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Сообщение Edi » 01.10.2007, 05:44:25

Iranians condemn US reception of leader

Associated Press
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer

Iranians on Tuesday called the combative
introduction of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by
the head of Columbia University "shameful" and
said the harsh words only added to their image of the United States as a bully.

In a region where the tradition of hospitality
outweighs personal opinions about people, many
here thought Columbia University President Lee
Bollinger's aggressive tone ­ including telling
Ahmadinejad that he exhibited the signs of a
"petty and cruel dictator" ­ was over the top.

"The surprising point of the last night meeting
is the behavior of the university president,"
state-run radio reported, describing Bollinger's
introduction as "full of insult, which was mostly
Zionists' propaganda against Iran."

The chancellors of seven Iranian universities
issued a letter on Tuesday to Bollinger saying
his statements were "deeply shameful" and invited him to Iran.

In the letter, they asked him to respond to 10
questions ranging from: "Why did the U.S. support
the bloodthirsty dictator Saddam Hussein during
the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war on Iran?" to "Why
has the U.S. military failed to find al-Qaida
leader Osama bin Laden even with all its advanced equipment?"

Ahmadinejad's visit to New York to attend the
U.N. General Assembly has created a stir and
thousands have protested his there.

Despite calls to cancel Ahmadinejad's
question-and-answer forum at Columbia, Bollinger
said the hardline leader, known for his
anti-Israel and U.S. rhetoric, should be allowed to speak.

Ahmadinejad smiled at first in response to
Bollinger's words, then decried the "insults" and
"unfriendly treatment." In his speech,
Ahmadinejad portrayed himself as an intellectual
and argued that his administration respected
reason and science. He even drew audience
applause at times, such as when he bemoaned the plight of the Palestinians.

But the Iranian also found himself drawn into the
type of rhetoric that has alienated American
audiences in the past. He questioned the official
version of the Sept. 11 attacks and defended Holocaust revisionists.

While Ahmadinejad likely expected at worst a
hostile grilling by the audience, Bollinger's
sardonic comments reflected a blatant disregard
for the tradition of hospitality revered in the
Middle East. His comments may deflect some of the
U.S. criticism he got for issuing the invitation
to the Iranian president, but it could also
backfire by drawing sympathy for Ahmadinejad,
even in quarters where he would normally be sharply criticized.

"I don't know why he (Ahmadinejad) stayed there
and did not leave the meeting. Their attitude was
an insult to the nature of the meeting. They
should not treat him as a suspect," said Mahmoud
Rouhi, a nurse, in Tehran. Though state media did
not broadcast Monday's event live in Farsi,
state-run TV showed a recorded version on Tuesday.

"The meeting and their approach showed that
Americans, even in a cultural position, are
cowboys and nothing more," said Rasoul Qaresi,
shopping at a grocery store in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad's international allies have also
taken his side. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez,
who is expecting a visit from Ahmadinejad later
this week, said he spoke by phone with the
Iranian leader on Monday after his tense showdown at Columbia.

"I congratulate him, in the name of the
Venezuelan people, before a new aggression of the
U.S. empire," Chavez said, adding that it seemed
Ahmadinejad was the subject of "an ambush."

Ahmadinejad is set to address the U.N. General
Assembly later Tuesday. Thousands of people
protested Ahmadinejad's visit Monday and more
were expected to rally in the streets Tuesday
when the Iranian leader attends the meeting for the third time in three years.

Tensions are high between Iran and the U.S. over
Washington allegations that Tehran is secretly
trying to develop nuclear weapons and supplying
Shiite militias in Iraq with deadly weapons that
kill U.S. troops. Iran denies both claims.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel threatened
tougher sanctions against Iran if it remains
intractable on the dispute over its nuclear program.

Merkel said she intends to make clear in her
address to the General Assembly later Tuesday
that an Iranian nuclear bomb would have
devastating consequences not only for Israel and
the whole of the Middle East, but for Europe and the rest of the world.

"For this reason, the international community
must not let itself become splintered" in dealing with Iran, Merkel said.

"The world should not have to prove to Iran that
it is building a (nuclear) bomb, but Iran must
convince the world that it doesn't want to build
a nuclear bomb," Merkel told reporters in New York.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Edi
 
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Сообщение Edi » 01.10.2007, 06:01:56

MY MEETING WITH AHMADINEJAD
Stephen Zunes

Foreign Policy In Focus
Editor: John Feffer
Sept 28 2007

This past Wednesday, I was among a group of American religious leaders
and scholars who met with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in
New York. In what was billed as an inter-faith dialogue, we frankly
shared our strong opposition to certain Iranian government policies
and provocative statements made by the Iranian president. At the same
time, we avoided the insulting language employed by Columbia University
president Lee Bollinger before a public audience two days earlier.

The Iranian president was quite unimpressive. Indeed, with his
ramblings and the superficiality of his analysis, he came across as
more pathetic than evil.

The more respectful posture of our group that morning led to a
more open exchange of views. Before an audience largely composed
of Christian clergy, he reminded us that we worship the same God,
have been inspired by many of the same prophets, and share similar
values of peace, justice, and reconciliation. The Iranian president
impressed me as someone sincerely devout in his religious faith,
yet rather superficial in his understanding and inclined to twist
his faith tradition in ways to correspond with his pre-conceived
ideological positions. He was rather evasive when it came to specific
questions and was not terribly coherent, relying more on platitudes
than analysis, and would tend to get his facts wrong. In short,
he reminded me in many respects of our president.

Both Ahmadinejad and George W. Bush have used their fundamentalist
interpretations of their faith traditions to place the world in a
Manichean perspective of good versus evil. The certitude of their
positions regardless of evidence to the contrary, their sense that
they are part of a divine mission, and their largely successful
manipulation of their devoutly religious constituents have put these
two nations on a dangerous confrontational course.

Ahmadinejad can get away with it because he is president of a
theocratic political system that allows very limited freedoms and
opportunities for public debate. We have no such excuse here in
the United States, however, for the strong bipartisan support for
Bush's righteous anti-Iranian crusade, most recently illustrated by
a series of provocative anti-Iranian measures recently passed by an
overwhelming margin of the Democratic-controlled Congress.

There are many differences between the two men, of course. Perhaps
the most significant is that, unlike George W. Bush, Ahmadinejad has
very little political power, particularly in the areas of military
and foreign policy. So why, given Ahmadinejad's lack of real political
power, was so much made of his annual trip to the opening session of
the UN General Assembly?

Ahmadinejad's Political Weakness The president of Iran is
constitutionally weak. The real power in Iran lies in the hands
of Ayatollah Khamenei and other conservative Shiite clerics on the
Council of Guardians. Just as they were able to stifle the reformist
agenda of Ahmadinejad's immediate predecessor Mohammed Khatami, they
have similarly thwarted the radical agenda of the current president,
whom they view as something of a loose cannon.

Furthermore, Ahmadinejad's influence is waning. The new head of the
Revolutionary Guard Ali Jafari is from a conservative sub-faction
opposed to the more radical elements allied with Ahmadinejad. He
replaced the former Guard head Yahya Rahim-Safavi, who was apparently
seen as too openly sympathetic to the president. In addition, former
president and Ahmadinejad rival Ayatollah Rafsanjani was recently
elected to head the powerful experts' assembly, defeating Ayatollah
Ahmad Jannati, who was backed by Ahmadinejad supporters and other
hardliners.

Ahmadinejad's election in 2005 was not evidence of a turn to the right
by the Iranian electorate. The clerical leadership's restrictions
on who could run made it nearly impossible for any real reformist
to emerge as a presidential contender. Ahmadinejad's opponent in the
runoff election was the 70-year-old Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who was seen
as a corrupt representative of the political establishment. The fact
that he had become a millionaire while in government overshadowed
his modest reform agenda. By contrast, Ahmadinejad, the relatively
young Tehran mayor, focused on the plight of the poor and cleaning
up corruption.

As a result, Iranian voters were forced to choose between two flawed
candidates. The relatively liberal contender came across as an
out-of-touch elitist, and his ultraconservative opponent was able to
assemble a coalition of rural, less-educated, and fundamentalist voters
to conduct a pseudo-populist campaign based on promoting morality and
value-centered leadership. In short, it bore some resemblance to the
presidential election in the United States one year earlier.

Under Ahmadinejad's leadership, the level of corruption and the
economic situation for most Iranians has actually worsened. As a
result, in addition to losing the backing of the clerical leadership,
he has lost much of his base and his popularity has plummeted. In
municipal elections last December, Ahmadinejad's slates lost heavily to
moderate conservatives and reformers. Why, then, is all this attention
being given to a relatively powerless lame duck president of a Third
World country?

Part of the reason may be that highlighting Ahmadinejad's extremist
views and questioning his mental stability helps convince millions of
Americans that if Iran develops an atomic bomb, it will immediately
use it against the United States or an ally such as Israel. With
more than 200 nuclear weapons and advanced missile capabilities,
Israel has more than enough deterrent capability to prevent an Iranian
attack. Obviously, American deterrent capabilities are even greater.

However, if you depict Iran's leader as crazy, it puts nuclear
deterrence in question and helps create an excuse for the United
States or Israel to launch a preventive war prior to Iran developing
a nuclear weapons capability.

In reality, though, the Iranian president is not commander-in-chief
of the armed forces, so Ahmadinejad would be incapable of ordering
an attack on Israel even if Iran had the means to do so. Though the
clerics certainly take hard-line positions on a number of policy areas,
collective leadership normally mitigates impulsive actions such as
launching a war of aggression. Indeed, bold and risky policies rarely
come out of committees.

It should also be noted that while Ahmadinejad is certainly very
anti-Israel, his views are not as extreme as they have been depicted.

For example, Ahmadinejad never actually threatened to "wipe Israel
off the map" nor has he demonstrated a newly hostile Iranian posture
toward the Jewish state. Not only was this oft-quoted statement a
mistranslation - the idiom does not exist in Farsi and the reference
was to the dissolution of the regime, not the physical destruction
of the nation - the Iranian president was quoting from a statement
by Ayatollah Khomeini from over 20 years earlier. In addition, he
explicitly told our group on September 26 that there was "no military
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and that it was "not
Iran's intention to destroy Israel."

The Saddam Niche The emphasis and even exaggeration of Ahmadinejad's
more bizarre and provocative statements makes it easier to ignore
his more sensible observations, such as: "Arrogant power seekers and
militarists betray God's will." It also makes it politically easier
for the United States to refuse to engage in dialogue or enter into
negotiations, such as those that led to an end of Libya's nuclear
program in 2003.

Ahmadinejad has welcomed American religious delegations to Iran, but
the United States has denied visas to Iranian religious delegations
to this country. The Bush administration has also blocked cultural
and scholarly exchanges.

The disproportionate media coverage of Ahmadinejad's UN visit also
suggests that Ahmadinejad fills a certain niche in the American
psyche formerly filled by the likes of Saddam Hussein and Muammar
Qaddafi as the Middle Eastern leader we most love to hate. It gives
us a sense of righteous superiority to compare ourselves to these
seemingly irrational and fanatical foreign despots. If these despots
can be inflated into far greater threats than they actually are,
these threats can justify the enormous financial and human costs of
maintaining American armed forces in that volatile region to protect
ourselves and our allies and even to make war against far-off nations
in "self-defense." Such inflated threats also have the added bonus of
silencing critics of America's overly-militarized Middle East policy,
since anyone who dares to challenge the hyperbole and exaggerated
claims regarding these leaders' misdeeds or to provide a more balanced
and realistic assessment of the actual threat they represent can then
be depicted as naive apologists for dangerous fanatics who threaten
our national security.

Furthermore, focusing on Ahmadinejad's transparent double-standards
and hypocrisy makes it easier to ignore similar tendencies by the
U.S. president. Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN on September 25 was
widely criticized for its emphasis on human rights abuses by Israel
and the United States while avoiding mention of his own country's poor
human rights record. It helps distract attention from President Bush's
speech that same day, in which he criticized human rights abuses
by dictatorial governments in Belarus, North Korea, Syria, Iran,
Burma, and Cuba, but avoided mentioning human rights abuses by Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea, Oman, Pakistan, Cameroon, and Chad,
or any other dictatorship allied with the United States.

The outreach by Christian clergy to Ahmadinejad, whom The New York
Times described as "the religious president of a religious nation
who relishes speaking on a religious plane," came out of a belief in
the importance of dialogue and reconciliation. Our group emphasized
that we were critical of the U.S. government's threats but also
raised concerns on such issues as Iranian human rights abuses and
Ahmadinejad's hostility toward Israel and denial of the Holocaust.

Virtually all our questions, however, were thrown back in criticisms
toward the United States. "Who are the ones that are filling their
arsenals with nuclear weapons?" he said. "The United States has
developed a fifth generation of atomic bombs and missiles that could
hit Iran. Who is the real danger here?"

Indeed, it must seem odd to most people in the Middle East that
the United States, which is 10,000 miles away from the longest-range
weapon the Iranians can currently muster and possesses by far the most
powerful militarily apparatus the world has ever seen, is depicting
Iran as the biggest threat to its national security. As Ahmadinejad
put it to our group that morning, "The United States has many thousands
of troops on our borders and threatens to attack us.

Why is it, then, that Iran is seen as a threat?" And though most
Iranians, Arabs, and other Muslims recognize Ahmadinejad as an
extremist, he is unfortunately correct in accusing the United States
of unfairly singling out Iran, an issue that has real resonance in
that part of the world.

Indeed, the United States is obsessed with Iran's nuclear program -
still many years away from producing an atomic bomb - while we support
the neighboring states of Pakistan, India, and Israel, which have
already developed nuclear weapons and which are also in violation of
UN Security Council resolutions regarding their nuclear programs. We
blame Iran for the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq yet 95% of
U.S. casualties are from anti-Iranian Sunni insurgents. We focus on
Iranian human rights abuses while we continue to support the even
more oppressive and theocratic Islamic regime in Saudi Arabia.

We attack the Iranian president's denial of the genocide of European
Jews while remaining silent in the face of Turkish leaders' denial
of the genocide of Armenians. One of the most important principles
of most faith traditions is moral consistency.
Few receive greater
wrath in most holy texts than hypocrites.

Americans have many legitimate concerns regarding Iranian policies
in general and the statements of President Ahmadinejad in particular.

However, as long as U.S. policy appears to be based upon such
opportunistic double standards rather than consistent principles,
Ahmadinejad's inflammatory rhetoric will continue to find an audience.

Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics at the University of
San Francisco, Middle East editor of Foreign Policy In Focus
(http://www.fpif.org), and the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy
and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press.)
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Сообщение Красный » 24.10.2007, 02:32:31

Ruben писал(а):
Mike писал(а):
Попадос на деньги разве не угроза ?
Угроза, стоящая жизни целых народов? Вероятно, но только для некоторых. И этих некоторых пора пустить на растопку.


Придут другие. Не вижу разницы. Выход же вижу в единственном направлении - создании правил и международных законов , которые хотя бы несколько ограничат жадность тех самых некоторых к деньгам и доминированию. Если можно обойтись без глобальных потрясений и не поступиться основными национальными интересами, то почему бы не попробовать ?


Международные правила и законы создавались, и всегда попирались сильным. К сожалению, Майк прав.
Красный
 
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Сообщение Ruben » 24.10.2007, 20:32:43

Красный писал(а):
Ruben писал(а):
Mike писал(а):
Попадос на деньги разве не угроза ?
Угроза, стоящая жизни целых народов? Вероятно, но только для некоторых. И этих некоторых пора пустить на растопку.


Придут другие. Не вижу разницы. Выход же вижу в единственном направлении - создании правил и международных законов , которые хотя бы несколько ограничат жадность тех самых некоторых к деньгам и доминированию. Если можно обойтись без глобальных потрясений и не поступиться основными национальными интересами, то почему бы не попробовать ?


Международные правила и законы создавались, и всегда попирались сильным. К сожалению, Майк прав.


Привет Красный. Конечно прав. К сожалению мы не в состоянии быстро поменять правила игры. И что в остатке ? - Смирение ? Давить на них надо , а продавим -не продавим , время покажет.
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Сообщение Ruben » 24.10.2007, 20:34:44

-
-
-
Прошла информация по применению Штатами против Ирана этнического сопротивления . Вот и сценарий обсуждаемый нами ранее.
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Сообщение Красный » 25.10.2007, 00:55:29

Ruben

Привет, Рубен. :)

Давить на них надо , а продавим -не продавим , время покажет.


Я бы сказал - не давить ,а учиться у них и действовать их же методами. Вот это было бы вернее.
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Сообщение Ruben » 25.10.2007, 11:02:42

Красный писал(а):
Я бы сказал - не давить ,а учиться у них и действовать их же методами. Вот это было бы вернее.


Привет, Красный :-)

Учится у кого ? У Штатов, у Ирана, или кто там следующий по списку ? Какие на этот счёт мысли ?
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Сообщение Красный » 26.10.2007, 17:56:07

У Штатов, конечно. Хотя их методы для нас - вряд ли приемлемы.
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Сообщение Mike » 26.10.2007, 18:14:38

Красный,
единственная мысль у Горбачёва, которая мне понравилась, была сентенция о достойном(или там было другое слово), ассиметричном ответе.
Учиться у них не стоит, а вот изучать их методы, чтобы бить наверняка - полезно.
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Сообщение Красный » 26.10.2007, 18:21:51

Учиться у них не стоит, а вот изучать их методы, чтобы бить наверняка - полезно.

Это я и имел в виду.
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