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Volcana
Sep 25th, 2007, 03:30 AM
Were you at the speech? Did you see the video? What was your opinion of what he said in the speech?

Based solely on that speech, he's a bit of an Evangelical, or the Islamic equivalent anyway. The speech was about knowledge and science, and how they are, in his view, the highest expression of religion. He went about that point at some length, and with many examples.

He addressed three 'hot buttons', Palestine, the Holocaust and nuclear technology.

The Holocaust he called a 'historical fact'. He actually said it about four times. However, his real point was, why are the Palestinians being punished for it? As for nuclear technology, he said Iran wanted everything they were entitled to by treaty, nothing more, and nothing less. And that, by treaty, they were entitled to the peaceful development of nuclear technology.

He also spent a couple sentences on the Bollinger's rudeness in the intro, which drew some applause.

Apoleb
Sep 25th, 2007, 03:40 AM
I'll copy paste from another thread:

Very good event, and I believe Columbia has gained much more out of this than people would have thought.

I hope stuff like this can be made more often, and it'd hopefully make people see that most stuff is in the grey, neither black or white. Ahmedinajad's responses to research on the Holocaust were actually very smart, and I happen to agree with him. Putting people in prison for questionning a historical event is ridiculous, and if you take that position ofcourse it doesn't mean that you think it didn't happen or it's exagerated. The way he dealt with the student's response and his analogy with research in math and physics were very apt. Ofcourse though the irony is that discourse in Iran that challenges common religious beliefs is not open.

It was funny to see him trying to avoid the question on homosexual executions. He knows that he can't afford to say what he truly thinks, and at the end, he made a fool out of himself.

I can only now imagine Bush going to Iran and doing the same thing. Only thing is that he'll do a poorer job than Ahmedinajad. :o

And I would add that questions about women rights should've been a lot more specific, like especially mentioning the fact that they have to be all covered in black when they go out, or that they can't watch football matches (don't know if that was overturned). To be fair ofcourse, women in Iran have it much much better than in a lot countries, and the US is a very big allie to some of those (Saudi Arabia).

Volcana
Sep 25th, 2007, 04:32 AM
Here's my little summary of the Q&A

NOTE: Every bloody answer is paper with this guy.

http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?f=truveo&g=f30204ee-9d43-4e6d-9eea-97a14349729b

i) Question was, does Iran support destruction of Israel as Jewish state?

** This is really on the Right of Return, though neither side said it. If all Palestinians are allowed into Israel, it would cease to be a Jewsish state. Hence both the way the question was phrased, and the answer. Ahmadinejad says that he does NOT favor the dstruction of Israel, but rather simply fair treatment of the Palestinians. But his idea of 'fair', a referendum, carries with it a good chance of eliminating the Jewish character of Israel.

NOTE: This was the question/answer I found most dissatisfying. The question was essentially coded, as was the answer. A depressing start.

2) Why are you supplying arms to terrorists?

** We are victims of terrorism. USA supports the terrorists that hit us. Came quite close to accusing the USA itself is a terrorist nation, but did not actually do so. This answer was quite informative.

NOTE: It's also at this point that you realize that most of the questions were of the 'so, have you stopped beating your wife?' variety. Bollinger really made the university come off as second-raters here. And I say that as an alumnus.

3) The Holocaust. Why more research?

** More research is always good.

4) Homosexuals

** Rah rah yeh yeh Iran is great and everybody loves it there. yada yada yayda .... We don't have any homosexuals. Really. (This is the only place where the audience actually hooted at him.) He was ridiculously talky in this answer. It was a place where he wasn't really smooth.

5) What did you hope to accomplish speaking at Columbia?

** I was invited.

6) What would you said or done if you'd been allowed to visit WTC site?

** I wanted to go, just to show sympathy with the families. The desired visit was meant to show respect. I have no idea why anyone would call such a visit an insult.

NOTE: The Iranian government condemned the 9/11 attacks immediately, and offered aid to the USA. That may well have been posturing, but it's consistent posturing. Wouldn't it have been easier to let him visit the WTC site, and just not allow any news media? No cameras, no photo op. Which wouldn't matter to him if the guy was sincere.

7) Why is your government trying to acquire enriched uranium?

** Our program is completely peaceful, and the IEAE has repeatly reported it as such. 'Certain powers' want to prevent Iran from developing it's own science.

NOTE: He got applause for his answer.

9) Is Iran prepared to have broad, open talks with USA? How do you see problems between Iran and USA being resolved?

** We favor open discussion. We favor open discussion. We favor open discussion. We favor open discussion. We favor open discussion. We favor open discussion. No really We favor open discussion. We favor open discussion. ad nauseum. We favor open discussion. With everybody. Except the Apartheid state and the Zionists. We favor open discussion.

Sam L
Sep 25th, 2007, 05:55 AM
Thanks for posting the link. I've only listened to the first half. Sounds more like a religious sermon than a speech to a secular group of students in a university in a country with separation of religion and state. Shouldn't we be demanding more than this?

OED definition of Science:

1. a. The state or fact of knowing; knowledge or cognizance of something specified or implied; also, with wider reference, knowledge (more or less extensive) as a personal attribute.

The way he kept going on about science reminds me of the way people went on about it in Medieval Christendom.

Like griff said in the other thread, smooth liar.

Scotso
Sep 25th, 2007, 06:47 AM
I read the transcript. He and I seem to have different opinions on what constitutes "knowledge and science." It was the same shit this guy has been spreading all over the world. Useless.

Volcana
Sep 25th, 2007, 12:21 PM
It was the same shit this guy has been spreading all over the world.I haven't been able to find another speech of his on that topic. Given that this is 'the same shit this guy has been spreading all over the world', could you post a link to another speech of his on this particular topic? Certainly he has ideas about knowledge and science that run quite askew of my own, which is, of course, why hearing him speak is of interest.Like griff said in the other thread, smooth liar.He well may be. But as near as I can tell, he wasn't lying in that particular speech. The Q&A was disappointing, however. The questions were, for the most part, simplistic formulations, (AKA 'softballs'). Mostly the sort of thing he'd have an answer prepared in advance.

1) Does Iran support destruction of Israel as Jewish state?

He HAD to know that was coming, and predictable turned the answer into 'I support the right of Palestinians.' It was possible to have a real discussion about the relative importance of Right of Return vs the Jewish character of Israel, but not starting off with a question phrased that way. The question was, in essence, 'you guys are murderers' and the answer was 'you guys are thieves'. Waste of time.

2) Why are you supplying arms to terrorists?

Another time waster. The obvious answer becomes, 'we don't supply arms to terrorists', followed up with 'The USA supplies arms to terrorists', and that's exactly what he said.

3) The Holocaust. Why more research?

A well phrased question, and Bollinger's best follow-up. The answer was clearly formulated in advance though.

4) Homosexuals

Shockingly, this was the one place he got shaken. The questions improved slightly after that, but only slightly, in that these were less openly hostile, but still of the 'softball' variety.

5) What did you hope to accomplish speaking at Columbia?
6) What would you said or done if you'd been allowed to visit WTC site?
7) Why is your government trying to acquire enriched uranium?
9) Is Iran prepared to have broad, open talks with USA? How do you see problems between Iran and USA being resolved?

Barrie_Dude
Sep 25th, 2007, 03:36 PM
I read the transcript. He and I seem to have different opinions on what constitutes "knowledge and science." It was the same shit this guy has been spreading all over the world. Useless.
Agreed

BUBI
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:43 AM
I watched the video. I don't think he said anything controversial. All this hassle over nothing. It's good that they allowed him to speak, anything that makes it harder for the government to push for a new war is a good thing.