of old-world patriarchy?

That would be like the arriviste who made his fortune last month sneering at the even more nouveau riche who only made his packet last week. The US and Iran both come late to the table when we speak of the integration of gay people into a culture -- many of the aboriginal N Am nations had far more tolerance and long-established social niches in place for the "two-souled", berdache, etc. -- cf Williams, The Spirit and the Flesh...

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 25 2007 20:12 utc | 15

the other thing that strikes me about the Iranian Prez' appearance at C is... how many Western leaders could appear in Iran and make an equivalent speech in Farsi? or in Baghdad and make an equivalent speech in Arabic? or hell, even in Mexico or France and speak the local languages?

true, the colonised always have to learn the coloniser's language and not vice versa... but that always makes the colonised that much smarter than the coloniser.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 25 2007 20:16 utc | 16

DeA wrote:

Ah, the good ol' U S of Amnesia... It was only one generation -- 40 years -- ago...

and following of r'giaps theme of us apes..

1. Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb for the banana. 2. As soon as the ape touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water. After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result “ all the apes are sprayed with cold water. 3. Turn off the cold water. If, later, another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will prevent it even though no water sprays them. 4. Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. 5. Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The other newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. 6. Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape. 7. After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 25 2007 20:25 utc | 17

http://www.feralscholar.org/blog/index.php/2007/09/24/a-zionist-thaw/>Somewhat relevant -- a thaw in frozen US discourse on Israel?

apologies for the self promotion, it just happens to mesh with the Columbia incident.

the spectacularly rude and hostile intro remarks by the Columbia pres remind me inevitably of the ritual denunciations of dissidents on Soviet TV and in Soviet academia... sweating apparatchiks desperately reciting the correct form of denunciation du jour, anxious to prove their creds, knowing who's listening... an embarrassment. more humiliating for Columbia imho than for the Iranian visitor, who seems to have weathered the rain of ferenghi insults and hectoring with remarkable self-command.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 25 2007 20:38 utc | 18

Good comments all. Part of the misunderstanding begins with the term "homosexuality" itself. Some other cultures understand these phenomena in different ways. Including "other cultures" within the USA. (Capitol Hill republicans for example - "there are no homosexuals in "our" country").

DeAnander - those were interesting references to Berdache etc. I had never seen those before.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 26 2007 1:05 utc | 19

deanander

because of your link - spent the night watching the creepy golem dershowitz get dismantled by norman finklestein & then some chomsky. really, the right not only does not posses the songs - it can't quite get it up for even a book. & right now they can't even get a speech together that is plainly hysteric in the manner of joe mccarthy - the likes of david horowitz or daniel pipes(& that creep who is often on aljazeera - a bush crony - who is so awful i think i might have imagined him)

i mean they are seriouslly sloppy 'scholars' & do their best with the help of the murdochian media to lead the people away from the facts that are staring them in the face

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 26 2007 1:13 utc | 20


Moon of Alabama gets its props and contributes to someone's home work.

"3 AFRICOM: US Military Control of Africa’s Resources
Source: MoonofAlabama.org 2/21/2007
Title: “Understanding AFRICOM”
Author: Bryan Hunt
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2007/02/understanding_a_1.html
Student Researcher: Ioana Lupu
Faculty Evaluator: Marco Calavita, Ph.D"

No 3 Secret in USA

Posted by: BenIAM | Sep 26 2007 1:29 utc | 21

I supose the irony of amerika calling out Iran for claiming they have no homosexuals like the ones in amerika, while themselves having a military that deals with homosexuality by "don't ask don't tell" is self evident.

One of the most insidious outcomes of amerika's meddling has been that it is now impossible to develop a mechanism for aiding oppressed people in other countries to resist oppression and 'de-marginalise'.

The flaws in the UN system of multi-lateral dialogue have become so deep that it is useless as a means of aiding the oppressed.

Who would pay attention to an organisation which picks it's causes with no regard to the scale of the injustice and complete regard for the opinions of the half dozen most self-interested nations on the planet?

Thta need not be such a bad thing, here where I am living at the moment we came the closest to a breakdown of the social glue which holds our society together over the issue whether we should play rugby with apartheid South Africa in 1980. The nation splintered down the middle 50% V 50%.

Now even though a goodly chunk of those who sided in favour of continuing to play rugby with the 'jaapies' also claimed to oppose apartheid and were motivated by being passionate followers of NZ's religion, Rugby Union, rather than any love for oppressing indigenous people, the split on issues around the rights of Tangata Whenua, NZ's indiginous people, known as Maori, has never been anything like 50/50.

That is people find it easier to criticise other's injustices than deal with their own. So the increasing unpopularity of fixing others problems should lead to a resurgence of interest in local injustice (dream on).

The recent footage of British gay rights demonstrators getting their heads kicked in by russian rednecks while protesting in Moscow did stir a bit of a conflict for me.

I have no desire to see/hear of Russian gay bashing or mass round ups of gay men from the Moscow beats, but something felt wrong about the idea of a bunch of bourgeois english homosexualists reliving their glory days at the expense of poor Russians, including those gay Russians who had counseled against the "Gay Pride" march as it would provoke a backlash and leave their own efforts open to accusations of being 'unpatriotic'.

Same same with Iran. However badly gay men are treated in Iran, it must get worse if being gay is associated with being amerikan ie expounding the views of a nation that is threatening to nuke you and your family.

Of corse the neo-cons couldn't care a damp fart about that. many would see it as a bonus, if when it came time to uplift Iranian resources "you didn't have sleep with your back to the wall."

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 26 2007 1:56 utc | 22

Wow... from bea's link at #11

snip:

What is best for America in the Middle East is never examined on Capitol Hill or in the executive branch, much less given the priority it deserves. I know. I was a Member of Congress for twenty-two years. I have followed the grim scene closely ever since.

snip:

This policy bias could not have occurred, even for a year, if free speech had prevailed on Capitol Hill or in the White House. Any U.S. president in the last 38 years could have prevented 9/11 simply by suspending all U.S. aid until Israel vacated the territory it has held illegally since 1967.

I'm kinda speechless after reading that...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 26 2007 2:42 utc | 23

BenIAM@21,

excellent link.

its the Africans who will suffer the most from Africoms adventures. However, the one thing they can count on is that this latest capricious mission to delegitimize Africans will come to certain failure.

its the same misguided-ness ref. Jena where in this year 2007, uncivilized small-minds identify their well-being with keeping Negroes down.

thats really how weak Africoms game is.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 26 2007 2:48 utc | 24

you should still be able to find findley's 1985/89 book they dare to speak out: people and institutions confront israel's lobby in used bookstores or such.

Posted by: b real | Sep 26 2007 2:58 utc | 25

wow 321, b real, that is huge! that is #3 w/project censored. they are very well read.

massive congrats.

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 3:58 utc | 26

b real , i received my update in the mail yesterday


Project Censored will host the award winning authors of the Censored 2008 stories at the second annual Media Accountability Conference October 26-27 at Sonoma State University.
(my alma mater btw)

are you going?

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 4:12 utc | 27

Iranian academics have posed 10 questions to Bollinger in return for the 10 questions he asked from President Ahmadinejad.

Chancellors of six Iranian universities and academic centers on Tuesday expressed indignation at aggressive tone and degrading behavior of head of Columbia University Lee Bollinger in hosting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

They forwarded a protest letter to Bollinger to voice outrage at his ignorance of the principle of hosting the president of Iran, a country of great civilization and a 7,000-year history.

"It is a shame for an academic center that such hateful and impolite words are uttered by its president. It is regretful that the media owners easily elicit what they want the president of a reputable university to say in his lecture," they said in the letter.

"Your statement about Iran was full of undocumented charges brought by the media and some of which were the outcome of misunderstanding which needs dialogue and closer study," it said.

Oh man, these are a doozy... read on.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 26 2007 4:29 utc | 28

thanks annie. unfortunately for me & as things stand today, another obligation prevents me from being able to attend. still working on it, but running out of time. sounds like a good lineup. freespeech tv & real news are supposedly covering it, so great op for even more awareness-building on the subject. be a shame to let it slip by. i'll let you know if my situation changes.

[we now return you to your regularly scheduled on-topic discourse. bzzzt]

Posted by: b real | Sep 26 2007 4:46 utc | 29

J. Edgar Hoover lived openly together with a male "friend" and was never confronted with accusations of homosexuality.

There is a story that the mob approached him with photos of him and his buddy engaging in a bit of Brokeback Mountain-style playtime and used it to blackmail him.

Thus he had to let the Mafia pretty much have free hand to run the country while he turned his attention on Communists and anti-Americans to show that he was doing his job.

How did that bit go again about the wet monkeys?

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 26 2007 5:51 utc | 30

I'm no fan of the current regime of Israel, but the question, "What did the Palestinians have to do with the Holocaust?" does have an answer. The Palestinian spiritual leader at the time, The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, issued a fatwa backing The Third Reich in World War II and echoed Hitler's call for the wholesale extermination of the Jewish people.

And let us not forget that many of the Arabs who were living in Palestine at the time moved there from other countries to work in the highly productive enterprises that recent Jewish immigrants to Palestine had established. Before so many Jewish people started moving to Palestine, the place was very sparsely populated. Mark Twain said as much when he travelled there in the Nineteenth Century.

Remember, every story has at least two different sides to it.

Posted by: | Sep 26 2007 6:43 utc | 31

#31 was by me.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 26 2007 6:44 utc | 32

Nah, every story has three sides to it, yours, mine and the truth.

Posted by: | Sep 26 2007 6:45 utc | 33

but the question, "What did the Palestinians have to do with the Holocaust?" does have an answer. The Palestinian spiritual leader at the time, The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, issued a fatwa backing The Third Reich in World War II and echoed Hitler's call for the wholesale extermination of the Jewish people. source?

On 19 April 1936 an Arab rebellion broke out in Palestine. Soon the rebellion had spread across the country, openly and officially led by the Mufti and his Arab Higher Committee, founded a week after the rebellion had started. The Committee, with the Mufti presiding, proclaimed an Arab general strike and called for nonpayment of taxes and shutting down municipal governments. In addition, the Committee demanded an end to Jewish immigration, a ban on land sales to Jews, and national independence. Jewish colonies, kibbutzim and quarters in towns, became the targets for Arab sniping, bombing, and other forms of attacks.
...
The rebellion lasted until 1939, when it was quelled by the British troops. It forced Britain to make substantial concessions to Arab demands. The British abandoned the idea of establishing Palestine as a Jewish state and, while Jewish immigration was to continue for another five years (allowing a total of 75,000 Jews to immigrate), the immigration was thereafter to depend on Arab consent. Al-Husayni, however, felt that the concessions did not go far enough, and he repudiated the new policy
Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
So what the Grand Mufti did was:
- fight the colonial British regime
- fight the plans of the colonial regime to establish some foreign entity, a uionist state, within his country
For the purpose of discussion lets distinguish between zionism and jewishness

Before so many Jewish people started moving to Palestine, the place was very sparsely populated. Bull - The Population of Palestine Prior to 1948

Palestine was not an empty land when Zionist immigration began. The lowest estimates claim there were about 410,000 Arab Muslims and Christians in Palestine in 1893. A Zionist estimate claimed there were over 600,000 Arabs in Palestine. in the 1890s. At this time, the number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine was still negligible by all accounts. It is unlikely that Palestinian immigration prior to this period was due to Zionist development. Though uncertainty exists concerning the precise numbers of Arabs living in the areas that later became Israel, it is very unlikely that the claims of Joan Peters that there were less than 100,000 Arabs living there are valid.

Every indication is that there was net Arab immigration into Palestine in this period, and that the economic situation of Palestinian Arabs improved tremendously under the British Mandate relative to surrounding countries. By 1948, there were approximately 1.35 million Arabs and 650,000 Jews living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, ...

Empty?

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2007 9:08 utc | 34

I didn't know this - weird: Sex change funding undermines no gays claim

Iran has between 15,000 and 20,000 transsexuals, according to official statistics, although unofficial estimates put the figure at up to 150,000. Iran carries out more gender change operations than any country in the world besides Thailand.

Sex changes have been legal since the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, passed a fatwa authorising them nearly 25 years ago. Whereas homosexuality is considered a sin, transsexuality is categorised as an illness subject to cure.

While the government seeks to keep its approval quiet, state support has increased since Mr Ahmadinejad took office in 2005. His government has begun providing grants of £2,250 for operations and further funding for hormone therapy. It is also proposing loans of up to £2,750 to allow those undergoing surgery to start their own businesses.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2007 9:09 utc | 35

the question, "What did the Palestinians have to do with the Holocaust?" does have an answer. The Palestinian spiritual leader at the time, The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, issued a fatwa backing The Third Reich in World War II and echoed Hitler's call for the wholesale extermination of the Jewish people.

This again is propaganda. The Mufti certainly was unwise, but all that he was doing was anti-colonial. It should not be forgotten that Britain had no right to be in Palestine. There was also a pro-German regime in Iraq in 1941.

Also, he was not the Palestinian leader, but a major figure. Islam doesn't have a religious hierarchy, as Judaism does not. I can think of lots of major Israeli figures who are calling for bombing Iran, or doing further nasty things to Palestinians, which are of a similar order.

Posted by: Alex | Sep 26 2007 10:01 utc | 36

Never did like Black Sabbath.

So, Love and Light, got a reference for this fatwa, or are you just a liar?

Posted by: DM | Sep 26 2007 10:30 utc | 37

the question, "What did the Palestinians have to do with the Holocaust?" does have an answer. The Palestinian spiritual leader at the time, The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, issued a fatwa backing The Third Reich in World War II and echoed Hitler's call for the wholesale extermination of the Jewish people.

Also, even if one takes at face value the (erroneous) assertion that the Mufti was opening siding with the Third Reich in every way, would that justify the expulsion of an entire people from their homeland? This is the real intent behind Ahmadinejad's question.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 26 2007 12:17 utc | 38

having just spent the night with dershowitz & finklestein - i recognise that love & light is copying the arguments of the plagiarist alan dershowitz who copied his text from the extremely contested book which quotes twain which dershowitz copies & love & light repeats

& the grand mufti is not co complex - he was neither very respected by muslims & in no way represented a national leader of the palestinians

love & light i think you need to read beeny morris - or in fact any of what the israelis themselves call 'the new historians'

& occupation is occupation is occupation

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 26 2007 13:37 utc | 39

When and where did he deny Homosexuality in Iran.
May be you should read carefully TEXT and transcript of what actually he said rather than repating inaccurate translation.
\This is what he said.


Transcript of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Appearance at Columbia University

[ PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country. (Laughter.) We don't have that in our country. (Booing.) In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it. (Laughter.) ]

We don't have it LIKE YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR COUNTRY that is very different than denying it.
He did not deny there are gay in his country simplt stated the fact situation there is different than ours.


Posted by: Loyal | Sep 26 2007 13:41 utc | 40

b 35, actually that doesn't seem weird to me.

At Columbia University on Monday, Mr Ahmadinejad said homosexuality did not exist in Iran. "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country,"

he did not say 'homosexuality did not exist in Iran.'

he said iran doesn't have homosexuals LIKE WE DO. in other words, condoned or recognized as being healthy and not inflicted w/a curable disease.

aside from the legal standing and civil rights issues (big deal i know), i don't see the difference w/evangelicals who think homosexuality is a disease that needs to be treated. there is a big difference between a gay person and a transsexual. one is born in the wrong gender body, the other is attracted to ones same sex. so it sounds like iran, by funding and encouraging gender change operations, views homosexuality in a similar fashion to the dominionists although i doubt dominionists would fund gender operations.

"In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who has told you that we have it."

certainly not the dominionists, because they don't think we have them either! gays are just sick sick sick!

i wish people would show as much outrage about these types permeating the halls of our justice system.


Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 14:04 utc | 41

Adding to my #38...

What Ahmadinejad was trying to convey was the idea that the Jews suffered terribly in the Holocaust, but does that, in turn, justify another entire people (the Palestinians) -- who had no role whatsoever in inflicting the Holocaust upon the Jews -- being displaced from their country and having generations of suffering inflicted upon them? Aren't the Palestinians being asked to pay an enormous collective price for a crime they had nothing to do with? (This statement is of course addressed to those who assert that the establishment of Israel was morally justified and obligatory in light of the dire emergency presented by the Holocaust at the time.) Interestingly, of course, the question has implicit in it an acknowledgment that the Holocaust did occur.

Sorry if I am trying to clarify something that is totally obvious, but just in case it wasn't... so as to avoid meaning getting lost in poor translation amplified by distortion (in the press).

Posted by: Bea | Sep 26 2007 14:06 utc | 42

whoops, i was making coffee and reading the RS link while posting , didn't notice loyal just made the same point

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 14:07 utc | 43

Interestingly, of course, the question has implicit in it an acknowledgment that the Holocaust did occur.

i have never read any statement from Ahmadinejad stating the holocaust never occurred. just yesterday i was reading about the lawyer in germany now being charged w/the same crime as the person he was defending of crimes against holocaust denial.

the entire speel about science and open ended or fluid investigation prefacing Ahmadinejad's speech i interpreted as his rational for holocaust research. frankly i find it absurd it is a crime anywhere to challenge any existing perceptions.

i don't have any questions that contradict existing historical data, but is it complete? how can you understand the entire phenomena without including the outcome. in this regard the 'reward' includes palestinians. why? Ahmadinejad's point regarding why palestinians are paying a price is valid. was there ever a consideration of making a homeland for jews in europe? why was this rejected?

what were all the factors involved considering the location of palestine for the jewish homeland? how will history remember the holocaust? who thinks it is over? you can slap down laws preventing historical reconstruction but you can't stop repercussions. how can you keep the holocaust alive (and it is very much alive) to reap the benefits, and close the door when it suits your purpose.

there is a chasm, a huge disconnect, a fallout from WW2 that has created an ongoing crime, the price being paid by the palestinian people. how much $ went into the marshall plan? reconstruct europe til kingdom come and close your eyes on those paying the price to this day. of course they want to close history. where's the section on palestinians at the holocaust musuem?

face it, its fluid! its not over and Ahmadinejad's right. we should keep looking at it and ask why? ask why until something is done to rectify all the victims of the holocaust. who's paying the price?

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 14:35 utc | 44

So, Love and Light, got a reference for this fatwa, or are you just a liar?

He may not have as fully public in his support for the Holocaust as I had just thought, but according to Wikipedia:

The Mufti's knowledge about the Holocaust while living in Nazi Germany has been debated with the Mufti himself denying any such knowledge after the war. Testimony presented at the Nuremberg trials, however, accused the Mufti of not only having knowledge about the holocaust but of also actively encouraging the initiation of extermination programs against European Jews. Adolf Eichmann's deputy Dieter Wisliceny testified during his war crimes trial in 1946 that ... "The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan... He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chambers of Auschwitz."

When the Red Cross offered to mediate with Adolf Eichmann in a trade prisoner-of-war exchange involving the freeing of German citizens in exchange for 5,000 Jewish children being sent from Poland to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, Husseini directly intervened with Himmler and the exchange was cancelled.[9]

Among the sabotage al-Husayni organized was an attempted chemical warfare assault on the second largest and predominantly Jewish city in Palestine, Tel Aviv. Five parachutists were sent with a toxin to dump into the water system. The police caught the infiltrators in a cave near Jericho, and according to Jericho district police commander Fayiz Bey Idrissi, "The laboratory report stated that each container held enough poison to kill 25,000 people, and there were at least ten containers."[5].

In his memoirs after the war, Husayni noted that "Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: 'The Jews are yours.'”

Recent Nazi documents uncovered in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military Archive Service in Freiburg [6] by two researchers, Klaus Michael Mallmann from Stuttgart University and Martin Cüppers from the University of Ludwigsburg, indicated that in the event of the British being defeated in Egypt by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps the Nazis had planned to deploy a special unit called Einsatzkommando Ägypten to exterminate Palestinian Jews and that they wanted Arab support to prevent the emergence of a Jewish state. In their book the researchers concluded that, "the most important collaborator with the Nazis and an absolute Arab anti-Semite was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem."[7] According to the German researchers Husayni was a prime example of how Arabs and Nazis became friends out of a hatred of Jews. Al-Husseini had met several times with Adolf Eichmann[8], Adolf Hitler's chief architect of the Holocaust[10][9],[10],[11],[12],[13].

So do you hate the Jewish people or are you just an asshole?

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 26 2007 14:41 utc | 45

the repercussions of ww2 , the unfinished business of ww2 is leading humanity directly into ww3.

assuming the globe survives another world war, who in their right mind could look back and not connect the holocaust directly to the cause of the next world war. rectifying this situation it probably the most effective preventative measure we could take to assure another WW won't occur.

instead, we have the concept that the origin of this conflict comes from fanatical arab terrorism.

absurd!

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 14:44 utc | 46

So do you hate the Jewish people or are you just an asshole?

lol

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 14:45 utc | 47

Thanks for the correction about the migration patterns to Palestine. I've seen that asserted in quite a few forums on the matter and it was never substantively challenged. The history of the modern state of Israel is tragic not only because of the displacement and persecution of the Palestinians, but also because it has turned a large number of Jewish people into an oppressor. Not as bad as the Nazis, to be sure, but oppressive enough to give consternation to many Jewish people who care about the rights of all human beings.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 26 2007 14:47 utc | 48

l and l

i was reading that section of your wiki link. it seems this site carries the same references. palestinianfacts.org? a little cruise around that site shows a certain bias.

Adolf Eichmann's deputy Dieter Wisliceny testified during his war crimes trial in 1946 that ... "The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry

well, if wisliceny said it under oath, it must be true? other sources might be helpful.

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 15:00 utc | 49

The history of the modern state of Israel is tragic not only because of the displacement and persecution of the Palestinians, but also because it has turned a large number of Jewish people into an oppressor.

was this a convenience for others? who else has benefited from having this 'friendly' footprint in the middle east? a place was carved out of the ME for the west. why? the jewish people are the jailers. who built this jail? the international community. who benefits from closing the door on the holocaust? everyone who reaps the benefits. the US is busy creating staging areas for world domination all thru out the ME. israel just happens to be our largest permanent fixture.

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 15:07 utc | 50

the US is busy creating staging areas for world domination all thru out the ME. israel just happens to be our largest permanent fixture.

Indeed. I have also heard it claimed on some forums that Israel might have lost the Yom Kippur War in the early 70's had it not been for some last-minute US assistance. I'll have to read up on the YKW, but in the meantime, can anybody here speak to that one?

i was reading that section of your wiki link. it seems this site carries the same references. palestinianfacts.org? a little cruise around that site shows a certain bias.

Yes, there are some dubious assertions on that site to be sure, and indeed there is some lively discussion on the matter on the "Talk" page for this topic. I will consider the assertion controversial but not outright refuted.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 26 2007 15:48 utc | 51

the Nixon Administration sent a United States airlift of weapons and supplies to Israel enabling her to recover from earlier setbacks. Starting on October 14, 1973 US Air Force "Operation Nickel Grass" flew resupply missions to Israel for a full month, until November 14. While estimates of the tonnage vary slightly, Col. Trevor N. Dupuy, US Army (Ret), writes in Elusive Victory: The Arab Israeli Wars 1947-1974 that: "...the American resupply included 815 total sorties bringing Israel 56 combat aircraft and 27,900 tons of munitions and supplies."
source
Without the U.S. resupply effort, the Israelis could not have sustained offensive operations in the Sinai or sustained its Golan efforts in the face of further Syrian offensive operations beyond 17 October 1973.
The 1973 Arab-Israeli War: Arab Policies, Strategies, and Campaigns - Author: Major Michael C. Jordan, United States Marine Corps

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2007 16:10 utc | 52

Thanks, b. A fuller quote is even more revealing about the nature of what went on:

...the American resupply included 815 total sorties bringing Israel 56 combat aircraft and 27,900 tons of munitions and supplies. Taken together with the Soviet resupply to Arab countries fighting Israel, 'military analysts' told Time magazine that it was 'the largest airlift in the history of both countries.'

So even if it wasn't technically the largest in either country's history to that date, we can still assume it was pretty damn big.

Posted by: | Sep 26 2007 16:21 utc | 53

53 was me. Just checked the "remember" box, so hopefully I won't make that oversight again.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 26 2007 16:22 utc | 54

Paul Woodward at War in Context has an editorial that expands on this very point. Ahmadinejad's Free Speech is worth reading in full. The conclusion reads:

Ahmadinejad is far from alone in questioning an idea — implicit but never clearly articulated — that the Holocaust provided a moral justification for whatever it would take to create a Zionist state. Just as 800,000 Palestinians could be swept aside in the process of creating the modern state of Israel, likewise any questions about the means being used to create that state could also be suspended.

As the Israeli historian, Avi Shlaim, writes:

…the tragedy of European Jewry became a source of strength for Zionism. The moral case for a home for the Jewish people in Palestine was widely accepted from the beginning; after the Holocaust it became unassailable. The poet Robert Frost defined a home as the place where, if you have to go there, they have to let you in. Few people disputed the right of the Jews to a home after the trauma to which they had been subjected in Central Europe. (The Iron Wall, pp.23-24)

But even while its easy to understand that the trauma of the Holocaust would lead many Jews to seek a safe haven outside Europe, the creation of Israel did not absolve Europe and the United States of the need to examine why so many Jews could not regard as home, countries in which their ancestral roots went back centuries. In as much as few gentiles disputed the right of Jews to a home, the implication was that they could find no such home outside Israel. By the end of World War II, Nazism had been defeated but the swamp of anti-Semitism out of which it had arisen had not been drained. And in as much as an effort to accomplish that goal was not regarded as an integral element in the reconstruction of Europe, a new state of Israel became a convenient necessity. While the Holocaust provided Jews with an unassailable right to a homeland, it simultaneously provided a rhetorical shield for obscuring the fact that this right had been secured by denying the Palestinians’ own right to remain in their own homes.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 26 2007 16:23 utc | 55

I will consider the assertion controversial but not outright refuted.

ha! we have all heard that before. this is exactly what rove/gop specializes in. they throw a bunch of unconfirmed theories on the wall to see what sticks, then it becomes part of the lexicon and therefore must be refuted.

i am not questioning he used this in his defense at trial, i am just wondering how much influence any palestinian had wrt hitlers choices or how relevant it is. i can however understand the desire for some sort of justification to link palestinians however any which way by hook or by crook to the outcome. did some fatwa make as much of an impact as IBM or the swiss or any other greasing of the wheels.

it just seems like a stretch of a thread to illuminate based on one criminal who very well may have had a motive for including this testimony.

i am simply asserting that there must be some other source for the fatwa and its impact besides Wisliceny. even if this is not refuted, the implications of its impact seem exaggerated. that wiki link is jammed packed w/sources, this section is noticeably vacant. certainly some respected historian has elaborated on this connection?

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 16:30 utc | 56

Jewish community in Iran slams US protest against Ahmadinejad's visit

Heads of Iran's Jewish community 'outraged by the disrespect' shown to the Iranian president during Columbia visit

The Jewish community in Iran published a statement Wednesday, slamming the disrespect shown to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by human rights and freedom activists on his recent visit to the United States....

"The constant disrespect and disturbance demonstrated (during Ahmadinejad's speech at Colombia) prove once more that those claiming to be peace loving people have no real grasp of the concept," said the statement.

Published by the Iranian news agency IRNA, the statement also said that the Jewish community in Iran was "outraged by that kind of behavior".

The Jewish community in Iran spans some 25,000 people, who are considered loyal to the country's radical Islamist regime's anti-Zionist policies; but many believe the community's loyalty is merely a means of survival. [Note: This view is inserted by the Israeli newspaper, presumably as a means of diminishing the impact of the report.]

The statement was signed by Morris Mottaned, the Jewish delegate to the Iranian parliament and by the heads of the Iranian Jewish communities.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 26 2007 16:40 utc | 57

bea, this is excellent of woodward. it seems absurd if we are to carry on celebrating the holocaust forever that we can't explore the fluidity without being cited as anti semite or worse, criminals like in germany.

after all it isn't just interesting in the context of ww2, it's the study of genocide. when you subtract millions of people from any local the vacum created that ebbs and flows, it doesn't stop. the fallout/profits from genocide are worth exploring. in this instance its worth exploring how the price of 6 million jews has been used to fuel the current hegemony thru controlling ME resources.

or are we to imagine nobody thought of this back then?

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 16:44 utc | 58

re the Mufti

Whatever the Mufti may or may not have believed, said, done, or agreed to as far as Nazi Germany was concerned, the actions of one leader do not ever justify punishing or causing harm to an entire people. That would be considered collective punishment, which may we remind our kind audience, is illegal under international law, behavior of a number of current parties on the world stage notwithstanding.

It's as if you were to say, "George Bush invaded Iraq with the intent to destroy it, therefore it's reasonable, right, and just to allow all 27 million Iraqis to resettle in the US and make it their new home, displacing everyone in their way, regardless of the impact on the present US residents."

Posted by: Bea | Sep 26 2007 16:49 utc | 59

i am simply asserting that there must be some other source for the fatwa and its impact besides Wisliceny.

Other sources are listed besides Wisliceny. Also, what do you suppose Wisliceny thought he had to gain by concocting or repeating some false story about the Mufti?

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 26 2007 16:53 utc | 60

Whatever the Mufti may or may not have believed, said, done, or agreed to as far as Nazi Germany was concerned, the actions of one leader do not ever justify punishing or causing harm to an entire people.

I certainly would not agree with any such collective punishment sentiments. As a gay man, I'm particularly sensitive to that because there are ignorant people who take it for granted that gay-bashing and -killing are justified behaviors because a heterosexual man was the victim of homosexual rape.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 26 2007 16:58 utc | 61

what do you suppose Wisliceny thought he had to gain by concocting or repeating some false story about the Mufti?

hmm, what reason might a murderer falsely accuse others of collaboration? i would imagine there may be a number of reasons. i've even heard of law enforcement bribing criminals to give false testimony. i don't think we should limit ourselves in asking what Wisliceny had to gain, i think we need to ask what anyone might have had to gain.

how did it impact anything? i have to confess i am not any kind of expert on this period of history. but his testimony has not only been used as some lineage towards the holocaust but as a justification for palestinian payback.a little skip around the web leads to some interesting factoids about the mufti..

And in the words of the foremost Palestinian leader at the time, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem:

" I declare a holy war, my Muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all! "

SOURCES: UN Records; Israel Foreign Ministry; The Birth of Israel, by Jorge Garcia-Granados; Myths and Facts, by Bard and Himelfarb.

Prophet of Doom,/A>

Over the course of his 80-year life, the Palestinian Islamic religious and political leader conspired to slaughter over six-million Jews. He was among the most evil men whoever lived.

wow

In 1915, as an officer in the Ottoman Army, Muhammad Hajj al-Husseini would have been at the very least a witness to the Armenian Christian genocide.

well! that settles that!

history is written by the victors. it ain't over til the fat lady sings. she's been illegally gagged, why? what would happen if she kept singing.

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 17:41 utc | 62

Regarding the Mufti's alleged pro-nazi sentiments;

Keep in mind in 1936, lots of countries had normal, even cordial, relations and trade with Nazi Germany, including the United States. Countries Such as Hungary, Romania and Finland were active allies of Germany during the war and yet no one claims they deserve ethnic cleansing as a consequence. No serious individual advocates such a thing for Germany itself. And yet the Palestinians deserve eternal punishment for a single visit taking place 5 years before the U.S. bothered to enter the war.

Truly we are witnesses to an astonishing degree of dehumanization before our eyes that such an argument could even be advanced without total embarrassment.

Posted by: Lysander | Sep 26 2007 17:47 utc | 63

this whole scenario on the grand mufti is completely concocted & is without substance

the extermination of jewry was a european notion - & not to slide into the facility of argument of goldahagen - there existed in all european countries an active anti semitism - that for five centuries already slid back & forth into extirminatory anti semitism by moment

there were already significan pogroms against jewish people in poland, in the old baltic states (the pale) & there were of course significant pogroms in russia under the czars

the anti-semitism in the english speaking world was extremely active & the first writers of an exterminatory anti semitism were english like the 'historian' chamberlain in the 19th century

the notion of extermination is a wholly european idee. some of the french writers of the 19th & 20th century like drumont, maurras, gide etc used words like germs, bacillus, peste etc long before nazi hoods took it as their own

the other european notion, specifically european notion or to put it bluntly - german notopn - was the mass production of death & the bureaucracy needed for that was german

how love & light suddenly makes the buffoon mufti a full partner in this is really just a fabulation. the arabs had been at war with the jews in palestin but the notion of extermiantion did not even enter their heads

the only person to read on this is raul hilberg - word for word - dot for dot - i wouldn't trust any other sources

but i claim again that love & light is using as their real 'source' - that proven liar - alan dershowitz who incidentally is part of a new wave of thinkers who want the extermination of the palestinian people. read their work on what happened in 1948, read what they have to say about palestinian deaths, read what they have to say about all intifadas

dershowitz effectively is the julius streicher of zionism

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 26 2007 17:54 utc | 64

Annie:

That does give me something to at least consider, not in the least because the pic at the bottom of the page is one of the most crassly obvious photoshopping jobs I've ever seen. The light/shade contrasts on the Mufti's head is dramatically different from the entire rest of the photograph. Ugh.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 26 2007 17:58 utc | 65

The light/shade contrasts on the Mufti's head is dramatically different from the entire rest of the photograph. Ugh.

that is funny landl! i hadn't gotten that far on the link. very observant.

i did more research of this famous quote..


" I declare a holy war, my Muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all! "

i checked the sources for this statement. here is one review of Myths and Facts, by Bard and Himelfarb. (extensive collection of questions and answers with maps and documents published by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise)

While reading this book I could not help but burst out laughing over and over, as it is riddled with blatant inaccuracies, grossly misleading arguments, and outright falsehoods. If I had to summarize this book, I would say it was about how Israel has no fault in the Israel-Palestine conflict, how Israel has done everything it can for peace and has done nothing wrong, how all the blame for the violence over the past 100 or so years goes to Arabs, and how peace would come if only those warmongering Arabs would let go of their seething antisemitism. This alone should clue readers in to the fact that this book is pure propaganda, and tells more about the zealotous mindset of certain partisans than the conflict itself. Throughout the book Bard routinely distorts, omits, or makes up facts, and in doing so gives a largely inaccurate picture of the conflict and it's history. I strongly encourage interested readers to look elsewhere to learn about this conflict. Also, based on the 'scholarship' (I use the term loosely) shown in this book, I would avoid other books by Bard on this issue.

here's another

This book, Myths and Facts about the Arab-Israeli Conflict, is most informative and interesting. It is written to gain the trust and interest of the average American "layperson." I did not really have an opinion on the Arab-Israeli issue until I read this book. Now I see more clearly the necessity for having the State of Israel in our world today, and I hope others will feel this way now also. Happy reading!

another source of this famous quote (Collins and LaPierre, O Jerusalem, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972)

from wiki

This story would have been much different if told from a different perspective. It has an apparent, but not direct, Zionist bias. Most of the narration is told from the Jewish perspective. In the rare event that an even is told from the Arab perspective, it usually puts them in a very bad light. Even the terrible account of Deir Yassin, the massacre of an Arab village, is told from a Jewish perspective, which causes decreased empathy towards the innocent Arabs of that village. If told from an Arab perspective, the book would have inspired much different empathies and conclusions, and would have had an Arab bias. In history, especially very detailed accounts, it is nearly impossible not to have a bias.

wiki sites this phrase as one of the 3 mainstays of pro-Israeli arguments: but unlike the others 2, the only source of this quote is from bard, w/no specifically dated speech, just "Jerusalem, 1948)[1]"

hmm


Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 18:22 utc | 66

Homosexuals in Iran.

A minor point, except insofar as the US bashes, well.
.
As far as I understand it, very superficially, perhaps misguidedly, from scarce info, have no links to back it up, the mainstream doesn’t report on these things:

Iran is the number one country for safe sex-change operations, both ways. Ppl from France and Switz go there regularly for that, much like getting your teeth fixed in Hungary. (From personal experience.) The stamp is given by two doctors, one must be a psychiatrist, or not, stories vary. The medical acts are top class, the care wonderful, the price low.

The general idea in Iran is that everyone must belong to one of the genders: a man can easily become a woman: he is a submissive sexual partner, his identity is at heart female, etc. This is completely accepted. By families, parents. Painful, but can be taken on board. In Iran, men who become women are ridiculed and marginalized, or upbeat and successful, depending - mostly on social position. They can make their way. Women are treated more harshly. (? i guess it depends..) But they too can live their lives as men. The whole scene is regulated by gender roles - biology means little, social behavior, position, all.

This obligatory gender ascription, the need to fit into ‘female’ or ‘male’ roles is of course devastating for many. In this way, transformations become obligatory, which is a pain for male homosexuals, who don’t like it at all. To conform, they are forced into feminine shapes, roles, clothes, not their desire. For women, that is always easier, as it means going from weakness to strength, sociallly speaking, and is less transforming in habits and dress or even body.

Then there is also the thing that men with men or women with women can hug and kiss and sleep together....

When A, the pres of Iran says there are no homosexuals there, what he should say is that there is no homosexual lobby, no such group, there are two genders and anyone is welcome to choose or change, and ppl are free to same sex kiss and hug ..whatever... that's the positive spin.

Trivialities obscuring geo-politics with magazine type identity crap.

Did gay men in the US ever support their counterparts in Iran? Or course not.

Posted by: Tangerine | Sep 26 2007 19:25 utc | 67

look, the swiss bear more responsibility, direct responsibility for the extermination of european jewry than the grand mufti - who like the hindu priest, tibetan monks & other religious who peopled germany during the war were not of any significant importance for the germans - they were sideshows & were sometimes the wish of that volkmystic himmler - who had a taste for the obscure - while he institutionalised the murder of european citizens

it is extremely important for the zionists to diminish their own relationship with the nazis which is covered in very few books but is grounded in facts, just the same. the zionists as opposed to the bundists were also the leading figures in the judenrats & were involved in the murder of their own people. hilburg is categorical on that. & it is i belive the reason that this magisterial work by him was blocked from publication for at least a decade. hannah arendt being one of the leading people who promoted the blocking of hilberg's book

it is as important to the zionist cause to conflate the genocide of jews by other europeans with a war being waged by the palestinians

history is quite clear - there is no such convergence

myths & facts, the book by peters & dershowitz's tract have the same argument to serve in favour of the extermination of the palestinian nation & people

when i hear the words of the nazi robert ley - there is an actual confluence with the way a dershowitz speak of the palestinian people

zionism has debased the facts of the extermination of european jewry. they have instrumentalised the murder of the jewish people to serve the political interests of an elite

but it must be repeated again & again - that the great majority of the jews that were murdered were poor, peasants, workers or members of the lower middle class. they were not & never were zionists. zionism was extremely marginal in shtetl life. their crime was that they were europeans & offered great riches - cultural, intellectual, scientific & otherwise to whatever nation they were part of

& that is the crime - the jewish people were citizens like any other & they paid for their faith in european civic life with their lives

in 1945 - the emigration to palestine was not an article of faith in zionism. on the contrary it was the only real choice available to jewish people. in poland, in hungary, in roumania, in the baltic countries which were essential without any jewish life left were not welcoming in the least to their citizens. the murderous impulse of the polish people, of the estonians, the hungarian, the lithuanians the latvian - was not diminished by the horrific murder of their citizens & it will come as no surprise that the new warriors of the cold war came from these murderous groups of people

to hide or even worse - instrumentalise this genocide debases us all

& as a note - there still existed the vast majority of courageous jews who wanted to reinvest their faith in european life - even after the shoah & that israel represented then waht it does now - that 2/3 of the jewish people live & prefer to live outside of israel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 26 2007 19:38 utc | 68

was there ever a consideration of making a homeland for jews in europe? why was this rejected?

ho ho ho, surely you jest! at the time, there were plenty of housing developments, yacht clubs, schools and corporations in the oh-so-democratic-and-enlightened US of A that were closed to anyone identifiably Jewish. (required viewing: Gentlemen's Agreement.) in British literature Jews were still being referred to as "Orientals" and "Hebraic" (or by cruder nicknames in prole discourse) and considered nonWhite. Jewish homeland on Anglo/Euro turf, are you kidding? the anglo overlords were almost as keen to get rid of their resident Jews as the Nazis -- they just didn't want the bad PR of mass murder, from which Hitler had kind of blown the wallpaper for a while. they discussed founding a Jewish Homeland in S America (the Colonies doncha know) but the religio-mytho-historical resonance of the Promised Land and the useful fanaticism of the Eretz Yisroel faction w/in the Jewish community seemed to settle (so to speak) the issue.

plus the terrorist actions of Stern gang and Irgun in Palestine were quite effective in making the British want to give them what they demanded and get out. I am always amused when people say that terrorism never gets you anywhere. it sure got the Stern gang a nation-state, and don't think for a moment any Arab or Palestinian has forgotten this.

Simha Flapan The Birth of Israel was not a bad read iirc (it's been a few years), a bit dry. Benny Morris' early works are definitely worth the time, but it's odd how he has detoured into militant (or nihilist?) Zionism towards the end of his life... oh yeah, and Brodkin's How the Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America.

also recall that a lot of Jews in Euro and Anglo land were socialists and labour organisers, and the post-war regime was very keen on destroying any socialist movements in the bud. sending the idealistic socialists off to found kibbutzim in Israel was way preferable to having them organising your factory workers in Stuttgart, Lyons, or Manchester :-)

I suspect there was also a class shift in the Jewish survivor population. since many of those who escaped only did so via class privilege, i.e. bribery or being able to afford travel expenses, and because working class Jews were disproportionately socialist and hence doubly targeted, there was a culling effect that tended to shift the demographic towards more affluence and conservatism (even if that affluence was lost in the Shoah, the attitudes and ideology of childhood upbringing tend to persist). never yet read any analysis of this, but it seems to be true of emigre populations that they are more uppercrusty and conservative than the average of their original homeland... partly trying to preserve their nostalgia, memories, and distinctiveness, but partly I suspect just 'cos you had to have money to get out. have always thought there was more than a touch of commonality between the "White Russian" emigres of Paris who fled the Bolshevik revolution, and the post-Hitler disaporic Jewish community of UK, Canada, and USA. except that in the latter case their revanchist dream was realised, with all its sorry implications... [grain of salt time: I am practising history without a licence here and could be totally out to lunch, pls feel free to deflate this halfbaked theory into a fallen souffle.]

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 26 2007 19:48 utc | 69

btw Pat Robertson is an American Mufti.

he has called, iirc, for nuclear strikes on Muslim nations.

does that make every American a slavering genocidalist?

we are responsible for our complicity in what is done with our tax dollars, but surely not for every idiocy that tumbles from the lips of self-aggrandising mountebanks.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 26 2007 19:52 utc | 70

was there ever a consideration of making a homeland for jews in europe? why was this rejected?

Yes. There were 2 possibilities - Israel, or hacking off part of Germany as compensation. Zionists wanted Israel. Western Powers wanted toehold in Oilville. Ergo - setup for disaster.

Posted by: jj | Sep 26 2007 19:59 utc | 71

thanks

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2007 20:47 utc | 72

Thanks DeAnander@69

also recall that a lot of Jews in Euro and Anglo land were socialists and labour organisers

and to add, socialists & labour organiziers can come from any race, religion or class. For such (assuming they are real/sincere) people, a Jewish heritage, or Chinese or Mexican or African ... is cosmetic.

this may seem like a trivial point, but if the Mongols/Huns/Vandals are not producing their share of progressives, its not because they are not there. Maybe we just do'nt know who they are. We might find them or they might find us, whichever comes first.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Sep 26 2007 20:49 utc | 73

jj, Hitler, and some before him, wanted to send them to Madagascar.

Like almost all Nazi ideas, someone else came up with the idea first. As early as 1885, Paul de Lagarde suggested deporting Eastern European Jews to Madagascar. In 1926 and 1927, Poland and Japan each investigated the possibility of using Madagascar for solving their over-population problems.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Sep 26 2007 21:02 utc | 74

http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/a/madagascarplan.htm

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Sep 26 2007 21:10 utc | 75

I thght. the ? was what was under discussion post -WWII to create a safe homeland for Jews, not various dumping grounds under discussion by various & sundry anti-Semites throughout history.

And as far as class being the determinant in who got out, the policies were far more restrictive than that. Countries wanted as few Jews as possible. If you couldn't work, you were SOL. A friend of mine's father was a top Jewish banker in Germany - no Socialist softies these folks. And he married the daughter of a top Jewish banking family. Nevertheless, he could not arrange passage anywhere for their parents on either side - money & connections notwithstanding. He had several offers for himself - and he worked like hell to prevent the rise of Hitler. Thus, they didn't flee until the Gestapo were literally waiting for him in their living room. All 4 parents were deported & killed.

Posted by: jj | Sep 27 2007 3:01 utc | 76

After having a few hours to think about it, I don't know what to think about al-Husayni, AKA "The Grand Mufti". I am pretty sure that those who have a truthful historical case to make don't fake photographs. And I don't have any problem acknowledging that al-Husayni was most likely not the head-honcho spiritual leader of Palestinian Arabs. His "Grand Mufti" title gave me a probably false impression that he was kind of like an Islamic equivalent of the Archbishop of Canterbury or Patriarch of Constantinople.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 27 2007 3:41 utc | 77

does that make every American a slavering genocidalist?

No, just 25% of the electorate.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 27 2007 3:51 utc | 78

Iran is the number one country for safe sex-change operations, both ways. Ppl from France and Switz go there regularly for that, much like getting your teeth fixed in Hungary. (From personal experience.) The stamp is given by two doctors, one must be a psychiatrist, or not, stories vary. The medical acts are top class, the care wonderful, the price low.

I'm pretty sure the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a statement saying that transexualism was a real phenomenon and sex-changes were compatible with Islamic teaching. I sometimes wonder if Khomeini knew a transgendered person during his youth that he had what we all would consider an enlightened view on the matter.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 27 2007 3:58 utc | 79

re: al-Husseini

For those who are interested, here is a site put up by a respected Palestinian research organization in Jerusalem. It is an online encyclopedia or guide to notable Palestinian personalities, with biographies and photos, which has a more accurate biography of Haj Amin al-Husseini. He was definitely an important historical figure. However, he was certainly not a leader who was democratically elected by any representative means. Therefore, he was not "representative" but rather someone born into an elite and nationalist family who rose to take a leadership role and then was reaffirmed as such by the existing leadership structures of the time, which were no doubt family-patriarchy based and also religious. He took upon himself this responsibility at a time of unprecedented national crisis, a time in which he and his generation were witnessing the gradual and very deliberate takeover of their homeland by another people. In such times, one might be inclined to resort to desperate measures.

Also, according to this biography (and I am not a historian nor do I have time to go and validate all this in history books), any contacts he had with Nazi Germany appear to have occurred in the early 1940s, from abroad (after he was exiled from Palestine), and for nationalist purposes - to defend the takeover of his homeland. It is highly unlikely that all the purple prose above about his working to exterminate all Jews from Palestine has any basis in reality. The reality -- that he saw a systematic Jewish effort to take control of resources in his country which he tried in any way avaialble to him to resist -- has been morphed and conflated into a gross distortion -- that he was the worst type of anti-Semite possible, and that he somehow singlehandedly turned his entire people against the Jews for no reason other than pure hatred of them as Jews. And then we are asked to conclude that because of the supposed sentiments and actions of this one leading historical figure, the entire Palestinian people is by extension anti-Semitic and therefore not worthy of ... well, being considered as part of the human race, perhaps.

And so it goes.

Also note from the site linked above that there were many Husseinis who played nationalist roles -- they may be confused with one another in some of these wildly fabricated tales.

The bottom line is that when it comes to Israel/Palestine, it's always best to consult a myriad of sources to check claims that sound this extreme. They are most likely distorted.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse but what I really wanted to do in this post was to share that link, which I thought was a great resource.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 27 2007 13:23 utc | 80

From the site Bea linked:

was appointed by High Commissioner Samuel as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem on 8 May 1921 until the 1950s;

I was really surprised that a non-Muslim would be able to make such an appointment and have that appointment be recognized by other Muslims.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Sep 27 2007 14:14 utc | 81

@Loveandlight

Yes well, those were the days of colonial rule. And such were the powers of the colonial ruler in those days.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 27 2007 14:25 utc | 82

>i>The bottom line is that when it comes to Israel/Palestine, it's always best to consult a myriad of sources to check claims that sound this extreme. They are most likely distorted.

well stated, thanks for the additional research. i smelled fish too.

Posted by: annie | Sep 27 2007 15:31 utc | 83

Iranian University Chancellors Ask Bollinger 10 Questions


TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Seven chancellors and presidents of Iranian universities and research centers, in a letter addressed to their counterpart in the US Colombia University, denounced Lee Bollinger's insulting words against the Iranian nation and president and invited him to provide responses for 10 questions of the Iranian academicians and intellectuals.

Posted by: Rick | Sep 28 2007 2:29 utc | 84

President Ahmadinejad meets Jewish rabbis in New York
Tuesday September 25, 2007


A senior rabbi of the group said that they considered the visit to New York of President Ahmadinejad as an exceptional opportunity and would never forget it.
[snip]
...[the senior rabbi] called President Ahmadinejad "a pious man who is seeking to restore peace in the world and has humanitarian plans." Appreciating the rabbis for their gift, President Ahmadinejad said he was happy to visit them.

Posted by: Rick | Sep 28 2007 2:40 utc | 85

wow rick

Posted by: annie | Sep 28 2007 6:20 utc | 86

Re Hussayni et al:

Following Bea's link in the Monuments of Liberation thread, I found this. Curiouser and curiouser...

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 28 2007 14:13 utc | 87

to stalin's question about the vatican - but here about the palestinians - in the 30's & 40's - how many divisions - of course it is a ludicrous question

the palestinains were not like latvia, estonia, lithuania or the polish or hungarians - who would wipe out with their own hands - in one day - in one day - than all the the jewish losses in palestine until 1948

the atricle above is lurid in its conception - pornographic with the facts

tantalus, i repeat the extermination was a european notion practiced to its end point by germany

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 28 2007 14:26 utc | 88

RGiap:

I agree. I hadn't realized that this was such a heavily mined theme at the moment, though. Lurid, certainly. Frothing, as well.

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 28 2007 14:38 utc | 89

From the "10 questions" link Rick provided above, I can't resist excerpting this:

During his speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad answered a number of your questions and those of students. We are prepared to answer any remaining questions in a scientific, open and direct debate.

You asked the president approximately ten questions. Allow us to ask you ten of our own questions in the hope that your response will help clear the atmosphere of misunderstanding and distrust between our two countries and reveal the truth.

1- Why did the US media put you under so much pressure to prevent Mr. Ahmadinejad from delivering his speech at Columbia University? And why have American TV networks been broadcasting hours of news reports insulting our president while refusing to allow him the opportunity to respond? Is this not against the principle of freedom of speech?

2- Why, in 1953, did the US administration overthrow the Iran's national government under Dr Mohammad Mosaddegh and go on to support the Shah's dictatorship?

3- Why did the US support the blood-thirsty dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war on Iran, considering his reckless use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers defending their land and even against his own people?

4- Why is the US putting pressure on the government elected by the majority of Palestinians in Gaza instead of officially recognizing it? And why does it oppose Iran 's proposal to resolve the 60-year-old Palestinian issue through a general referendum?

5- Why has the US military failed to find Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden even with all its advanced equipment? How do you justify the old friendship between the Bush and Bin Laden families and their cooperation on oil deals? How can you justify the Bush administration's efforts to disrupt investigations concerning the September 11 attacks?

6- Why does the US administration support the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) despite the fact that the group has officially and openly accepted the responsibility for numerous deadly bombings and massacres in Iran and Iraq? Why does the US refuse to allow Iran 's current government to act against the MKO's main base in Iraq?

7- Was the US invasion of Iraq based on international consensus and did international institutions support it? What was the real purpose behind the invasion which has claimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives? Where are the weapons of mass destruction that the US claimed were being stockpiled in Iraq?

8- Why do America's closest allies in the Middle East come from extremely undemocratic governments with absolutist monarchical regimes?

9- Why did the US oppose the plan for a Middle East free of unconventional weapons in the recent session of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors despite the fact the move won the support of all members other than Israel?

10- Why is the US displeased with Iran's agreement with the IAEA and why does it openly oppose any progress in talks between Iran and the agency to resolve the nuclear issue under international law?

Finally, we would like to express our readiness to invite you and other scientific delegations to our country. A trip to Iran would allow you and your colleagues to speak directly with Iranians from all walks of life including intellectuals and university scholars. You could then assess the realities of Iranian society without media censorship before making judgments about the Iranian nation and government.

You can be assured that Iranians are very polite and hospitable toward their guests.


Posted by: Bea | Sep 28 2007 14:42 utc | 90

Ahmadinejad Invites Bush to Speak at a University in Iran

His comments were aired on state TV Friday and signaled an unusual readiness by Iran to receive an American president after more than a quarter century with no diplomatic ties.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 28 2007 17:06 utc | 91

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/26/AR2007092601771.html>Pot to Kettle:

WASHINGTON -- Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, caused a stir at a Senate hearing Wednesday when he repeated his view that gay sex is immoral and should not be condoned by the military.

Pace, who retires next week, said he was seeking to clarify similar remarks he made in spring, which he said were misreported.

"Are there wonderful Americans who happen to be homosexual serving in the military? Yes," he told the Senate Appropriations Committee during a hearing focused on the Pentagon's 2008 war spending request.

"We need to be very precise then, about what I said wearing my stars and being very conscious of it," he added. "And that is, very simply, that we should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God's law."

OK, so he doesn't want to cut their hands off. That's nice, I appreciate that. Really, I do. And he grudgingly admits that they exist, and that some might be nice people. That's nice too. But they're still sinners and don't deserve workplace equality, ya know.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 28 2007 17:31 utc | 92

I'm sorry, but "God's law" - great though it may be -- is just not a fit topic or guide for a uniformed military leader or any other government employee - be they military or civilian - to reference when carrying out their duties. Military or civilian, all take an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution...not God's law.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 29 2007 1:52 utc | 93

Another outraged letter from a prominent Iranian:

Letter to Mr Lee Bollinger, from M. J. A. Larijani, President Of the Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IPM)

Posted by: Bea | Sep 29 2007 2:17 utc | 94

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