Analysis: what was so objectionable about Ahmadinejad’s speech?
By End the Lie
It is clear that Ahmadinejad’s address to today’s 66th Session of the United States General Assembly was not well met. That is a bit of an understatement as the entirety of the United States delegation, along with Israel and EU nations, totaling over 30 countries, walked out in the middle of his speech.
He was quickly lambasted in the press for his “anti-Semitic slurs” and “conspiracy theories” but when one takes a look at his address found on the UN’s official website, it doesn’t quite measure up to this picture.
One thing that truly surprised me in his speech was his praise of global governance. If you removed these passages and attributed them to some of the greatest campaigners for a new world order, like many American Presidents and the likes of Kissinger and others, I would not find it out of character.
The passage that stands out most as being clearly pro-global governance and what I would consider strange compared to the rest of his statements is found on page 9 of the transcript of his address. It reads,
“All of us should acknowledge the fact that there is no other way than the shared and collective management of the world in order to put an end to the present disorders, tyranny, and discriminations worldwide.” [Emphasis in original]
He also praises the institution of the United Nations calling it “a great and historical achievement of mankind” while criticizing its structure by saying that there is an “absence of justice in the current management structures and mechanisms”.
Of course these parts of his speech are being ignored by the Western media because they betray the picture of a Holocaust-denying, blood-sucking tyrant and instead paint a picture of someone who considers “the very foundation of universal human values” to be “Monotheism, justice, freedom, love and the quest for happiness.” While I think that labeling monotheism a universal human value is going a bit far, he clearly said some things which betray the image we are presented here in the West.
Before I go further in my analysis I must make it clear that I do not support Ahmadinejad or the human rights abuses attributed to him. I do not necessarily support the Iranian regime and what they stand for, either. That does not mean that I can’t rationally analyze his words, and it definitely does not mean I will go out of my way to demonize him for his statements like the rest of the mainstream media.
The Jerusalem Post reported today that the moment when many of the delegates walked out was when “he suggested that European countries use the Holocaust as a pretext for giving aid to Israel.”
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, this is not quite accurate.
The point Ahmadinejad tried to make, which seems lost on the entire staff of The Jerusalem Post, is the same exact point made in Norman Finkelstein’s highly controversial work The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering.
Finkelstein argues that the tragedy of the Nazi Holocaust has been exploited for political and financial gain, as well as to silence critics of Israel’s human rights violations and illegal occupation of Palestine.
Neither Ahmadinejad nor Finkelstein argue that “European countries use the Holocaust as a pretext for giving aid to Israel.” The closest one could get to that is the point that criticism of funding Israel is stifled by bringing in the “Holocaust shmata” (shmata is Yiddish for a rag or towel) in order to silence critics.
The Jerusalem Post also fails to bring in the second half of his statement which is wholly logical. I would like to hear a real refutation of his point, if anyone can provide one to me.
“If some European countries still use the Holocaust, after six decades, as the excuse to pay fine or ransom to the Zionists, should it not be an obligation upon the slave masters or colonial powers to pay reparations to the affected nations?”
This statement is based on relatively solid logical grounds. How can you say that Germans (and other Europeans) still have to pay reparations and pensions to Jewish people and organizations for the Holocaust while African-Americans haven’t received a penny? What about the Spanish paying reparations to the native people they displaced, raped and slaughtered? You can’t pretend to stand for social justice but only apply it to one group who has been harmed, that is ludicrous.
I’m not sure how you can demonize someone for calling for real justice and reparations for peoples and nations subjugated and mistreated, but The Jerusalem Post managed to do so.
Another point mentioning is that, in that statement, Ahmadinejad effectively silenced anyone who calls him a Holocaust denier. He clearly knows the Holocaust occurred and makes it clear by saying “the Holocaust” not “the alleged Holocaust” or “the alleged killing of Jewish people by Nazis during WWII”. Can we stop pretending he is denying the Holocaust now?
On that note, let’s investigate some of the claims that his speech was anti-Semitic. First we must accept the fallacious definition of anti-Semitism that includes Jewish Europeans who are in no way Semitic other than the fact that Hebrew is classified as a Semitic language. Refuting this definition would take a full-length article unto itself, so let’s just pretend that all Jewish people are Semites but not any of the other Semitic peoples throughout the Middle East.
The spokesman for the United States Mission to the United Nations, Mark Kornblau, said that Ahmadinejad “again turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories”.
To analyze this statement and its validity, we must make another assumption: the “official story” of 9/11 is not a conspiracy theory, even though it is a theory involving a criminal conspiracy, solely involving al Qaeda operatives, to commit an act of terror against the United States. While the official story is literally a conspiracy theory in every single way, we must toss that aside and pretend that a spade is not a spade in order to analyze Kornblau’s claims.
Since Kornblau didn’t identify a single of the apparently multiple “anti-Semitic slurs” I am forced to attempt to find “abhorrent” statements that are clearly “anti-Semitic slurs”. This isn’t quite as easy to do as one might think.
Starting on page 2 of the transcript, Ahmadinejad begins down a laundry list of wrongs carried out by the Western world, specifically America and Western European nations. Nowhere does he place responsibility on Jewish people, or even Zionists as one might assume he would.
The closest he gets to a blatant case of anti-Semitism is when he asks,
“Who imposed, through deceits and hypocrisy, the Zionism [sic] and over sixty years of war, homelessness, terror and mass murder on the Palestinian people and on countries of the region?”
If you read this by itself out of context you very well might think this is an “abhorrent anti-Semitic” slur. However, when you read the points both before and after, you realize that he is not talking about Jewish people but about Europeans.
The question he poses before is,
“Who triggered the first and second world wars, that left seventy millions killed [sic] and hundreds of millions injured or homeless. [sic] Who created the wars in Korean peninsula [sic] and in Vietnam?”
Then after the possibly anti-Semitic remark he says,
“Who imposed and supported for decades the military dictatorship and totalitarian regimes on Asian, African, and Latin American nations [?]
“Who used nuclear bomb [sic] against defenseless people, and stockpiled thousands of warheads in their arsenals?”
Clearly he is not talking about Jewish people or Israel, or if he is he thinks that Jewish people started WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam; dictated the foreign policy decisions of America and other Western European nations; and he even thinks that Jewish people dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki while also stockpiling thousands of nuclear warheads in their secret Jewish arsenals.
Ahmadinejad might not be the brightest bulb in the world but is he really crazy enough to believe that? He very well might be but there is no indication that he was talking about Jewish people when he ran down the laundry list of questions. In fact, his target seemed to be mostly targeting America and Western Europe but not Israel, Zionists, or Jewish people.
I wish Kornblau was able to point to one of his “abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs” as I do not seem to find them.
Ahmadinejad seems to be pointing to a nebulous group of the Western elite who control foreign and economic policy and in all of the cases where he cites multiple governments, in order for it to be anti-Semitic one would have to say that either Ahmadinejad believes Jewish people run every government he speaks of or indeed Jewish people run every government he speaks of. I’m not prepared to say either one of those statements is accurate.
For Kornblau’s statement regarding anti-Semitic slurs to be correct when Ahmadinejad says, “Whose economies rely on waging wars and selling arms?” he would have to actually be speaking of Jewish economies, not the economies of America the UK and other NATO countries like one would rationally assume.
Furthermore, when he says, “Which country’s military spending exceeds annually a thousand billion dollars, more than the military budgets of all countries of the world combined?” he could not be speaking of America, unless Kornblau thinks that Jewish people are behind the American military-industrial complex in which case it could be construed as anti-Semitic.
Another comment that might have been seen as anti-Semitic was when he said,
“They view Zionism as a sacred nation and ideology. Any question concerning its very foundation and history is condemned by them as an unforgivable sin. However they endorse and allow sacrileges and insult against beliefs of other divine religions.”
Is Ahmadinejad talking about Jewish people here? He would have to be in order to claim that this is an anti-Semitic slur. Unfortunately for those who might try, not all Jewish people view Zionism as a sacred ideology, nor do all Jewish people unquestioningly support the very foundation and history of Israel.
On the other hand, the government of America arguably blindly supports Israel and thus the Zionist ideology, along with their foundation and history, along with Israel’s right to “defend herself” even if it means hideous war crimes like the ones committed during Operation Cast Lead.
Again, where are the “abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs”? I was expecting a lot more when I finally sat down to read the text of his address but I walked away without anything that was clearly an abhorrent anti-Semitic slur. In order to find one I would have to ignore logic, facts and maybe even what he actually said in favor of what I think (or would like to think) he said.
When it comes down to it, Ahmadinejad was doing no Jew-hating in his speech. He was, however, doing a lot of hating on the oppressive, evil and corrupt history of American foreign policy and European colonialism along with imperialism as a whole.
If the United States Mission to the United Nations wanted to be accurate, they might have opted for the truth instead of pretending there were “abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs” where there clearly are none to cover up the fact that they couldn’t take the heat and simply left the kitchen.
Kornblau didn’t elucidate what exactly he meant by “despicable conspiracy theories” either, but one can assume that it is Ahmadinejad’s mention of September 11th, which he has brought up in the past and is usually quickly attacked for mentioning outside of the context of blind reverence for the official American story.
“Last year, when the need to form a fact-finding team to undertake a thorough investigation concerning the hidden elements involved in September 11 incident [sic] was brought up; an idea also endorsed by all independent governments and nations as well as by the majority in the United States, my country and myself came under pressure and threat by the government of the United States.
“Instead of assigning a fact-finding team, they killed the main perpetrator and threw his body into the sea.
“Would it not have been reasonable to bring to justice and openly bring to trial the main perpetrator of the incident in order to identify the elements behind the safe space provided for the invading aircraft to attack the twin world trade towers?
“Why should it not have been allowed to bring him to trial to help recognize those who launched terrorist groups and brought wars and other miseries into the region?
“Is there any classified information that must be kept secret?”
I think that Ahmadinejad makes some great points here which are the antithesis of conspiracy theory.
Justice and the need to identify what exactly happened on 9/11 which allowed NORAD and other defense systems to fail in every way humanly possible are not conspiracy theories. If Kornblau thinks that Justice and the right to a fair trial are conspiracy theories he clearly hasn’t read the documents upon which our nation was founded recently.
What are some other conspiracy theories pushed by Ahmadinejad?
He said, “They insist on imposing their lifestyle and beliefs on others.” Well, that’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s called the Bush Doctrine. No dice once again, Kornblau.
How about, “They officially support racism.” Is that a conspiracy theory? For decades, that was a legal fact in the United States. Today, it is an irrefutable fact that the state of Israel, also known as the Jewish state of Israel, is a racist state. It’s a bit hard to argue that a “Jewish only” road isn’t a policy of a racist state.
America is still a racist nation but most of the official support for racism has withered away over recent years. However, one could argue that our official support of the racist state of Israel is officially supporting racism.
However, much of the above was not even heard by Kornblau or the other diplomats who left part-way through the speech. In fact, if The Jerusalem Post is correct in their timing of the exit, most of what one could argue are “abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs” and “despicable conspiracy theories” were brought up after they had left. The point at which The Jerusalem Post says many of the diplomats left was near the bottom of the 5th page, out of the 11 total pages of text.
So, before you take the mainstream media’s word for it and consider Ahmadinejad a rabid anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, you might want to take a few minutes to read his words yourself.
Like me, you do not need to be a supporter to realize that he is being given an unfair treatment in the media and that some of what he has to say has merit.
One quote that I would like to close this analysis with from Ahmadinejad’s speech today, one that I find especially prescient given the expansion of the imperialist crusade to Libya, Somalia and Yemen is this:
“Can the flower of democracy blossom from NATO’s missiles, bombs and guns?”
What do you think about Ahmadinejad’s speech? Was it like Kornblau made it out to be? Did I miss something? Need to ease your stress and curse me out to make yourself feel better? I’d love to hear from you at [email protected] and I might use your comments in an update or future article!