Just when you thought Americans couldn’t get any dumber

I read this article and cringed. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to come to New York and speak. Americans are pissed off that he’s coming. Right now, I’m actually embarassed to be an American–I don’t want to be lumped in with those fools.

Fortunately, Scott Adams cleverly expresses why I feel this way–anything I could have come up with would have probably been labeled anti-Semitic ranting. Whatever I would have written about the irony of the situation wouldn’t have been as effective as how Scott expressed it.

My kids, who are 7 and 4, stick their fingers in their ears and go “la la la” when they don’t want to listen to someone. America, can we grow up, please? President Amadinejad wants to come and tell us his side of the story, first-hand, instead of all that rubbish that the pop media spoonfeeds you through the idiot box. I have no proof, but my hunch is that Iranians aren’t the puppy-murdering evil people that they’ve been made out to be.

Our own President has waged a war against a small group of people who he can’t clearly identify and locate. He controls a known arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Americans are terrified to travel–not because of “the terrorists”–but because we stand a good chance of losing our rights and being detained at the airport because of what we look like, how we dress, what we have in our suitcases, or where we’re going. Our children bring guns to school and shoot each other. We don’t feel safe leaving our kids playing in our own backyard any more.

As ego-centric Americans, we act as self-appointed stewards of freedom (doesn’t that just make you laugh out loud?). Therefore, we have an obligation to recognize that President Ahmadinejad represents his people and by sharing his story–that of the people he is responsible for–we might have a chance to learn that they are not so very different from us. Perhaps we can even help each other, somehow. But, as long as we keep believing the rhetoric of our own government and media and act like immature children and refuse to listen to what we don’t like to hear, how will we learn? And if we don’t learn, how will we ever improve?

I beg you all to show the world why America truly is the greatest nation in the world–stop being fools and start being part of the larger world as one nation out of many. Let us listen to what President Ahmadinejad is trying to tell us about the conditions of his people–their fears, their angers, their hatred–and try to understand how what we are doing here, affects them, half-way around the world. It is time to see past the end of your cable television from your little trailer park and know that the reason why Americans can’t locate America on a world map isn’t just because “we don’t have maps.”

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Comments

  1. thank you. thank you. and amen! i was having this exact discussion with my brother-in-law (a saudi) at dinner last night. i am no longer proud to be american but deeply ashamed. i am ashamed for what is going on and ashamed for not doing anything to stop it. why can not bush be charged as a war criminal?

  2. Interesting. As someone who has lots of family in Israel (my parents emigrated, and by now a few cousins have, but other than that, all of my extended family is there), I definitely like the advantage that Israel has. And yes, it gets what some might call carte blanche. Then again, it’s a country literally surrounded by enemies. Imagine if you couldn’t cross the border into NY State, Delaware or PA because it was enemy territory. If you want to go farther than your state, you have to fly. (and these days you can’t even go everywhere; most citizens consider Jerusalem unsafe, and on my last trip there we drove to the Dead Sea and took the “long way” to avoid going through Jerusalem)

    That all aside, I do believe in free speech. And that those that are portrayed as guilty often aren’t *as* guilty as they appear, and those portrayed as innocent aren’t as innocent as they appear. (That’s not even getting into the fact that there are many that are guilty that have sound reasoning like personal revenge or nationalistic pride. I don’t agree with the reasoning, but at least it’s there, and many of our country’s actions don’t really have sound reasoning — why do we decry those who say the Holocaust is a myth yet turn a blind eye to Turkey’s denial of the Armenian genocide?)

    So, um, yeah. Let him speak. Let folks throw rotten tomatoes at him. Let folks hear what he has to say. Let him put a wreath at Ground Zero. He didn’t directly cause the deaths of 9/11/2001, and even if he did, he can still regret them. In fact, *if* he had any connection at all, isn’t it better that he does express regret?

    Columbia is a private university and can do what it wants. It’s located near a very Orthodox Jewish community, so maybe it’s not the best location. However, c’mon folks!

  3. Muhamed Zalfur says:

    Hai, Why don’t you just shut up. Your just a terrorist. Become a anhero. Its for the best for everyone. Thank you.

    Sand Nigger.

  4. well, when people from different nationalities gather together, we all agree that american are dumb, sorry, no offense.

  5. Well said, I wish other people would wake the hell up.

  6. Q. What do call someone who speaks 2 languages
    A. Bilingual
    Q. What do call someone who speaks 3 languages
    A. Trilingual
    Q. What do call someone who speaks 1 language
    A. Monolingual NO – American

  7. It’s difficult to grant this fellow the right to speak freely, when he does not grant the same right in his own country. He may well have something to say, but its not easy to find that worth in the flow of vitriol that he emits.

    Are Iranians, as a whole, puppy-killers? I doubt it. Is this fellow? Even money — and thats being generous.

  8. It’s important to take into consideration how a “leader” got into power. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is known to be a former “soldier”, if you want to call it that, who has shot suspected enemies execution style. He ascended to power because of his ties to a regime that used brutal tactics to gain control over oil money during a power vacuum in Iran. And this is not “all in the past”. Still today, dissidents disappear, or are publicly humiliated. Women must submit to certain standards of dress or be punished. This happens now, as you are reading this.

    While I feel a chilly reception is childish, and impotent, I can excuse it as being borne out of frustration. The frustration of having a president that is very ineffectual in stopping Iran from acquiring WMD’s, despite running on a platform of being the candidate who could best prevent that.

    Whenever in dialogs with people who are fairly self-critical of the United States, I have to raise the question of whether they are judging peoples and governments of the world by the same standards. So I need to pose these questions to you. Do you hold us to a higher standard than you hold Iran? Do you wish your “representative” was someone appointed to run for office, by a party who enforces it’s strict religious and cultural norms on the populace? Would you want a “representative” who will stay in office as long as unelected Mullah’s see fit? …Or are you merely being disproportionately critical of the United States because you are an American?

  9. I have no objection to Ahmadinejad speaking his mind. I just don’t see why we should be spending money and resources on security so that he can speak here. With today’s communication technology, he could deliver his screed from back in Iran and be heard.

  10. Glenn:

    I don’t see myself as holding us to a higher standard–a different standard, certainly, but not higher. Even if I disagree with another individual’s–or culture’s–morality, I think it’s important to respect our differences.

    What concerns me is the fairness, consistency and equality with which those rules are followed, obeyed, enforced. That is where I can admire the Iranians, compared to our incredible moral gerrymandering in America.

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