Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ahmadinejad Visits the States

What do you think about this? I think he should obviously have gotten a visa...I mean, he's a former state official, and he's going to be coming to speak to us. I wish I could go to one of his speaches. Not because I respect the man, or really think I can learn a lot directly from his speach. But it would be really interesting to me to hear his view of history from the other side (something which would have to say is probably the wrong side, but I'm not perfect either). The academic reasons for allowing him to come here are tremendous.

And, it's not like he's going to win any new converts to supporting Iran. The people who already hate America will love to listen to him...but no one new will be convinced by his visit. They might be convinced to have a more open mind about the whole thing...but I don't think it's bad to think about all sides before making a decision.

I can see people worrying about security while he visits. And complaining about the exemption from the standard fingerprinting procedure for his visit. However, how much is he really going to accomplish here? He'll be followed by the press (at least)...and even if they do want to discredit this administration (a pessimistic view of events) breaking a story about him spying is too great an accomplishment to ignore. Plus, there will also me a government escort.

I can understand Mitt not wanting to use public funding to protect him and transport him. I respect that, and I probably agree with it...but I also agree with Mayor Mumbles (of Boston) who decided to provide the police escort anyway, using city funds (but not for the reasons he thought it was a good idea). It's not like you want to take any chances with his life...there are a lot of crazy people who might try to kill him...and as much as I might like that idea emotionally, it would just be a bad situation for us. Mumbles just wants to stick his finger in the governor's eye.

There is the argument that we don't really want him to get a chance to speak to the assembly at the UN...but again, it's not like he is going to convince anyone that he hasn't already convinced.

To top it all off...rejecting his visa request would have opened a can of worms as well...we'd have to justify it, or look bad in the international community. Rejecting him is a pleasure that just isn't worth the risk.

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