Monday, September 24, 2007
That, Mr. President, Is A Diss
Over the past week, there was some wringing of blogger hands and declarations of outrage over just how to deal with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Josh Marshall over at TPM suggested that it was beneath us to worry about the kind of propaganda points Ahmadinejad might score by laying a wreath at Ground Zero. Ezra Klein concurred. Kevin Drum wondered if he were alone in feeling queasy about letting such a creep use such a potent symbol for his advantage.
While I didn't post about it, I agreed with Josh and Ezra that it revealed a certain brittle fragility to deny him the right to visit the site. I also agreed with Kevin, though, that it wasn't wise to leave him alone to mind the store, so to speak. My thinking was that we risked nothing letting him go down there, so long as we came up with a good PR riposte, like a delegation of 9/11 widows to meet him there with a petition demanding that he cease funding terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
But I think Columbia University President Lee Bollinger showed us all the proper way to handle the Iranian President. You call him out for the petty dictator he is. Because when it comes right down to it, the man is ridiculous. But that's easy to forget if we build him up into some malevolent super-villain.