Here’s what Sarah Palin told an international audience about the information and attitudes she has toward Iran, a nation that will loom large in the next decade and more of America’s future:
An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider. They cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons period. Israel is in jeopardy of course when we’re dealing with Ahmadinejad as a leader of Iran. Iran claiming that Israel as he termed it, a stinking corpse, a country that should be wiped off the face of the earth. Now a leader like Ahmadinejad who is not sane or stable when he says things like that is not one whom we can allow to acquire nuclear energy, nuclear weapons.
…leaders like Ahmadinejad who would seek to acquire nuclear weapons and wipe off the face of the earth an ally like we have in Israel…
dictators who hate America and hate what we stand for, with our freedoms…
Palin and her handlers must be aware that her words will be fact-checked. So you have to ask: where does she get her information? How does her information square with other sources of information about Ahmadinejad? If her information is not consistent with other facts and reports, who is wrong? Do Palin and her information sources know that their information is wrong? If so, WHY DO THEY PERSIST IN LYING? And if Palin and her handlers are lying, what can we assume about their character, their respect for the integrity of the communications process by which Americans make an extremely important decision — the choice of the next leader of the nation; their respect for the people of the United States; their respect for Constitutional principles that are “what America stands for”?
Who hates America more, Sarah Palin and her handlers, or Ahmadinejad and Iran?
Above the fold: What Sarah Palin said.
Below the fold: Eye witness accounts from religious and civic leaders who spoke with Dr. Ahmadinejad on September 24, 2008.
The Rev. William G. Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, was one of 12 peace activists who spoke with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials at a meeting on Wednesday, September 24, in New York City.
Sinkford questioned Ahmadinejad about the treatment of women and political dissidents in Iran, and whether Iran is moving towards allowing its citizens more freedom of choice and affiliation, and equality for women in public life.
According to Adam Gerhardstein, acting director of the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy, Ahmadinejad responded by talking at length about Iranian attitudes towards women. He cited statistics about the civil engagement of Iranian women, (e.g., 70 percent of university students are women). He also spoke about the Iranian belief that women are the essence of society’s beauty and kindness, and that Iranians do not want women to work too hard for fear of breaking their spirit and destroying society’s beauty.
The eleven other speakers at the Sept. 24 meeting covered many issues, including asking Ahmadinejad to clarify Iran’s stance towards Israel and Palestine and to address concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Gerhardstein reported that in the hour that Ahmadinejad spent responding to the questions,
He condemned the use of war, saying that it brings nothing but “pain, destruction, and tension.” He defended Iran’s civilian nuclear program, stating that Iran spends three times more money on solar and wind energy than nuclear. To a question about Israel and Palestine, he said that every nation deserves the right to decide its own future and that if Palestine is given a free referendum, Iran will support the outcome.
Rev. Sinkford came away from his meeting with this impression:
“Ahmadinejad presented an image of Iran as a peace-loving, progressive, ethical, sane member of the community of nations. One question I have is how the reality of life in Iran would match that image.”
Sinkford credited Ahmadinejad, however, for being willing to meet with their group. “I could not imagine the current U.S. president taking the time to honor questions about his actions the way Ahmadinejad did today,” he said.
(These “images” that I took last Spring in Isfehan–a young family sitting on Isfehan’s Zayandah River and Iranian students in Naishapur, might give some idea of the “reality” of life in Iran.)
My friend Phil Wilayto, cofounder with Ana Edwards of Defenders for Freedom, Justice, & Equality, and the person most responsible for encouraging me to travel to Iran, was among those who met with Mr. Ahmadinejad. He sent me a copy of his notes from the encounter. According to Phil’s notes, President Ahmadinejad was accompanied by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee and an Iranian woman translator.
In response to a question about Iran’s stance toward Israel and Palestine, Ahmadinejad repeated the position he stated at Columbia University in October 2007; namely,
If the Palestinian people decide on a peace accord (through a national referendum), if it (the referendum) is under fair conditions, everyone should support it. Let the Palestinian people chose for themselves.
He addressed concerns about the prospects that the United States will launch a war with Iran. “I really believe that the U.S. is no longer able to start a war for decades to come,” he said. As he left the meeting, he told the assembled peace organizations to count him as a member.
I could post a ‘push poll’ as a way to persuade you that Sarah Palin misrepresents both President Ahmadinejad and Iran. But that’s not good enough. Sarah Palin spread vicious untruths about Iran; that is reprehensible behavior. Why would she do such a thing? If she doesn’t know better, that’s a serious problem. If she does know better but spread vicious misinformation anyway, then America has descended to a state of moral anarchy. Any way you look at it, Sarah Palin — and her advisors and handlers — are perpetrating a terrible injustice on the American people. Why?
see also Who Would Sarah Bomb?