Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Should We Send Iran All the Way Home?

(Stand By Me pun intended)

A couple of days ago I gave Mitt Romney some props for the bold stroke of demanding an indictment for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad. Now it comes out that Ahmadenijad is not only scheduled to speak at the UN, but has also requested to place a wreath at ground zero in lower Manhattan.

According the NY Times, here is what three of the leading US Presidential candidates have said about his request.

Romney: Ahmadinejad’s shockingly audacious request should be met with a vehement no. It’s inconceivable that any consideration would be given to the idea of entertaining the leader of a state sponsor of terror at ground zero. This would deeply offend the sensibilities of Americans from all corners of our nation. Instead of entertaining Ahmadinejad, we should be indicting him.

Clinton: It is unacceptable for Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who refuses to renounce and end his own country’s support of terrorism, to visit the site of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in our nation’s history.

Giuliani: Under no circumstances should the N.Y.P.D. or any other American authority assist President Ahmadinejad in visiting Ground Zero. This is a man who has made threats against America and Israel, is harboring Bin Laden’s son and other al Qaeda leaders, is shipping arms to Iraqi insurgents and is pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. Assisting Ahmadinejad in touring Ground Zero – hallowed ground for all Americans – is outrageous.


Meanwhile, the same article tells us that the president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger (no relation to Brooks), will allow Ahmadenijad to speak at the school's World Leaders Forum. Columbia's acceptance of the leader is contingent upon a number of restrictions, including a formal tongue lashing over the usual shitlist like Holocaust denial and academic suppression, and time alloted for Q&A from the crowd.

So in my own version of Wag the Blog, I ask YOU, my thoughtful readers (all ten to one hundred of you) what y'all think of this.

Should America accept an act of goodwill from the leader of one of the most influential states in the Middle East?

Or should we justly renounce a repressive, hateful, messianic creep?

C'mon, say something. I Dare You.


BTB said...

I will let Senator John McCain start the bidding.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to McCain, is “dedicated to the destruction of everything we stand for and believe in.”

Thus, give 'im the boot!

BTB said...

Hillary weighs in, too.
"Well, if I were a president of the university, I would not have invited him. He's a Holocaust denier. He's a supporter of terrorism. But I also respect the right in our country to make different decisions."

o said...

i deeply respect bollinger and i do believe that much can be learned by allowing him to speak and letting him answer questions. so whatever he wants to do with his university is his decision. but i don't think we should allow Ahmadinejad to visit ground zero. he has not shown me that he is willing to make viable improvements in Iran. until he gets his country in shape, he shouldn't be parading around the US like some sort of hot shot...

BTB said...

Here is another piece in favor of Bollinger's decision, from the HuffPost.

BTB said...

Bollinger to Mahmoud: "You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated."

netto said...

Since Mahmoud spoke at Columbia yesterday I'm a little late to the debate, but I like how Bollinger handled it.

We shouldn't ignore tyrants. We should either bomb them or engage them. Since we need not bomb him, we should engage him, as we did. And the masterful zing-job provided by Columbia's president helped to make sure that Mahmoud couldn't use the trip for propaganda. The only thing better would be if they had an improptu trivia contest. Just to make sure he left knowing what a loser he is.

Also, how about that article a few days ago at NYT about Iranians being confused about our fetish for Mahmoud - basically saying that the dude isn't that important and has no say over the nuclear program. Maybe we are the ignorant ones?