While I’m hearing it spun both ways, I think that the most obvious sign that Ahmadinejad’s propaganda play at Columbia University is the fact that it has become the event of the daily news cycle, and it is feasible that this story will stretch throughout the week.
Are we to be treated to day after day of flash polling in order to see if Ahmadinejad made his case to the American people? If we see even one legitimate polling service start popping out percentages either in favor or disfavor of the terrorist leader, then he surely has won. While Bush is smart enough not to play his game and provide Ahmadinejad with the prestige that a public debate with the President of the United States would entail, in the end it hasn’t really made a difference, as the willing dupes over at Columbia have played their part well.
I’ve seen some conservative bloggers recant their criticisms of the Columbia president and his decision to let Ahmadinejad speak. They saw how he lambasted the holocaust denier (who ironically denied denying the holocaust during his question and ignore segment) and decided that this guy really was drawing the Iranian into a trap after all! Yet I’m sure those same pundits were left dumbfounded as they heard the raucous applause for our favorite little denier during the speech itself. The most interesting example of this came early on as the crowd cheered the attack on Ahmadinejad and then did a complete 180° and cheered as the Iranian chided his hosts because “in Iran we do not attack people before they speak” or something akin to that.
Nevermind that in Iran, they hang teenage girls for holding hands with older men.
Which is really the point of this whole travesty. The Iranian was able to do exactly what he needed to do. He was able to elevate himself. You can call him a thug all you like before you present him, but when you provide him that microphone and the rapt attention of scholars and students (albeit liberal students and teachers) then you’ve dug him out of the muck and myer that his hatred and vitriol has coated him with and slapped a shiny button of ‘legitimate’ right across his Jew hating heart. And that is a real problem considering that this smiling man is ordering his special forces to kill American troops, be it through providing weapons to others or doing the dirty work themselves depending on who you believe, as well as attempting to get his hands on a nuclear weapon.
He also has managed to captivate some of the left-wing. And when I say captivate, I’m not talking about a passing interest; there are now leftists roaming the internet who think that this is a swell guy who hates Bush almost as much as they do. It isn’t important to them that he crushes dissent and the very alternative lifestyles that they cherish, those lifestyles that they fear are under real assault from those damnedable Christians, or that it is commonplace to subjugate women in their society. All they see is an ally, which is downright scary considering just who the government in Tehran really is. I remember a pundit (if you remember who, drop me a line) stating that it was ironic that these liberals were cheering on the sort of man who really embodies the persecution that they project upon the right-wing in this country, but it isn’t simply ironic, it’s pathetic.
I was unfortunate enough to also see Medea Benjamin on the O’Reilly Factor. She was surprisingly lucid this evening, but I still can’t imagine why she is allowed in front of a camera in a serious news studio. The major problem, and the sticking point that O’Reilly wouldn’t let her dodge, to his credit, was that she had no alternative if ‘talking’ didn’t work with Iran. She just continued to stumble over the same line after line. There truly are people out there for whom ignoring reality is favorable to accepting the necessity of war or armed conflict. I will not go back down the World War II line here, as many are so easily tempted to do, because I think that our friends on the left readily write anyone off who mentions Hitler, unless Bush’s name is soon to follow, of course.
Medea just wanted more talk and more talk. There is no line in her mind that justifies action, even while the offending party (Our perspective nuclear Iran for instance, or for a more immediate and tangible example their continued lethal action against US troops in Iraq) continues to take action while you’re trying to decide on the language of the next League of Nations accord. Medea would have us talk ourselves all the way to the hangman’s noose, though I have to regrettably admit that she at least acknowledged that the Iranian murder of American troops was unacceptable- or perhaps she condemned his denial of homosexuals in Iran… either one is a step in the right direction for a Code Pinker.
A similar delusion could be found in a Columbia student who was interviewed on one of the major news networks following the speech. She was absolutely in favor of Ahmadinejad coming to speak, and thought that he really got a chance to explain himself. She also thought that the counterbalance provided by the University’s President was more than adequate. Yet there was a definite pause and blank stare when the anchor asked her if she was aware that it was highly unlikely that the dissenting and insulting words of the President would be played in Iran. She seemed to be laboring under the delusion that Iran’s press is free, it is anything but, however because she seemed to buy into a small, perhaps microscopic, percentage of Ahmandinejad’s diatribe earlier in the day reality was lost to her. She bought the line without even realizing it.
And there is a small but lamentable percentage of Americans who will also find themselves sporting an Iranian fishhook through the lower lip in the weeks to follow without any real idea as to how it came to be. Thus, Ahmadinejad’s success.
More proof of the terrorist’s success can be found at Power Line: Columbia’s disgrace, part 11 | Michelle Malkin | BLACKFIVE: OK, I stand corrected.. Well… Sort of | Right Wing Nut House » THE WORLD IS STILL HERE | lgf: NYC Anti-Ahmadinejad Protests | lgf: Daily Kos: Ahmadinejad ‘Sounds Entirely Too Reasonable’ | Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: There are no gays in Iran, says Ahmadinejad; Update: Photos — Iran executes gays | IMAO: There Are No Gays, But Men Do Sodomize Each Other (In a Completely Hetero Way) | FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Iran Watch: Ahmadinejad – We Don’t Have Homosexuals | Iranian Missiles in Iraq- Townhall | GINA COBB: Ahmadinejad Watch | lgf: Video: Out in Iran | Neocon Express | Iranian Leader, Calling Introductory Remarks Insulting, Addresses Columbia – City Room – Metro – New York Times Blog | lgf: Video: Columbia Students Applaud Ahmadinejad’s Reply to Bollinger |
Bolton gets his own line: Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: Nice job legitimizing a nut, Columbia, says Bolton
And if you noticed that there is a HEAVY bit of coverage about Ahmadinejad’s homosexual slur, you’re right. I made a gaff about it in a parody in a previous post, but it was after bit of serious analysis. The problem of compartmentalizing the Iranian despot to meet your own personal needs continues. As I said above, some liberals will find solace in his voice, while a lot of us will scoff at just how backwards he must be. The murder of any minority group is not a joke, and homosexuals are no exception. The problem is that out of all of Ahmadinejad’s statements today, that was the most remembered line: the line that got the most scorn from his Columbia audience.
He was permitted to slander Israel, the United States, postulate on 9/11 conspiracy theories and generally ramble on about any number of other topics without audience protest, but the crowd couldn’t go with him on calling homosexuality a ‘phenomenon’ and denying that there are any homosexuals in Iran. That says a lot about the audience at Columbia, and that it is getting the most media play also says a lot about how our society isn’t taking this terror war seriously.