Push back against the Great Hater

Michael Goodwin:

Mercy, mercy - I've had enough. No more of the Iranian madman. Two days of his squirrely rants should violate international bans on torture.

A day after he stained Columbia University with his appearance there, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday offered more of the same bile and nonsense at the United Nations. Between pledging fealty to the Prophets, expressing love for all mankind, he blasted "certain powers" and the "Zionist regime" as the focus of all evil. Look who's talking.

Thankfully, there was a major push back, and it came from unexpected quarters. France and the Democratic-led Congress took the lead in what, if the world is lucky, will be the start of a great awakening against this global menace. Let's hope it is.

New French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned the UN against Iran's nuclear intentions, saying, "There will be no peace in the world if the international community falters in the face of nuclear arms proliferation." Sarkozy, injecting spine into his country's foreign policy, added, "Weakness and renunciation do not lead to peace. They lead to war."

The House moved a bipartisan bill that passed by a lopsided 397 to 16. It adds to an existing one that imposes sanctions on foreign firms that invest more than $20million in Iran's energy industry and would prohibit the White House from waiving the sanctions. And a pending Senate resolution calls on the State Department to label Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, a designation that could lead to sanctions.


The UN business-as-usual bunch got a boost thanks to Columbia University giving Ahmadinejad a prominent platform under the fig leaf of free speech. Never mind that he made no sense with his demands for scientific research into the Holocaust or was laughed at for saying there was no homosexuality in Iran. To his audience back home and to much of the Muslim world, where free speech is an oxymoron, Ahmadinejad was the winner just by being there.

There has been something of a turning point in rhetoric. Bollinger's speech and that of Democrats in Congress prove that their accusations against Bush have more to do with politics than with deeply held beliefs, since they are now saying the same thing about Iran as President Bush. Goodwin criticizes Bush for passing on an opportunity to bash Ahmadinejad in his speech to the UN. At that point it would have been like piling on a cripple.


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