Wednesday, September 26, 2007

9-26-07: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York

It has been an interesting past two days, politically speaking. The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been in New York, and has made appearances at Columbia University and at the United Nations.

I watched his address to the UN yesterday while on the treadmill, but not all of it. From what I heard, it was another chance for him to bash Bush and America in general. Big surprise there. Apparently that’s his method of garnering support back home in Iran, since their economy is in the gutter and people are being persecuted left and right.

With that method in mind, I think the President of Columbia, Lee Bollinger, is an idiot. For all the brainpower on that campus, they certainly have little to no etiquette (but that’s the Ivy League). I think Ahmadinejad is crazy, and I agree with Bollinger, but the way he went about it was all wrong. He started off on the offensive, which only put Ahmadinejad on the defensive and just wasn’t the best way to start good conversation. It just gives the crazy fucker another excuse to hate America. Bollinger has his heart in the right place, and I know he caught a lot of flack for inviting Ahmadinejad, but being rude isn’t going to solve anything. Had he just let Ahmadinejad shoot himself in the foot, again, Bollinger would have looked better and maybe even generated some good discussion.

Ahmadinejad is not a dumb man, but he comes from a society that is far, far different than America’s. Iran is an Islamic Republic, and is dominated by the Muslim faith, which has been at war with the Jewish culture for thousands of years. The generations and generations of hatred don’t patch up quickly, and having a Christian culture like ours enter the equation to try to balance things doesn’t work as easily as we hope. Remember the Crusades? Christians have made the attempt before, but we simply don’t understand their culture. It’s nice that Columbia invited Ahmadinejad to speak, but it was pretty much welcoming him into the door just to kick him back out. It didn’t really get us anywhere. Sure, he said some crazy shit about Iran having no homosexuals, but did it really help at all?

My favorite part of the whole scenario was that George Bush came out on top. When asked if he approved of the Iranian President’s visit to New York, he simply said: “It’s fine with me. I’m not sure if I would have extended the invitation, though.” He didn’t bash the visit, which is something Ahmadinejad needed to happen in order to play the victim card. I wish Bollinger could have followed suit, but he at least showed some balls in invited the guy to speak. That counts for something, I guess. It's a step in the right direction to ask his opinion.

No comments: