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Here's the Globe and Mail's headline for Simon Houpt's "report" today:
Iranian President gets rough welcome
Leader's speech avoids incendiary comments about Israel's destruction and denials of the Holocaust
I'd like to propose some other suitable headlines for things that were avoided today:
While I expressed hope that Ahmadinejad's real, on the record comments would allow reporters to move on to criticize him for things he has actually said, this move shows that a) the Globe's editors are aware that the claims are erroneous and b) have decided to keep the claims alive despite the fact that they know that they are false. Pretty grim stuff.
In other news, I emailed Margaret Wente to ask for a source for her talk of "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the Holocaust ever happened and seems quite happy at the thought of unleashing nukes against the Jews."
She responded with an excerpt from this 2005 BBC report. Does it provide enough evidence to back up her claim? (Does it say anything relevant to her claim?) You decide.
And with that, no more Ahmadiblogging for me.
You can see videos of Ahmadinejad's speech and Colombia University President Lee Bollinger's opening remarks. Without any apparent sense of irony, Bollinger calls on the Iranian President to allow an American who is being held without trial in Iran to be allowed to leave, just to cite one example of the bizarre double standard that is, well, standard in the US right now. It's probably standard everywhere, but in any case, it's embarrassing to watch intelligent people talk like this.
Ahmadinejad was in New York today, as some of you may have noticed. I'm sure many Iranians (as well as the entire US elite) will tell you that he is pure evil. But as of the last election, they are still in the minority. This may have something to do with his blend of appealing to Islamic "values voters" and the poor ("putting the petroleum income on people's tables" was apparently one of his campaign slogans).
He's a religious nut, but not much more so than George W, as far as I can tell. There's plenty to dislike about the Islamic Revolution--violence, suppression of rights, theocracy, and so on. (That said, the revolution was a reaction to the Shah, who killed his way to power with US help, replacing a democratic, secular government that wanted control over their own oil.) To an extent, Ahmadinejad can be said to represent the results of this theocracy.
That said, let's be serious.
Maybe, just maybe we can put to rest the references to "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the Holocaust ever happened and seems quite happy at the thought of unleashing nukes against the Jews" (as Margaret Wente put it in her absurdly high-profile Globe column on Saturday).
Hopefully the fact that Ahmadinejad repudiated claims that he said these things (not that there was a lack of evidence before) will put this line of thinking to rest.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.