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Kerry Statement on Ahmadinejad Visit to U.S. and Speech at Columbia University

by Pamela Leavey

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in N.Y. today delivering a speech at Columbia University. Before the speech Columbia University President Lee Bollinger ripped into Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “going through a long list of documented actions and remarks by the firebrand Iranian leader and his government.”

Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” Bollinger said to applause from many of the 600 people in the room for a speech from the Iranian leader.

Bollinger cited the Iranian government’s “brutal crackdown” on dissidents, public executions, executions of minors and other actions.

And he assailed Ahmadinejad’s “denying” of the Holocaust as “ridiculous” and “dangerous propaganda.” He called the Iranian leader either brazenly provocative “or astonishingly uneducated.”

“The truth is that the Holocaust is the most documented event in human history,” he said.

Ahmadinejad’s visit to the U.S and his speech has been the source of a lot of controversy with many speaking out about the visit. Senator John Kerry made the following statement today about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the United States and his address at Columbia University:

“Today Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was permitted the freedom that he denies to his own people, the right of free speech. I hope the Iranian people welcome him home with tough questions about why he believes he should enjoy liberties his own people do not share,” said Kerry.

“I’m proud of the Columbia students and faculty today who reminded the world that this man engages in the cruelest forms of oppression to strengthen his brutal regime.

“Calls for ‘research’ and ‘study’ don’t change the fact that this man is a Holocaust denier who trades in anti-Semitism. It is long past time for the world to renounce this bigoted revisionist history, and important for everyone to remember that this demagogue fronts the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, aids and abets the killing of American soldiers in Iraq, and is illegally pursuing a nuclear bomb.”

Opinions on Ahmadinejad’s visit to the U.S. in the blogosphere can be found at Shakesville; Thought Theater; ThinkProgress; TalkLeft; The Moderate Voice; The Washington Note; The Van Der Galiën Gazette; Captain’s Quarters; Jules Crittenden and Feministe.

One Response to “Kerry Statement on Ahmadinejad Visit to U.S. and Speech at Columbia University”

  1. We villify our “enemies” so much and so effectively that I, personally, am still trying to study up on the situation. It’s often said that the Iranian leadership is not secure in the face of a population that increasingly disagrees with them. Iran does honor its oil sales agreements, and did do no better than a draw in its war with Iraq. Might some of what is happening be the same sort of bluster that caused Saddam to make the fatal mistake convincingly disavowing militaristic intentions?

    Anyway, as an adversary, I see no reason why we should not be able to find ways to secure our interests that stop short of an open act of warfare on Iranian soil. And if Bush ever did set off a nuclear explosion there his name would clearly rest on the list of the worst offenders humanity has ever produced.