Monday, September 24, 2007

Irony: Alive and Well

About whom would you think this statement might be made:
You've isolated your nation. You've taken a nation of proud and honorable people and made your country the pariah of the world.
This would have been my guess -but I would have been wrong.

No, this was George W. Bush commenting on someone else - not the other way around. Specifically, his comment was directed at the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Did anyone catch Scott Pelley's interview with Ahmadinejad on 60 minutes last night?

Was it just me or was he totally out of line with his arrogant and accusatory tone right at the outset:
PELLEY: Mr. President, do you intend to press your request to visit the World Trade Center site in New York?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, it was included in my program, if we have the time and the conditions are conducive, I will try to do that.

PELLEY: But the New York Police Department and others do not appear to want you there. Do you intend to go there anyway?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, over there, local officials need to make the necessary coordinations. If they can't do that, I won't insist.

PELLEY: Sir, what were you thinking? The World Trade Center site is the most sensitive place in the American heart, and you must have known that visiting there would be insulting to many, many Americans.

AHMADINEJAD: Why should it be insulting?

PELLEY: Well, sir, you're the head of government of an Islamist state that the United States government says is a major exporter of terrorism around the world. [my emphasis]
One has to wonder if Scott would have asked this of any member of the monarchy from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (you know the country from which came the majority of 9/11 hijackers). But chances are some of them have already visited there - they certainly would not be denied. And, why exactly would it be insulting? There is no evidence and, as far as I know, no claim to date that Iran had anything to do with the attacks (merely the entirely false and premeditated claims that Saddam/Iraq was involved).

Next, Pelley basically accuses Ahmadinejad's government of killing Americans in Iraq based on our government assertions that he takes as fact. Ahmadinejad then questions whether Pelley is a journalist or a politician and mentions that Saddam's WMDs were facts as well.

Ooh, an American journalist being questioned as to their role as journalist or Administration Mouthpiece -not something that happens often here, that had to hurt.

Pelley, again speaking for all Americans, attacks Ahmadinejad for smiling when he's querying him about having American blood on his hands.

Hmmm - inappropriate smiling. Does that evoke a picture of anyone? Has Pelley or anyone else in the MSM asked George W. Bush about the sh*t-eating smirk planted on his face even when discussing the sacrifice of our troops in Iraq?

Ahmadinejad then illustrates that he's more aware of the position of the American people with regard to Iraq than either the DC punditry or, apparently, Scott Pelley and he questions whether Mr. Pelley has the right to speak on behalf of the American people.

Pelley doesn't have the right to speak on my behalf - that's for certain but, more importantly, is this anyway for an American journalist to address the leader of another country? Never mind that it's ludicrous at this juncture to take anything that the Bush administration states as fact, Pelley's demeanor is as insulting, arrogant and counter-productive as Bush's foreign policy.

Near the end of the interview, Pelley insists that Ahamadinejad name a trait that he admires in Bush. Excuse me? I, as a patriotic American (one who actually served in the military) can't come up with a single redeeming quality of George W. Bush and given all the insulting rhetoric Bush has spouted about Ahmadinejad he's suppose to what ... turn the other cheek and say something nice about George?

The very premise of the question is absurd and when Ahmadinejad turns it around on Pelley, the best that he can come up with is that Bush is a religious man. Speaks volumes.

Finally, Pelley quotes Bush's comment referred to above and asks him to respond to it. Okay, I am not the only one who thought the quote was about rather than from Bush. I queried two people today (who did not see 60 minutes), reading the quote and then asking them to tell me to whom the quote was referring - the immediate response was Bush in both instances. Here's the exchange in the interview:
PELLEY: I take it you can't think of anything you like about President Bush.

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, I'm not familiar with the gentleman's private life. Maybe in his private life he is very kind or a determined man. I'm not aware of that. I base my judgment on what I see in his public life. Having said that, I think that President Bush can behave much better. There were golden opportunities for President Bush. He should have used them better.

PELLEY: I asked President Bush what he would say to you if he were sitting in this chair. And he told me, quote, speaking to you, that you've made terrible choices for your people. You've isolated your nation. You've taken a nation of proud and honorable people and made your country the pariah of the world. These are President Bush's words to you. What's your reply to the president?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, President Bush is free to think as he pleases and to say what he pleases. I don't oppose the freedom of speech. I believe in freedom of speech. President Bush is free to say what he pleases. But these would not change the truth. So that President Bush knows the Iranian people are dearly loved today. We can very well put this to the test to find out who has become isolated. Again, maybe one of my friends could go to another country and a friend of President Bush could go to the same country, find out which one of us is isolated. You're free to choose any country you like. I don't think that President Bush has said these things. Rather, I prefer to think that this is your impression of what the president has said.

PELLEY: I'm quoting the president directly for the record.

AHMADEINEJAD: This is a direct quote? So, well, this tells me that there's a great divide between us.
A great divide indeed. Another thing that struck me when reading the transcript of the interview today was the, how shall I say it, creative editing that went into the broadcast as well. Let's just say that you might come away with a different impression of Ahmadinejad's responses in reading the transcript than from having watched the 60 minutes presentation. What a shoddy piece of journalism.

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