Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tolerating Ahmadinejad By "Protest" In New York: Not Nearly Good Enough.

To protest is to recognize the futility of dialogue with Ahmadinejad, a man who, when it comes to lying, enviably blends classical totalitarianism with postmodern spin. As an interview subject, he should be left to the sort of useful idiot who thinks that a show on Ahmadinejad's mouthpiece, Press TV, is a mark of celebrity - serious journalists need not, and should not, follow there. They would be better off investigating why a regime media outlet like Press TV is widely, and preposterously, regarded as a legitimate broadcaster. . . But my patience has run out. I don't want to know what Ahmadinejad had for breakfast this morning. I want to know why governments which have banned terror broadcasters like Al Manar and Al Aqsa continue to tolerate the presence of Press TV on the airwaves. And I want to know when they are going to shut it down.

That's from a fine essay by Ben Cohen. I'm with him on this. Press TV should be driven out of every democracy on earth. It is a scab organization of the worst kind. Its correspondents and celebrity presenters should be hounded and harried wherever they show their faces, and plaintive appeals to the primacy of free speech won't cut it this time. Free speech does not oblige us to provide any privilege to the propaganda arm of a tyranny that shutters newspapers, murders journalists, executes trade unionists and imprisons citizens who dare to speak their minds on charges of enmity against God.

I'm with our former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, too. There's any number of robust alternatives to the catharsis of anti-Khomeinist protest, and Cotler sets out several reasons to protest our own governments' inaction here. Not least: Our governments' failure to crack down on companies that facilitate the regime's domestic repression and their failure to take proceedings against the regime under the Genocide Convention for its unlawful incitements to genocide by repeated calls for "the annihiliation of the Jewish state."

There is also the matter of the genocidaire's terror that the Khomeinists visit upon Iran's Baha'i people. This is a regime that abducted and "disappeared" the nine-member national Baha’i governing council, then executed the eight Baha'i leaders who were elected to replace them, and has executed or otherwise "disappeared" more than 200 Iranians for the crime of being Baha'i. Thousands of Baha'is have been wrongfully imprisoned, fired from government posts, barred from pursuing higher education, or have had their property confiscated or destroyed by the state.

By all means, if you're in New York, turn yourself out at one of the demonstrations. Word of the protests will get back to the Iranian people and it will put a spring in their step. If you can't make it to New York, then call Hilton Hotels and demand to know what the hell they were thinking giving rooms to Ahmadinejad and his entourage. Call Louis Llach, the General Manager of the Hilton Manhattan East, at 212-986-8800. Call Ellen Gonda, Hilton Worldwide's Executive Bigshot for Global Communications, at 310-854-2186.

Stand with the people.


Blogger vildechaye said...

Terry: Nice piece. FYI, The comments after Ben Cohen's piece on HuffPost are disgraceful and revolting, but hardly surprising.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Patrick Ross said...

I also had an extremely tough time swallowing the Ahmadinejad interview.

The left seems to LOVE George Galloway. Yet when he snuggles up so tenderly to one of the world's leading human and civil rights abusers, they stay silent.

The presence of what appears to be Iranian-funded (or at least Iranian-coddled) toadies also makes this matter tiresome.

On a recent Macleans blog comment thread, pro-Iran toadies accused me of the following:

-Racism (criticism of Iranian political regime inherently racist, they say).
-Being Jewish.

One particular toady also insisted that Zahra Kazemi attacked an Iranian police officer, and suggested that justified their treatment of her.

A rather contemptible lot gathers around these stories, and around "news" outlets like Press TV. It's disgusting.

9:07 AM  

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