Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Piers Morgan on homosexuality: "Who has said that if you like or believe in doing something ugly and others do not accept your behaviour, they are denying your freedom?"
It has been more than seven years since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In that time, he has managed to play the media in the US like a fiddle. Despite the predictable, arrogant, vacuous speeches at the United Nations General Assembly, everyone has to make sure they get their fifteen minutes of Ahmadinejad. On this occasion, the "lucky" winners are CNN's Piers Morgan, The Washington Post's David Ignatius, and the journalists at a Monday morning conference.
All for what? To ask him the same questions over and over again: Israel and homosexuality and maybe a few probes about Jews and Syria.
All for what? It's become apparent in those years that no matter who interviews Ahmadinejad, in a news conference, a studio, or a cozy one-to-one setting:
- He's still an anti-semite.
- He still doesn't want to accept Israel's right to exist.
- He's still a raging homophobe.
- He still wants to tell everyone he's better than them.
Those facts have not changed and they will not change. Not because Ahmadinejad is evil incarnate, but because he's simply a pawn in a political mafia whose very existence depends on adhering to those beliefs. They have held 70 million Iranians hostage for 33 years and plan to do so for years to come, and that won't be possible unless they standing on the crutches of hateful rhetoric.
That mafia's Godfather is not Ahmadinejad. It is the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei.
Khamenei dictates the terms; Ahmadinejad just recites the line. And like a good puppet, he only says what his master tells him to say. The anti-semitism, the hatred for Israel, the homophobia, the misogyny...those pillars supporting the mafia's power.
Ahmadinejad's real master knows this. And both the Supreme Leader's office and the President knows how to exploit the journalists of mainstream media America. Those reporters and commentators have to fill quotas of headline interviews. They have to be the valiant challengers to the President of an Islamic Republic at rhetorical swords drawn vs. the US for 33 years. They have to be out front in the staging of Iran's nuclear threat. Sometimes, they need to strike the pose of defending values and rights.
Let me ask you this:
If a journalist is really keen on getting to the heart of issues about and in Iran, why doesn't he/she....
- Interview LGBT rights activists in Iran to chronicle the struggles of ordinary gay Iranians?
- Talk to Iranian Jews who have to live in constant fear of a regime that has held them for ransom to bang the drum of "respect for human rights"?
- Talk about human rights activist and journalists like Jila Bani-Yaghoub, Mahsa Amrabadi, and Shiva Nazar-Ahari, who have been summoned to prison this month?
If you really want a prominent Iranian to talk about Iran, why not interview Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, who is in New York right now?
But no. All the journalists have to get their fifteen minutes of Ahmadinejad. Just so they can prove for the umpteenth time that they might one-up him by asking him the same questions that he has answered umpteenth times before. And, in the process, getting one-upped themselves.