Ahmadinejad and Israel
A protracted and ugly death is unfolding on the world stage. An idea is dying. Viewers of America's presidential debates in 2008 witnessed its birth when candidate Barack Obama declared his willingness to meet personally with Iran's tyrant President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, without preconditions, to discuss solutions to the middle east's most pressing problems (for Ahmadinejad, then and now, that meant the existence of Israel).
Implicit in Obama's proposal was his conviction that a region's intractable social and political afflictions would simply melt away once they were exposed to the innate and irresistible power of his persona.
On the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, Jihadist forces erupted in Egypt and Libya and in subsequent days spread explosively across the middle east, bringing into bloody focus the folly of Obama's self-conceit. To Egypt and Libya we can now add Pakistan, Lebanon, Indonesia, and other locales to the list of places where Muslims have publicly spat their contempt for our President and his liberal delusions of universal peace and brotherhood.
But let us return to Iran, and Ahmadinejad – for he, just like every other Islamist enemy of America, has responded to Obama's sympathetic gestures and solicitous outreach with scorn. There's a key difference, though. In Libya, the price of Obama's naivete amounted to only a tragic handful of American fatalities. In the case of Iran, the price in lives will be infinitely higher, numbering in the millions.
Despite Obama's narcissistic overtures, Ahmadinejad's public statements about Israel are as ugly and bellicose as ever. Just yesterday he said that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would soon be "eliminated." This is only the latest example of his brazen refusal to heed U.N. warnings to avoid "incendiary" rhetoric ahead of his latest appearance before the General Assembly at Turtle Bay.
That's not all Ahmadinejad has said:
- He does not take seriously Israel's threat to launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities -- "Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists".
- He denies arming Syrian rebels with Iranian weapons.
- He references with approving matter-of-factness the necessity of ongoing efforts in the west to protect author Salman Rushdie from Islamist assassination ("Where is he now? Is he in the United States? If he is, you shouldn't broadcast that for his own safety.")
Ahmadinejad has used previous U.N. sessions to question the historical reality of the Holocaust, American accounts of the 9/11 attacks, and Israel's right to exist.
"Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. They (the Israelis) have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history," he claimed, regarding the 1948 founding of the modern state of Israel.
"They are seeking new adventures in order to escape this dead end," he said through an interpreter at his Manhattan hotel. "Iran will not be damaged with foreign bombs."
"We don't even count them as any part of any equation for Iran. During a historical phase, they (the Israelis) represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated."
Ahmadinejad has a long history of aggressive anti-Israeli rhetoric. In 2005, he called Israel a "tumor", echoing the words of the former Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was famous for saying that Israel should be "wiped off the map".
These, then, are the poisonous fruits of Obama's self-regard and conciliatory instincts toward radical Islam.