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Sep-24-2007 05:28printcomments

Iranian President’s Columbia University Visit Stirs Debate

The Controversial leader will be questioned about his denial of the Holocaust and his call for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Photo courtesy: wikimedia.org

(SALEM, Ore.) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of the world's most notorious and controversial national leaders, will speak and participate in a question and answer session today at Columbia University’s World Leaders Forum.

Lee C. Bollinger became the
19th President of Columbia
University on June 1st 2002.

The hotly contested decision of Columbia's distinguished president, Lee Bollinger, has Jewish groups scrambling and planning rallies across Manhattan to protest his appearances at both Columbia University and the U.N.

But many at Columbia say he should be received in good faith, and that his choice to participate in the forum represents a rare and opportunity for those who seek to know more about an otherwise mysterious and worrisome world character. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a person whose decision could have a huge impact on the world.

Ahmadinejad had asked to visit Ground Zero where he could lay a wreath, to show respect, but his request was denied. He also was told he could not visit Disneyworld, and other popular American venues.

Critics like FOX News ask why the law school won't allow an ROTC program to be part of its curriculum, but they will allow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "one of America’s avowed enemies," in the words of FOX, onto its campus. They also criticize the fact that the militant border vigilante group "Minutemen" was denied an appearance at Columbia.

It is hard to deny that some political factions seem determined to keep Americans in the dark and unaware of the way people like Ahmadinejad may really feel about certain issues.

Perhaps this man who reportedly said the Holocaust is "fiction" will say he was taken out of context with that statement, or maybe he will reassert the ridiculous point during the forum. Either way, Americans will be more educated at the end of the day, and this controversial man will have an opportunity to enjoy the unfiltered free speech of the United States of America. It never hurts to be cordial and if nothing else, take an opportunity to get to know your enemy.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appearance is sponsored by Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, which is initiating a year-long series of lectures and events on thirty years of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The SIPA lecture series will include academic experts as well as former officials and critics of the Islamic Republic.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger says this opportunity for faculty and students to engage the President of Iran came about after Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee at the Iranian Mission to the United Nations initiated contact with Columbia through a member of the faculty, Richard Bulliet, who is a specialist on Iran. The university is only opening the event to students, faculty and staff with Columbia University identification and their invited guests.

Bollinger emphasized that such World Leaders Forum events must allow ample time for students and faculty to pose questions that challenge the views expressed by the speakers.

John H. Coatsworth, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs, confirmed that the Iranian president had agreed to this format. Dean Coatsworth will moderate the question and answer period following Ahmadinejad’s speech.

The US government has accused Ahmadinejad’s government of supporting terrorism and developing nuclear weapons capacity. Human rights groups have charged Iran with suppressing dissent and women’s rights. Columbia students and faculty will themselves have an opportunity to question Iran’s leader on these and other issues.

Dean Coatsworth stated that “Opportunities to hear, challenge, and learn from controversial speakers of different views are central to the education and training of students for citizenship in a shrinking and still dangerous world. This is especially true for SIPA students, many of whose careers will require them to confront human rights and security issues throughout the globe.”

But on Sunday, another Columbia dean, David Schizer who heads the law school, joined Jewish groups and others in criticizing the invitation extended to Ahmadinejad.

"Although we believe in free and open debate at Columbia and should never suppress points of view, we are also committed to academic standards," Schizer said in a statement to JTA News. "A high-quality academic discussion depends on intellectual honesty but, unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has proven himself, time and again, to be uninterested in whether his words are true."

President Bollinger says he will introduce the event by challenging President Ahmadinejad on a number of his controversial statements and his government’s policies, including his denial of the Holocaust and his call for the destruction of the State of Israel.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with almost twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist and reporter. Today, in addition to his role as a war correspondent in Afghanistan where he spent the winter of 2006/07, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated only with Google News. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Asghar_g786@yahoo.com May 11, 2011 11:21 am (Pacific time)

Sir ....I Most Respeqt u..I Like y sir..Mahmoud Ahmadinejad..U Great and Intelegant man..I Like u..And I Love u...


James Montalto September 27, 2007 10:10 am (Pacific time)

Dean Coatsworth stated that “Opportunities to hear, challenge, and learn from controversial speakers of different views (OH REALLY? HOW COME THEY WON'T LET THE VIGILANTE GROUP THE MINUTEMEN SPEAK - THEY HAVE DIFFERING VIEWS, TOO. OH I SEE, THEY MUST ONLY ALLOW THOSE WITH DIFFERING VIEWS THAT HAPPEN TO AGREE WITH THE FACULTY) are central to the education and training of students for citizenship in a shrinking and still dangerous world. This is especially true for SIPA students, many of whose careers will require them to confront human rights and security issues throughout the globe.” But on Sunday, another Columbia dean, David Schizer who heads the law school, joined Jewish groups and others in criticizing the invitation extended to Ahmadinejad. "Although we believe in free and open debate at Columbia and should never suppress points of view, we are also committed to academic standards," Schizer said in a statement to JTA News. "A high-quality academic discussion depends on intellectual honesty but, unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has proven himself, time and again, to be uninterested in whether his words are true." BRAVO! A COLUMBIA PROFESSOR WHO STANDS UP AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM VIEWS AND FIGHTS FOR THE TRUTH. President Bollinger says he will introduce the event by challenging President Ahmadinejad on a number of his controversial statements and his government’s policies, including his denial of the Holocaust and his call for the destruction of the State of Israel. BOLLINGER CONCEDED THAT AHMADENIJAD CALLED FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL AND DENIED THE HOLOCAUST. WHY CAN'T YOU, MR. KING? AT LEAST HE DIDN'T SAY THAT RIDICULOUS STATEMENT YOU MADE THAT "PERHAPS HE WAS TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT OR PERHAPS HE WILL REASSERT IT..." NOT SURE WHY GOOGLE POSTS YOUR NEWS SITE ON THEIR NEWS PAGE, BECAUSE YOUR STANDARDS ARE VERY LOW. THIS WAS A POOR PIECE, SIR. ALSO TO CHALLENGE ONE OTHER THING YOU SAID IN A PREVIOUS POST ABOUT STICKING UP FOR THOSE IN UNIFORM, I NEVER ATTACKED OR DISPARAGED ANY OF OUR UNIFORMED MEN AND WOMEN. NEVER. SO DON'T EQUATE ME CRITICIZING YOUR "REPORTING" WITH CRITICIZING THOSE IN UNIFORM. IN YOUR CAPACITY AS A "WAR REPORTER," YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE ARMED FORCES. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU ARE A RESERVIST, BUT I AM NOT ATTACKING THE SERVICE TO OUR NATION. I AM CRITICIZING THE REPORTER AND HIS STATEMENTS. HENRY, INTERESTED IN FINDING ABOUT ABSOLUTE TRUTH? DO YOU HAVE A CONSCIENCE THAT TELLS YOU THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG? IS MURDER WRONG? IS LYING WRONG? IS STEALING WRONG? IS PEDOPHILIA WRONG? IS WANTING TO WIPE OUT AN ENTIRE NATION OF PEOPLE WRONG? IF SO, THEN LIKE I HAVE STATED, THOSE ARE ABSOLUTE TRUTHS. TRUTH IS NOT UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL. IF A PERSON WERE TO BELIEVE, SAY MURDER WAS GOOD, THEN THAT WOULD BE TRUTH TO THAT PERSON - BUT THEY WOULD BE DEAD WRONG. GOOD DAY, SIRS.


James Montalto September 27, 2007 10:08 am (Pacific time)

my response continued in capital letters Perhaps this man who reportedly said the Holocaust is "fiction" will say he was taken out of context with that statement, or maybe he will reassert the ridiculous point during the forum. THIS MAN WHO REPORTEDLY SAID THE HOLOCAUST IS FICTION? HE DEFINITELY SAID IT. IN FACT, GERMANY DIDN'T WANT TO LET HIM IN THEIR COUNTRY FOR A SOCCER GAME BECAUSE DENYING THE HOLOCAUST IS AGAINST THE LAW IN THAT COUNTRY. HE DEFINITELY SAID IT. I SAW A TAPE OF HIS COMMENTS AND READ THEM.Either way, Americans will be more educated at the end of the day, and this controversial man will have an opportunity to enjoy the unfiltered free speech of the United States of America. It never hurts to be cordial and if nothing else, take an opportunity to get to know your enemy. OH REALLY? ARE YOU NOW MORE EDUCATED AFTER HEARING HIS RHETORIC? I DIDN'T LEARN ANYTHING FROM HIS DRIVEL. YOU WANTED DIALOGUE, YOU GOT RHETORIC. YOU CAN'T REASON WITH THE UNREASONABLE...AND FREE SPEECH? THAT'S A RIGHT RESERVED IN OUR COUNTRY FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS, NOT CRAZED TERRORISTS. HE IS NOT PROTECTED BY OUR CONSTITUTION. IN FACT, IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY I'M SURE HE WOULD SPIT ON OUR CONSTITUTION. ALSO, HE HAS FREE SPEECH ALL THE TIME IN IRAN, AS HE SAYS PRETTY MUCH WHATEVER THE HELL HE WANTS AND EVERYONE THINKS THAT HE IS JUST TALKING AND WON'T REALLY FOLLOW THROUGH WITH HIS STATEMENTS...SEE ADOLF HITLER, CIRCA 1936 FOR REFERENCE. NO ONE THOUGHT HE WAS SERIOUS EITHER, LOOK WHAT HAPPENED.


James Montalto September 27, 2007 10:07 am (Pacific time)

my response is in capital letter to differentiate between my words and King's my response to your editorial in CAPS But many at Columbia say he should be received in good faith, and that his choice to participate in the forum represents a rare and opportunity for those who seek to know more about an otherwise mysterious and worrisome world character. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a person whose decision could have a huge impact on the world. DECISION ON WHAT? Ahmadinejad had asked to visit Ground Zero where he could lay a wreath, to show respect, but his request was denied. GOOD. HE SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED THERE. THE 9/11 FAMILIES AREN'T ALLOWED - WHY SHOULD HE BE? BESIDES WHO WOULD HE BE PAYING RESPECTS FOR? THE TERRORIST HIJACKERS OR THE VICTIMS? He also was told he could not visit Disneyworld, and other popular American venues. DISNEYWORLD IS NOT WITHIN A 25-MILE RADIUS OF THE UN. AND BESIDES, PERHAPS HE COULD GET A VISA IF HE DIDN'T FUNNEL IRANIAN MONEY TO HAMAS, HEZBOLLAH, ISLAMIC JIHAD, ETC., FOR SUICIDE BOMBINGS AND TERRORISTIC ACTIVITIES. Critics like FOX News ask why the law school won't allow an ROTC program to be part of its curriculum, but they will allow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "one of America’s avowed enemies," in the words of FOX, onto its campus.THIS IS TRUE. WHY WAS HE ALLOWED TO SPEAK AND ROTC IS NOT ALLOWED ON THEIR CAMPUS? IT'S RIDICULOUS. AND YOU SAID - "IN THE WORDS OF FOX" - ARE THESE WORDS INCORRECT? DO YOU HAVE TO SHOW YOUR DISDAIN FOR FOX NEWS IN WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN UNBIASED ARTICLE? YOUR FEELINGS FOR FOX ARE PERFECTLY CLEAR BY YOUR CHOICE OF WORDS. They also criticize the fact that the militant border vigilante group "Minutemen" was denied an appearance at Columbia. INTERESTING CHOICE OF WORDS, "MILITANT" AND "VIGILANTE." WELL THAT'S TRUE, THEY ARE, BUT THEY ARE HELPING TO PROTECT OUR BORDERS BECAUSE OUR SECURITY PATROLS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PROPERLY DO THEIR JOBS AS EVIDENCED BY THE CASE INVOLVING A MEXICAN-ILLEGAL DRUG DEALER CROSSING THE BORDER AND HOW THE BORDER PATROL AGENTS ARE NOW ON TRIAL FACING PROSECUTION FOR GOING AFTER HIM. It is hard to deny that some political factions seem determined to keep Americans in the dark and unaware of the way people like Ahmadinejad may really feel about certain issues. CERTAIN POLITICAL FACTIONS? HMMM...INTERESTING. I WONDER WHAT FACTIONS YOU COULD BE REFERRING TO...CONSERVATIVES??? ALSO, HOW ARE THEY TRYING TO KEEP AMERICANS IN THE DARK ABOUT HOW AHMADENIJAD REALLY FEELS? PLEASE EXPLAIN.


James Montalto September 27, 2007 10:05 am (Pacific time)

critique of Mr. King's editorial I will break it up into a few posts so you might print it. I have already tried two times now and it was not even given the opportunity for administrative approval. Perhaps it was too long. ok here goes


steve September 27, 2007 9:59 am (Pacific time)

what's the big deal anyway? he said what he wanted to say, he left, no one pays him much attention and now it's over. adios mahmoud


James Montalto September 27, 2007 6:36 am (Pacific time)

Tim King wrote: "Either way, Americans will be more educated at the end of the day, and this controversial man will have an opportunity to enjoy the unfiltered free speech of the United States of America. It never hurts to be cordial and if nothing else, take an opportunity to get to know your enemy." Tim, I was wondering, are we, as Americans, now "more educated at the end of the day" after hearing Ahmadenijad speak? Instead of "dialogue" that you so wanted, what took place is nothing but the same old tired rhetoric. The man is a liar, he didn't give one honest answer. You want to get to know your enemies? On the surface it sounds nice, but you can't reason with the unreasonable. One other thing, Ahmadenijad has his platform at the UN, it is there where he could and is allowed to speak freely. However, as a non-American citizen, he is not protected by the Constitution, so he should not be granted the right to say whatever he wants, wherever he wants. And in case you haven't noticed, Ahmadenijad says pretty much whatever he feels like saying anyway, so he doesn't have to come to America to enjoy, as you put it, unfiltered free speech. Good day.


wow September 26, 2007 11:38 am (Pacific time)

this forum is filled with anti-Semitic, terrorist loving pieces of work. what you people ought to do, if you hate America so much, is leave. perhaps you would like to become a resident of Iran. I would certainly help pay for your moving expenses - one less idiot in this country!


Carl Reynolds September 26, 2007 11:28 am (Pacific time)

Congratulations on your having the courage to examine the position of Ahmadinejad objectively. Almost all of the American media is completely sucked into the Bush Regime's propaganda when all that's about is scapegoating Iran (and anybody else they can find) to divert blame for the disaster in Iraq. According to the UN's weapons inspectors, who were so right on Iraq's WMD, Iran has not enriched uranium beyond the 4% level - which cannot make a bomb. The US is bullying other nations into going along with the scapegoating. From what I have read Amadinejad didn't deny the Holocaust but instead claimed the numbers wre exaggerated. Also he apparently didn't say Israel should be destroyed, but rather should be moved to Europe (or to the US). Since we, the US, are already shelling out the big $$ and committed to going to war whenever Israel wants us to , we might as well take the Jewish state on as our 51st state and relocate them. http://www.quixote-quest.org


James Montalto September 26, 2007 10:10 am (Pacific time)

To Tim King and Henry, You do seem to be worried whether I like your article or else you wouldn't have posted a comment to me on this board. Excuse me sir, but since you are a "war reporter," does that make you above reproach? No one can criticize you. Wow, it seems that I am being chastised by Tim King and Henry Ruark for expressing the very thing that you both so adamantly want the Iranian president to have - free speech. However, unlike Ahmadenijad, I am an American citizen and am protected by the Constitution of the United States. He has his platform at the UN and is welcome to spout his hateful diatribe there, but to invite him to Columbia with a platform to speak is disgusting. What did he really say, anyway? You wanted dialogue? You got the same old rhetoric. I'm glad to see seasoned journalists like yourselves are acting in such a way to attack my character, something of which either of you know nothing about. I didn't attack you, I attacked your ridiculous left-leaning, liberal-loving crappy "article." If you coud even call it an article. But of course, you are entitled to your opinion and so am I. Good day.


Bob Guttmann September 25, 2007 7:03 pm (Pacific time)

from a Canadian view I have watch this guy and I am amazed you let him in your country to be honest with you.Seems crazy to me he is always smiling and seems like everything is a joke to him.I don`t know much about his history as a leader but I think he better settle down and figure out that the USA is not playing games like he seems to be.


Henry Ruark September 25, 2007 8:47 am (Pacific time)

To all: For bkgrnd data entirely relevant to "big picture" in this story et al, and to Neal's comment, "see with own eyes" re cabal attack at: www.consortiumnews.com/Print/2007/092507a.html


Henry Ruark September 25, 2007 6:57 am (Pacific time)

Neal: Surely admire your solid use of non-restrained language, not so open to some of us for many so-called "professional" reasons. But can surely reflect that your facts are right on target and that documentation exists in depth, variety and plenty for every statement you made. For anyone wishing further on this point,"bring 'em on !" is all/I/can/add...ID self to editor and I'll furnish PDFs to crowd your Desktop tightly.


Neal Feldman September 24, 2007 6:57 pm (Pacific time)

Ya gotta love the wingnuts from the extreme right. If you say anything that disagrees with their fringe Noise Machine created BS you are some 'moonbat liberal leaning liar' when in fact more often than not it id the neocons who lie through their teeth. These freaks attack because they have nothing else.. certainly not facts, logic, reason etc. They had to create an entire newstainment network to get their side out because no credible reporters would ever take their side they are so ridiculous. And they epitomize hypocrisy... they attack Clinton from before he even took office, Swiftboated Kerry etc, yet to them it is Sacrilege and treason to say anything but praise for their boy Shrub. And they wonder why they are such laughingstocks when they have as their main spokespeople drug addicts like Rush Limbaugh and cadaverous harpies like Ann Coulter representing them. Ah well...


Henry Ruark September 24, 2007 5:57 pm (Pacific time)

To all: That's old-hat spin to state so strongly "THEY made THOSE OTHERS DO IT !" -which is what I read from Salama. Fact is the NAZI fanatics did it...whatever was done. Fact is many other nations were also complicit in refusal of refuge for desperate Jews. Fact is that worldwide rapid action by peace-loving nations could perhaps..only perhaps... have averted the Holocaust. Fact is that same ethnic hatred exists today, exhibited from time to time right here in our own nation and state, and not only as anti-Semite virus. There are others at work, too. Fact is that only rational, reasonable, responsible and nearly universal action via an international organization, properly organized, managed, funded and supported, can ever hope to avert still another such deep disaster for the entire human species. We had the beginnings of one, but fact is that same forces allowing first such disaster are still at work, too.


Henry Ruark September 24, 2007 3:30 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Interesting sidelight to this whole furor so fiercely followed today: It was Bush I who sold arms to the Ayatollah; remember the Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal in 1986 Further, this is described in detail in "Invasion of the Party Snatchers", by Victor Gold, longtime speech writer for both Goldwater and Agnew: See p. 51 and following. Relevant here since it very surely shaped U.S. attitude and actions vs both Iraq and Iran, as it does now vs Iran and the atomic weapon.


Ovadia A. Salama September 24, 2007 2:59 pm (Pacific time)

It is a fact that the Palestinians, including their ruling class, the Hussaini tribe, and the Jerusalem Mufti, a nazi close to Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler, are the determining cause of the Holocaust, by virtue of the international pressure they exerted to restrict and even stop immigration of European Jews to Palestine, before and during the nazi period. These Jews' only refuge (protected in principle by the British) was thus denied, resulting in millions of them to be exterminated in death camps.Palestinians were fully aware of the consequences of their anti-immigration policy and jubilated at the news of resulting jewish deaths. As of today, they fondly remember this strategy of theirs, and keep regretting that it has not been successful enough to make all Jews disappear for ever, as the Romans had envisaged before them, with the help of their german and syrian-"palestinian" mercenary legions. I simply cannot understand why nobody stresses these well-known facts. Of course Ahmadinedjad knows them as well, but capitalizes on their being widely ignored or deliberately hushed. Mr.Bollinger appeared to be the only totally ignorant and illiterate individual in this meeting, when he stated that Ahmadinejad's position is defensible and that he respects it as having some merit. Well, Ahmadinedjad's claim that the Palestinians have nothing to do with the Holocaust, and only suffer from its consequences, is not defensible, and it does not have any merit. The Palestinians are responsible for the death of the Holocaust Jews. Had they even allowed them to take refuge in such a small area as the Gaza strip, millions of them would not have died, and... the Gaza strip could have become the State of Israel. But their hatred and cruelty and ingrained fanaticism led them to blockade Palestine entry, resulting in a much larger and mightier State of Israel. Just one example: Would Walter Benjamin have died if he had had a chance to being admitted in Palestine, and allowed to join his friend and colleague Gershon Sholem at the Jerusalem University? And there are millions of similar cases. The nazis wanted to chase the Jews away. The Palestinian blockade strategy (entertained by the British) left no alternative to the German except the"Final Solution". Consequently, the "Palestinians" are the ones responsible for the Holocaust. They are the real culprits. A disturbing reality. -- A. Ovadia Salama, Civ.Eng. (ENPC), MA, Ph.D Former Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia University


Anonymous September 24, 2007 1:58 pm (Pacific time)

If A kills B, B doesn't go ahead and punish C.(and all history is a big IF open to criticism. The Holocaust is not a reality revealed by God after all.) And even IF A did kill B? Whats C gotta do with it?... It seems fairly simple. Theodore Herzl would have been better off in getting the state in Congo.


Benrose September 24, 2007 1:37 pm (Pacific time)

If you wanted to see the full blast of America's jewish and neo-con artist dominated (so-called) news, this is it folks! Jew York Times, MSNBC news, ABC News, Fox, etc. etc. etc. They are all starting their "news" articles with the same lies. "Cruel dictator building nuclear weapons denies holocaust, says he wants to wipe Israel off the map, supports terrorism". Well I guess if anyone speaks out against the American backed terror state of Israel, then they are a terrorist right? Americans have clearly shown their boorish, raunchy, vicious nature very well..right up to Mr. President of the University with his animalistict, bush-style classless comments. Jews Neo-Cons Jews Neo-cons Jews Neo-cons Lies lies lies lies lies. Wars wars wars wars wars. $$ $$ $$ $$ $$ Your country is screwed up and the world is at the receiving end of YOUR (very serious) problems. America's so-called press used the same tacticts to bring down the Shah through outright lies and staged protests. History keeps repeating itself, and the perpetrators are untouchouble because they also happen to own your wonderful Kangaroo Court system.


Henry Ruark September 24, 2007 12:53 pm (Pacific time)

Pat et al: Precisely and perfectly put, Pat, friend... And about time, too !! We can never go wrong by letting him speak, and thus reveal self in depth and real detail, if we but listen and learn... That's how life works, in all reality; try NOT doing both, to see what then will take place inexorably.


Pat September 24, 2007 12:42 pm (Pacific time)

Boys and girls, lets drop the road-rage attitude and try to act like adults. We have all heard the accusations and to be honest, you have to treat anything ANY politician says with a grain (or more!) of salt. I believe this is an opportunity for this man to see how "civilized" and "educated" people handle topics they find distasteful and inflammatory, and will give him an opportunity to respond in kind - or not. Then do your research, determine what are lies and truths, and if you will, judge him accordingly. I look forward to a transcript of the debate.


Henry Ruark September 24, 2007 12:37 pm (Pacific time)

Alice: Don't look now, but you tripped over yr own phrase: "Instead of reporting facts, we are given left-leaning liberal propaganda." IF you can, cite something other than b/b/o to prove yr statement. "Left-leaning",and"liberal", so stated, indicates yr own negativity-for-sure while you loudly seek "objectivity", via your atack on Tim, who has "been there, done that" and seen it in reality --and so reports. Neither "left" nor "liberal" deserve that from anyone who ever lived through Great Depression and the New Deal, and now enjoys what many then fought for, with some killed in the process, too. Forgive: "Vas you dere, Charlie ?" Many of us were, and still remember what it cost to build "the American Dream" so many enjoy today. Sorry for mirror, but take good look...as we all must, from time to time, including me...


dfpeer September 24, 2007 12:28 pm (Pacific time)

Talk and visibility are extremely frightening to some people. Differences are terrifying. Who is hurt by allowing a guy we don't particularly like to express his views, well, anyplace? His motives are questionable? His "facts" are screwy? So what? He's the "enemy," so we shouldn't see or hear him, right? To me, that's gutless. Personally, I think the folks in this country have enough backbone to handle it. And, I admit, Ahmadinejad lacks as much credibility as Bush.


Henry Ruark September 24, 2007 12:22 pm (Pacific time)

Migraine et al: Slight misunderstanding re what I meant as "credentials", sorry about that... I have no more respect for "academic certificates" than that earned by the person holding that piece-of-paper, of which I happen to have two from very respectable academic havens. (M.Ed/OSH; D.Ed abd IU) What I meant to be clear on and perhaps failed,was working experience as well as special training and preparation. For "right to speak" one must have SOMEthing other than simple gut feeling. Best kind comes only from direct confrontation with reality of working world, and I have wounds to show for that, too.(Expensive ones...) Best story I know is famous Oregon Governor, also Editor, when pompous citizen stated to him: "And THAT's MY opinion !!" (Was standing right there) Gov. Sprague looked him right in eye, and stated: "Here we call those things "belly-button opinions", because everybody has one, and they are all about the same...!"...and he went on into office to write his own Editorial. (He did say b/b, altho this one is sometimes told with reference elsewhere.) Gov. S. had right to speak and nobody could possibly deny it; whether or not you liked what he felt had to be stated, you knew it was based on solid fact, researched and only then thought-through, before he wrote a d...... word... On alla/rest yuo right on mark; glad to see yrs here.


Tim King September 24, 2007 11:11 am (Pacific time)

So Alice, I'm bad if I stick up for myself? The guy begins with, "This story is ridiculous. Is this actually a real online newspaper?" That is a blatant insult and that is just his opener. I'm sorry if my sticking up for myself bothers you, and that I had a pretty serious experience overseas last winter that leaves me knowing a thing or two. Hopefully anyone who reads my articles knows that I do want peace in this world, and at the same time I am there to stick up for people in uniform. That's the best I can do.


Migraine September 24, 2007 10:55 am (Pacific time)

I think for what we know about Iran's role in the middle east, Tim King's article was balanced in letting us know what's going on. When the Bush Administration and our and our leaders in congress can't understand the middle east situation and lie about everything they do, and much of the media joins and lies with them, how does anyone really know what's going on. The best article I've seen re Iran and its leader was on Aljazeera today. Henry, why do you constantly challenge everyone to show you their credentials? George Bush went to Harvard, so does that make him intelligent and someone we shouldn't question?Holocaust? Bush calls Ahmadinejad a terrorist and spends millions trying to overthrow his government through radio programs and supporting subversive elements in Iran. Israel is a prime advisor and assistant to the US, which is the major problem in the region. So name calling is just part of the game. Bush's actions and threats to nuke Iran have made Iran a greater middle east power and has caused them to buddy up with Iraq. And let us not forget that Americans elected this idiot as their leader.


Alice Myers September 24, 2007 10:45 am (Pacific time)

Wow! No wonder I am sick of reading articles on Salem-News! If I, or someone else, states an opinion that differs from what is reported on, you better watch out! No! I haven't been out in the war. But if I had, I wouldn't be so puffed up and full of myself like Tim King is. Instead of reporting facts, we are given left-leaning liberal propaganda. It's as if Mr. King is THE only authority that knows anything since he has been over to Afghanistan. I used to enjoy reading articles at Salem-News. You guys were on top of things way before the SJ. Now it seems, since Mr. King came back from Afghanistan, things have changed considerably at Salem-News. I try to avoid it at all costs, but decided to look at todays articles. I am glad I did.


Henry Ruark September 24, 2007 10:21 am (Pacific time)

To all: Simple question for J.M.: IF you have source for absolute truth, why not cite and name and fully document source, for all of us to "see with own eyes" ? Yr attack on a seasoned, proven, responsible journalist does little but deny you whatever credibility might otherwise redound to you. NOW you gottaproveup that "truth" you toss out to the denying mob as "the real right stuff" -- so where's yr source and why is it so ultimate and untouchable ? Fair question, so report now, sir, if indeed you can do so. Otherwise you owe all of us responsibles here, hearing and reading you (not allathesame thing !) a sincere apology.


Tim King September 24, 2007 10:05 am (Pacific time)

James Montalto, I see you are another Internet assault suspect, just think of the worst insults you can throw and somebody and let 'em have it. I'm not worried about whether you like my article or not, but I have been doing this for twenty years and you remind me of the politics you represent, just LIE often enough and yell LOUD enough and you get your way, right? I'm glad you have a good keyboard to get your frustrations out. I suggest you learn to address subjects like an adult. You appear to have no concept of anything except fear, and you insult a war reporter like this? At least I have some level of experience in what I write about.


Neal Feldman September 24, 2007 9:43 am (Pacific time)

By trying to deny him a forum you only give him and those who follow him more credibility... what are you afraid of? If he is a certifiable nutcase just show him to be such rationally. Don't hide from him. A lot of what he says is red meat political BS similar to the same kinds of crap shoveled by our own politicians here in the US and elsewhere. And remember WE are the ones reaching across to the other side of the planet making wars based on lies killing million or more people, not him WE are the hypocrites ranting no one (else) should have nukes, biological or biochemical weapons when we ourselves have the largest stockpiles of all these things on the planet AND we are still the ONLY nation to EVER use a nuke against another nation... and against CIVILIAN targets not military ones. We have as much solid foundation for our BS in this context as a castle does built in a quicksand swamp. Why would Iran want nukes? Let's examime. WE through Shrub, lumped Iran into the 'Axis of Evil" (no melodrama there huh?) with Iraq and North Korea. Iraq had no nukes so we invaded and killed hundreds of thousands and are trying to set up a puppet regime. North Korea has nukes so we talk, not invade. So with this track record which would YOU want to be? It has nothing to do with nuking the American Heartland or even nuking Israel (and why are Israel's problems our problems anyway?) . It has to do with self preservation. Face it if some far off nation who has for decades declared itself our enemy is nationbuilding and building up military forces in a country that borders us wouldnt we be well advised to help those in that country who support us or are at least ideologically in line with us? That IS an issue of national security. So why would it be OK for US to do so but it is not OK for Iran? Because the USA is the hostile invading force? Seems a bit egocentric and hypocritical doesnt it? Maybe much of the world that hates us these days would not if we stopped giving them such a laundry list of reasons that justify such hatred aimed at us. You ever consider that? (And I am not a US hater... I defend my country when it is right and criticize it when it is wrong. Called freedom of speech and rational intelligent thought processes. Some of those I see writing in this thread should try it sometime. Ah well...


Alice Myers September 24, 2007 9:19 am (Pacific time)

James Montalto has hit the nail on the head!!! Ahmadinejad is just a madman trying to make us believe that we are all safe and he wouldn't hurt a hair on our head. Yeah!!! I didn't just fall off the turnip truck! I would NEVER believe a word that came out of this man's mouth!! He will do anything to gain support. Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, who works for George Soros's Open Society Institute, was one of several Iranian-Americans detained by Iran for allegedly conspiring against Iran's national security. Tajbakhsh was freed on bail last Thursday. Just a coincidence? I doubt it. Ahmadinejad didn't want Columbia University President, Lee C. Bollinger, to ask inform the public that this man was imprisoned for, more or less, nothing. So listen closely to what Ahmadinejad has to say, because it will most likely be filled with innuendos and double speak, along with outright lies!


James Montalto September 24, 2007 9:06 am (Pacific time)

Henry, You wrote: "demand our belief in what you assume is "truth". I demand nothing, but an honest approach to a man who has made some of the most unbelievable and hateful comments since Hitler. What I assume is truth? That's the problem with those who believe that there is no absolute truth and that "truth is relative." People of this ilk don't want to be confused with the facts because his or her mind is already made up. What I said referring to this terrorist, Ahmadenijad is truth - it is not my opinion. It is truth! Look past my comments about this article, and look at the contents of what I have written. Research them. I don't expect anyone to just believe what I have to say, do research and verify it. Don't take anything at face value, and this article written by Mr. King appears to be left-leaning.


James Montalto September 24, 2007 8:55 am (Pacific time)

oops - typo - "article"


Henry Ruark September 24, 2007 8:49 am (Pacific time)

J.M.: Tone and content of yrs here proves power of honest, open dialog undeniably. You give us no clue re your own foundation for comment, but demand our belief in what you assume is "truth". Columbia open-exposure is surely best way to prove up what you contend, while denial is simply that - psychological retreat from reality. Now let's see if msmedia is allowed to fully cover it, as in every-word/tv-coverage...


Unknown September 24, 2007 8:30 am (Pacific time)

Ahmadinejad is a liar and always has been. If you knew anything about the Koran you would know that it is permissable to lie in the name of allah. He has avoided every question put to him in regards to his country's involvement with nuclear weapons and that country's involvement in sending in terrorists and weapons into Iraq killing our soldiers. I believe the the interview with Pelly made it very clear how deceptive Ahmadinejad really is.


James Montalto September 24, 2007 8:25 am (Pacific time)

This story is ridiculous. Is this actually a real online newspaper? It seems as if it was written by a junior high or high school student. This "articile" is a joke and so is it's editorial content. This guy is a crazed American- and Israel-hating monster who is hell bent on bringing about an all out war (probably nuclear) to hasten the return of the 12th Imam. Do some research and stop spouting this liberal crap about "having a dialogue." Give me a break. Let's not be like Neville Chamberlain and think that this person we are dealing with is reasonable. Just like Hitler was an unreasonable, maniacal despot - so is this man, Ahmadenijad. Chamberlain got Hitler to sign a treaty and then declared, "We will have peace in our time!" What a fool he was, and so is anyone who believes this man has anything constructive to say. Get a clue, people!


Henry Ruark September 24, 2007 8:09 am (Pacific time)

To all: Sorry to have inadvertently committed an "Anonymous" ! My eMac protesting overwork, did this one to get my full attention. Mine refers to "press conference" by Bush, as you may well have deduced already.


Anonymous September 24, 2007 8:05 am (Pacific time)

We hear opposing views about a multitude of topics all the time. In fact, checking out both sides of the coin help us understand the story much better and consequently make a more educated decision. I am not anti-Semitic nor pro-Israeli. However, I am very interested to find out what President Ahmadinejad has to say about what we always believe to be true!


To the Unknown September 24, 2007 8:01 am (Pacific time)

How can you even say what the purpose of the conference was if you were not even there. If you want to get a sense of what was spoken there, why not youtube it. The lectures are available online. Judge not of hearsay.


Anonymous September 24, 2007 7:52 am (Pacific time)

President Bollinger's intro for Iran's President should and could frame this dialog as it should be done. Given that opening challenge we should then know much more about Iran's top man than we are permitted to know without the high illumination sure to follow at Columbia. Let him speak while we both listen and observe --very closely and carefully. We need to do likewise re our own top man -as in his last "press conference" !!


Vic September 24, 2007 7:12 am (Pacific time)

He did not say that the holocaust did not occur, he believes that the numbers of Jewish deaths were inflated to gain sympathy and support for Israel. Actually the Red Cross , who were allowed into the camps, has a lower number of deaths recorded than the 14 million or so that is commonly quoted. As far as the call for the destruction of Israel, actually he said that Zionism would cease to exist..not the state of Israel. I do not know enough about this man to form an opinion about him, but why would we not want to have dialogue with everyone? The only people who do not want communication are people who for whatever reason, want war. I say talk with everyone and have "entangling alliances" with no one.


Unknown September 24, 2007 6:37 am (Pacific time)

How can you say that President Ahmadinejad was taken out of context of saying the Holocaust never occured, when he, himself, HOSTED a Holocaust Denial Conference in his country! That is absolutely obsurd! Actions speak louder than words, yes, and he has proven to the world his beliefs.

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