When you first stated this claim about Ahmadinejad my feeling was that it was based on a misunderstanding. That is, that you had only heard a small amount of what Ahmadinejad had said and done about the Holocaust, for example, a few comments from his Columbia University lecture. The problem with those comments is that they have to be taken in the context of everything else that Ahmadinejad has said and done. One cannot simply take them at face value, any more than one can take the claim from Bush at face value that he doesn’t believe in torture.
Now, I have presented several comments, quoted by CNN (the source for those comments, BTW, was the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, not the IRNA), which were also treated by the German government as clear examples of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.
You, in response, served up a quotation with three ellipses that purported to show that Ahmadinejad did not make these statements in 2005. But how can we know that, given that there are ellipses? Do I have to point all this out to you in detail?
And then we have to assume that the translation from the IRNA is truer to Ahmadinejad’s intentions than the one used by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, CNN and the German government. You may believe that CNN might skew a translation, but Germany?
And further, what about all the other information I provided that Ahmadinejad has supported ridiculing the Holocaust with cartoons, has helped instigate conferences of Holocaust deniers in Iran and has invited one of the most virulent of them to be his personal guest? And on top of all that, he apparently “spent half of a 90-minute meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations trying to debunk the Holocaust.”
If we, OTOH, conclude that the CNN transcript is an accurate translation, all that nonsense about the quote with the ellipses is simply a meaningless diversion. The fact is that Ahmadinejad is an antisemite, as displayed in his nonhistorical fictions about the Holocaust.
I also find Holocaust denial extremely offensive, and can’t for the life of me understand why you would persist in whitewashing this sort of conduct.
... and by the way, I can say all this and still not be a fan of Israeli politics in the Middle East. And I can also say it and still believe that Ahmadinejad is a relatively minor character in Iran. And I can also say it and still be very concerned with the inflated anti-Iranian rhetoric we are getting from the Bush administration. The Iranian government may be full of antisemitic jerks, but that alone certainly is no reason for us to get militarily involved there. Just to be clear.