Monday, September 24, 2007


Rudy Giuliani talking about Ahmadinejad at Columbia, in an interview with Sean Hannity:

...Doing this, giving him this kind of status -- even though the President of Columbia introduced him with an insult, he just responded with an insult -- I believe this may underscore some of their fantasies that they really do have a world stage and that they really should be taken seriously and maybe they can fool us and maybe they can fool a certain number of us....

Uh, Rudy?

Ahmadinejad and the Iranians do have a world stage. They should be taken seriously. Ahmadinejad is a freaking head of state, and the state in question is right next to Iraq and has lots and lots of oil. We don't have to like him or the regime he represents, we can be very much at odds with them, but we absolutely have to take them seriously.

I genuinely don't understand what Giuliani's getting at here, but I think it derives from his belief that elimination of all people he doesn't agree with would result in a platonically ideal state of human existence.

And the fear of the possibility that Ahmadinejad will "fool a certain number of us" is the most profoundly anti-American notion imaginable. The point of free speech is that we can withstand bad speech from bad people -- the free flow of ideas will prevent bad ideas from taking root. Giuliani doesn't believe this. Giuliani fears speech (as does Hannity):

HANNITY: "... I'll tell you what was more frightening to me, immediately thereafter, here was Ahmadinejad basically saying he found the introduction insulting but more importantly I want you to listen to the students' reactions and clapping for Ahmadinejad in the background.... Does that student reaction frighten you as much as it does me?"

GIULIANI: "Well here's -- this is really to my point, Sean. It frightens me because I don’t know what kind of reaction Ahmadinejad has to that, which means he comes away from this thinking, hey there's a strong level of support for me in the United States of America, maybe I can push these people a little further, maybe I can take advantage of them a little bit more...."

But Ahmadinejad can't take advantage of us. He has virtually no support in this country. Any idiot knows that.

But Giuliani doesn't. He think a few dozen college students clapping could have world-historic consequences. He thinks it's a contagion that must be eliminated.

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