A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Etiquette for a Petty Dictator

Last week, the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, appeared as an invited guest to speak at Columbia University in New York City. He appeared in conjunction with a speech that he made at the United Nations. The trip, understandably, became the center of controversy, because Ahmadinejad is widely perceived as anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-homosexual, and anti...hey, does this guy like anybody?

Protestors came out in force to greet Ahmadinejad. Everyone expected this, but no one expected the president of the university, Lee C. Bollinger, to verbally assault the guy he invited to speak. Bollinger denounced Ahmadinejad as a “petty dictator”, among other things while the Iranian president waited to speak. Obviously, Ahmadinejad was insulted by Bollinger’s introductory remarks, but he graciously walked up to the podium and proceeded to prove Bollinger’s characterization correct.

Okay, Bollinger doesn’t get points for politeness. There is the possibility that he meant to invite Ahmadinejad to a Friars roast, in which case Bollinger’s remarks were entirely appropriate. However, it is doubtful that the Iranian president would’ve shown up for a Friars Roast, since most of those on the dais would be survivors of the golden age of the Borscht Belt comedian – in other words, all Jews. Yeah, I could just hear Jackie Mason roasting Ahmadinejad now, “You’re a jerk and I mean that sincerely. All kidding aside you’re an asshole.” At that point, Ahmadinejad would be wishing the president of Columbia University were still talking about him.

Obviously, Bollinger felt the need to make points with those who opposed Ahmadinejad’s visit. It could also be an example of an American citizen flexing his First Amendment muscles. Yes, Mr. Ahmadinejad, this is known as freedom of speech. I realize that this is a concept that is totally alien to you, but when you come to America you should expect the citizens to use that freedom. You have every right to feel insulted, but there is no way that you should feel blind-sided. I refuse to believe you’re that naive.

Now let’s get to some of your recent remarks about America. Just days before your trip to our land, you remarked that the American people are different from the American government, and that you have no quarrel with the people. Thank you, we appreciate you making that designation, particularly since you may be developing a nuclear weapon to use against us. We would hate to embarrass you by dying in a nuclear attack, when you clearly intended to vent your wrath on the American government. I’ll make a suggestion to you: if you give the American people adequate warning before you attack, then maybe we could arrange for the entire government to be, you know, milling about in one spot. This would be a more efficient use of your nuclear weapons.*

Ha ha, fooled you! Did you actually think my suggestion was half-serious? We, the American people, don’t have the resources and wherewithall to carry out such a plan, even if we did have the time to do it.

Unfortunately, there is another element to your message that we can’t overlook, as it negates your remark about quarreling with the American people. It has been reported that when you made this statement several weeks ago, that you were standing in front of a sign which read, “Death to America!” Really, Mr. Ahmadinejad! Now you’re sending us mixed signals. Frankly, we’re not feeling the love anymore when you do things like this.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, if you want to be invited to America (again) and be given all the courtesies of a visiting head of state, then I suggest you wait until the Bush Administration sends you an invite. Umm, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that letter if I were you. Apparently they believe that you’re a jerk and an asshole. I don’t know where they got this idea, unless they’ve been listening to Jackie Mason.

*DISCLAIMER: this paragraph is satirical in nature, and is not to be interpreted as a threat against the U.S. Government.


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