September 24, 2007

“You exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator.”

Columbia University president Lee Bollinger said to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad's response:
I think the text read by the dear gentleman here, more than addressing me, was an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here, present here. In a university environment we must allow people to speak their mind, to allow everyone to talk so that the truth is eventually revealed by all.
Oh, isn't that nice? He believes in the marketplace of ideas when he's over here and he's been given a big stage.

And why did Bollinger call him a petty dictator? He's running a country with 67 million people.

ADDED: Giuliani on Hannity's show:
HANNITY: “While Bollinger in his introduction said his views were ridiculous, the Holocaust is not an issue in dispute, that his arguments were absurd.”

GIULIANI: “But then he turned the podium over to him.”

HANNITY: “Well then he turned the podium over to him and I’ll tell you what was more frightening to me, immediately thereafter, here was Ahmadinejad basically saying he found the introduction insulting but more importantly I want you to listen to the students’ reactions and clapping for Ahmadinejad in the background. … Does that student reaction frighten you as much as it does me?”

GIULIANI: “Well here’s—this is really to my point, Sean. It frightens me because I don’t know what kind of reaction Ahmadinejad has to that, which means he comes away from this thinking, hey there’s a strong level of support for me in the United States of America, maybe I can push these people a little further, maybe I can take advantage of them a little bit more. That’s why I say in spite of the fact that the president of Columbia introduced him with an insult, he turned the podium over to him and he comes away from it. Ahmadinejad comes away from it saying, ‘Sure there are people there that don’t like me and opposed me and booed me, but hey, there were an awful lot of people there that applauded for me too. So I have some support there.’ And who knows what that results in when you’re dealing—look we have to come to the conclusion that Ahmadinejad is an irrational man. You don’t say the things he says if you’re working on, kind of a rational script. The denial of the Holocaust, the threat of—against Israel, the ways in which he gives five different versions of every single answer. This is a man who’s living in this fantasy world of jihad and world domination by Islamic extremism.”

HANNITY: “And providing the weaponry to kill American troops.”

GIULIANI: “And providing weaponry right now, right as we’re speaking possibly taking the lives of American troops. And we hand him a podium at Columbia University. And have no idea of what impact that can have on him? And the idea that it’s in the name of free speech, well that isn’t correct. Not everybody gets to speak at Columbia. …”

217 comments:

1 – 200 of 217   Newer›   Newest»
Revenant said...

I'm glad Bollinger didn't suck up to Ahmadinejad -- but he should have revoked Ahmadinejad's invitation entirely.

Jennifer said...

I would think he meant petty in the mean-spirited and offended over trivial things sense.

And, yes. I'm sure Ahmadinejad really does believe strongly in allowing everyone to talk in a university environment only of course. Oy.

Smilin' Jack said...

Bollinger exhibits all the signs of a clueless jerk. He shouldn't have invited Ahmadinejad, but having invited him he shouldn't have then insulted him.

PatCA said...

Inviting him as a world leader, then dissing him. Shows the "inherent contradictions," as the left is wont to say, of academia.

From the clips I've seen, it seems the only thing the audience didn't agree with was his ludicrous claim that Iran doesn't have homosexuals. Sure, they're killing them all. http://www.iranfreedomconcert.com/khatami.html

zzRon said...

I think Bollinger described him as a petty dictator because, well... ALL dictators are "petty" human beings when it comes to having any moral worth. He could have used the words..."You exhibit all the signs of a man who who is nothing more than a morally bankrupt thug" and made the same point. No?

Tim said...

I'm with Smilin' Jack - Bollinger tried to recover from his first mistake, and only compounded the error.

Academics shouldn't play politics - the real world is much tougher than the faculty senate - unless you're Larry Summers at Harvard - but then Harvard's faculty is to rational actors what terrorists are to rational states.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"In a university environment we must allow people to speak their mind, to allow everyone to talk so that the truth is eventually revealed by all."

He would never make tenure at a US university with that kind of talk!

jane said...

Speech made cheap at Columbia while it's quite dear in Iran. Escort-security costs and promo posters vs. beatings, imprisonment and execution.

Seems a fair exchange of ideas for the poor netless, TVless and periodicalless Columbia students who have no idea what Ahmadinejad is about.

Petty dictator is a university pres who gives a forum to totalitarian evil to grandstand his intellectual and moral 'superiority' with weak sh*t questions. We're so impressed.

ricpic said...

I lika you country but I havva one thing to ask: "Why you no havva whole head of lamb gyro?"

jane said...

Meanwhile, Mahmoud's men are funding, supplying and training insurgents and directly killing our troops in Iraq.

Oh, well. That's life.

Internet Ronin said...

I thought petty was apt and was far less sure about dictator given that he was elected by a substantial majority (62%) in a run-off in a well attended election (60% turnout). True, he appears to have been everyone's second choice, coming in second in the first election with (19%) and then getting about 3 out of 4 of those who voted for a candidate other than him and the front-runner, the more moderate (Iranian standard) Rafsanjani. And, unlike Chavez who was originally elected in a similarly reasonably free and fair election, Ahmadinejad does not always get his way. There are many other powerful players in Iran.

(And please don't shoot the messenger - I'm NOT defending him!)

jane said...

"Meanwhile: As Columbia welcomes Ahmadinejad to campus, Columbia students who want to serve their country cannot enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at Columbia. Columbia students who want to enroll in ROTC must travel to other universities to fulfill their obligations. ROTC has been banned from the Columbia campus since 1969. In 2003, a majority of polled Columbia students supported reinstating ROTC on campus. But in 2005, when the Columbia faculty senate debated the issue, President Bollinger joined the opponents in defeating the effort to invite ROTC back on campus.

"A perfect synecdoche for too much of American higher education: they are friendlier to Ahmadinejad than to the U.S. military."

--William Kristol

Internet Ronin said...

As for Bollinger being rude - I am glad he finally discovered his backbone. Ahmadinejad got a taste of genuine freedom of speech and quite demonstrably did not like it. It was IMO a mistake on his part to appear - the propaganda value of this for us and his opponents is great.

jane said...

Why was it a mistake? Many of the American elite students applauded and laughed along with the so-called petty and cruel dictator. With a little editing- good stuff for Iran and Arab news services. And for our own MSM.

Verso said...

I noticed that Fox News broadcast the event start to finish without commercial interuption. Heaven forfend! When will the right wing media stop cozying up to totalitarian thugs! Obviously Fox News's coverage indicates total support for totalitarianism, as well as contempt for America, George W. Bush, and our brave fighting men and women in Iraq.

Palladian said...

So Recto, do you have anything to say about Ahmadinejad?

The enemy of your enemy is your friend?

Revenant said...

I noticed that Fox News broadcast the event start to finish without commercial interuption.

Wow -- a news organization broadcast the news? That IS shocking.

Verso said...

Ann,
I wonder if you would be so good to us to explain why you believe Bollinger called him a "petty" dictator. Do you believe it was to make him seem less of a threat?

Verso said...

OMGZWTFBBQ!!!!

The terrorists done got to Bush! They got to Bush! Lordy save us all! Save the Republican base!

Today, our once great and loyal Preznit Bush said, of the terrorist leader Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia, "I guess it’s okay with me" and that America is "confident enough to let a person express his views."

Bush hates America! Bush is a dhimmi! Why does George hate our brave fighting men and women! Lord help us all, Osama bin Laden done got Bush's brain!

HALP! HALP! HALP! We're doomed for sure!!!!!

Verso said...

Doesn't George W. Bush understand that American is a very, very SMALL country, with very, very large fears and insecurities? And that we can't allow people to speak who disagree with the Preznit?

Maybe that's how it works in some of those fancy pants European countries, like Canada, but not here in God's Own US of A!

[begin guttural chant]

U-S-A!! Uuuh!!
U-S-A!! Uuuh!!
U-S-A!! Uuuh!!
U-S-A!! Uuuh!!
U-S-A!! Uuuh!!
U-S-A!! Uuuh!!

[continue guttural chant until fainting from lack of oxygen; then vote Republican.]

Christy said...

The very small part of me that likes revenge flicks cheered Bollinger. The larger part of me was horrified at the rudeness of insulting an invited guest. Does anyone more familiar than I am with Persian culture know how that part will play in Iran? I think it will feed into the "Americans are just too uncivilized to allow to live" meme. Not that they didn't already feel this way, but still.

Verso said...

dipshit said: So Recto, do you have anything to say about Ahmadinejad?

The enemy of your enemy is your friend?


Fuck you.

SMGalbraith said...

The terrorists done got to Bush! They got to Bush! Lordy save us all! Save the Republican base!

You're not reading from your script.

Bush and the Republicans are the real terrorists.

Olbermann will keep you up-to-date on this. And he's the most honest and courageous news anchor in the country.

SMG

Friedman said...

He's running a country with 67 million people.
He "runs" Iran about as much as Miss America runs this country.

Palladian said...

I like how the current tactic of trolls is to get all exorcised about hyperbolic things that no one here is actually saying except for the troll.

Being sarcastic 100% of the time doesn't make you intelligent. It makes you seem like a teenager. If you'd like whatever political philosophy you think you're defending to seem the province of teenagers, then by all means, keep trolling. One day, if there are any left, the intelligent liberals will tire of the children ruining their adult conversations and send them to the kid's table where they belong.

SMGalbraith said...

as Miss America runs this country.

Or even Miss Teenage South Carolina.

Although both have similar grasps on subjects like genetics and biology.

Granted, Ahmadinejad's understanding of nuclear physics is probably higher.

Unfortunately.

SMG

Palladian said...

"Fuck you."


Mmm, excellent rejoinder, O esteemed colleague!

I will amend my assessment of your behavior from teenager to foul-mouthed toddler. Here's a zwieback.

ricpic said...

And to think, some decent soldier died today to make verso's ass safe!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Verso said: [continue guttural chant until fainting from lack of oxygen; then vote Republican.]

Do us a favor, sell crazy somewhere else. We're all booked up here.

Revenant said...

I like that Verso's defending Ahmadinejad on the grounds that the latter disagrees with "the Preznit".

So far as I can tell, the logic being used here runs as follows:

- Bush is bad.
- Bad people think bad things.
- The opposite of bad is good.
- Bush thinks the Holocaust happened.
- Ergo, thinking the Holocaust happened is bad.
- Ergo, thinking the Holocaust DIDN'T happen is good.

Gedaliya said...

The brilliant Roger Kimball waxes eloquently here on li'affaire Achmadinejad. An excerpt:

President Bollinger's sophomoric conception of free speech is precisely the sort of supine intellectualism that, if consistently embraced, would make free speech impossible. President Bollinger primly lectures us that "It should never be thought that merely to listen to ideas we deplore in any way implies our endorsement of those ideas, or the weakness of our resolve to resist those ideas," etc. But he is quite wrong about that. By providing a madman like Ahmadinejad with a platform at Columbia University, President Bollinger has in effect welcomed him into the community of candid reasoners. He has granted him a patent of legitimacy that no amount of "dialogue and reason" can dissipate. In this case, "listening" is indeed tantamount to an endorsement. It reduces free speech to a species of political capitulation and renders dialogue indistinguishable from a suicide pact.

And more:

The spectacle of these left-wing academics repudiating men like Larry Summers and Donald Rumsfeld even as they abase themselves scrambling to find excuses for welcoming a fanatic like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the halls of a great American University is disgusting. I think again of Bagehot's observation that "History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it." Are we really willing to let ourselves--our ideals, our way of life--be carelessly traduced by a rancid leftism so enfeebled that it can no longer distinguish between free speech and suicide? We are even now in the process of answering that question. How we answer it will determine a lot more than the issue of who gets to speak on American college campuses.

Palladian said...

I don't think, contrary to Giuliani, that Ahmadinejad is irrational, at least not when he makes the statements he makes. It's rather an extremely calculated act tooled for his current audience. He knows precisely what he's doing.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Here's a zwieback.

Zwieback. Culturally relevant even when on the attack.

garage mahal said...

Meanwhile, Mahmoud's men are funding, supplying and training insurgents and directly killing our troops in Iraq.

And our President said "he's okay" with his visit, and to travel around the country giving speeches? Something doesn't add up here.

Methadras said...

Ahmadinejad's exhibits the traditional middle-far eastern trait of double talk, of obfuscation, of unclear thinking, and answering of questions. While holding that stupid smile on his face that shows his rat-like squinty eyes, he denies that the holocaust ever took place or existed and yet asks that more research needs to be done. What's funny and ironic about this statement is that while he and his henchmen chant death to Israel, they clearly accept the fact that in order to see that Israel does infact die, it must require, say it with me now, a holocaust, in order to carry that wish out. Would then Ahmadinewackjob proclaim after they wipes out Israel with their newly acquired nuclear arsenal, that no holocaust took place and that saying so was a myth that required more research?

Why must we in this country have to demonstrate for the world that we are willing to bend to break our own backs to accommodate this type of idiotic 7th century lunatic-thug and listen to him spew his stupidity for all the world to see? Isn't it enough that he spewed it on 60 minutes last night, but yet we have to endure this morons delusions that homosexuals don't exist in his country only because they find them all and then hang them? What is it with the leftist mindset that allows it to throw out all rationale and reason out the window to curry the favor of the world by, at the least appearing to be tolerant, and yet at the leftists in Columbia University deny an anti-illegal immigration speaker the same forum and podium that this rancid, double-talking liar gets to have.

Day after day, leftists and leftism demonstrates how dangerous it is to the welfare of people everywhere. It really needs to be expunged as a legitimate form of political and philosophical thought.

Daryl said...

And why did Bollinger call him a petty dictator?

Bollinger called him a Holocaust Denier, genocidal anti-Israel maniac seeking nuclear weapons, repressor of women and gays, and a cruel Dictator.

He threw in the word "petty" because that's the only thing that would offend Ahmadinnerjacket. The rest of it is just a factual description of Ahmadinejad's deliberate course of conduct.

Eli Blake said...

jane (4:43):

Meanwhile, Mahmoud's men are funding, supplying and training insurgents and directly killing our troops in Iraq.

True.

However, I'd like those whose knee-jerk reaction is to support our war in Iraq to ponder this fact:

Five years ago, while Iran was certainly involved in terrorism, they were much more careful to cover their tracks and would not challenge us in such an openly belligerent manner. The main reason was very clear too-- they knew very well that we had the military to destroy them and their regime. They feared us, to put it in plain English.

But today, that military is overextended, eroded by years of endless and mostly fruitless guerilla war in Iraq (begun, ironically, when the US got rid of Saddam, and allowed Iran to get a Shi'ite dominated Iraqi government with very friendly relations with Tehran-- exactly what they'd fought for eight years and lost a million men failing to achieve in the 1980's.) Our military today can't even regularly meet its recruiting goals, and is stuck hopelessly in the quicksand of Iraq.

They know very well that we know longer have the ground forces to be able to really threaten them (sure, we could bomb the crap out of them but history teaches that it is possible to survive a bombing campaign, and in the crazy politics of the middle east, if we bomb them and they survive then they gain a political victory.) And yeah, we could nuke them into a parking lot but you and I and the Iranians all know that that isn't realistically going to happen.

In short-- they no longer fear the U.S., nor will they have reason to as long as our army is bogged down in Iraq.

Just one little price of Iraq that perhaps some on the right should ponder.

Gedaliya said...

I'd like one of our resident leftists to answer Kimball's question:

Are we really willing to let ourselves--our ideals, our way of life--be carelessly traduced by a rancid leftism so enfeebled that it can no longer distinguish between free speech and suicide?

Gedaliya said...

In short-- they no longer fear the U.S., nor will they have reason to as long as our army is bogged down in Iraq.

Utter nonsense. With a few well-placed bombs we could easily bring their entire economy to a halt. This does not even count our ability to blockade their ports, destroy their telecommunications infrastructure, and send their national leadership into hiding.

Are you so enfeebled with defeatism and self-doubt that you actually believe our $13 trillion economy, our 2 million men under arms, our 10,000 bomb nuclear arsenal, and our global navy is incapable of threatening a backwater third-world despotism like Iran?

Internet Ronin said...

Palladian: Astute comments, as usual. Thanks.

Holly said...

I live in Texas. We have a number of people down here who actually share a lot of A'jad's views on women, crime, homosexuality and other sexual "sins", science, evolution, etc. etc. And a lot of them - yes, really - vote Democrat. Wonder if the folks at Kos would like these people?

Of course not. Because brown skinned homophobic misogynistic religious fanatics who hate Bush are good. White skinned homophobic misogynistic religious fanatics who hate Bush are bad.

As an aside - I finally learned to pronounce Ahmadinejad when a (late, lamented) local radio program set his name to the tune of the Addams Family:

Ahmadinejad (snap snap)
Ahmadinejad (snap snap)
Ahmadinejad Ahmadinejad Ahmadinejad(snap snap)

He's crazy and he's kooky
He wants to build a nukie
Make Israel go kablookie
He's Ahmadinejad!

Palladian said...

"...eroded by years of endless and mostly fruitless..."

Endlessness doesn't accumulate years. And 4 years is endless?

Mostly fruitless? A tree bears fruit or it doesn't. Is this like Douglas Adams' "Mostly Harmless"?

...(begun, ironically, when the US got rid of Saddam, and allowed Iran to get a Shi'ite dominated Iraqi government with very friendly relations with Tehran.

So wait, Iran got an Iraqi government that was friendly with Tehran? Was this government in Iraq or Iran? Do you even know the difference?

Our military today can't even regularly meet its recruiting goals, and is stuck hopelessly in the quicksand of Iraq.

Source for that fact? And now we're sinking in quicksand? But Iraq is a desert! It is too dry for quicksand!

"They know very well that we know longer have the ground forces..."

Not only do they know that we know, they know that we know longer!

"In short-- they no longer fear the U.S...."

Then why don't they invade tomorrow?

"nor will they have reason to as long as our army is bogged down in Iraq."

Bogged down in Iraq or Iraq-ed down in bogs... We've gone from desert quicksand to the bogs of Ireland...too many metaphors! I'm sinking in the bog! Or the quicksand!

Tim said...

"But today, that military is overextended, eroded by years of endless and mostly fruitless guerilla war in Iraq (begun, ironically, when the US got rid of Saddam, and allowed Iran to get a Shi'ite dominated Iraqi government with very friendly relations with Tehran-- exactly what they'd fought for eight years and lost a million men failing to achieve in the 1980's.) Our military today can't even regularly meet its recruiting goals, and is stuck hopelessly in the quicksand of Iraq."

You have an extraordinarily limited understanding of current U.S. military capabilities if you don't realize we could destroy the Iranian regime and its military forces in very short order.

Internet Ronin said...

ricpic wrote: And to think, some decent soldier died today to make verso's ass safe!

Yes, he or she did, ricpic. What a noble thing to do! What a country!

Trooper York said...

Roslyn: You could blow up the whole world and end up feeling sorry for yourself.
(The Misfits 1961)

Verso said...

Wingnut 29 said: I like that Verso's defending Ahmadinejad on the grounds that the latter disagrees with "the Preznit".

So far as I can tell, the logic being used here runs as follows:

- Bush is bad.
- Bad people think bad things.
- The opposite of bad is good.
- Bush thinks the Holocaust happened.
- Ergo, thinking the Holocaust happened is bad.
- Ergo, thinking the Holocaust DIDN'T happen is good.


Wow, what a bunch of bullshit! You start with a lie — saying that I defended Ahmadinejad (who is merely a more advanced version of Bush) — and end up granting me a whole slew of ideas and opinions that I find repugnant.

At some point, you should examine your own cognitive dysfunction. I suspect your inability to process information and think clearly is related to the fact that you are a wingnut in 2007, long after any rational person would have been shaken from the condition.

People like you are fast ruining this great nation.

Gedaliya said...

Wow, what a bunch of bullshit! You start with a lie — saying that I defended Ahmadinejad (who is merely a more advanced version of Bush) — and end up granting me a whole slew of ideas and opinions that I find repugnant.

How do you feel about Columbia University's decision to invite Achmadinejad to speak at a public forum? Do you agree with President Bush that it was the right thing to do?

Verso said...

Palladian said: Mmm, excellent rejoinder, O esteemed colleague!
I'm not going to defend my patriotism to a wingnut who is opposed to the most basic American values. You guys are a bunch of authoritarian thugs and your intimidation tactics make me laugh.

Internet Ronin said...

Well, Jane, if I have to explain to you why it was a mistake for him to appear, given the reception he received, the insulting introduction, the demonstrations outside, the close questioning afterwards, his obvious inability to deal with the pressure (some have described him as "wilting") and the near-universal press reporting of his massive failure to make his case, I don't know quite where to begin.

So let's start with the easy part, those who want to see him emerge as the victor would have done so no matter what - even if his speech was stopped before it began or the invitation withdrawn. The rest of the rational beings remotely interested in the subject will more than likely draw a different conclusion based on his own actions and words during his appearance. A priceless bit of propaganda and as damaging as his previously touted and ultimately disastrous public appearances, which is why so many in Iran didn't want him to be there in the first place - his undiplomatic record speaks for itself.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And our President said "he's okay" with his visit, and to travel around the country giving speeches? Something doesn't add up here.

I think because it doesn't 'add up' in the preconceived notion of many on left that Bush is the second coming of Hitler and is out to stomp out civil rights and free speech.

If anything Bush played it masterfully saying this just shows what a free society we have as he would never have the same opportunity in Iran.

As a side note, I liked how Obama said he would have never invited Armageddonjad to Columbia U to speak. Wonder how he reconciles that with his earlier self righteous pontificating how we as a great nation should not be afraid to talk to our enemies. As I said before, lightweight.

zzRon said...

"And our President said "he's okay" with his visit, and to travel around the country giving speeches? Something doesn't add up here."


I can't and won't try to speak for the president, but my guess is that he is "ok with it" because he believes all opinions should be heard, and is banking on his faith in the American people (especially the left) to eventually see Ahmadinejad for what he actually is. Although I don't share in or understand Mr. Bush's faith in the left, I have my fingers crossed hoping he turns out to be right.

Verso said...

Gedalya asked: How do you feel about Columbia University's decision to invite Achmadinejad to speak at a public forum? Do you agree with President Bush that it was the right thing to do?

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with Bush's statement. I could not have said it better myself. We show our weakness and pettyness when we recoil in fear from small tyrants like "Ackmadinajad." We are a great nation; not a cornerstone of liberty in this world, but the very foundation.

It's time we started acting like it, and it's time you all started embracing our heritage, instead of recoiling from it like it was a source of weakness.

Internet Ronin said...

Utter nonsense. With a few well-placed bombs we could easily bring their entire economy to a halt. This does not even count our ability to blockade their ports, destroy their telecommunications infrastructure, and send their national leadership into hiding.

You appear to have forgotten about the Russians, who are flying around with nuclear bombs again these days and have completely reformed their military while no one was paying attention. Besides, a few well-placed bombs won't do the trick.

Gedaliya said...

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with Bush's statement.

My God. Verso has publically agreed with the president.

Will wonders ever cease?

Revenant said...

But today, that military is overextended, eroded by years of endless and mostly fruitless guerilla war in Iraq [...] Our military today can't even regularly meet its recruiting goals, and is stuck hopelessly in the quicksand of Iraq.

That's a load of nonsense. We could easily defeat Iran with the military we have now, "overextended" though it may be. The Iranian military is superior to what the Iraqis had, but it is still a bad joke compared to America.

The reason Iran is acting more belligerent right now is that it knows that the Democratic party will reflexively oppose any attempt to take military action against it so long as Bush is in the White House. If Bush bombed Iran right now the Democrats would trip all over themselves rushing to condemn him as a war-mongering lunatic and traitor to America. It goes without saying that no authorization to wage war will be forthcoming unless Iran actually overtly attacks Americans on our own soil.

The Iranian leadership also probably believes the conventional international wisdom that a Democrat will be elected in 2008. That gives them eighteen months of a Bush, whose hands are tied, followed by at least four years of some pussy who can be counted on to do nothing more to Iran than issue sternly-worded diplomatic communiques while hastily pulling our forces away from the Iranian border.

In short, the reason why Iran is acting more belligerent is that it knows America will not use its military power against them. Not because we can't, but because we won't.

Gedaliya said...

Besides, a few well-placed bombs won't do the trick.

Are you aware that Iran only has one facility in the entire nation that produces gasoline from crude oil?

Verso said...

Methadras said: Day after day, leftists and leftism demonstrates how dangerous it is to the welfare of people everywhere. It really needs to be expunged as a legitimate form of political and philosophical thought.

Ah, there you go. Now you're sounding more and more like ... Ahmadinejad.

Funny how that works, isn't it?

You are from the authoritarian right, your values are in direct conflict with American values, and you — like all authoritarian conservatives — have far, far more in common with an authoritarian thug like Ahmadinejad than you do with Madison, Jefferson, or Hamilton.

It is worth noting that Ahmadinejad shares your values: he wouldn't let you speak in Iran any more than you'd let him speak in the US. Neither one of you believes in American values. You both despise what this country stands for.

Revenant said...

You appear to have forgotten about the Russians, who are flying around with nuclear bombs again these days and have completely reformed their military while no one was paying attention.

Let the European Union handle them. The EU has nukes and both a large population and a much stronger economy than Russia does, and is located right near the Russian border. Plus, of course, they've got a lot more at stake than we do.

Gedaliya said...

Verso, you should read Kimball's essay. It makes mincemeat of your views on Achmadinejad.

Palladian said...

"I'm not going to defend my patriotism to a wingnut who is opposed to the most basic American values. You guys are a bunch of authoritarian thugs and your intimidation tactics make me laugh."

Well I don't even know what a "wingnut" is, as I've stated elsewhere on this blog. But, whatever it is, I'm pretty sure I'm not one.

So what are these "most basic American values" that "we" are so opposed to? Is it that we're criticizing a tin-pot dictator making a speech at a major university? It seems that you're the one who doesn't respect freedom of speech by expecting people to sit quietly and not express opinions when people do things that they believe are detrimental to our "most basic American values".

You're the one that's acting like a thug. You came in here after a few reasonable comments and started "screaming" a bunch of stupid shit to try and destroy a reasonable discussion of opinions. Your tactics remind me of a little incident last year, not coincidentally also at Columbia University, where some enlightened students decided to shut down a speech that they didn't like. Where were all those concerned liberal students today, when an enemy of liberalism was spreading his smooth-tongued lies?

You set up a bunch of straw men, and then freak out as you slash them down. I'm criticizing you not because you're a "liberal" (a tradition which you've displayed scant evidence that you respect or even understand). I'm criticizing you because you're unhinged.

Gedaliya said...

Let the European Union handle them. The EU has nukes and both a large population and a much stronger economy than Russia does, and is located right near the Russian border. Plus, of course, they've got a lot more at stake than we do.

The Russians will never go nuclear to defend the current Iranian regime.

Internet Ronin said...

Why must we in this country have to demonstrate for the world that we are willing to bend to break our own backs to accommodate this type of idiotic 7th century lunatic-thug and listen to him spew his stupidity for all the world to see?

I think you'll have to grant him credit for having one foot firmly planted in at least the 14th century while the other is quite obviously equally firmly planted in the 21st century. Otherwise, the 2,000 various sites working on developing a nuclear bomb would be trying to figure out how to construct a catapult of sufficient size to hit Tel Aviv 993 miles away.

Isn't it enough that he spewed it on 60 minutes last night, but yet we have to endure this morons delusions that homosexuals don't exist in his country only because they find them all and then hang them?

Well, no we don't have to endure it. It is a free country so we can ignore it. Or read reports about it. But anyone who reads or hears him repeat such silly twaddle despite ample graphic evidence to the contrary cannot help to be even more convinced that he is an idiot than they were when he was spouting such things in the safety of Tehran.

What is it with the leftist mindset that allows it to throw out all rationale and reason out the window to curry the favor of the world by, at the least appearing to be tolerant, and yet at the leftists in Columbia University deny an anti-illegal immigration speaker the same forum and podium that this rancid, double-talking liar gets to have.

History has proven that leftists by definition believe that only they know what is best for the great masses of people and that the self-selected should them. Any system that denies the self-selected their divine right must be destroyed. The end always justifies the means (See German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, Apologists for).

Internet Ronin said...

The Russians will never go nuclear to defend the current Iranian regime.

No, but they will probably invade Georgia and eliminate one thorn in their side, and they have been increasing their pressure on the Baltic states. Pretending that any attack on Iran has only consequences within Iran is the height of folly. China is the second largest exporter to Iran, bilateral trade has grown about 360% in the the past 5 years. China has contracts to purchase in excess of 350 million metric tons of LNG to fuel the Chinese economy. One must assume that China would take a very dim view at having its supplies cut off.

Internet Ronin said...

Let the European Union handle them. The EU has nukes and both a large population and a much stronger economy than Russia does, and is located right near the Russian border. Plus, of course, they've got a lot more at stake than we do.

True, but half the EU's armies are unionized and on-duty M-F 9-5 only so they won't get far. Seriously, that's not just the EU's problem as we have a commitment under the NATO Treaty or should we unilaterally rip that up?

Gedaliya said...

No, but they will probably invade Georgia and eliminate one thorn in their side...

This is yesterday's news.

One must assume that China would take a very dim view at having its supplies cut off.

China needs us more than we need them. They would never interfere if Iran provoked us into an attack. After all, their entire economy is predicated on their exports to the United States. Do you really believe they'd jeopardize that for the current Iranian regime?

Palladian said...

"Now she is writing for a neocon paper but still very independent and moderate."

Yes, those wiley Jews got their claws into her!

"Give it up. It's tired and your old."

Her old what? Oh! I see! Guess you didn't attend one of those elite universities.

Internet Ronin said...

I think because it doesn't 'add up' in the preconceived notion of many on left that Bush is the second coming of Hitler and is out to stomp out civil rights and free speech.

Bingo! Give that man a prize! (Well said, Hoosier)

If anything Bush played it masterfully saying this just shows what a free society we have as he would never have the same opportunity in Iran.

Don't see how he could (or would) say anything else, either. Good for George W. Bush.

As a side note, I liked how Obama said he would have never invited Armageddonjad to Columbia U to speak. Wonder how he reconciles that with his earlier self righteous pontificating how we as a great nation should not be afraid to talk to our enemies.

Really? I missed that because I thought I saw some report today that he would talk to him if he was in the White House - must have been my imagination or a reference to his earlier comments that you also reference.

As I said before, lightweight.

No argument here. Understand that Obama was quoted as comparing the result of his election (if it happens) to that of Reagan, direction-changing and giving hope to others across the world, etc. An astute observer has pointed out that Ronald Reagan's election wa accompanied by near universal fear and trembling throughout the world, many convinced that he would hit the nuclear button the moment he took office.

Strange, Obama and I are about the same age and I vividly remember all those predictions of Armageddon and cowboy Reagan. Perhaps you are old enough to remember them as well?

rhhardin said...

And why did Bollinger call him a petty dictator? He's running a country with 67 million people.

He's calling him small-minded.

But here's Proust, cited by Wm. Empson :

``Ay, they're a great family, the Guermantes!,'' [Francoise] added, in a tone of respect, founding the greatness of the family at once on the number of its branches and the brilliance of its connections ... For since there was but the single word ``great'' to express both meanings, it seemed to her that they formed a single idea, her vocabulary, like cut stones sometimes, showing thus on certain of its facets a flaw which projected a ray of darkness into the recesses of her mind.

_The Structure of Complex Words_ p.43

downtownlad said...

He's not a petty dictator. He's not even a dictator.

He's an elected President. He actually received a majority of the votes, which is more than George Bush could say in 2000.

But the power in Iran does not rest with the President, it rests with the Ayatollah's.

But that's irrelevant, because nobody actually cares about whether he's a dictator or not. What really matters is whether we can falsely convince Americans that he's the next Hitler.

Because the wingnuts are striving for another war.

And they'll likely get it. Let's hope there is justice in this world and that those who are clamoring for another war are drafted.

Internet Ronin said...

After all, their entire economy is predicated on their exports to the United States. Do you really believe they'd jeopardize that for the current Iranian regime?

Without fuel, however, their economy implodes anyway. A situation often popularly but inaccurately referred to as a Hobson's choice, I believe.

downtownlad said...

Without Iranian oil, our economy implodes.

But again - the wingnuts don't think further ahead than the next bombing.

After Iran proves to be a disaster, they'll be clamoring for a war with North Korea.

Lunatics.

Eli Blake said...

Typical of the self-deluding responses I've gotten from those who don't want to face reality:

Are you so enfeebled with defeatism and self-doubt that you actually believe our $13 trillion economy, our 2 million men under arms, our 10,000 bomb nuclear arsenal, and our global navy is incapable of threatening a backwater third-world despotism like Iran?

(from gedaliyah at 5:58)

First, I'm sure you are aware that every combat troop in the field about eight support troops are needed doing everything from procurement to supply to transport to medical care. So our number of actual combat troops is limited to the degree that we no longer have the force to invade Iran (for that matter, the story out today that the Iraqi government has backed off their order that the Hessians from Blackwater get out because it would create a 'security vacuum' shows how thin we really are in Iraq.) Further, how is our $13 trillion economy relevant? We aren't going to beat them by dropping Wal-Mart stock on them, unless you take the suggestion I made last year and beat them by trading with them and exploit the internal weaknesses of their younger population. Mammon might be able to do what all our nukes can't (just as it did with the USSR).

And yes, we have 10,000 nukes. Yes, we do. And here they sit.
Like I said, nobody is realistically going to order a nuclear war.

Seven Machos said...

Actually, William, aren't you the queen of the blog right now?

Internet Ronin said...

This is yesterday's news.

It is? Shouldn't someone tell the Georgians? Or are you one of those who believe that "what's a few million lives as long as I get what I want." Hmmm. Seems to me that we've been down that road many times before.

Cedarford said...

I would have to say that Bollinger started off as a supreme tool by denouncing the person he invited and mischaracterizing Ahmadinejad as a "petty dictator". (The Iranian President is just one member of the Supreme Council and they report to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.
Ahmadinejad is more like the Iranian equivalent of Sen Chuck Schumer - a camera-hogging man in love with himself willing to speak out on anything, say outrageous things, for extra airtime.

Anyways, Ahmadinejad's retort was dead on...it was highly rude for Columbia's leader to denounce a speaker Columbia invited, then condemn his speech before he delivers it.

I think the audience scored that one to the Iranian. The person who was petty and not worth respect was Bollinger and his clumsy ambush.

I would say the audience was educated. It was a fascinating speech and I have only seen half the TiVo so far after work..

It appears that there are some encouraging things in the speech, areas of strong opposition. Like many ME people, Jews, Asians...Ahmadinejad obfusticates his speech, is not direct in his answers, couches many remarks in qualifiers. This is a cultural thing rather than unique to "Bush's evildoers".

And it was good that some of the areas of strong opposition smacked Columbia students square across their smug liberal faces. Women in Iran are exhalted. Sons kiss their mother's hands. (In truth Iran allows women to do almost everything...drive, be doctors, leaders. lawyers...they are light years ahead of Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan for example. But Victorian in mindset).
Homos? What homos? Iran has no Homos! It is forbidden! It does not exist.

Some key points were his saying the Holocaust did happen, just that the Palestinians who didn't do it paid the most for it.
And that the world may have moved past the Bomb as an instrument of power projection to other, more modern ways.

Ahmajinejad strikes me as sharp, facile. He apparantly is in big trouble with other rulers in Iran for fanning war flames and others, inside and outside the clerics appear trying to be contacting diplomats and drawing back..and I think part of Ahmadinejad's orders from higher-ups and Supreme Council peers is to make nicer".

downtownlad said...

This is from the same people who said Iraq was going to be a piece of cake.

And we had sanctions on Iraq, and two no-fly zones for a decade before Invading . . .

Seven Machos said...

I think that post ought to be removed, unless it's by a sock puppet of Palladian's, in which case it's pretty hilarious.

Internet Ronin said...

That's a load of nonsense. We could easily defeat Iran with the military we have now, "overextended" though it may be.

That is complete and utter bullshit and you cannot produce one believable well-informed military source to support that statement, overextended as it is now, as reported by someone who actually has a working knowledge of such things, General David Petraeus.

downtownlad said...

I say let's go to war. And wingnut bloggers get drafted first.

Cedarford said...

Eli, your post on the US being militarily helpless to stop Iran shows:

1. You never served in the military and learned its conventional warfare capabilities.

2. Not having served, you never bothered to learn from other sources what our capabilities are that do not involve nukes or sending overstretched conventional ground forces in to fight the Iranians "mano a mano"

Revenant said...

Seriously, that's not just the EU's problem as we have a commitment under the NATO Treaty or should we unilaterally rip that up?

Precedent suggests that we can meet our NATO obligations by sending a trivial force of that is of little practical use. And that's if a NATO country gets attacked. If Russia invades a non-NATO nation, such as Georgia, then we have no treaty obligation even if NATO feels threatened by that.

The Drill SGT said...

Jane you were too subtle.

Downtownlad loves the Iranian President who declares that there are no gays in Iran and if there were any more, he'd execute them the way he did the last 100 they found.

Bush (and the Democratic Congress) however hasn't fought to reverse the policy Clinton put into place (Don't ask, don't tell) that says that active homesexual behavior is incompatible with the good order and disipline of the Military. The military conforms to the policy it has been given, thus is evil. So Columbia won't allow ROTC or military recruiters on campus, because of this naked policy discrimination against gays, but will allow a mass executioner of gays on campus because he has the right to speak.

strange standards

Free speech for killers

knoxwhirled said...

The whole free speech take on this guy's appearance is just more self-aggrandizing bullshit typical of academia. If Columbia really values free speech, they would have told Ahmadinejad he wasn't welcome to indulge in "free speech" at their University as long as he keeps it from his people in Iran.

But, as usual, the leftist, anti-American point of view trumps any and all other considerations. Although, to be honest, for some of them it's not a political consideration; they just believe it makes them cool and rebellious, or avante garde to have someone speak who is considered by most of the country to be a total nut.

William said...

Unfortunately, Palladian won't be able to enlist because she is a mo.

Palladian wear really trendy glasses that look ridiculous, but she thinks there cool

Palladian has a picture of Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde and Karl Lagerfeld in her apartment. All in velvet.

Palladian likes to mix things in a bowl and has thousand of pictures of them on her flickr site. The evolution I mean creation of the mix is amazing and the pictures are enlightening dramatic and bold.

SMGalbraith said...

Without Iranian oil, our economy implodes.

The US imports no oil from Iran (link).

Granted, since oil is fungible, our allies who do import oil from Iran will have to go elsewhere including from the sources where we get our oil.

But the US imports only about 17% of its oil from the Middle East. That is imports - not total oil consumption. Our main sources for imported oil are Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.

I can clearly see Chavez cutting off oil to us if we were to attack Iran. However, that would likely lead to economic problems in his own country.

Very dicey. Which is why I am convinced that the Bush Administration will not use force against Iran.

But President Clinton (or Giuliani) will.

SMG

Internet Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

Downtownlad loves the Iranian President who declares that there are no gays in Iran and if there were any more, he'd execute them the way he did the last 100 they found.

Drill Sgt - Typical liar that he is (How Christian of him) falsely accuses me of supporting the Iranian President. Yet he can't find one quote saying that, because I don't. Yet his miniscule mind can't comprehend that disliking a powerless politician does not justify going to war against that country.

We know that Drill Sgt favors imprisoning gay people in this country. In fact, he's stated that he thinks its perfectly constitutional to EXECUTE gay people in this country. And he works in an industry that discriminates against gay people on a daily basis by firing them just for being gay.

By the way - because of wingnuts like Drill Sgt - gays are now being executed in Iraq. I'm sure he's psyched about that.

Cedarford said...

Internet Ronin -

Eli Blake's military ignorance apparantly applies to you as well.

Defeating Iran doesn't require US ground troops sitting in the rubble of Irans parliament implementing nation building.

The Drill SGT said...

SMG said...Granted, since oil is fungible, our allies who do import oil from Iran will have to go elsewhere including from the sources where we get our oil.

an interesting question would be, who would be hurting more?

The world without Iranian oil for 100 days?

or

Iran with a gasoline blockade and a couple of fuel-air bombs on top of the one gasoline refinery in all of Iran?

My guess would be that Iran would self destruct first.

Internet Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

So our number of actual combat troops is limited to the degree that we no longer have the force to invade Iran (for that matter, the story out today that the Iraqi government has backed off their order that the Hessians from Blackwater get out because it would create a 'security vacuum' shows how thin we really are in Iraq.)

Eli, you're confusing two very different scenarios.

Our troops in Iraq are trying to control and pacify a country, in support of the native government. The situation is akin to that of South Vietnam in the late 1960s. That sort of activity requires a lot of boots on the ground, as we've seen.

Destroying the Iranian military and its nuclear research facilities, on the other hand, does NOT require a lot of boots on the ground. It doesn't necessarily require any boots on the ground at all, actually. Our Army and Marines are strained at the moment. Our Air Force and Navy are not. The latter two would be handling the bulk of the heavy lifting in military action against Iran.

The LAST thing we would want to do is send a lot of actual troops into Iran. The situation there is very different from the situation in Iraq pre-2003. The mullahs are widely disliked, but they haven't been anywhere near as bad to their people as Hussein was to his. The Iraq war has mostly been Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence; in Iran, the people would mostly be united against *us*. The smart move would be to stay in Iraq and remotely destroy the Iranian military.

Further, how is our $13 trillion economy relevant?

It is relevant because it means we can afford to spend hundreds of millions of dollars reducing Iran's military capacity to progressively smaller and smaller bits of rubble without feeling much of a sting.

It is further relevant because it means that if a serious threat arose, we can afford to dramatically increase the size of our military.

downtownlad said...

Smgalbraith has the same miniscule knowledge of economics that our administration has.

Maybe she needs to look up her history and see what's happened to the price of oil since we invaded Iraq - a country we had ZERO oil imports from.

Trooper York said...

Dryden: [to Bentley, on a meeting between Lawrence and Allenby] Well, I'll tell you. It's a little clash of temperament that's going on in there. Inevitably, one of them's half-mad - and the other, wholly unscrupulous.
(Lawrence of Arabia)

SMGalbraith said...

Smgalbraith has the same miniscule knowledge of economics that our administration has.

Please, your act is really getting tired.

The big bad pose is not really fooling anyone.

If you wish to engage in a civil exchange, I'll play along.

Otherwise, I'll move on.

Thanks.

By the way, it's "S" as in Steve.

Cheers.

SMG

Ann Althouse said...

I'm deleting that William crap.

downtownlad said...

Smgalbraith,

Your "act" of being unable to debate with facts and resorting to taunts is getting tiresome.

But typical for someone who has zero knowledge of economics.

Zero.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I vividly remember all those predictions of Armageddon and cowboy Reagan. Perhaps you are old enough to remember them as well?

Quite well actually as I was an 80s kid. Seems there was never a shortage of anti-nuke protests or end of the world movies during his tenure. I also remember a couple of catchy songs; It's a Mistake (Men at Work) and 99 Luft Balloons (forgot the German chick's name) which predicted the missiles flying. Then again I find it quite ironic that many of the folks of the identical political stripe who were so stridently anti-nuclear in the 1980s are completely blase on the subject now, particularly when it involves Iran. Then again that was at a time when they screamed that cutting Federal funding of hot lunches at schools meant millions of poor moppets would starve.

Now childhood obesity is an epidemic. My how the times do change.

jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SMGalbraith said...

Your "act" of being unable to debate with facts and resorting to taunts is getting tiresome.

Quote back to us my "taunt", please.

Last chance, my friend. Unlike others, I'm giving you a leash; but it's a short one.

SMG

downtownlad said...

But for those with a basic knowledge of economics, price is determined by the intersection of supply and demand. As the quantity of supply is reduced, as would happen with an invasion of Iraq, the supply curve moves leftward, raising the price.

It's irrelevant where "we" buy our oil from.

downtownlad said...

I don't want to debate you smgalbraith, you have proven to have zero knowledge of the situation. So there's no point.

Please ignore my posts, I'll have a discussion with others.

The Drill SGT said...

Downdownlad...

1. I would argue that your quote from a bit ago supports the Iranian President and refutes your claim that I can't produce one:

He's an elected President. He actually received a majority of the votes, which is more than George Bush could say in 2000.

But the power in Iran does not rest with the President, it rests with the Ayatollah's.

But that's irrelevant, because nobody actually cares about whether he's a dictator or not. What really matters is whether we can falsely convince Americans that he's the next Hitler.


2. As for your charges, they are flat out lies.

a.We know that Drill Sgt favors imprisoning gay people in this country. FALSE. never ever said that anywhere

b. In fact, he's stated that he thinks its perfectly constitutional to EXECUTE gay people in this country. FALSE absolutely not true

c. And he works in an industry that discriminates against gay people on a daily basis by firing them just for being gay.
FALSE. I work in the government consulting and IT industries and they are hardly gay free zones. Hell, some of my extended family is gay

All unfounded and false claims lacking a scintilla of truth, but typical of your attack style as anybody who reads this blog knows the difference in our styles.

I won't bother to respond further so take you best cheap shots kid.

downtownlad said...

Hoosier Daddy,

You are forgetting that Reagan advocated for "peace through strength". There is no way he would have gone to war with Iraq, let alone Iran.

Even when responding to events such as the Lockerbie bombing, he only used pinpoint retaliatory strikes in response.

zzRon said...

"I just have to say that, if i were gay, Palladian would be the man."


Agreed. Hell, I am on record as being at least somewhat of a closeted homophobe, and even I am mentally attracted to him :-).

SMGalbraith said...

Please ignore my posts, I'll have a discussion with others.

Thanks. I'm really going to miss your insight into domestic and international matters.

I hope others are following this because there are legions of folks here - from either end of the political spectrum - who wish to figure out how to get you from responding to their posts.

Legions, my friend.

SMG

downtownlad said...

FACT: Drill Sgt supports the repeal of Lawrence V. Texas which would result in the sodomy laws being put back in place in 13 states.

FACT: Drill Sgt thinks that Lawrence V. Texas should be repealed, and that if states wanted to pass a law saying that gays could be excuted - that that law would be constitutional.

And assuming your name is Drill sgt - I am assuming you have worked in the military. Apologies if that's not the case.

Regardless, I believe you live in a state where it is legal to fire gay people. Again, apologies if I'm mistaken.

Again - repeating the lies that I support the Iranian regime, simply because I am CORRECTLY pointing out that he was elected in a free and fair election.

downtownlad said...

FACT: The United States has executed people for being gay. Just like Iran.

downtownlad said...

Fact: George Bush had 3 soldiers sent to prison for 3 months for having gay sex.

Internet Ronin said...

FACT: The United States has executed people for being gay. Just like Iran.

Not that I'm really interested, but names and dates, please.

Revenant said...

Maybe she needs to look up her history and see what's happened to the price of oil since we invaded Iraq

Sounds like she isn't the only person who needs to look some stuff up. Economists don't consider the US invasion of Iraq to be a major factor in the increase in oil prices. The world oil supply actually *increased* substantially in 2003 and 2004.

downtownlad said...

I don't know names, but I've come across this before. I think this country executed 8 people for sodomy. The death penalty for Sodomy wasn't abolished in this country until 1869.

downtownlad said...

Revenant,

Of course the quantity increased. With the price at $83 a barrel, why wouldn't it increase? But it's not enough to keep up with demand. And the output from Iraq is still less than it was at pre-war levels. Now imagine what would happen if Iran was not producing any oil???? I don't care how much oil Saudi Arabia pumps out, it would still be a shock to the system and the price would go up.

downtownlad said...

Economists don't consider the US invasion of Iraq to be a major factor in the increase in oil prices.

Dumbest statement of the day.

Gedaliya said...

Of course the quantity increased. With the price at $83 a barrel, why wouldn't it increase? But it's not enough to keep up with demand. And the output from Iraq is still less than it was at pre-war levels. Now imagine what would happen if Iran was not producing any oil???? I don't care how much oil Saudi Arabia pumps out, it would still be a shock to the system and the price would go up.

The price would go up. The regime would fall. The price would go down.

Our $13 trillion economy would absorb the price shock handily. With the fascist Iranian regime consigned to the dustbin of history, the world would be a much safer place.

Seven Machos said...

George Bush personally had those prisoners sent to prison, based on a law implemented during the Clinton administration.

Downtown: names and dates of your sodomites, please. "I think maybe I heard once..." -- That doesn't cut it.

hdhouse said...

I'm surprised that Rudy could get a word out with Hannity's tongue down his throat.

Tim said...

"Dumbest statement of the day."

No, this one is:

"Again - repeating the lies that I support the Iranian regime, simply because I am CORRECTLY pointing out that he was elected in a free and fair election."

Only a mind suffering from tertiary syphilis could possibly believe any election in contemporary Iran was "a free and fair election."

Or, more likely, you're just lying to make a point.

tjl said...

"Fact: George Bush had 3 soldiers sent to prison for 3 months for having gay sex"

Rather than ask for documentation for such an unlikely event, dtl, let's agree that Bush is solely and personally to blame. While Congress had something to do with enacting the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Bush is of course ultimately responsible merely by existing.

Seven: "sodomites" was unkind,as well as a little archaic. Don't throw more kindling on dtl's fire.

hdhouse said...

Gedaliya said...
I'd like one of our resident leftists to answer Kimball's question:....

Well honest to God Gedaliya, I thought I was looking for a pony....was there a question in there too?

Joe said...

Ahmadinejad has always struck me as an idiot who is really good at getting promoted. Letting him say stupid shit seems like the best way to expose him.

downtownlad said...

Seven - You can Google as well as the rest of us. I've already Googled it and produced names. Four people have been executed here.

Tim - Please provide one iota of evidence that the Iranian election was rigged.

You do realize that he defeated the incumbent President, don't you?

Now if the President were really a dictator, do you think Rafsanjani would have allowed himself to be defeated?

Ahmadinejad is only allowed to run for one more term anyway. So if you're going to go to war with Iran, it's silly to try and make the reason that Ahmadinejad is the next Hitler.

ZPS said...

This is all so predictable and childish.

Shame on Ahmadinejad, Columbia, Giuliani & Hannity, the people who came to the speech, the people planning on protesting at the UN...and whoever else has anything to say about this.

Ahmadinejad is no better or different than Britney Spears. The more attention and hype surrounding him, the more likely that whatever he's going to say will be a let down or, like Britney, he'll totally bomb (pardon the pun). And all his protesters and supporters are no better than that androgynous kid on YouTube seeking to capitalize on a banal, innane, and redundant performance. Wow...way to go out on a limb there, Giuliani. And equally wow, way to be provocative, Columbia.

Ahmadinejad is loving all this attention, so congratulations.

I never thought I'd say this, but Ann's BF Bush actually said it best today, without any fanfare and without any dramatics:

"If the (Columbia) president thinks it's a good idea to have the leader from Iran come and talk to the students as an educational experience, I guess it's OK with me."

downtownlad said...

The soldiers were imprisoned AFTER Lawrence V. Texas, so not only did George Bush imprison them, but he was violating their Constitutional rights.

Hoosier Daddy said...

DTL said: You are forgetting that Reagan advocated for "peace through strength". There is no way he would have gone to war with Iraq, let alone Iran.

I didn't forget anything. I don't recall making any statement or implying that he would. But you are correct in that he did go out of his way to rebuild the US military and was readily decried as a warmonger. Needless to say Clinton used the military more than Reagan did. Go figure.

Even when responding to events such as the Lockerbie bombing, he only used pinpoint retaliatory strikes in response.

And with good effect as the good Colonel pretty much lied low for the next couple decades or so.

downtownlad said...

I'll also note the response from the Bush Administration after Iran executed the two gay teenagers.

SILENCE.

downtownlad said...

Clinton used the military way too much.

But it pales in comparison to Bush.

Invading countries that have never threatened us is insane.

Is that hard to actually "engage" Iran??? Heck - even Reagan did that.

The Drill SGT said...

TJL,

The issue ought to be that the Democratic Congress hasn't modified the UCMJ, and of course it could at any time eliminate:

Article 125—Sodomy

“(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient
to complete the offense.

(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall by punished as a court-martial may direct.”



Till it does, 7M is crude but factual.

there is also a piece of article 134 that they would need to tidy up:

Article 134-29--Indecent acts with another

Internet Ronin said...

Drill Sgt: Good points [compressed but not edited]:

an interesting question would be, who would be hurting more? The world without Iranian oil for 100 days? or Iran with a gasoline blockade and a couple of fuel-air bombs on top of the one gasoline refinery in all of Iran? My guess would be that Iran would self destruct first.

Why only 100 days? Would the lack of oil and LNG production be confined to Iran or extend to Venezuela, Sudan, and Russia?

If, by Iran self-destructing, you are referring to the regime sel-destructing, by all accounts they keep a very close control over their oil fields (and who is running them). It would not be beyond the realm of reason to to assume that their facilities and pipelines are wired for destruction. Or that those facing complete annihiliation would not take those facilities with them in a "blaze of glory" and final statement (as it were).

Eventually, on this President's watch or the next President's watch, the problem of a nuclear Iran will have to be dealt with, and the odds are, as they have been some time, that dealing with that will require military action by interested nations. There are now over 2,000 identified sites that require taking out in order to stop that. Our Air Force can accomplish much of that task, I'm sure, but it will not be a cake-walk air campaign like in Iraq, and the cost in men and airplanes will not be small. (I don't mean to imply that you said it would be.)

Given our current deployments elsewhere, I think you would agree that it is highly unlikely that we can sustain a serious land attack in Iran for any great length of time. Few harbor any illusions that there is some great mass of Iranians waiting to welcome us or assist us in any way.

At the same time, it seems to me that the law of unintended consequences is the one thing people arguing here and elsewhere perennially discount, and deeply at that. Iran does not exist in a vacuum and extremely powerful nations have their own interests that we have thus far not been able to tie-in sufficiently with our own to give us anything remotely resembling a free hand.

Revenant said...

Of course the quantity increased. With the price at $83 a barrel, why wouldn't it increase?

If you'd been paying attention, DTL, you'd have noticed I said the world oil supply increased in 2003 and 2004. The price wasn't $83 in 2003 and 2004.

And the output from Iraq is still less than it was at pre-war levels.

Yes, but Iraq wasn't contributing significantly to world oil supplies before the war, because UN sanctions strictly limited its ability to sell its oil on the international market. So while Iraqi oil production has decreased somewhat, the effect on the *world* market has been marginal -- since that oil may not freely be sold.

Now imagine what would happen if Iran was not producing any oil????

The price of oil would increase somewhat. This would not cause the economy of the United States to "implode", as you claimed, although it might cause a recession in the short term.

I don't care how much oil Saudi Arabia pumps out, it would still be a shock to the system and the price would go up.

If you want to rephrase your claim to be nothing more than "Attacking Iran will cause oil prices to go up" then I don't think anyone will disagree with you. Of course, you're either ignoring or blissfully unaware of the fact that a nuclear-armed Iran will also cause an increase in oil prices.

The thing the market hates the most is uncertainty. An unstable Islamist state with nukes, right smack in the middle of the world's oil fields, is a big source of uncertainty, especially when that nation regularly declares its intentions to annihilate other nuclear powers in the area.

Internet Ronin said...

1869??? 1869??? ALMOST ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS AGO AND YOU WANT TO BEAT PEOPLE OVER THE HEAD WITH THIS? And you can't even prove your allegation that you trot out with regularity? Oh for pity's sake, grow up.

Gedaliya said...

Why does every conversation get taken over by DTL's insane obsession with his penis?

It boggles the mind.

tjl said...

"The issue ought to be that the Democratic Congress hasn't modified the UCMJ, and of course it could at any time eliminate:
Article 125—Sodomy"

I agree! My comment was directed at dtl and his grandiose view of the powers of the executive branch.

Internet Ronin said...

TJL wrote:

Seven: "sodomites" was unkind,as well as a little archaic. Don't throw more kindling on dtl's fire.

I don't know, I was thinking more along the lines of "archaically quaint" and how well it flowed in the context (not rendering judgment on the word or the thought, just the phrasing). We all know it doesn't take much to fuel DTL's fire. Mao's observation that "a single spark can light a prairie fire" seems apt - DTL carries around his own prairie as well. It would appear that living in a world of absolutes, only black and white, is highly self-entertaining. Oh well, his choice, not ours.

(BTW, haven't seen you in quite some time- drop by my blog some day and give a shout out.)

The Drill SGT said...

IR,

I don't know the answers to the questions you posed.

Iran is our enemy, that is a fact

they want nukes, that is a fact

their economy is very fragile, with a single soft point of failure, gasoline, that is a fact.

how suicidal their leadership is? I have no clue.

How the populace would react? Not sure, but most every society attacked by bombing has rallied around the government.

Will they be happy campers as they starve and freeze once the economy grinds to a halt? I don't know

would other nations like Russia miss an opportunity to make money in order to worsen the world economy for solidarity with Iran? I don't know.

Revenant said...

Clinton used the military way too much. But it pales in comparison to Bush. Invading countries that have never threatened us is insane.

Why is it "insane" to invade a country that never threatened us but, apparently, NOT insane to bomb a country that never threatened us?

Bush attacked one nation that (in your view, at least) didn't threaten us: Iraq. The thing is, Clinton ALSO attacked Iraq, on multiple occasions -- and a number of other harmless countries as well.

tjl said...

"I was thinking more along the lines of "archaically quaint"

Ronin, I thought "sodomite" really hadn't been in current use since the Oscar Wilde trial.

As for not fueling dtl's fire, the less rational basis he has, the more entertaining his comments become.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Clinton used the military way too much....But it pales in comparison to Bush.

No argument there.

Invading countries that have never threatened us is insane.

Personally I would have just left Saddam alone in GW1. Heck in hindsight, it would have really broken my heart had he went straight into Saudi Arabia, wiped the royal house out and killed Wahhabists by the truckload. We may not have the problems with AQ today if he had. He still had to sell the oil in any event.

Is that hard to actually "engage" Iran??? Heck - even Reagan did that.

To the extent we got the hostages back. We haven't had diplomatic relations since 1979. After all it was the Iranians who essentially declared war on us by taking over our embassy (American soil by protocol) so why we should have to go crawling to them I don't know.

If Mahmoud wants to come to Columbia, I could really care less. As far as I am concerned let him spout his Holocaust denial crap.If people think a head of state that executes homosexuals and people who commit infidelity or beat women who can't cover their hair properly has anything worthwhile to say then it just goes to show that even at $30K a year for tuition can't buy intelligence.

Internet Ronin said...

how suicidal their leadership is? I have no clue.

Neither do I, but I think a reasonable assumption is that they are not suicidal at all, otherwise they would not be in power. What happens when they face a 100% certainty of being removed forcefully is another question.

Will they be happy campers as they starve and freeze once the economy grinds to a halt? I don't know

I think it is a good bet they won't be. And an equally good bet that by that point there will be nothing they can do about it anyway because the various deeds will already have been done by the various actors.

would other nations like Russia miss an opportunity to make money in order to worsen the world economy for solidarity with Iran? I don't know.

It seems to me that history shows that foreign policy is 99.999% of the time about national self-interest, and that does not always involve maximizing temporary profits, or expressing solidarity, although those things can be considered in such a calculation. They can also be completely ignored.

Internet Ronin said...

tjl:

I had thought about changing my profile occupation to "Sodomite" but I see it is not option. This is an outrage. Perhaps DTL will launch a campaign. We can but hope.

The Drill SGT said...

IR, you were making good sense till this one:

It seems to me that history shows that foreign policy is 99.999% of the time about national self-interest,

I think you'd agree that doesn't cover: Personal self-interest of the leading Junta add that to National self-interest and you get to the 99+% level. Frankly I think the personal out ranks the national in most cases.

example, suing for peace by the Germans or the Japanese earlier made perfect sense from a national perspective, but would have been personally destructive to the leaders of both countries, hence they fought on while their nations were further destroyed on the way to certain defeat.

Gedaliya said...

how suicidal their leadership is? I have no clue.

The Islamic regime is no more suicidal than was its predecessor. There is an enormous pro-American and pro-Western population that seethes under the jackboots of the Mullah fascists. If Iran provoked the US or Israel to take military action against it, I suspect the regime would quickly fall under its own weight.

Iran is not Iraq. The country is (relatively) homogeneous ethnically, religiously and culturally. It is not, like Iraq, an artificial political entity assembled in a meeting room by British bureaucrats after WWII.

I think the regime's days are numbered, and it is in our national interest to see that it falls sooner than later.

Steve said...

I am a gay man and somewhat liberal and think the president of Iran is a complete disgrace.

Columbia had every right to invite to him speak and we have every right to commnet on the invitation.

I think he proved himself a fool and either a liar or completely delusional. I am going to go with liar because I don't think he is completely stupid.

Iran's human rights record in relations to gays is well documented, videotaped and examined. For him to say there are no gays in Iraq is insane. I think he may of meant there are not gays that can be out because they would kill them. But there are plenty of gay people in Iran. CBN did a fascinating story on gays in Iran which is posted on youtube if you care to watch it.

If you are gay the Iranian government is willing to pay for a sex change operation for you to cure you of being gay.

I have supported the PGLO which is a gay organization in Iran and give them money to help them. I feel awful for these gay people in Iran who live in the shadows. They are arrested for having parties at their homes and charged with crimes such as rape. The sad part is that the younger generation of Iranians are much more worldly than the older generation and hate the current regime. The economy is in the tank and their only business is oil and government.

I am not a religious person but I do pray that the gays and women in Iran will some day be able to live in peace and free from the hell that they are experiencing today. I wish the same for all the gay people in the repressive middle eastern countries as well as many of the other repressive countries throughout world.

Many liberal minded americans are not aligned to this mad man and his current government. I feel the same way about most of the other repressive regimes within the middle east.

The one bright spot in the middle east for gay people which i have been to is Beirut. Granted it is not Provincetown but for the most part gay men are able to live relatively free and not arrested, tortured or even killed for being gay.

Just look at the picture of the two gay youths who were hung recently in Iran. Very sad. I wish the US would do more to try and get these individuals into our country. Canada has an exceptional record of granting gay people asylum from countries that would persecute them.

Palladian said...

"The one bright spot in the middle east for gay people which i have been to is Beirut."

I don't know much about Beirut, so I'll take your word for it. But you're forgetting the one, even brighter spot in the Middle East for gay people: Israel.

Revenant said...

Neither do I, but I think a reasonable assumption is that they are not suicidal at all, otherwise they would not be in power.

The problem here is that we're using the term "suicidal" when the correct term would be "willing to die for a cause".

Obviously the Iranian leadership isn't suicidal, but there is ample reason to think that they may be willing to sacrifice their lives to strike a significant blow for Islam -- destroying Israel, for example. They keep SAYING that they're willing to do this, at any rate, and it isn't like there is a shortage of genuine Muslim nutcases who really do feel that way. What reason is there to believe that the Iranian leadership is just kidding when they talk about being willing to die in order to destroy the enemies of Islam?

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Rev,

I must agree. When a Madman is a world leader and he tells you in advance that he intends to commit mass murder, we ought to pay attention.

I'm thinking Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, all of whom wrote and spoke about their plans in advance.

Sloanasaurus said...

It was an obvious mistake to let Amid speak at Columbia. However, we now know that Amid is not a brilliant politician. He is a complete dope with no understanding of the western media. If he was smart he would have down the following:

1) just deny in english that he never denied the holocaust. Straight out lying works for the Left in this country all the time. The media would have given him a pass. Saying x to your own people and y to the western press in english works wonders. Arafat did it constantly.

2) In response to the gay question he should have been cryptic...saying something like the people of his country legislate those laws. Some sort of pro democracy response.

If he made these responses, the western media would have instead printed sound bites like "Amid says Bush is causing global warming" or "Amid says Bush is aggressive"... the usual lefty stuff.

Instead Amid got the sound bites he didn't want. Too bad for him. Too bad for the left. Good for the rest of us.

Gedaliya said...

What reason is there to believe that the Iranian leadership is just kidding when they talk about being willing to die in order to destroy the enemies of Islam?

Well, there is every reason to believe they would destroy Israel if they had the means. Would they do this if it meant the annihilation of the Iranian nation...the complete destruction of Tehran? I doubt it very much.

It is likely that Israel has at least 250 hydrogen bombs. Even if Tel Aviv was nuked, the Israelis would retaliate. I genuinely believe that the Iranians can be deterred by a superior nuclear force.

Internet Ronin said...

Iran is not Iraq. The country is (relatively) homogeneous ethnically, religiously and culturally. It is not, like Iraq, an artificial political entity assembled in a meeting room by British bureaucrats after WWII.

Are you sure about that statement? IIRC, only 51% of the country is Persian, the other 49% are Azeris (who have been rioting by the tens of thousands on occasion), Kurds (who form majorities along much of the border with Iraq and have rioted in large numbers recently), Baluchis (a majority in the areas bordering Pakistan who have rioted in large numbers recently), and Arabs (a majority in the oil-producing provinces, I believe)

Hoosier Daddy said...

But you're forgetting the one, even brighter spot in the Middle East for gay people: Israel.

Heh, its almost ironic that the one nation in the ME that actually provides political and social freedom is viewed as a pariah by much of the UN membership.

For some reason that reminds me of a anti-war rally picture I saw a few years ago and there where these girls marching with signs that said Free Palestine and they were all wearing the ubiquitous Arafat keffiyeh (wrapped around their necks of course) along with their mid-riff shirts, flashy naval piercing and hip-hugging jeans. And there I was wondering how far they'd make it down a street in 'free Palestine' dressed like that.

I think Lenin referred to them as 'useful idiots'.

The Drill SGT said...

Steve,

I don't know you location or background but let me ask this in all seriousness:

Why does a Columbia want to prevent our Army from speaking on campus because of a policy imposed by Congress, and yet it opens its arms to a killer like this Iranian?

I could understand if there was either equal or proportional outrage from the liberal and gay communities of academia, I can't understand the inversion of outrage unless it is just flat out anti-Americanism and anti-military bias pretending to be this gay anti-discrimination stuff.

Internet Ronin said...

Revenant, in answer to your question, I agree with Gedaliya.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I can't understand the inversion of outrage unless it is just flat out anti-Americanism and anti-military bias pretending to be this gay anti-discrimination stuff.

Sgt, I have to believe its the anti-military/anti-Americanism and that the gay issue is a convenient front. Heck Columbia's dean said even Hitler would have a welcome platform for debate if he wanted.

Yet have the head of the Minutemen come to address illegal immigration and they'll just have the kids storm the stage because that kind of debate is simply too much to tolerate.

Gedaliya said...

Are you sure about that statement?

I was careful to use the word "relatively" in my sentence. You are correct, that the country has three main ethnic groups. Even so, they have co-existed in the same political entity for centuries, and have lived together in relative harmony over that time (compared to other countries in the region).

Internet Ronin said...

Drill Sgt: Good point:
think you'd agree that doesn't cover: Personal self-interest of the leading Junta add that to National self-interest and you get to the 99+% level. Frankly I think the personal out ranks the national in most cases.

Although, wouldn't you agree that most ruling elites believe that whatever they define as national self-interest is national self-interest.

example, suing for peace by the Germans or the Japanese earlier made perfect sense from a national perspective, but would have been personally destructive to the leaders of both countries, hence they fought on while their nations were further destroyed on the way to certain defeat.

True, but having read much contemporary material from WWII WRT Japan and the War Cabinet minutes and other documents I recall them revealing far less perceived or transparent self-interest than you or I would have assumed.

The Drill SGT said...

Gedaliya said in part... I genuinely believe that the Iranians can be deterred by a superior nuclear force.

This assumes that they believe that we will use nukes to defend our national interest.

MAD - mutually assured destruction worked with the Soviets because ultimately they were the same old sane Russian Imperialists. They wanted to rule the world, not destroy it and their kids.

The Iranians can defeat us by "acting crazy". You can't threaten MAD as well with crazy people, the rationale doesn't work with the apparently irrational.

The Drill SGT said...

OK< what about that Hitler about: "The German people don't deserve to survive if we am defeated" stuff

Gedaliya said...

This assumes that they believe that we will use nukes to defend our national interest.

They know deep in their hearts that the Israelis will annihilate their entire culture in the event of a nuclear attack on Israel.

The Iranians can defeat us by "acting crazy". You can't threaten MAD as well with crazy people, the rationale doesn't work with the apparently irrational.

I don't believe the Iranian Mullahs are irrational.

The Drill SGT said...

Oh yeah, I'm sure they know that the Zionists will push the button.

They take that "Never again" stuff to heart.

My point was more on the fact that nuclear bluster will work with their neighbors and the EU and to a lesser extent on the US.

AlphaLiberal said...

Saudi Arabian citizens are arming Sunni militias in Iraq and fighting in Iraq, killing US troops. They've been doing this for some time. Sunni militias have been , you know, killing American troops.

So why don't Cheney-Bush get all hot and bothered toward Saudi Arabia for killing American troops?

MORE:
"the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, "

"About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia;"

"Fighters from Saudi Arabia are thought to have carried out more suicide bombings than those of any other nationality,"


The liars and hypocrites want another war in Iran. And the herd is being stampeded again.

Link

Gedaliya said...

So why don't Cheney-Bush get all hot and bothered toward Saudi Arabia for killing American troops?

There is no evidence that the Saudi regime is behind these militias. In fact, the Saudi regime assists the US in tracking down and destroying the militias. They hate the House of Saud as much as they hate us.

You must realize that Bin Laden is as much a threat to the House of Saud as he is to the United States.

Internet Ronin said...

Again, I agree with you, Gedaliya. I should have added that I have idly wondered just how complacent these minorities may be in the future. As the surrounding areas were usually overrun by far less desirable groups, were the Persians "the best of a bad lot" and the view from within at their ethnic kindred without something along the lines of, "there but for the grace of God go I?"

Now, in the 21st century, as regimes fall and tribalism reawakens, how satisfied are they? Azeris are at long last calling their own shots in Azerbaijan, Kurds are closer than ever to establishing their own state, with Afghanistan and Pakistan tottering, will the Baluchis feel the pull of a rump Baluchistan. Will a soft partition of Iraq and increasing cross border contact promote a Shi'ite Arab solidarity and demands for a greater portion of the oil wealth. I don't have any answers, real or imagined, but I can't help but believe the Iranian government is more than a bit concerned about all of them.

Steve said...

Sorry I meant Beirut when referring to muslim middle eastern countries.

Obviously, Israel, which is great is for the most part similar to New Jersey for the gay people. Tel Aviv which I have also spent time in reminds me of a Boston or Philadelphia. Fairly liberal, cosmopolitan and open minded.

Internet Ronin said...

There is no evidence that the Saudi regime is behind these militias. In fact, the Saudi regime assists the US in tracking down and destroying the militias. They hate the House of Saud as much as they hate us.

True, but there is ample evidence that the financing of these activities largely comes from Saudis and that the Saudi government has done little to stop it, until sfter someone makes it public. And the Saudi government has done almost nothing about the scores of radical Wahhabi preachers in their midst.

(Ironic Notation: Did anyone else know that Wahhabis object to being called Wahhabis? They consider themselves Unitarians.)

Gedaliya said...

I don't have any answers, real or imagined, but I can't help but believe the Iranian government is more than a bit concerned about all of them.

Well, I'm an optimist by nature, and while we could all adopt Yeats' fear that the "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold..." it is not in in my power to descend to that state of mind.

When the Mullahs fall, my guess is that the army and large secular "center" will indeed hold the Persian nation together. But of course, things could fly apart. I'm just not wired to think that is the most likely outcome.

Gedaliya said...

True, but there is ample evidence that the financing of these activities largely comes from Saudis and that the Saudi government has done little to stop it, until sfter someone makes it public. And the Saudi government has done almost nothing about the scores of radical Wahhabi preachers in their midst.

Yes. However, I was responding to AlphaLiberal's charge that the Saudi government is as dangerous to our national interest as that of the Iranian Mullahs...and I do not think that is true, despite the facts you state.

Steve said...

Drill Sgt,

I live in NYC and went to NYU undergrad and received my MBA from Harvard. So yes I went to elite northeast colleges but for the most part they are very good schools which believe it or not do have SOME diversity in their teachers. I believe in freedom of speech vehemently and believe these universities as well as all universities should bring in many different viewpoints to speak. Heck, when I was at Harvard Ann Coulter spoke and she said it was one of the most civilized groups she has ever spoken to.

I think the ROTC has the right to be at any university in this country.

I don't agree with the policy of Columbia or any college that does not allow them to be on their university grounds. Students should have the choice regarding the ROTC. Have them on the campus and let the students choose whether to participate or not.

I hope that answers your question.

And I do consider myself fairly liberal.

Pogo said...

Columbia University once again provides considerable evidence for historian Paul Johnson's wise insight that for two or three generations, the US left has repeatedly appeared hellbent on committing national suicide.

Steve said...

I do think the Columbia invitation made Ahmadinejad look like a fool and a liar. So in that respect the invitation was helpful.

Otherwise, I completely disagree with Columbia giving him a platform. He is crazy, a liar and dangerous. I am glad the president of Columbia pointed it out that he is a cruel dictator.

Also, I am jewish and will support Israel until my last breath. Israel is a land of sanity surrounded by a sea of hate and craziness.

There is a reason that Israel has a thriving economy and the rest of the Middle East survives predoominately on its oil revenue.

The economy of Israel is a free market creative environment that is technologically saavy. The rest of the middle eastern countries primary source of income is oil.

This may sound harsh but one day I hope that we are able to choke the rest of the middle east in terms of our independence of oil. Hopefully, this will require these countries to move into the 21st century.

Gedaliya said...

Steve...did you read Roger Kimball's piece that I linked to up thread?

rcocean said...

So Columbia invited the President of Iran to speak and answer questions.

Big whoop.

Let him speak, and let the President of Columbia criticize him.

Iran isn't Nazi Germany; its not even Castro's Cuba .

Steve said...

Gedaylia,

Where is your link? I just tried to look back on the postings and couldn't find it.

Tim said...

So, the liar demands proof. Here it is, from the notorious neoconservative NPR:

NPR.org, June 17, 2005 · Iranian voters go the polls Friday to choose a successor to outgoing president Mohamed Khatami. Pro-democracy activists have criticized the election because a council of clerics disqualified many potential candidates. But it shows signs of being the most tightly contested presidential race since the founding of the Islamic Republic more than a quarter-century ago.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4705530

There's more, but I'm not doing your research.

Obviously you choose to defend the Iranian council of clerics (i.e., ruling mullahs) who disqualified many potential candidates. Like I said, only a mind suffering from tertiary syphilis could possibly believe any election in contemporary Iran was "a free and fair election."

Or, more likely, you're just lying, again, to make a point.

Too bad you hate Bush so much you'd whore yourself out, willingly, to the Iranian Mullahs.

Revenant said...

Well, there is every reason to believe they would destroy Israel if they had the means. Would they do this if it meant the annihilation of the Iranian nation...the complete destruction of Tehran?

What is your basis for doubting that? Iran has been steadily escalating hostilities against Israel ever since the mullahs took over, even though doing so does considerable harm to Iran itself by isolating it economically and politically. Where's the evidence that the folks running Iran actually *care* if lots of Iranians die?

Look at Saddam Hussein. He could have abdicated and scampered off to some shithole nation where his money could buy a lifetime of security. He chose to not only stay and die, but to kill a whole lot of his countrymen in the process. He's not the first world leader to pull that stunt, either. Now either he didn't really think we'd attack -- in which case he deluded himself, because everyone ELSE in the world knew we were going to attack -- or he decided he'd rather die than do the sensible thing.

Are we really so confident that a bunch of religious fanatics, most of whom are old and due to die soon anyway, are going to choose self-preservation over the expressed will of Allah? I'm not so confident.

Gedaliya said...

Steve...

Here it is:

Roger Kimball on Columbia

Revenant said...

I don't believe the Iranian Mullahs are irrational.

They're religious fundamentalists. They are, by definition, irrational with regard to their key beliefs.

Gedaliya said...

Are we really so confident that a bunch of religious fanatics, most of whom are old and due to die soon anyway, are going to choose self-preservation over the expressed will of Allah? I'm not so confident.

Well, the basis of my "confidence," if you call it that, is Israel's nuclear arsenal. MAD is a difficult doctrine to embrace, but it's worked in the past.

Yes, I saw (and loved and still love) Dr. Strangelove. Even so, I don't think the Iranians are going to build a Doomsday Machine anytime soon. Even the Mullahs, in my view, don't want to go down in history as the last of the Persians to live on earth.

Luckyoldson said...

The "Queen" + Sean Hannity.

'nuff said?

Steve said...

Gedayila,

Thanks for the link. I agree with much of what Roger Kimball writes about.

One quote that I don't agree with is this, "listening" is indeed tantamount to an endorsement". I listened and watched the entire talk and don't endorse it. It reinforced my view that Ahmadinejad is dangerous crazy and a liar.

I listen to many individuals and done endorse or agree with them.

As I stated earlier I do not think Columbia should of given this madman a platform to speak. I thought he looked even more senile than I thought.

Revenant said...

Well, the basis of my "confidence," if you call it that, is Israel's nuclear arsenal. MAD is a difficult doctrine to embrace, but it's worked in the past.

I get the impression that you didn't bother reading my post.

Yes, Israel could annihilate them. The question I was driving at is: are we sure they'll care? A policy of Mutually Assured Destruction only works if both sides actually *care* whether or not they're annihilated. If one side considers its own death to be a fair trade for the death of the other side, it won't work at all.

Furthermore, the Iranian mullahs don't consider Iran to be the entirety of their "side". They're not the only Shiites, and nowhere close to the only Muslims. MAD between Israel and Iran would rid the world of Israel at a cost of only a small fraction of the Islamic world.

Iran's been throwing away Muslim lives -- via suicide, even -- for *years* just to *hurt* the Israelis. What is the rational basis for thinking that a group of people willing to trade thousands of Muslim lives for thousands of Israeli lives won't be willing to up the numbers into the "millions" range?

Luckyoldson said...

How many Iranians were among the 9/11 terrorists?

Who did we (Reagan/Bush/Rummy/Cheney) support against Iran...you, know...as partners with...Saddam?

Steve said...

I love Dr. Strangelove too. Perhaps one of the best movies ever.

Peter Sellers was incredible.

There are so many amazing scenes in that movie. Kubrick was a true genious.

Luckyoldson said...

Right wing suckassssses.

Luckyoldson said...

Steve said: "Kubrick was a true genious."

And also a flaming liberal.

garage mahal said...

Obviously the Iranian leadership isn't suicidal, but there is ample reason to think that they may be willing to sacrifice their lives to strike a significant blow for Islam -- destroying Israel, for example

So obviously the Iranian leadership isn't suicidal, but they are suicidal if it comes to attacking Israel, whom they've never attacked, and would surely be suicidal. Sounds like a non problem for us, and Israel even. Good!

Iran couldn't launch any missile a 500 feet before they would be razed by either Israel or the US with Destroyers parked off their coast. I'm not sure what could seriously be keeping anyone up at night, over. Unless you call NRO your home.

Gedaliya said...

Iran's been throwing away Muslim lives -- via suicide, even -- for *years* just to *hurt* the Israelis. What is the rational basis for thinking that a group of people willing to trade thousands of Muslim lives for thousands of Israeli lives won't be willing to up the numbers into the "millions" range?

I read your post. The rational basis of my view is that the size of Israel's arsenal is large enough to annihilate the entire Persian culture, and a good deal of the rest of Middle East Islam as well. In other words, I believe in the MAD doctrine, despite the fact that there may be some rogue elements in the regime willing to destroy themselves in order to destroy Israel.

I am old enough to remember when similar questions were raised regarding the communists. In fact, as a younger man, I raised these questions myself. Many people during those days felt that the MAD doctrine was fatally weak precisely for the same reasons you raised in your post, i.e., that there exists some core group of people in the regime (then communist, now Islamic) with the power to initiate a nuclear holocaust to further their ultimate aims.

Yet...it never happened. Why? Because those in power don't want to destroy their entire culture to further an abstract political or religious cause.

I believe the certainty of annihilation prevents the Mullahs from making that step, and even if there is a General Ripper among them, I doubt he'd have the power to trigger a nuclear war with Israel.

Revenant said...

So obviously the Iranian leadership isn't suicidal, but they are suicidal if it comes to attacking Israel, whom they've never attacked

Making the boldfaced statement above lands you firmly in the "hopelessly ignorant" category where Middle Eastern politics are concerned. Further opinions from you will be summarily dismissed as beneath my notice.

Revenant said...

The rational basis of my view is that the size of Israel's arsenal is large enough to annihilate the entire Persian culture, and a good deal of the rest of Middle East Islam as well.

There is no reason to believe that Israel will respond to a nuclear attack by Iran by attempting to annihilate "Middle East Islam". That has never been their stated policy, and they'd gain nothing by doing so.

You keep talking about "Persian culture". You're not offering any evidence that the mullahs value it much, and certainly not offering any evidence that they value it more than they value the will of God.

I am old enough to remember when similar questions were raised regarding the communists.

"People said that about the communists and were wrong, so people who say it about Muslim religious nuts must be wrong too" is such a nonsensical argument that I don't even know where to begin discussing it. I guess 9/11 really WAS fake, because we all know that our enemies won't kill themselves to attack us.

Yet...it never happened. Why?

Because the ultimate goal of the leaders of the Soviet Union was political power. We have no reason to believe that that is the ultimate goal of the mullahs, and their behavior over the last few decades -- in particular, constantly provoking and attacking the Israelis -- indicates that it isn't. Unlike the Soviet invasions of its neighbors and attempts to destabilize America-friendly regimes, the Iranian attacks on Israel lack even the most tenuous connection to Iranian self-interest -- they cost Iran a fortune, make it an international pariah, and constantly run the risk of military retribution by the Israelis. Yet the Iranians keep at it.

In closing, I would like to draw attention to the absurdity of your presuming that a people who believe the Holocaust never really happened are going to be making rational decisions based on the same axioms that you are.

garage mahal said...

How so Revenant. I missed the Great Israel/Iran War. But hey, what do I know, I'm betting Iran won't trade conventional for nukes. Kook, I know!

Paul Ciotti said...

Columbia is a screwed up school. I know. I graduated from it in the sixties. Still, the students are pretty good (especially nowadays) and I see no reason why they need to be protected from the opinions of Ahmadinejad--or anyone else.

Seven Machos said...

Speaking of John Stuart Mill, which another post speaks of, I am very glad that this petty and cruel dictator was able to speak at Columbia. He made a total ass of himself and looked like an idiot.

I love the United States. For all our faults, we are the City on a Hill. Look at us. We fight about everything, but in this very act of fighting are two amazing and powerful built-in assumptions:

1. that we can speak freely and exchange information without any fear;

2. that there is a right answer and that we can convince others that we have it.

At the end of the day, like today, the true and the good rises to the top and we can all appreciate what a lame tool Ahmadinejad is compared to all of us.

Kumbayah, motherfuckers.

Jacob said...

I am surprised by Lee Bollingers opening remarks about the President of Iran. How awful! Do you invite someone to chop them to pieces? Or do you invite someone to let them speak? How awful!

Internet Ronin said...

Seven, that was remarkable, nay beautiful post, Reaganesque in fact, right up to the very last line, when you chose to utterly destroy it.

Internet Ronin said...

As his statements after his capture demonstrate, Saddam Hussein was a far more rational actor than many thought he was. I think Gedaliya's points about MAD and the Iranian an powers-that-be are well-made.

Revenant said...

Saddam Hussein was a far more rational actor than many thought he was.

That Hussein was a rational actor actually undermines Gedaliya's point, in my opinion. If even rational actors can end up taking actions guaranteed to destroy their regimes and leave them entirely at the mercy of foreign powers, then there can't be ANY way of being confident that the mullahs will make the right decision here.

Methadras said...

Verso said...

Ah, there you go. Now you're sounding more and more like ... Ahmadinejad.

Funny how that works, isn't it?


Yeah, that is funny how it works. At least in your mind which seems to be working kind of funny. So since you've characterized my distaste and disgust with Leftism and wanting it to see it expunged as a political and philosophical thought, I have to wonder how you can make such a morally equivalent argument that I'm sounding more and more like Mr. fuzzy face?

I haven't asked for political leftists to be rounded up and hung unlike Mr. Squinty eyed smiley face has in his country. Where he and his regime round up homosexuals and hangs them, political dissidents, accused Americans as spies and makes them disappear, repressed Iranian women with culture police, and a whole laundry list of other repressions that this nutjob undertakes. And yet because you may be a mealy-mouthed leftist, you squeal like a little girl that I'm sounding like Mr. Monkey because I don't like Leftists and Leftism. I don't. It's no secret, but for you to conclude or even assert a conclusion that I may in fact want what Mr. Mongoloid wants is irrational, stupid, and typical of a emotionally charged non-thinker such as yourself.

You are from the authoritarian right, your values are in direct conflict with American values, and you — like all authoritarian conservatives — have far, far more in common with an authoritarian thug like Ahmadinejad than you do with Madison, Jefferson, or Hamilton.

I'm a conservative and that's not a secret. What you should be ashamed of, however, is engaging in this type of nonsensical smear tactic that paints not only an inaccurate picture of my political philosophies, but characterizes what I say as being equative to Mr. 7th Centure. Frankly, you don't appear to come of as very bright with this 5th grade attempt at marginalization. Nice try, but you've failed.

It is worth noting that Ahmadinejad shares your values: he wouldn't let you speak in Iran any more than you'd let him speak in the US. Neither one of you believes in American values. You both despise what this country stands for.

You are an idiot. I wouldn't allow this mental midget sponsor of terrorism with the blood of numerous American men and women on his hands anywhere near my country. This isn't about speech, this is about being accommodating to a known enemy of my country. If you want to live in your made up fantasy world where somehow our rights and laws can be used against us for the sake of hearing this fool speak, then by all means, keep tripping through it all you want.

What you fail to realize is that free speech requires that responsible people wield it responsibly. He is neither entitled to speak freely in this country because he isn't a citizen of it, secondly, he isn't a responsible user of his speech either. I'm a much better and bigger man that that putrid pile of sub-human waste. But then again, I suspect you don't mind swimming in the muck with him so you could try to portray yourself as one of the many disheveled, leftist, despot lovers.

It is you that not only does not believe in American values simply because you don't understand them and it is in that misunderstanding where your ideology is dangerous to people everywhere. You would rather open the door to evil simply to show it and the rest of us that you are willing to be polite in it's face while it orchestrates your demise. Who is the bigger fool, I wonder.

Internet Ronin said...

That's true, Revenant, which is why it is so important for others to not make unsubstantiated assertions about the rationality of those "crazy mullahs" and then propose solutions assuming that irrationality. They aren't crazy. If they were, they would not retain such a firm grip on power 28 very long years after they first seized it.

Jacob said...

Dear Mr. Bollinger and Chatworth,

We get it, you will disrespect the president to save your ass and don't worry the check is in the mail. You brought up the holocaust, you won't lose the alumni money.

By the way great job interrupting the quesetion and answer section to add your own commentary and great job taking up the entire time Bollinger with your speech only to then have Chatsworth its a shame the president has to leave since he has places to go. Imagine that the president of iran might have other things to do

Michael said...

Eli Blake: In short-- they no longer fear the U.S., nor will they have reason to as long as our army is bogged down in Iraq.

Incorrect. Look at a map. We have troops and equipment and/or friendly governments in Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

In short, we have Iran surrounded, and they're reacting the same as any dog that's been cornered.

Seven Machos said...

Michael -- I have been making that point here for years. You are correct, of course. But it will fall on deaf ears.

The idea that we are in Iraq for any long-term strategic reason is anathema to the left. It just doesn't comport with the mantra.

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