01 October, 2007

What Did Ahmadinejad Really Say?

Caroline Glick picks up the trail over at RealClearPolitics and it's a good deal more difficult to deal with than the bad-enough stuff that received saturation coverage (H/T: ShrinkWrapped)

During his visit to New York this week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacked every basic assumption upon which Western civilization is predicated... while the Western media sought hidden meanings and signals for peaceful intentions in his words, the fact is that on both occasions [Columbia and the UN], Ahmadinejad made absolutely clear that his vision of Islamic domination cannot coexist in any manner with Western civilization. Consequently, Ahmadinejad's statements were not negotiating stances. They were the direct consequence of the world view he propounds. As such, they are non-negotiable. [emphasis added]
Note the lack of qualifiers. Not 'Israel'. Not 'the United States'. Western Civilization. If you're reading this, that means you. Sadly, the bottom line with Iran is that all the rational, painless options have been systematically taken off the table by a madman.

This comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has sampled from my bookshelf (right), or read the excellent book I'm reading now: "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright. One thing remarkable about that one is that it's been hailed by right-wing pundits but also includes glowing reviews on the back jacket from Dan Rather and the New York Times. Just a few pages is all it takes to see why. Wright weaves many stories together with novelistic mastery based on what can only be exhaustive (and dangerous) original research.

Here's more from Glick's piece:
While most coverage surrounded [Ahmadinejad's] refusal to renounce his call to annihilate Israel, his central message, that he rejects the right of people to be free to choose their paths in life, was ignored. His remarks on the issue were dismissed as "weird" or "unintelligible." Yet they were neither.
It's called denial. The truth is too hard to deal with; our freedom too easily taken for granted.
Speaking as "an academic," Ahmadinejad said that from his perspective, the role of science is to serve Islam and that any science that does not serve Islamic goals is corrupt.
Contrast that to this (H/T: The Anchoress).
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno... curator of one of the world's most important collections of meteorites, kept at Castelgandolfo (the Pope's summer residence), explains.

"They want the world to know that the Church isn't afraid of science," he said.

"This is our way of seeing how God created the universe and they want to make as strong a statement as possible that truth doesn't contradict truth; that if you have faith, then you're never going to be afraid of what science is going to come up with.

"Because it's true."
I find that tremendously liberating in multiple dimensions... Because it's true. Perfect. The church may have had problems with Galileo. They've obviously come around.

UPDATE: Be sure not to miss Mark Steyn's latest column in the Orange County Register.
Lots of prime ministers and diplomats accepted invitations to meet with Hitler, and generally the meetings went very well... testament to how normal thugs can appear in social situations. Civilized nations like chit-chatting, having tea, holding debates, talking talking talking. Tyrannies like terrorizing people, torturing people, murdering people, doing doing doing. It's easier for the doers to pass themselves off as talkers then for the talkers to rouse themselves to do anything... The pen is not mightier than the sword if your enemy is confident you will never use anything other than your pen. Sometimes it's not about "freedom of speech," but about freedom.
In a fair world, Steyn would be working for the New York Times... like the formerly great but recently deranged Tom Friedman.