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Kos Readers Reactions to Wallace Interview With Ahmedinejad:

I found the actual interview a snore, as Ahmed speechified, avoiding answering the questions Wallace put to him. It was relatively easy for him to get away with this, given the fact that both men needed interpreters. The result is that the interview was just a little more interesting that watching an Iranian government propaganda video.

More interesting to me is this Daily Kos discussion thread, in which (I'm only barely exaggerating here)Kos readers debate whether Ahmed is as bad as George W. Bush.

What did VC readers think of the interview?

UPDATE: Here's an op-ed by David Harris of the American Jewish Congress, who takes a rather dim view of the interview. Among other things, Harris points out that Wallace asked no questions about human rights in Iran, including the rights of Wallace's fellow journalists.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Kos Readers Reactions to Wallace Interview With Ahmedinejad:
  2. Mike Wallace Buddies Up to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
Sorry David, this post was likely worthy of being made, but not of being followed-up on. I know what the kosiots have posted.
8.14.2006 10:43pm
frankcross (mail):
Have you been reading the commenters at this site?
8.14.2006 10:54pm
Average Joe (mail):
David, some of the most striking comments do not even (directly) concern Bush. I was struck by this comment by skrekk:

In my view, Iran NEEDS nuclear weapons, if only to hold the US at bay - a government which has made clear threats against Iran, has a previous history in overthrowing Iran's democracy, and a recent history in waging unprovoked war against one of Iran's neighbors. Further, Iran is now bordered on two sides by the military forces of that same government.

which can be found here.
Note that the other commenters tend to support this comment in similar language.

On the topic of the post, unfortunately (or not) I do not have time to see the interview, so I am likewise eager to read what other people thought of it.
8.14.2006 11:06pm
GlennB (mail):
The conspiricy has had commenters advocating nuclear airbursts above major iranian population centers. Glass houses, stones.
8.14.2006 11:12pm
James Dillon (mail):
While I haven't looked at the discussion, I have no doubt that the folks at Kos are quite adeptly making fools of themselves as usual. My question, though, is whether it does either side of the political divide much good to attack their opponents' weakest links? Right-wing blogs and commentators raise and rebut inane arguments made by sites like Daily Kos, while the left wing does the same to RedState and Ann Coulter. It seems like both sides often prefer to highlight the least-informed, and most extreme, examplars of the opposing political philosophy, rather than acknowledge and address the more articulate and moderate arguments raised by mainstream representatives of the liberal and conservative points of view. This site does a better job than most of addressing serious advocates of opposing viewpoints as opposed to the fringe nutcases, but I suspect the current polarization of American politics might be more readily resolved if everyone did a better job of focusing on serious arguments rather than the self-caricatures.
8.14.2006 11:15pm
spider:
Funny that Prof. Bernstein was earlier criticizing Wallace for his fawning publicity comments about Ahmedinejad, while the Kosians are now criticizing Wallace for being too harsh on Mahmoud. It must mean that Wallace is doing something right, no?

I don't think it's such a stretch to compare Bush's badness to Ahmedinejad's badness. Ahmedinejad hasn't really done anything bad yet. His remarks about wiping out the Jews are obviously disgusting and extremely worrisome, but time will tell whether he really means it and is the next Hitler/Stalin, or whether he was just posturing. My guess is the latter. (I certainly hope I am right...) Meanwhile, Bush has launched or supported wars that in terms of ex ante expected value of innocent deaths (and actual realized innocent deaths), probably were more deadly than the evils he was opposing. So Bush and Ahmedinejad have different kinds of badness; I'm not sure which is worse, but you could make a case for Bush.

And to be fair, a few of the Kosians, in reaction to the original pro-Ahmedinejad post, pointed out the badness of Ahmedinejad's anti-Jewish stance.

I don't really have any reason to defend Dailykos though; the only political/legal blog I read regularly is this one!
8.14.2006 11:21pm
Christopher M (mail):
Drum's Law:
If you're forced to rely on random blog commenters to make a point about the prevalence of some form or another of disagreeable behavior, you've pretty much made exactly the opposite point.
8.14.2006 11:23pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
To be honest, I rarely look at Kos. I happened upon this thread quite by accident, while looking on Technorati for reaction to the Wallace interview. So if I'm naive in being surprised that readers of a "mainstream" left site would express such opinions, forgive me. But I wasn't trying to make any broader point along the lines of what Spider suggests.
8.14.2006 11:26pm
liberty (mail) (www):
Spider,

because more than 100k people died due to fighting in Iraq? Not sure where you are getting your insinuated numbers; but do remember how many died in WWII -- you can't just count innocent deaths and determine based on that number and a conjectured number whether a war is a Just War.

There is no comparison between a free country's representative government fighting to remove a dictatorial and brutal oppressor and a dictatorial oppressor's war against a democratic state or a people. If you think they are the same then you are either a moral relativist or you have no appreciation of freedom.
8.14.2006 11:30pm
Bleepless (mail):
Spider: Just because two people make conflicting criticisms, it does not mean that the one being criticized is correct. If one person claims that someone was insane and another person disagrees, claiming that the someone was just a cynic, it does not mean that the one being criticized was all right. Of course, I am talking about Adolf Hitler.
8.14.2006 11:36pm
AnandaG:

Ahmedinejad hasn't really done anything bad yet.


Except for, you know, being the chief law enforcement officer of a nation that hangs gays for being who they are, and teenage girls for fornication.
8.14.2006 11:39pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
I saw the interview and thought Wallace did an excellent job of asking Ahmedinejad some hard questions about his statements and policies. So, I think Professor Bernstein's original comments criticizing Wallace (for his comments about Ahmedinehad as an interview subject) were premature and unfair to Wallace, for implying that he would throw softballs at Ahmed.

I also found Ahmed to be curious. In many ways, he was like a professor trying to educate Wallace and the USA and convince us of his views. I think he wants a dialogue with the USA (viz., his letter to Bush 3 months ago). I wonder, however, if Khameini or the other clerics will support that.
8.15.2006 12:04am
Shake-N-Bake (www):
Ahmedinejad clearly was trying to avoid the questions and give non-answers. I thought Wallace really tried to nail him down on some of them (repeating questions multiple times when Ahmedinejad gave non-answers) but I think Wallace also didn't want to either spend the entire interview on one question or ask the same thing so many times that Ahmedinejad would get up and quit the interview.

I'm not really sure anyone could have done a better job, which is unfortunate. Ahmedinejad clearly had his guard up and wasn't going to say anything interesting to anyone.
8.15.2006 12:05am
Erasmussimo:
I too am surprised that Mr. Berstein chose to follow up on the Wallace interview by attacking the people at Daily Kos. Mark, please be honest and face up to the fact that you erred in prejudging Mr. Wallace and that honor calls upon you to admit as much.

While I'm talking about follow-up, I'd like to provide a small followup to the earlier discussion on the Rathergate memos. MikeD provided a link to a very long, highly technical examination of those memos. I spent three hours slogging through them, taking detailed notes, and following up on the links from that. I then tidied up my notes for posting on that topic -- all 2,000 words of notes. And the deadline had already expired! Argghhh!

Since I don't want to commit felony topic drift, I shall not present so much as a summary of those results here. If the topic ever arises again, I'll present them there (if I can still find them.)

I'd also like to commend James Dillon for his comment about polarization. There are so many extremists (both here and on Daily Kos) that the moderates can barely get a word in edgewise. It is vitally important to the political health of this country that moderates of differing opinions learn to communicate with each other and figure out their common ground. I very much hope that the moderates on this board can ignore the nutcases who contaminate the board with their divisive bile. I realize it's difficult -- they're like those little pukey dogs that assail you on a pleasant Sunday in the park, yapping furiously at you in their utterly impotent manner. You know that if you respond to them, they'll just run away a few feet and resume their yapping, and besides, as a civilized human being you don't really feel any ire. But their incessant yapping is an irritant. The only way to deal with these people is to simply ignore them. Maybe if all the reasonable people ignore them, they'll get tired of barking and go to one of the blogs where that kind of behavior is common.
8.15.2006 12:36am
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
Spider is right. Bush has killed far more civilians than Ahmedinejad has, and Ahmedinejad is also smarter (if only a bit) He also has no control over foreign policy. That's above his pay grade. A few years back Khatami laid out a plan with the backing of the same bosses Ahmedinejad has, trying to negotiate Iranian and Israeli nukes out of existence, but that got tossed by Bush and co. I'm not in favor of nukes anywhere, but the majority of the Iranian population, who are not particularly religious, want Iran to have nuclear power. And an Iranian bomb would be much safer than the Pakistani one your guy seems so unconcerned about. Do some research.

Another thing: defending Zionism as moral rather than factual will get you laughed you out of civil conversation in every country other than Israel and the US, and it's not doing very well here these days either. At TPM Cafe the leadership gets pummeled when the subject comes up. I'd have been happy if Germany had been dissolved in 1945, but the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is a bit much. Even in this country people are beginning to understand that Olmert, like all Israeli leaders, speaks the language of Haidar and Le Pen.
The Jewish population of the middle east isn't going away; but that fact, like the fact of the colonization of North America or Australia is not a moral defense of how it came to be. David Bernstein may not see it that way, but he confuses logic with desire.

Opinions must be earned.

You're right though, Ahmedinejad is a schmuck, for many reasons
8.15.2006 12:42am
spider:
To Average Joe at 10:06pm: If you were in charge of Iran, wouldn't you regard that as good policy advice? Are you "struck" by the idea of Americans identifying, or even sympathizing with, Iran's interests? I think it's reasonable for a patriotic, civicly-(sp?)-engaged American to also see things from the other side. It doesn't necessarily mean that this particular Kosian ("skrekk") wants the US to lose (to the extent that there's a zero-sum conflict); it may mean that s/he is troubled by the US govt's dishonorable behavior.
8.15.2006 12:59am
Tikkunolam:
Seth Edenbaum writes:

"The Jewish population of the middle east isn't going away; but that fact, like the fact of the colonization of North America or Australia is not a moral defense of how it came to be."

You speak as if there can be no moral defense for Israel's existence. I cannot begin to express how deeply your scorn wounds me, as a lover of peace in all parts of the world, as I assume you consider yourself also to be.

Therefore, I invite you to consider some very simple facts which may change your mind.

1. Jews purchased the vast majority of land comprising the contemporary state of Israel during the 19th century.

2. That land, for the most part, was owned by absentee landlords--i.e., they were not present and did not lose their homes when they sold it. Early Zionist leaders, including David Ben-Gurion, specifically encouraged Jews to buy land that was not occupied.

3. The 1917 Balfour Declaration, ratified by France, the United States, and almost all other Western countries via the League of Nations, called for the creation of a Jewish homeland.

4. All of the territories Israel is occupying came about in the wake of wars begun by surrounding Arabic, Islamic nations (1948 War of Independence, 1967 Six-Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War).

These facts are most easily verified in Alan Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel," a book you should read.
8.15.2006 1:29am
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
DavidBernstein:

To be honest, I rarely look at Kos. I happened upon this thread quite by accident, while looking on Technorati for reaction to the Wallace interview.

...Ah-ah, honest mom... the Hustler was just laying here on my bed when I came home... and it was opened to this very fold-out... honest. :D
8.15.2006 2:06am
Perry (mail):
His remarks about wiping out the Jews are obviously disgusting and extremely worrisome, but time will tell whether he really means it and is the next Hitler/Stalin, or whether he was just posturing.

So you suggest that we just wait and see ?

The Israelis are likely to be a little more proactive than that.
8.15.2006 5:38am
Perry (mail):
defending Zionism as moral rather than factual will get you laughed you out of civil conversation in every country other than Israel and the US, and it's not doing very well here these days either.

Criticizing a viewpoint by saying "everyone who I know would sneer at you" will get you ignored in any serious forum of discussion (and flunked out of undergraduate courses in logical reasoning).
8.15.2006 5:45am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"I don't think it's such a stretch to compare Bush's badness to Ahmedinejad's (sic) badness."

Have you taken leave of your senses? Do you know what it's like to live in a dictatorship? One like Iran? As a student Ahmadinejad joined the ultra-conservative faction of the Office for Strengthening Unity, which staged the attack on the US Embassy in 1979. Do you realize that attacking an embassy of an act of war? Any country's embassy is an extension of that country into the host country. The embassy guards could, and should have repelled that attack with lethal force, but US policy in 1979 wouldn't allow that. In 2006 Iran forced many Iranian scientists and professors to resign or retire. Ahmadinejad's government has been replacing academic chancellors with un-degreed mullahs. Just study the history post 1979 a little. Just talk to people who suffered through the dictatorship of the mullahs.

Let's hope the US never has to suffer a major terror attack on its homeland from the likes of Ahmadinejad. If a US city goes up in smoke, things are going to get very rough here. People who make statements like yours just might find themselves in jail.
8.15.2006 6:40am
Phil333333:
Kos is a great resource and a very interesting blog. Most of the commenters are idiots on the far end of the left. More moderate Dems like myself usually don't post there, because I don't want to get into it. There are plenty of smart people on that site, they just get drowned out by those on the finges.
8.15.2006 7:34am
Federal Dog:
"I also found Ahmed to be curious. In many ways, he was like a professor"


Yes, indeed. Except for the fact that professors do not have arsenals with which to obliterate entire populations, the fascist mentality is identical. That's why all dissenters have been purged from faculty ranks.
8.15.2006 8:29am
Average Joe (mail):
Spider, another commenter on the site, tmendoza, in fact was thinking along the same lines as you mentioned,
The lesson of Iraq is simple: Get nuclear weapons as fast as possible so the US can never attack you. Iraq, the only axis of evil member, without a weapons program is the only club member that gets invaded. Simple enough.

Of course it would be disaster for world stability and peace for Iran to get the bomb. It would greatly increase the possibility of a nuclear exchange. And if we take Ahmad at his world, he (or his successors) might just supply the bomb to Hezbollah or some other group. ...
to which skrekk replied

I challenge your assumption on this. Iran has no such history of instability, and is in fact one of the few stable democracies in the mideast ...
and at the end of that skrekk states, concerning Iran,

And the most dangerous, aggressive, hostile nuclear power in the world, the US, has made threats against it.
which does not come off as a pro-USA statement to me. Similarly, in the same thread we have

I used to be against nuclear proliferation, but given what we've done in Iraq I think the better thing would have been for Hussein to have developed nukes, and prevented this long-term fiasco.
I strongly suspect that the prospect of Saddam Hussein with nuclear weapons would horrify more than just the United States and her allies. This comment ends with

With the noted exception of the US, no such country (with an egomaniacal brutal dictator and a land mass to protect) is going to use those weapons except defensively.
and, although the writing is not clear, the country refered to in the parenthetical comment appears to me to be the USA. This last statements seems to me to go well beyond merely being "troubled by the US govt's ... behavior." All of these comments are in the link that I provided. I hope that I have adequately addressed your concerns.
8.15.2006 8:43am
Pete Freans (mail):
First and foremost, Ahmedinejad is a politician. He understands that his country is currently facing a severe PR crisis from two fronts (the nuclear issue and Hezbollah) and this interview merely buys Iran more time to achieve the goals of the 1979 revolution.

As I watched Wallace praise his appearance, Ahmedinejad echoing Wallace's observation of the "so-called" free world, and Ahmedinejad being acutely aware of the President's poll numbers, I realized that this Iranian leader was a shrewd political opportunist and Mike Wallace was his prostitute.
8.15.2006 9:03am
The River Temoc (mail):
More moderate Dems like myself usually don't post there, because I don't want to get into it.

...which, at the risk of sounding cliched, conjures up the old saying: "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Your silence strategy isn't working: in case you hadn't noticed, the Kossacks have, almost singlehandedly, defeated one of the leading moderate Dem senators. Moderate Dems need to challenge the idiocy at its source.
8.15.2006 9:08am
noahpraetorius (mail):
Edenbaum is a self-admitted troll (check the end of one of the threads re media manipulation) implying to me that he is a cynical bomb thrower and not interested in the truth.
8.15.2006 9:12am
J..:
Christopher M: I prefer "Lanny's Law."

I still get over that Op-Ed. What an odd piece.
8.15.2006 9:13am
MDJD2B (mail):
Ahmedinejad hasn't really done anything bad yet. His remarks about wiping out the Jews are obviously disgusting and extremely worrisome, but time will tell whether he really means it and is the next Hitler/Stalin, or whether he was just posturing. My guess is the latter. (I certainly hope I am right...)

Spider,

Of course, if you are wrong, all the Jews Ahmedinejad can lay his hands on will be dead, while you will be sipping sherry and (hpefully) ruing your mistake.
8.15.2006 9:20am
John C (mail):

Your silence strategy isn't working: in case you hadn't noticed, the Kossacks have, almost singlehandedly, defeated one of the leading moderate Dem senators.


Actually, I think it was the voters of the Democratic Party of Connecticut that did that, not "Kossacks." Given that DailyKos only has 100,000 registered users, we can assume that only a small percentage of Kossacks actually voted in the CT primary.

Aren't VC folks supposed to be respectful of the wishes of voters' preferences? They voted against Lieberman because they didn't like how he represented them. Simple as that.
8.15.2006 9:22am
AppSocRes (mail):
It may be useful to remember some Iranian history:

(1) The US did violently intervene in Iraq during the early 1950s and replace the democratically elected government headed by Mossadeg. [I'm not arguing here whether we saved Iran from a Castro-like dictatorship, just that the Iranian perception of the US is that our country violently intervened in Iran's internal affairs to install the Shah and Savak.]

(2) It was concern over a second violent US intervention that allowed Khomeini and the Mullahs to hijack what had been a spontaneous popular uprising against the Shah. Concern about CIA intervention helped bring the current, unpopular regime to power.

(3) The US helped Iraq militarily during Sadam Hussein's brutal and unprovoked war of aggression against Iran in the 1970s and 1980s. During this war the Iranian population endured unspeakably barbaric atrocities and lost a greater proportion of its population as casualties than did the US in WW I, WW II, Korea, and the Vietnam wars combined.

(4) Iran, which should be a natural geopolitical partner of the US, instead finds the US allying itself with all the traditional enemies of Iran in the region.

I am not an apologist for the Mullahs, just stating some truths that may impact how ordinary Iranians and their leaders view the United States. Iran is not being irrational and satanic: The country is reacting in a relatively reasonable manner to past behavior of the United States.
8.15.2006 9:58am
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
"Of course, if you are wrong, all the Jews Ahmedinejad can lay his hands on will be dead, while you will be sipping sherry and (hpefully) ruing your mistake."

The Jewish population of Iran is the second largenst in the middle.
The World jewish Congress lists the curent population at 25,000.
Other estimates put the number closer to 11,000.
8.15.2006 10:09am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Spider, like so many others, says A hasn't done anything bad yet. Except for what bad things he's done. Since Spider knows about them and doesn't think they're bad, we have a question.

Is Spider being truthful when he implies that when A really does something bad, he, Spider, would be upset? That's the implication.

But I believe I see goalposts on dollies.
8.15.2006 10:35am
WHOI Jacket:
Seth,

So, Iran has roughly half the Jewish Population of the Upper East Side?
8.15.2006 10:45am
goesh (mail):
As much as I detest Liberals, I have to admit that if I were in the den of the absolute ruler of a nation who says Israel needs to be eradicated, who defies the UN, who has dissenting journalists and students disappear, who hangs homosexuals and young women for having active hormones, I too would not be overly aggressive in the questioning. On the other hand, If I were Ahmedinejad, I would regard the interview as further evidence of Western weakness. I would take comfort in the belief that in the ultimate showdown, the US will choose cheap Chinese merchandise on their shelves over the expense of Israel and the disruption of the flow of energy to China, should my plans to have nuclear weapons be thwarted with military force. Though secretly loathing the likes of Wallace, I would relish the thought of playing him, much like dawdling a stick of cinnamon in a cup of tea.
8.15.2006 10:47am
Wombat:
I can't say I am surprised by any of those Kos views. If you didn't support the reasoning for the Iraq invasion, whether by a moral standpoint or a risk/benefit analysis, then the USA has already overthrown one country. And there are those (albeit far fewer) who thought the USA should have fought Al-Qaida specifically after 9/11 (and far fewer who thought the USA simply deserved 9/11) and therefore overthrew Afghanistan. Whereas Iran has done nothing to its neighbors (aside from possibly supporting various anti-Israeli/US in Iraq groups, but they had it coming anyway) - if you didn't think Iraq and/or Afghanistan were warranted, then how could you not think Bush is worse than Ahmedinejad?

And yes, now that the Iranian middle class has turned to supporting Ahmed. out of fear of the big bad wolf USA (I thought the Iranians were supposed to be the educated and sophisticated country of the mideast), the government of Iran is undoubtedly more stable than the government of Pakistan. Problem with that view is that (afaik) Pakistan's nuclear weapon research has gone solely to the acknowledged (if not necessarily beloved) actual governments of other states, whereas Iran's aid has gone to non-state (and in some cases, actively anti-state) actors in their region. So while there is a greater threat of Pakistan's government falling and their nukes getting into the hands of whomever, Iran is far more likely than Pakistan to simply hand over finished nukes to whomever. Which is the more likely outcome, I don't know, but the Iranian nuclear problem is far less predictable and therefore more of a threat. And if your statement is an insult that the right isn't consistent with nuclear proliferation, there are those that even today think Pakistan should suffer military action for their past proliferation.

And just because the Kosians think Wallace was soft doesn't mean Wallace was right, it could just as easily mean both parties are wrong, the Kosians more so.
8.15.2006 11:00am
Mr. X (www):

UPDATE: Here's an op-ed by David Harris of the American Jewish Congress, who takes a rather dim view of the interview. Among other things, Harris points out that Wallace asked no questions about human rights in Iran, including the rights of Wallace's fellow journalists.


David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, thinks Mike Wallace was soft on Iranian President. In other shocking news, sun rises this morning.
8.15.2006 11:10am
nc_litigator (mail):
More interesting to me is this Daily Kos discussion thread, in which (I'm only barely exaggerating here)Kos readers debate whether Ahmed is as bad as George W. Bush.


some commenters can and will post the most outrageous things, everywhere. the fact that numerous commenters would make such a comparison is scary - for W.
8.15.2006 11:12am
ctb:
I agree that the interview (the entire interview showed on CNBC) was a bit of a bore because of Ahmedinejad's refusal to answer any questions. Instead he would only spew anti-american propoganda.

But I found it interesting that he continuously made similar claims to many Bush foes, ie health care, occupation of Iraq, etc that seemed to show his familiarity with american media--not just that he pointed out the issues, but the way that he talked about them.

He continually talked about wanting a "referendum" including Palestinians (not shure what he wanted) and freedom and elections. That's right, the leader of Iran lecturing Americans on freedom! Anyone who couldn't see through this guy should be ashamed.

He even blamed American's for Sadam/Iraq's war against Iran and would not admit any fault by Sadam for the same. Absurd.
8.15.2006 11:54am
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
"So, Iran has roughly half the Jewish Population of the Upper East Side?"

The Upper East Side: "for white people and jews who are passing."
Maybe you mean the Upper West Side?
With a Jewish population in NYC of a little under a million, your numbers are off even for the UES (where there are still buildings where jews aren't welcome.
8.15.2006 11:55am
MDJD2B (mail):
The Jewish population of Iran is the second largenst in the middle. The World jewish Congress lists the curent population at 25,000. Other estimates put the number closer to 11,000.

Down from >100,000; the rest have fled. The remainder have been cowed by arrests and convictions on trumped-up charges. See, e.g., the Wikipedia article on Persian Jews.
8.15.2006 12:04pm
Erasmussimo:
And just because the Kosians think Wallace was soft doesn't mean Wallace was right, it could just as easily mean both parties are wrong, the Kosians more so.

My read was that most of them felt he was rude and pushy. Also, I have never heard them refer to themselves as 'Kosians'. 'Kossacks' seems to be the preferred appellation.
8.15.2006 12:05pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
some commenters can and will post the most outrageous things, everywhere. the fact that numerous commenters would make such a comparison is scary - for W.


Yes no doubt his prospects for reelection to a third term are looking rather grim these days. Then again such idiotic comments do have a funny way of motivating people to rally around him and make them more motivated to vote, for the President's Party.
8.15.2006 12:56pm
Lincoln (www):
Wasn't there a rumor some time ago that Iran was going to require Jewish citizens to wear identifying badges? I think it had been introduced in Iranian parliament, but then nothing ever came of it. Makes you wonder though, especially because Germany was also a democracy when Hitler rose to power.

Regarding Wallace's interview, I have to say, when I see the leader of a terrorist enabling state criticizing our health care policy, it's proof positive that the world has truly gone bonkos.
8.15.2006 1:15pm
ctb:
Towards the end of the interview I couldn't help but think that with the answers/responses he was giving to the questions could have come from one of many prominent democrats.
8.15.2006 1:18pm
Erasmussimo:
Towards the end of the interview I couldn't help but think that with the answers/responses he was giving to the questions could have come from one of many prominent democrats.

An excellent example of insinuation substituting for logic!
8.15.2006 1:47pm
Ship Erect (mail) (www):
ctb, is that proof that Democrats are terrorists, or is it proof that terrorists have a better grip on reality than Republicans?
8.15.2006 1:47pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
"Wasn't there a rumor some time ago that Iran was going to require Jewish citizens to wear identifying badges?"
Fake charge. Debunked.
8.15.2006 1:57pm
josh:
At least we dont have DB complaining that Wallace somehow enabled or abbetted Amewhateverhisnameis. The interview was definitely newsworthy and more likely than not would have been lost had Wallace been overly aggressive.

I thought the interview demonstrated entirely why those who wish to silence the press (to difuse the truth, for example, of civilian deaths by arguing that the physical presentation of the dead bodies to a photographer was "staged") are so foten wrong in their arguments of media bias.

The world got to hear the leader of Iran speak, even though it mostly was "speechified." Did anyone (of sound reason) come away from the interview thinking anything other than the man was completely bonkers?

Amazing the notion that a journalist can let a news subject have an unfettered platform to spout propoganda, and the viewer (or reader) can exercise the major mental skill to form his or her own opinion.

What has this world come to?
8.15.2006 2:44pm
nc_litigator (mail):
Yes no doubt his prospects for reelection to a third term are looking rather grim these days.


you have to elected to get reelected. just kidding, folks! seriously, though, it reflects badly on the state of american politics that people blithely compare our president to the dicatator of iran.
8.15.2006 3:15pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Josh, I gotta love how telling the truth against media falsehoods becomes "silencing the press."
8.15.2006 3:45pm
Seth Edenbaum (mail) (www):
"I gotta love how telling the truth against media falsehoods becomes 'silencing the press.' "
...by creating a fog of war where before there was none.

In that light, and since since D. Bernstein seems to have turned off the comment function this post, while refusing to comment at the blog he is criticizing...
From the article linked by Juan Cole:
A deadly Israeli bombing raid struck a southern Lebanese village Tuesday close to the funeral for those killed in an attack a day earlier as its army and Hezbollah fighters remained locked in bloody clashes inside the border.

At least six people were killed and 28 wounded in two raids on the village of Ghaziyeh, close to the city of Sidon, 500 metres (yards) away from the funeral procession of 14 people killed there a day earlier, police said.

Five other civilians were killed and four wounded when Israeli jets later fired missiles on a convoy of trucks carrying fruits in eastern Lebanon, near the border with Syria, police said.
Considering the events that occurred, is it worthwhile or necessary to find fault with detail? As I noted, you could have left a comment at the site but you didn't. I can only imagine the tone of your note, since you used scare quotes to refer to Cole as a "Middle East expert." And if I referred to your academic credentials is that way?

A country has been thrown back 20 years, as the Israelis said it would be, and yet they lost, and Hezbollah is stronger than ever. You showed staged photographs of individual bodies when all I was looking at was the destruction of entire city blocks. Was that a back-lot at Universal Studios?
How many refugees?

You don't make a very good case for yourself professor. It wouldn't have passed muster when I was a 15 year old at my parents' dinner table.

But I probably get involved in these things just out of nostalgia,
8.15.2006 8:44pm
Public_Defender (mail):
How could any of you pay attention to what Ahmedinejad was saying? The man is so evil, I got the vapors the moment his image appeared on TV.

I guess that makes me "a better human being" than the rest of you.
8.15.2006 8:46pm
spider:
In response to a few who have challenged my earlier statement: OK, after considering some more evidence of Ahmedinejad's totalitarian policies, his racism, etc., etc., I agree that he is definitely worse than Bush.

If I was Olmert I would not go to war against him, though. I would press the US to make friends with the Iranians and try to buy them off like the US bought off Egypt. I'm not sure if that's a viable strategy, but I'd certainly try that before launching a war. Remember Pakistan has nukes, Iran might have nukes ... it seems like a really bad idea.

Iran is another example of Bush's hypocrisy on his democracy promotion. Ahmedinejad won the presidential election last year (is there any evidence of irregularities in the election? I don't know) and now Bush refuses to talk to him.
8.15.2006 10:21pm
spider:
I just read an interesting article on the WSJ website about the Mike Wallace interview, expanding on Prof. Bernstein's points.
8.15.2006 10:24pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
I tend to agree with spider that the policies of Iran towards gays and women and lack of essential liberties makes any leader who would defend them and not change them, morally culpable for them. However, the US has supported, and does support, countries and leaders with equal or worse human rights track records, and usually has justified such support with the idea that we are promoting positive change within the society, quietly, through dialogue and trade and that this is supposedly a better way to go than military confrontation (see South
Africa during the apartheid era, and currently China, for example). So, the question really becomes how and when do we throw in the towel of diplomacy and opt for confrontation. I ofter wonder how much money and lives would we save if we simply did like the Japanese, and established diplomatic and commercial relations with virtually every country in the world, and left it at that--no effort to change other societies through our policies, just make a buck and leave it at that. Would we be worse off than we are now?
8.16.2006 1:07am
josh:
DB says :

"Josh, I gotta love how telling the truth against media falsehoods becomes 'silencing the press.'"

What media falsehoods? That rescue workers were not actually rescue workers and that they staged the presentation of dead bodies for a photog? How exactly does that change the truth of the matter asserted -- namely, that (at least) 28 people died, 16 of which were children? Of course, another "media falsehood" was the original reporting of a higher dead count (even though such overestimations are common in the aftermath of war. See 9/11), but is that "falsehood" or reporting the facts as presented by a propoganda machine finally in tune with those in the West.

In reality, DB, (1) you really aren't "telling truth against media falsehoods" (did you really mean to word it that way?), and (2) I do believe that you do so because you, like most conservatives, generally don't like ANY reporting of facts that may tend to portray your side in a negative light. I'll admit that second point is rank speculation, but I see no other explanation for the weak logic that "because A may be false, we should not believe B." That sekks nothing less than to chill the transmission of facts from the ground by those who witness it.

Just to clarify, though, your side and mine are the same. I can't link to a July 18 letter to the editor published in the Chicago Sun Times I wrote supporting Israel's attack wholeheartedly. However, that support doesn't make me take issue with the reporting of unfortunate facts of civilian casualties

Although I find Israel's (and most) military responses to terrorism usually unsuccessful in stopping terrorism, I understand the right to defend against cross-border aggression. Civilians die in those military responses. I accept that, and the fact that civilian deaths occur doesn't change whether a body was held aloft for a photog.

In sum, I don't think you're "telling truth" when the truth is southern Lebanon has been desimated and numerous civilians were killed. And I think you do so to silence the press because you don't like hearing any facts that may cast Israel in a negative light (this includes your obvious distaste for 60 Minutes' interview -- the subject of this post -- which, like it or not, indeed is highly newsworthy)
8.16.2006 2:14pm
luclucky:
Interesting now a regime that only allows a kind of newspaper has no free press, there are religious approval for candidates, religous police thugs threaten and kill is a free country and a democracy?
8.17.2006 3:05am