Not Allowing President Of Iran To Visit World Trade Center Is A Mistake
40% or more of Republicans to this day believe it was Saddam who was behind 9/11. That just is not true. It was Bin Laden. Saddam and Bin Laden did not like each other. Bin Laden always fantasized about toppling Saddam and erecting an Islamist regime in Iraq, like everywhere else. That is not any way to get along with a dictator.
But Bush-Cheney peddled the lie hard and that is how the war on Iraq was launched.
Ahmadinejad might not be a nice guy, but he also had nothing to do with 9/11. Like they say, just the facts, mam.
The CIA toppled a democratic regime in Iran and put in place a monarchy. That started the bad blood between the two peoples. The US backed Saddam to the hilt during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, just like it backed Bin Laden during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
I am for democracy, and Ahmadinejad, although an elected leader, is only partly elected. There is this supreme council of hard core mullahs in Iran. Only those candidates approved by those mullahs get to run for president. But that still makes Ahmadinejad one step ahead of the Saudi king, Mubarak and Gaddafi.
And I don't see the nuclear crisis in black and white. If all the poor countries of the world were to want to grow at 10% a year as they should, there is no option but to harness nuclear energy to the hilt. And so there is a need to have a strong international body that will apply uniformly across the globe standards that all nuclear power plants including those in the US and France and Russia and China and elsewhere would have to meet if they can be allowed to operate, and that in a framework of a total nuclear disarmament, a goal that gets complicated by not all states being democracies. Perhaps the conversion to democracy will have to happen first. But there is no postponing the energy part.
The Energy Solution: Nuclear Energy
It is tough for women in Iran like in all the other Muslim countries. And Ahmadinejad will have to take some responsibility.
But this is not about analyzing the Iranian president or his country.
The state of Iran had nothing to do with 9/11. And that is reason enough to not bar this guy from going to visit the World Trade Center. He wants to go pay homage.
He might be responding to Obama's call that he will, as president, hold direct talks with the president of Iran. Reagan talked to Gorbachev, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev, Obama will talk to Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad responded by wanting to visit the World Trade Center. He wanted to send a message out directly to the American people that he feels their pain, that he is on their side, even though it has been impossible for him to talk to the leadership that just does not believe in dialogue and diplomacy.
This guy should be allowed to talk to the American people and reach out to the American people if he wants to.
Iran is a state with a standing army. America is a state with the most powerful standing army in the world. Ahmadinejad is many things but not stupid. The state of Iran would not get involved with something like 9/11. They did not for a fact. And that fact has to be stated.
There are those who imagine that in the long run Iran and America are going to be two democracies who get along with each other just fine. The two peoples get along just fine. I am one of them. As to how long a wait that will be is anyone's guess right now, but I believe that time span can be shortened through strong, but engaged leadership, an informed leadership that does not peddle the prejudice that it was Saddam and perhaps Ahmadinejad who were behind 9/11. To knowingly fudge the truth on 9/11 is a disrespect to those who died that day.
Like Rice said once, Iran is not Iraq. Well, Ahmadinejad is not Bin Laden.
Just like in America, there is a political spectrum in the Arab world. Bin Laden and the Islamists are the extreme right. They are the Arab KKK. Then there is the right wing. That would be the unelected leaders like the Saudi king, Mubarak, Gaddafi and the all and sundry monarchs. Then there are the semi-elected right wingers like this Iranian guy. You move further to the middle and you meet reformers. Sadly these variants of the right occupy a large chunk of the spectrum leaving little room for democrats and reformers.
To not be able to see the richness of the spectrum is to tie your hands behind your back in the political solutions department. To be able to see the richness gives you the ability to drive wedges between the various segments.
American right wingers also try to demonize China to the hilt. China says it is just a poor country trying to feed its people. Iran is also a poor country. Ultimately they need to get along with America. Deep down that is what they want. So small measures of trust building are a good thing.
The Arab masses were not behind 9/11.
In the mean time Ahmadinejad gets to watch this video of mine that has received more views than any other of the 600 plus videos I have uploaded at Google Video.
Video: World Trade Center
In The News
New York bans 'photo op' visit to Ground Zero by Iran's president Scotsman
Controversy swirls around Iranian leader's visit to New York
Iranian president still wants to visit WTC site Xinhua, China
Iran Spokesman: Ahmadinejad Won't Visit WTC WNBC, NY
Decision 2008: Iran's request has candidates speaking out WPTV, FL
Israel's friends are calling for the arrest of Iran's president in ... Jewish Telegraphic Agency, NY
Iran Case Shows Ground Zero Access Tight The Associated Press
Ahmadinejad's Ground Zero Ploy TIME The shrill reaction to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's request to visit Ground Zero is playing right into the Iranian President's hands. ..... his power base is made up mainly of Iranians who participated in the 1979 revolution, among whom the loathing of the U.S. runs very deep. Nothing energizes them more than the sight of their leader being excoriated by the hated Americans. ..... When TIME interviewed him last year, we asked if he had visited the site. His response: "It was not necessary. It was widely covered in the media." And he once wrote a letter to President Bush, suggesting that the attacks on the towers were the work of unspecified "intelligence and security services." ...... a transparently political stunt, aimed at the audience back home. ..... New York's tabloids hyperventilated. The Daily News shrieked: "If you even think of setting foot near Ground Zero, you can GO TO HELL!" The paper went on to describe Ahmadinejad as a "madman," and "an enemy of the U.S. in particular and of civilization in general." ...... American politicians — especially presidential hopefuls looking to score easy points — lit into the Iranian President with a candor they rarely show on the campaign trail. "It is unacceptable for [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," said Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani — who was New York City mayor at the time of the attacks — thundered: "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." His fellow Republican candidate Mitt Romney described Ahmadinejad's request as "shockingly audacious." ...... It allows him to tell his fellow Iranians: "Look, I tried to be a nice guy, I wanted to lay a wreath on Ground Zero, but these Americans don't appreciate our compassion." And to the conservative mullahs and hard-liners of Iran, Ahmadinejad's stock rises when Americans put him down.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad banned from Ground Zero Times Online, UK
Local outrage over Ahmadinejad WTC request Newsday, NY
Ahmadinejad denied access to Ground Zero The Carpetbagger Report
Columbia University: Ahmadinejad Yes, ROTC No Yahoo! News
Ahmadinejad Is Not Allowed to Visit Ground Zero eFluxMedia
Furore over site visit Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
Bush backs decision to reject Iranian leader's Ground Zero visit People's Daily Online, China
New Yorkers Try To Get Audience With Ahmadinejad WCBS-TV New York, NY
Anger as US uni lets Iran's Ahmadinejad speak Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom
University urged to cancel Ahmadinejad speech Reuters
Iranian president's request to visit Ground Zero denied Resident Publications, NY
Ground Zeroout of bounds for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia
Bolton: Ahmadinejad's Proposed Ground Zero Visit "Nothing But ... National Review Online Blogs, NY
Iranian President Ahmadinejad Can't Go to Ground Zero, But He Will ... Gothamist, NY
STOP Ahmadinejad: Calling 1000's to Ground Zero Monday 10am! Town Hall, DC
New York: Iran's leader can't visit ground zero CNN International
NY nixes Ground Zero visit by Iran's leader USA Today
Iranian President's Visit to Ground Zero Denied FOX News
No way, no how New York Daily News, NY
US Denies Permission To Iranian President For 9/11 Site Visit AHN
New York Police Deny Ahmadinejad Ground Zero Visit (Update1) Bloomberg
Police deny Iran president's visit to Ground Zero Newsday
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Obama Face-to-Camera With Iowa New York Times In Mr. Obama’s successful Senate race in 2004, he heavily utilized the face-to-camera format.
Elizabeth Edwards: Hillary Clinton's health care plan 'remarkably ... Atlanta Journal Constitution