September 24, 2011
Thursday bore the ripely rotten fruit of a now-yearly autumnal Manhattan ritual—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke before the United Nations General Assembly, vilifying the West and being vilified by the West in return. He said “hateful” things and in turn was hated for it. For the third consecutive year, Western delegates stormed out in a tiff during his speech—or at least the ones who bothered to show up. Israel and Canada chose to play hooky from the start.
For someone who purportedly hates Jews so much, Ahmadinejad always seems to be flying to New York. His speech came a day after Iran released a pair of American hikers they’d held captive for over two years. It also came a day after Iranian officials publicly hanged a 17-year-old for murdering an athlete known as “Iran’s Strongest Man.” Proving once more that the United Nations ain’t so united, Ahmadinejad hammered away at his familiar bêtes noires: Western economic imperialism, America’s use of nuclear weapons, and the cynical employment of the Holocaust as a pretext “to pay [a] fine or ransom to the Zionists.” As he did in last year’s speech, he questioned “the hidden elements involved in [the] September 11 incident” and whether it had been staged to excuse full-blown Western military intervention in the Middle East.
Judging from the infantile mass walkout and the hyperbolic verbal fallout, one might think Ahmadinejad was purposely trying to be an asshole—an unapologetic Ahmadinejerkoff—rather than honestly speaking his mind. US mission spokesman Mark Kornblau accused him of tossing out “abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories.” With robotic predictability, he was labeled a fascistically tyrannical poison-peddling hatemongering WWIII-precipitating Demon Seed of Hitler.
But is he a madman…or just a mad man? We get the message LOUD AND CLEAR that we’re supposed to hate him, but it’s not as if there would be any financial, political, ethno-religious, or military-industrial complex reasons for misrepresenting him…right? After viewing a series of online videotaped interviews, we found him to be undeniably dogged, resolute, feisty, and scrappy, but he always winds up seeming less flustered than his interrogators. He tends to ask questions they prove incapable of answering. He displays a refreshing absence of the will to please. He appears to be more of a sincere ideologue than a crafty politician, which is always fatal in politics.
His comments on Israel and the Holocaust have earned him worldwide condemnation—or, you know, that’s at least the impression that the, eh, running lapdogs of the filthy satanic bloodsucking Zionist regime would have you believe. But the ideological climate, at least in the West, is absurdly repressive—it’s one where you can’t question specifics about the Holocaust or even allege it is cynically and unfairly being used as a political cudgel without being falsely accused of saying IT NEVER HAPPENED and that no Jew was ever killed in WWII. To even dare challenging the officially sanctioned version is to touch the third rail on the Last Train to Dachau.
Still, Ahmadinejad is bold enough to ask uncomfortable questions about it. Why is it unique among historical events in that one can be imprisoned in certain countries merely for questioning it? If 40 to 50 million civilians died in WWII, why are only six million ever remembered? And since the Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust, why were they uprooted from their ancestral homelands to atone for it?