Posted by: reisendame | September 24, 2007

“THE EVIL HAS LANDED”? Come on, you can do better than that.

 

Despite assurance from the Iranian president that his country would not attack any other, some Americans and media outlets have deemed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad our “guest of dishonor” during his visit to New York this week.

Protesters gathered outside Columbia University, where Ahmadinejad emphasized the fact that Iranian foreign policy is based on humanitarian concerns and seeking justice. Tuesday he will speak at the United Nations General Assembly. In the past, Ahmadinejad has openly criticized the American government, but recognizes the distinction between the population and government. According to Iran’s leader, he wants peace and friendship with America. Still, city officials denied his request to place a wreath at the 9/11 ground-zero site and politicans condemned him, saying that such a visit would violate sacred ground.


The New York Daily News headline read, “THE EVIL HAS LANDED,” which is a serious accusation against a leader who seemingly wants peace and harmony between our nations. This is not the first time such a claim has been made, however; in his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush stigmatized the nation as a part of the “axis of evil” along with Iraq and North Korea. Bush has maintained that these states sponsor terrorism and, therefore, are our enemies.

Ahmadinejad denies any Iranian involvement in Shiite militias targeting U.S. troops in Iran, which is one of the primary crimes of which Iran is accused. Also, he claims that the nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes, and that he has no use for a nuclear bomb. For the most part, the U.S. government doesn’t believe him.

Today, Iran’s president didn’t really say anything he hadn’t said before. What’s most interesting and troubling about Iran-U.S. relations is that they have spawned a series of finger-pointing speeches from one side to the next, and how are we to tell what’s true? It’s never a good idea to call isolate a nation and label it “evil,” because that limits diplomatic relations and would fuel anti-American sentiment overseas. Plus, it’s just oversimplifying one of the most complicated foreign relationships as “good vs. evil.” Certainly, people all over the world believe Americans are evil.

But what if Bush is right? If Ahmadinejad is right? Or, what if they’re both wrong? One sign in the crowd of protesters actually read, “We refuse to choose between Islamic fundamentalism and American imperialism.”

That makes more sense than most other things we’ve all been fed.

Ahmadinejad swears that Americans are being fed lies, and that his appearance in New York provides us with the opportunity to hear a new voice. Then again, this man has also called the Holocaust a “myth” and said that Israel should be wiped off the map. Today he also claimed that there were no homosexuals in Iran like the homosexuals in America. What that means, exactly, I’m not sure.
Whether it’s the war in Iraq or communism in China, it’s difficult to distinguish fact from reality when the highest levels of government from all over the world seem to be untrustworthy. Even people who are “well-informed” really just must rely on political rhetoric that can only break down with analytical thinking. If we don’t want to be told what to believe, we really must discover the truth for ourselves.

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Responses

  1. Great! Sometimes it’s okay to write longer, this was one of those times. You pick some really good topics to cover and great use of links and photos.


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