Dave Winer links to a transcript and video of Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University.
Bollinger’s totally disrespectful introduction of President Ahmadinejad was unbelievable. Ahmadinejad even goes on to say “I know there’s time limits, but I need time. I mean, a lot of time was taken from me.” He should have just taken the time he needed and said “Don’t taze me, bro” if they continued to pressure him.
If you haven’t yet, go and read the transcript. I would love to see the sources people keep quoting where he calls for the violent destruction of Israel, where he denies the Holocaust, or any of those things. From what he said most recently at Columbia University, I’m starting to suspect that those faulty interpretations were more the fault of our crack journalists and media wankers.
My take-aways from his speech:
- Iran has complied with IAEA. Iran refuses to be bullied into giving other countries money for nuclear power technologies that are never delivered. Legally, Iran has every right to pursue peaceful nuclear power and has been doing so.
- Ahmadinejad believes there is still opportunity to research Holocaust-related events. This does not equate to denial of the Holocaust. Anyone who interprets his position as such is simply wrong.
- Iran, just like the US, employs capital punishment. Iran, just like the US, has laws. Women are highly respected in Iran. Criminals aren’t, even if they’re women.
- Ahmadinejad does not see science in conflict with religion, quite unlike our own President. He sees the human desire and ability to grow our knowledge as a gift by God. Regardless of your position on God’s existence, not holding science at odds with religion is a healthy mindset.
I hope Americans can listen to his message–I don’t think it was offensive or inciteful or provocative–and learn from it. We are all on this ball of dirt called Earth together. Perhaps we should learn to make the best of our time on it together?