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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

Kind words from Iran's Ahmadinejad? Watch your back

By Justin Siebenhaar

December 15, 2006 | Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to the American people recently. And what a nice letter it was. Of course, this man is not an idiot and he knows exactly what he's doing (and what he's not doing for that matter). It will seem to those who refuse to recognize the danger of this man that he is making concessions for peace. His letter is full of platitudes and supplications towards and for American greatness. He talks of seeking truth and avoiding war. It's the whole kit-and-caboodle of Middle Eastern shtick the western world has been slowly sipping up for five years now. In fact, if you spend a little time digging into the archives you will find Osama Bin Laden pronouncing a lot of the same things.

I think it would be wise to analyze a few of the things Mr. Ahmadinejad knows:

-- He knows there is no way Iran could ever beat any industrialized western country (let alone the United States) in a head to head conflict.

-- He knows that what's going on in Iraq is working. The American people are getting fed up and they are buying into the propaganda. He doesn't have to beat us; he just has to outlast us.

-- He knows that many are still unsure about him and his country. He needs to change his image and gain favor.

-- He knows the best way for him to gain favor -- to buy some time to continue developing the weapons he desires -- is to patronize the American public and tell them how much he believes in them and wants to work with them, all the while building the bombs he hopes to use to destroy them.

-- He knows the weakness he has now, and therefore knows he needs to put off any sort of sanctions, investigation, condemnation or otherwise hostile activities towards his country. He can do this by piling on the catch phrases of an innocent man oppressed by the evil Bush regime: he "deplores injustice," "detests darkness," his nation "has always extended its hand of friendship to all other nations of the world."

-- He knows that we live in a world where threats and racist words are considered "something those crazy Arab's do," like the French eat cheese. They believe Ahmadinejad could never be serious when he says he wants to "incinerate Israel and all the Jews therein" (although he's done nothing but prove the contrary) and he must be serious when he says he wants to make peace with the west (although he's never done anything to prove he's serious).

Yes, Ahmadinejad knows what he's doing. Is it any wonder he waited until a very sympathetic and passive Democratic Party took control of the Congress?

Well, I'm not buying it. If Ahmadinejad is so concerned with those Americans suffering from hurricane Katrina, why doesn't he stop spending billions to develop nuclear bombs and send them money? I'd like to see how the aid his country donates to suffering people (even within Iran) stacks up to the aid America donates. You could even go per capita. He can stop the crocodile tears about all the suffering American soldiers in Iraq and their families back home. If he really cared about those soldiers perhaps he wouldn't be allowing any foreigner with an axe to grind against the US to pass freely through his country into Iraq. Perhaps he would support the new government rather then salivating over the possibilities of his takeover if America leaves.

He is a sly dude. But America must learn to see through the fog of this guy's rhetoric. We need proof; we need actions. He's pulling all the tricks he can find out of his bag, and that includes the media blitz. He'll hold up one hand with two fingers, making the peace sign for all the world to see, while secretly he's got his other hand ready to push that red button and launch any and every destructive weapon he can find.


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