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Mr. Ahmadinejad visits America

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, and the long time nemesis of President Bush, took part in a two hour long discussion this past Monday at Columbia University in New York City.

The discussion gave me an interesting visualization of one of the most potentially dangerous men on Earth. He struck me as a complex individual, capable of forming intelligent combative statements, and as na’vely stupid.

In terms of his stupidity, the examples were quite obvious. First, he proclaimed there was not one single homosexual living in Iran, not one.

Now I find this slightly difficult to believe when considering the fact that it is reported roughly one in every ten Americans identify themselves as gay or lesbian. There had to be at least one person in Iran who identifies themselves as a homosexual; I’ll bet my life on it.

A second example of his stupidity was when he announced that the Nazi slaughtering of six million Jews should not be treated as factual, but theoretical. The fact that a man who is in charge of an entire country would be ignorant enough to be skeptical of the existence of one of the most documented events in human history is simply appalling.

Then, just as I was about ready to believe he was a not so distant relative of the cavemen depicted on GEICO car insurance commercials, he began making respectful comebacks.

When confronted about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he accused the U.S. of being hypocritical, asking “If you have created the fifth generation of atomic bombs and are testing them already, who are you to question other people who just want nuclear power?” Sadly, Ahmadinejad, I believe, succeeded in making a good point. It led me to believe that perhaps if the U.S. doesn’t want other people to have nuclear power, maybe the U.S. shouldn’t have nuclear power either.

Now I’m not certain, but I do believe that that is a concept most of us were made aware of back in kindergarten.

Then he was asked if he himself, or his government desired to seek the destruction of the state of Israel. He responded with “We love all people” and declared “there are many Jews living peacefully in Iran.” He continued dancing around a simple yes or no answer, until he was accused of just that, and shot back with “I ask you, is the Palestinian issue not a question of international importance? Please tell me yes or no,” this time receiving applause from the audience.

This discussion ultimately got me thinking about who exactly this man is. There are the obvious characteristics: President of Iran, tyrant, enemy of Bush and America, and a threat. Then we have the not so obvious characteristics. The drive, passion, and will of this man to achieve anything he sets out to, is both admirable, and frightening, and though I tried and tried not to, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between Ahmadinejad and Hitler. A distaste for Jewish people, a role of tyranny, and fear, were some of the things they had in common. Then I thought to myself, maybe there are absolutely no people who identify themselves as homosexuals in all of Iran, because maybe, as Hitler did before him with the Pink Triangles, Ahmadinejad has rounded up anyone suspected of being a homosexual and exterminated them.

Finally, I realized this has all happened before. Americans have ignored the ranting of tyrants such as Hitler in “Mien Kampf,” Osama Bin Laden declaring war on America, and Bush declaring war on Iraq, and the world has suffered. Let’s hope some of us are paying close enough attention this time.

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