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Ahmadinejad Visiting U.S.A?

TEHRAN, Iran - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that the American people are eager for different opinions about the world, and he is looking forward to providing them with "correct and clear information," state media reported.

The hardline Iranian leader left Sunday for New York to address the You.N. General Assembly and speak to students and teachers during a forum at Columbia University.

Tensions are high between Washington and Tehran over US. accusations that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and helping Shiite militias in Iraq that target US. troops — claims Iran denies

Ahmadinejad said his visit will give Americans a chance to hear a different voice, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"The United States is a big and important country with a population of 300 million. Due to certain issues, the American people in the past years have been denied correct and clear information about global developments and are eager to hear different opinions," Ahmadinejad was quoted by IRNA as saying.

State-run television also quoted Ahmadinejad before boarding his presidential plane Sunday as saying that the General Assembly was an "important podium" to express Iran's views on regional and global issues.

Speaking at Columbia University

He is scheduled to address the Assembly on Tuesday — his third time attending the New York meeting in three years. He is also set to speak at a Columbia University question-and-answer forum on Monday in New York.

His request to lay a wreath at ground zero, site of the World Trade Center 2001 terror attacks, was denied by city officials and condemned by politicians. After the Sept. 11 attacks, hundreds of young Iranians held a series of candlelight vigils in Tehran.

Police rejected Ahmadinejad's request, citing construction and security concerns. In an interview to air Sunday on "60 Minutes," Ahmadinejad indicated he would not press the issue but expressed disbelief that the visit would offend Americans.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini also appeared dismayed that the request was rejected.

"What kind of damage will the US. face" by Ahmadinejad visiting the site, Hosseini asked at his weekly press conference Sunday.

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger has resisted requests to cancel the event but promised to introduce the talk himself with a series of tough questions on topics including Ahmadinejad's views on the Holocaust, his call for the destruction of the state of Israel and his government's alleged support of terrorism.

Columbia canceled a planned visit by the Iranian president last year, citing security and logistical reasons. Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust "a myth" and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

Hosseini said there "are efforts to cancel" the Columbia speech, but the Iranian government is continuing to pursue the program. He did not elaborate other than saying a lot of pressure was being placed on the program's sponsors

More stories http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20942057/

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69 answers

Amen! Or other sane Muslims for that matter.

Imagine this, Nigeria is under threat of sanctions and our Christian president goes to the National Assembly to explain why we should not be put under sanctions. And instead our leader begins lecturing other world leaders on the second coming of Jesus Christ, or on what to do to get to heaven. Would it not be logical to class such a person as senile?

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Not since the prime minister of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada presented an address claiming that UFOs posed a mortal threat to the future of mankind has the United Nations been treated to such a bizarre spectacle.

Many people believe the greatest threat to world peace concerns Iran's nuclear programme, so there was understandably great interest at this week's general assembly in New York when the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took the platform.

But instead of seeking to reassure delegates that Iran's nuclear intentions were purely benign, Mr Ahmadinejad took advantage of his official visit to a country deemed – in the lexicon of the Iranian Revolution – "the Great Satan" to embark on a discourse about the wonders of the 12th Imam.

For those unacquainted with the more obscure tenets of Islamic theology, the 12th Imam is held by devout Shi'ite Muslims to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed who went into "occlusion" in the ninth century at the age of five and hasn't been seen since.

The Hidden Imam, as he is also known by his followers, will only return after a period of cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed – what Christians call the Apocalypse – and then lead the world into an era of universal peace.

Rumours abound of Mr Ahmadinejad's devotion to the 12th Imam, and last year it was reported that he had persuaded his cabinet to sign a "contract" pledging themselves to work for his return.

Another example of his messianic tendencies surfaced after 108 people were killed in an aircraft crash in Teheran. Mr Ahmadinejad praised the victims, saying: "What is important is that they have shown the way to martyrdom which we must follow."

For many of the hundreds of delegates who attended Mr Ahmadinejad's speech to the UN this week, his discourse on the merits of the 12th Imam finally brought home the reality of the danger his regime poses to world peace.

Rather than allaying concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions, Mr Ahmadinejad spoke at length about how a Muslim saviour would relieve the world's suffering.

The era of Western predominance was drawing to a close, he said, and would soon be replaced by a "bright future" ushered in by the 12th Imam's return. "Without any doubt, the Promised One, who is the ultimate Saviour, will come. The pleasing aroma of justice will permeate the whole world."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;jsessionid=BZ43B440BTK1VQFIQMGSFFWAVCBQWIV0?xml=/opinion/2007/09/28/do2804.xml

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@Afam

You are just another ranting raving imbecille

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@I-man,

See what your hypocrisy, sycophancy and double standards have done to you.

Any hope in sight?

Try to redeem whatever is left of your integrity (if any is still left) unless you want to be in the same class as chidichris.

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In your preposterous analogy,the person in question has no other option.

It wasn't a mere criticism of Government policies but a demonisation of an entire citizenry

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@I-man

Let us assume that here are some people who think most other humans are bad, that all the world governments are corrupt and hopeless, and that the world system is doomed to failure (this assumption is not far fetched). Are these people hypocrites for residing on planet Earth, instead of some other better planet? Granted there options outside this planet is limited, should they take themselves out via suicide?

Please. The fact that you criticize the government of X, and reside in X, does not make you a hypocrite. There is more to living than government policies.

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Hi Seun, pls i'ld like to know how to edit my poll, i ommited something, and i need to edit it 4 the poll to make sense, pls lemme knnow, thanks

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Neccesity may demand that you remain with a people who are probably sickening or sick,whose country is[i] so derailed[/i].However,while you stay there,you are open to charges of hypocrisy.What is it that so compelling that would make one want to remain with a probably sickening people.

There are probably some Whites living in Nigeria,who wonder whether Nigerians are sickening.While they have such unflattering thoughts of Nigeria and its people,one is entitled to ask them why they chose to remain with a people and a nation they abhor

That makes it even more ridiculous to make such comments.If the poster is a citizen,she denigrates herself.If she is a migrant,she has to reconsider her stay with these sickening people

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Perhaps he didn't really mean the entire country since that would include the poster himself?

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I-man you're incredibly silly or dumb . Why do you have thousands of western women in Saudi Arabia. You can stay in a country even if you hate the people, govt etc. There's more than one reason why she is, where she is. Are you privy to why she chose to remain where she is?

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@I-man,

MR FOLOW FOLOW,

MAKE YOU OPEN EYES, OPEN SCENCE, OPEN MIND.

smoking Igbo is dangerous to your health.

@seun

 that is if the person they voted wins and the kingmakers accept abi?

DID BUSHMAN WIN THAT ELECTION

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For someone who managed to embark on an argument while lacking the basic facts-Ahmadinejad's holocaust denials -which was thankfully pointed out to you by Davidylan.You are a man of brazen idiocy.

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That is an imbecillic question.My guess is that she is a migrant.Now look carefully again at her comment

Agreeing to every single policy doesn't arise here.If you think a country is so derailed and you wonder about how sickening and sick(weird repetition) its citizens are. . . . then you as a person of migrant heritage should have to reconsider your stay in this land of possibly "sickening and sick" citizenry.Why stay in such a derailed country when you are a Nigerian and can go back to your homeland?

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This typical piece of twaddle would have been relevant if Ahmadinejad had merely asserted that while he does believe that the holocaust did happen,he is opposed to the immoral manipulation of the holocaust to support base causes.Unfortunately that isn't the point he has made.

You seem to be a remarkably clueless individual.You obviously don't know the meaning of the term,fascist.Perhaps,you think it a fashionable term.I think its a term easily brandished by people reeking of unbridled ignorance.

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Dont bother trying to educate him cause he just cant get it. I-man= -man. He's a big fool.

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Do you have to agree with every policy of the American govt? Even native Americans don't agree with every policy of their govt, does this mean they are hypocrites too? Where would we all be if when we disagree with our govt we have to emigrate. My status in the UK does not restrict me from disagreeing with govt policies, I don't know of you.

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Your pal,Ahmadinejad described it as a myth.That is a denial of one of the most horrible human tragedies.

There is nothing faintly academic or resembling "reasoning" in your posts .It is applaudable that you decided to spare us your ignorance.

More importantly. . . .you are entitled to  be a hypocrite,but I'm entitled to point out hypocrisy.Migrating to the US and residing there,a nation so derailed,is a typical example of the hypocrisy exhibited by Nigeria's never ending army of visa seeking US bashers.

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Better still. . . . let's stop bemoaning the lack of respect for human rights in places like Iran since such talk causes all the mayhem and bloodshed in the world.A remarkably fatuous piece of commentary

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Some Jews even agree with Ahmadinejad, I saw the news this morning with Rabbis shaking Ahmadinejad's hands. I believe many Jews are appalled by the policies of their govt. The incessant raids into Palestine is despicable, we shouldn't support a fascist right wing govt like you normally have in Israel.

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am waiting to SEE A LINK WHERE HE SAY ALL THE JEWS SHOULD BE KILLED

WHERE DID AHMEDINEJAD  SAY SO

AND ON WHAT OCCATION, PLS AM WAITING.

I watched the man yesterday, he said the whole world problem

is surrounded by holocust, that if the jews were killed in europe, why is

it that is the palestinian people that are paying for it.?

THAT IS TO SAY HE NEVER DENIED THE FACT THAT JEWS WERE KILLED

the number may be what he wants the reserchers to study.

BECOUS IF IT IS 6000 IT CANT BE CALLED HOLOCUST AGAIN

ZIONIST DONT WANT THAT TO HAPPEN. IF THERE IS PEASE IN THE WORLD, THEIR BUISNESS

WILL FALL.

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You just quoted an Ahmadinejad's statement describing the holocaust as a myth.Again you engage in a tour de force of irrelevance.That others died too in WW 2 isn't the essence of his comments.His description as a myth,that there was a pogrom targetted against the Jews, is what has brought upon him so much scorn.He never claimed that though the holocaust happened,it was not only Jews that suffered a genocidal campaign.His point is that the holocaust was a myth,it never happened.This is the bone of cotention.

As for the number, 6 million, making the holocaust unique,I fail to see your point.For one thing Ahmadinejad is not merely disputing numbers.Does 4 million Jewish dead make the holocaust a myth?What about 1 million Jewish dead?This is not an argument about the finer details of the holocaust but about whether the holocaust was a myth or reality.

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In 100% agreement with you on this one.

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The logic behind that statement is demonstrably poor, or at best twisted.

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The bold sentence above is silly. You can live in a country and not necessarily agree with the policy of the govt. As a British citizen I have the right to criticize my govt for the good of Britain. American and British citizens do criticize their govt, it doesn't mean they would emigrate because they find things are not alright with the country. Living in Britain does not mean I should agree with every policy the govt makes. The Jewish holocaust is an over hyped tragedy.

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so go ahead and invade Iran too, so you can champion democracy for them. Hot-head.

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@I-Man

You simply lack a sense of academic reasoning. So I have no-word with you.

Stop addressing your reply to me - face the issue - I never address yours. Fool.

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Show me a quote where Ahmadinejad said Jews were not killed during WW II. Many groups of people were killed during WWII - Russians, Americans, Japanese, etc. Also, Jews were not the only group targeted for elimination by the Nazis.

What makes the Holocaust unique is the number 6 million. If it had been 6,000 we won't be having this discussion.

So, we come back to numbers.

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This is a wonderful example of irrelevance.Ahmedinejad's 'beef' with the holocaust is not on the academic issue of whether 6 million where killed or 5.5 million.His point is that it never happened.

If someone where to suggest that Trans-atlantic slavery is a myth,would you applaud that?Even in Nigeria,if you go to Ogoniland and inform them that abuses by the Nigerian military are all myths and probably never happened,what do you think will be the response?

Before one can invoke God,one should act in a Godly manner.Spewing fatuous claptrap about the holocaust should not be excused on religious grounds.

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The man comes from a country where critical journalists have been jailed and freedom of speech is sorely lacking.He surely shouldn't be protected from the rare opportunity he has to be lampooned.

This is incredible hocus pocus.From the context of your posts,I hope you were not implying that complaining about the lack of democracy in places like Iran "[i]is the wellspring of all mayhem and bloodshed in the world today".  [/i]Was is it this that caused the 3.7 million deaths in the DRC,150,000 dead in Darfur,1 million dead in South Sudan?

US rift with Iran is based on Iran's foreign policy and perceived nuclear ambitions.Your pointless sermon about leaving the Iranians to work things out for themselves(presumably you have never met an Iranian) doesn't explain why the Iranian President shouldn't be excoriated for the petty dictator he is.Most Iranians would have done worse if they had the opportunity to meet Ahmedinejad in person

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Well. . . . . park you bags and come home.Why stay in a country so "derailed"? Maybe you should move to Iran and bask in the wonders of Iranian democracy. . . . which is very much on track.

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President Ahmadinejad meets Jewish rabbis in New York

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Monday afternoon met with a group of Jewish rabbis who gave him a silver grail as a sign of friendship.

The president is currently in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly.

The rabbis carried a placard which read, "I am Jewish not a Zionist."

A senior rabbi of the group said that they considered the visit to New York of President Ahmadinejad as an exceptional opportunity and would never forget it.

He referred to the Iranian president as a person who made a distinction between Jews and Zionists.

"You understand us and make a distinction between the violent behavior of Zionists and the religious beliefs of Jews," said the senior rabbi who called President Ahmadinejad "a pious man who is seeking to restore peace in the world and has humanitarian plans." Appreciating the rabbis for their gift, President Ahmadinejad said he was happy to visit them.

"All people in the world have now understood that Judaism is different from Zionism," said the president.

He added, "Zionists are a political group looking for taking advantage of the opportunities while Jews are the followers of the Moses who promoted peace and friendship."

President Ahmadinejad stressed that there was no disagreement between the followers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as they all pray the same God and are brothers.

The president said the future belongs to the monotheist faiths and that liars would be eliminated.

He stressed that all followers of divine faiths were responsible to promote monotheism and defend peace, justice and brotherhood.

http://www2.irna.ir/en/news/view/line-24/0709254788113546.htm

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are you his official biographer? people like you need to be careful, when you get so passionate about certain issues it becomes impossible to either reason properly or accommodate the views of other people/ their rights to self expression, that is the beginning of religious extremism. Nobody was born with Islamist/Christian fundamentalism preinstalled in their soul. It kind of grows on you when you refuse to think for yourself and question the things you are told.

you're welcome to your delusions.

YOU HAVE SAID IT ALL

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Another very good post!

"They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets." - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The West basically worships the Holocaust. It's more revered than God! In the U.S., many people will give you accolades for ridiculing Jesus Christ or for questioning the existence of God Almighty or for lampooning Mohammed. However, if you attempt to question any aspect of the Holocaust, even if you question whether it was 6 million Jews or 5.99 million, you're promptly labeled an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier, a revisionist. Bottom line: you can question or lampoon, anyone or anything - Jesus, Mohammed, God, slavery, origin of man, evolution, etc. But not the Holocaust!

The game of numbers is an age-old game. Some ignorant Americans still believe that over 3,000 Americans died as a direct result of the September 11 attacks. If not for better scrutiny and accountability, the death toll could have been put at 5,000, fter all, initial estimates went as high as 25,000 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2001/12/19/usatcov-wtcsurvival.htm). Over-estimation of casualties is not as uncommon as some may think.

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@Chidichris

Ask the same question about Bush - at least his hands are not tainted with bloods of innocent people as much as Bush's his - even Bush's hands are tainted with blood of innocent people much more than Saddams hands who was the main reason for the irresponsible IRAQ war.

And compare millions of your fore fathers that died in the slave trade to the deaths in the holocaust and you will forever hold your peace - who remembers those fore fathers of yours bound and chained to work in the white mans western world which u all sit now and praise the same white man who is now questing to lash and rule the whole wide world under the quest of stamping out terrorism?

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Ziddy,

i wish u watched it live.

pls interprete this; In response to one audience, Ahmadinejad denied he was questioning the existence of the Holocaust: "Granted this happened, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?"

granted this happened, what does it have to do with palestine people?

if you think of people with wide mouth, u shld think of the iranian president in his call for isreal to be wiped out of the surface of the earth. have u ever heard a president say such in your whole life?

i visit iran at least once in every three months and no one dears say negative things about the gov like we do in nigeria.

read about their press, no news without the consent of the gov. they people are in total bondage and i assure you that bush cannot talk against the gov in iran and go scout free as this is only possible in america.

iranians are scattered all over the world just because of the hardliners so the man preffers to spend the country's revenues on sponsoring of wars in palestine and lebanon in his bid to erase isreal but the big question is, is he God and to what extent can he go in his moves.

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As usual adhominems are the last refuge of the intellectually bereft. Clearly indicate why you think your arguments are valid with facts just as i have done, it is far better than expose yourself as nothing but a waste of space.

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Of course Davidylan will not agree with common sense. Anything to the extreme is what he considers best. The drumbeats of aggression and war always come from mouths like his. Compromise or understanding are dull language to him!

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It is easy for us to sit back and demand that America talk to Iran and come to a compromise. Remember the phrase "peace in our time" and the historic peace deal signed between Hitler and Neville Chamberlain?

That is an example to show that sometimes the over-rated dialogue is not the right way to deal with those who are state sponsors of terrorism.

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False! False! False! nothing but arab propaganda. Jordan killed about 6000 palestinians in the 1960's, the response? Silence!

Lebanon invaded the Nahr el Bad palestinian refugee camp in Beirut killing about 150, the response? Silence!

Isreal takes steps to protect its citizens from incessant rocket attacks on its northern border by those whose ultimate goal is the destruction of the Jewish state, the response? I think that Israel, with her technological and military might has taken a strong posture on the Palestinians, even to the extent of sometimes infringing of the basic human rights of this people.

Is Isreal really guilty of "suppressing" the palestinian people or are these "palestinian people" nothing more than willing tools in the hands of arab supremacists hell bent on destroying Isreal? Jordan NEVER existed prior to 1922 and yet NO ONE is complaining about its existence like they love to yell about Isreal that has been in existence for over 2000 yrs. Jordan is not even an arab name!!

Where were these "palestinians" when Gaza was in Egypt control and the WestBank (Judea/Samaria) was under Jordanian control?

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Danmasani

If I had extra $1 million, I for just dash you one time! You just nailed it big time!

Although, I disagree with the statement in bold, because Hamas came into power the same way Mahmoud Abbas came into power - by elections. The U.S. in its usual inept style did not give kudos to democracy in Palestine but will champion a dictator like Musharraf in Pakistan.

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Ive been following the Ahmadinejad visit to Columbia and the aftermath all day. I think that free speech and engaging your enemy is a good step in crisis management. I think that a lot of issues have risen from this controversy. Both sides, that is America and her government and Ahmadinejad and Iran have pitfalls and setbacks in the way they engage each other. No doubt, the Iranian President- a master propagandist seized the opportunity at Columbia to pour out his vitriolic rhetoric but i also commend the University President for his words against this guy. It is an exercise of free speech. However some points the Iranian leader raised are true. Yes the holocaust did happen and Yes it was one of the main issues for the formation of the Israeli state but the holocaust or the need for an Israeli state should not be used to suppress the Palestinian people or object to the formation of a Palestinian state- I think that Israel, with her technological and military might has taken a strong posture on the Palestinians, even to the extent of sometimes infringing of the basic human rights of this people. Similarly, the Palestinians must not be left out of the blame as their constant suport for terror organization like Hamas does no good to their demand for a sovereign state.

I think common ground must be found by all the actors in this drama, the Palestinians and Israel on one hand and the Iranians and Americans on the other. Like Barack Obama said, Engaging Iran and her President eye to eye would achieve a lot, bringing understanding and perhaps easing tensions between this two nations. George Bush doesn't seem to understand this despite his failure in Iraq.

North Korea is a clear example of diplomacy at work, enabling your enemy to voice his opinions and engaging him constructively to me is a moderate view and the right step in having peace!

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"They have created a myth today that they call the massacre of Jews and they consider it a principle above God, religions and the prophets,"

- Ahmedinejad

"They have fabricated a legend under the name 'Massacre of the Jews', and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves,"

- Ahmedinejad

You sir, need to do your research very well.

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what do you expect from a country so derailed that their president thinks Africa is a country and thinks Mandela is dead - killed by Saddam - how sickening and sick will the citizens be if the leader is that sick in his head?

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are you his official biographer? people like you need to be careful, when you get so passionate about certain issues it becomes impossible to either reason properly or accommodate the views of other people/ their rights to self expression, that is the beginning of religious extremism. Nobody was born with Islamist/Christian fundamentalism preinstalled in their soul. It kind of grows on you when you refuse to think for yourself and question the things you are told.

you're welcome to your delusions.

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this is laughably ridiculous!

- that ahmedinajad categorically denies the validity of the holocause is news only to people like you.

- The legality of the Jewish nation is questionable only to ignorant people. The names Bethlehem, Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, Hebron, Nazareth, Capernaum are neither European, Arab or Persian. Perhaps those cities jumped down from the moon. It might interest you to note that unlike Isreal, the nation of Jordan (which takes its name from a historically Jewish river Jordan) did not exist before 1922! Of course the legality of the Jordanian nation is never questionable to folks like you and Ahmedinejad!

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hogwash! When top US officials initially pressed to have the invite cancelled, hypocrites like you cried freedom of speech!!! Can we please allow Bollinger the freedom to express his innermost feelings without refering to him as childish?

And so what if Ahmedinejad is a head of state? Is Bollinger bound to respect him as such? You claim Ahmedinejad only came to "defend his worldview" that includes dismissing the existence of the holocaust and calling for the destruction of the Isreali nation and yet accuse Bollinger of childishness for daring to "defend his own worldview"?

How ridiculous!

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And what was your point here? But for the fact that he is a serving head of state and thus guaranteed a diplomatic right to attend the UN summit being hosted in the US he would certainly have been denied entry into the US. Rather my point (which you desperately dont want to see) is simple, Ahmedinajad has the right to attend the UN general assembly holding in NY, anything beyond that is dependent on the perogative of the US government to accept or deny him access to other parts of their country not under the jurisdiction of the UN.

In simple logic, when you transit through a country with a transit visa, it is not so much the right to land in that country's airport that is the issue but whether you have the right to decide to pack your bags and head for the next town!

Why should he? So he can use it as another photo-op to boost his battered image? Is Bush paranoid to use force against those who would stop at nothing to bomb the innocent?

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It still does not justify the university acting on a false pretext, issueing him an invitation just so they can ridicule and deride him.

This all-or-nothing approach is the wellspring of all mayhem and bloodshed in the world today. Iranians are not free, but we can't claim to understand the dynamics of their society better than themselves. Let them work out their problems with minimal interference from outside- i seem to remember that this issue of democratic freedom was also used by American officials to justify their invasion of Iraq. Now the US is stuck in Iraq with no hope of a resolution in sight, other people's sons and daughters are paying with their lives everyday while George Bush who has never seen combat in his life, goes up and down the earth preaching war.

If the American govt is so passionate about democracy and freedom of speech, why does it support Musharraf in Pakistan? I hope you realize that the thrust of US foreign policy over the decades has not been determined by their professed love for democratic ideals, but by national interest. The United States government is the master of double standards and hypocrisy in the world today.

Am not anti-American ( at least not in the way it has become fashionable these days, there are still plenty of good things to be admired and emulated about the United states)

But the world's capacity to absorb America's selfish meddling in other countries' affairs has been badly impaired by the Bush administration. You can't fool all the people all of the time.

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you're missing the point here. It wasnt a question of whether or not he could enter the US. It was his request to visit the site of 9/11 attacks that was denied (by city officials, i think).

I doubt the guy is going to be at the White house for the usual reception for foreign heads of government, given the frosty relationship between paranoid George Bush and the Iranian govt. Ahmadinejad's main business was at the United Nations.

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Kudos to Bollinger! Perhaps the world's presidential terrorist-in-chief wont be so willing to invite himself to US colleges in future.

How long before the conspiracy theorists tell us Bollinger was either Bush in disguise or reading a prepared script from the white house?

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