Saturday, September 23, 2006

All Ahmadinejad, All The Time

Mesmerized Media

When will Ahmadinejad’s radical religious beliefs get covered?

By Joel C. Rosenberg

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad has certainly launched a charm offensive through the American media. First was his “exclusive” interview with Mike Wallace on CBS’s 60 Minutes. This week, the Iranian leader is on the cover of Time. Yesterday, he did a lengthy interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, the only network interview he agreed to on this trip. And, of course, Ahmadinejad’s speech Tuesday blasting the United States (while on American soil) made headlines around the world.

Yet something has been curiously absent from all this media coverage. American journalists aren’t asking Ahmadinejad about his Shiite religious beliefs, his fascination with the coming of the Islamic Messiah known as the “Twelfth Imam” or the “Mahdi,” his critique of President Bush’s faith in Jesus Christ and encouragement of President Bush to convert to Islam, and how such beliefs are driving Iranian foreign policy.

Time’s cover story and exclusive print interview with Ahmadinejad never broached the subject of his eschatology. Nor did Williams. Nor did Wallace. Nor does a just-released book, Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy And the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East, by British Iran expert Ali M. Ansari. Nor does almost any of the saturation coverage Ahmadinejad is receiving.

Journalists aren’t typically shy about asking tough, probing questions about the religious views of world leaders. President Bush has been grilled at length about being an evangelical Christian and how this informs his foreign policy, particularly with regards to Israel and the Middle East. Clearly the pope’s views of Christianity and Islam are now under fire. Why such hesitancy when it comes to the religious beliefs of a leader who has called for the Jewish state to be wiped off the planet and urges fellow Muslims to envision a world without the United States?


It does seem "odd" that journalists would miss this tidbit considering Ahmadinejad's praying at the UN so recently.

TRANSLATOR: Today's world, more than ever before, longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity, and above all, longs for the perfect righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to all peoples and who will establish justice, peace, and brotherhood on the planet. Oh, Almighty God, all men and women are your creatures, and you have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirst for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by you, and make us among his followers and among those who strive for his return and his cause.

(He sorta left the part out where love, justice, peace, and brotherhood are achieved via warfare & chopping off our heads. Oopsie.)


Ahmadinejad: I’m not anti-Semitic

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a press conference in New York on Thursday "We love everyone in the world - Jews, Christians, Muslims, non-Muslims, non-Jews, non-Christians.

"We are against ugly acts. We are against occupation, aggression, killings and displacing people - otherwise we have no problem with ordinary people. Everyone is respected. ... We declare this in a loud voice," he said.

Wow, really?! Well, as long as you say it That clears it all up. We can all just relax and forget about his nuclear aspirations then, I guess.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has openly called for Israel to be wiped off the map. - Aljazeera.Net

Admadinejad said, "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury"
-International Herald Tribune

There are also the anti-Semitic comments themselves to contend with.

(Let's be inclusive and not leave Democrats out by forgetting their softening of a Senate resolution condemning the president of Iran for said anti-Semitic comments.)

Yes, Admadinejad's recent statement is a rather large pill to swallow. Especially considering his embrace of a faith that encourages its followers to lie to "infidels" (yeah, that means you), deceive, make war with, maim and kill them.

Why, exactly, is it that journalists deem this madman's radical religious beliefs, which drives his political views and actions, off limits or unimportant?

Update: Mr. Huber, writing for the Daily Kos, describes Ahmadinejad's remarks to the UN as "nothing short of brilliant". He goes on to add, "In eloquent, measured fashion he [Ahmadinejad] admonished the rest of the world to join him in telling the United States of America to pound sand up its canyon, and the rest of the world subtly but perceptibly smiled and nodded "yes.""

If retired U.S. Navy Commander Jeff Huber, who writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia, can be used as "the lefty example", I'd have to conclude that the answer is-

Because journalists are rather smitten with Admadinejad and agree with him completely regardless of his radical religious beliefs. Furthermore, they're silent on the topic of these dangerous beliefs so as to not muddle the part of his message they do agree with (and would like more Americans to agree with as well). Also, obviously absent is the usual outrage at the idea of one way and one God, prayer expressed publicly, and a whole laundry list of other things lefties ordinarily tend to rail about. They're not complaining. Ahmadinejad is more than happy to answer questions about his beliefs. They're simply not asking.

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