At the very opening of his question and answer period, Columbia’s president, Lee Bolligner said to the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator." Dare I say that is exactly how President George W. Bush is seen by many within the Arab world, the world in general and by many in this country that are distraught knowing that over one million innocent Iraqis are now dead?
On today’s front cover of the NY Daily News, this is their cover headline, “The Evil Weasel…Cynical, Surely, Sullen, Arrogant, and Dodging every crucial question” along with his picture. I do suppose many, who are angered over his invitation and even came out to protest it, will purchase this newspaper feeling their opinion of the Iranian president affirmed. One thing is for sure; those descriptive words can equally apply to Bush.
In juxtaposition to prove how Bush is seen by our neighbor to the north, Canada, the front cover of MacLeans Magazine (which is equivalent to our Time Magazine) has a picture of President Bush, with the headline, “How George Bush Became the New Saddam”
I guess all’s fair in love and journalism. It just depends where the magazine or newspaper is printed.
Let me address straight away by saying that I do believe the holocaust happened. Throughout my learning experience from grammar school on up, it was taught to me and I do believe in its historic authenticity.
In her short life, Anne Frank taught many of man’s inhumanity to man. But, it is this quote by her in which I feel we can all learn from today, "I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again."
Years ago, film director, Steven Spielberg started the Shoah Foundation so that those who suffered the holocaust could come together and tell their stories so the world would never forget. Can all of those people be misleading us? My opinion is no.
On the other hand, I do agree that others who may not believe it took place should have the right to question its authenticity. The moment we halt debate, is when we stop advancing as a culture.
The BBC ran a story on February 20, 2006, Holocaust denier Irving is jailed. According to their report, “British historian David Irving has been found guilty in Vienna of denying the Holocaust of European Jewry and sentenced to three years in prison.” He told reporters, "I'm very shocked and I'm going to appeal." Please feel free to read the rest of the BBC article. I do not believe anyone should be jailed for voicing their opinion based upon their research especially in the Western world in which freedom is heralded. The moment we clamp down on such freedoms is when we should pack it up.
Ahmadinejad’s answer to this debate was why the Palestinians should suffer and it was after World War Two a great migration took place in which European Jews settled in what was known as Palestine and with the help of the U.N. the State of Israel was formed. I will not get into that debate here, but concentrate on his speech to those gathered at Columbia. However, the AP did report, “Ahmadinejad drew audience applause at times, such as when he bemoaned the plight of the Palestinians.”
The AP also reported that Ahmadinejad, “denied all the chief accusations against Iran: that it is providing weapons to kill U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, supporting terrorism or breaking international law by developing nuclear weapons.” Given our past track record when it came to the promulgation of the war in Iraq when we invaded it under false pretenses, I do think he has a point here.
Why isn’t the United States government building a case against the Saudis and more importantly, why aren’t Americans especially those that protested Ahmadinejad’s invitation to Columbia equally despondent at the Saudis?
U.S. News and World Report, reported in an article on 5/26/02 in which the nineteen hijackers came from that country and attacked us on 9/11. Yet there is little contempt being shown by our government towards Saudi Arabia. In fact, Bush has been known to have the Crown Prince as his invited guest to his ranch in Crawford, Texas over the years. As the Saudi Prince has visited, I often wonder why no angry protests are seen.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman thought Ahmedinejad’s invitation was a mistake citing, "because he comes literally with blood on his hands." As we have read where over one million innocent Iraqis have died because of Bush’s illegal invasion into Iraq, I do think that Lieberman needs to address that. It only shows his hypocrisy. As Bush travels the world, he too has blood on his hands.
Back in 2003, Amy Goodman chronicled the United States coup which overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran. She wrote, "In 1953, the CIA and British intelligence orchestrated a coup d’etat that toppled the democratically elected government of Iran. The government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The aftershocks of the coup are still being felt.”