Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The western corporate media today is full of stories about about Ahmadinegad's 'vile and hateful' speech to the UN conference on racism. What people need to learn is to go look for the text of such a speech and read it themselves. Here's two links to what is supposed to be the English text of the speech.

President Ahmadinejad's speech at the Durban Review Conference on racism
from the Iranian press agency.
The Guardian has a scan of the text handed out by Iranian officials at the event.
(added - 4/22) Voters For Peace now has a transcript up also

Now, one thing about public speeches. What's handed out is what is written before hand. Its not always exactly what speaker really says, as ad-libs are possible both adding and skipping to the prepared text. And also, both of these are Iranian translations. But, the Guardian article says (by inference) that it is pretty accurate. That article points out that Mr. Ahmadinejad skipped some sections, but doesn't point out that interpreters find any other errors. From what I can tell, the portions the Guardian says were omitted are not in the version from Iranian PressTV.

So, what are these 'vile and hateful' comments? Here's what I can find in the printed, prepared text.

Following World War II, they resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering and they sent migrants from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in occupied Palestine. And, in fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racist regime in Palestine.

The Security Council helped stabilize the occupying regime and supported it in the past 60 years giving them a free hand to commit all sorts of atrocities. It is all the more regrettable that a number of Western governments and the United States have committed themselves to defending those racist perpetrators of genocide while the awakened-conscience and free-minded people of the world condemn aggression, brutalities and the bombardment of civilians in Gaza. The supporters of Israel have always been either supportive or silent against the crimes.

Ok, he calls the Israeli government 'racist'. Is that offensive? The Israelis proudly refer to their state as 'a Jewish state.' This Jewish state routinely uses racial criteria to discriminate against some of its citizens. Its citizens of Arab descent are routinely discriminated against. Is a state that proudly associates itself as the state for a particular race, and which discriminates in its laws and actions against people of other races 'racist'?

Then there is this section further down ...
World Zionism personifies racism that falsely resorts to religions and abuses religious sentiments to hide its hatred and ugly face. However, it is of great importance to bring into focus the political goals of some of the world powers and those who control huge economic resources and interests in the world. They mobilize all the resources including their economic and political influence and world media to render support in vain to the Zionist regime and to maliciously diminish the indignity and disgrace of this regime.

This is not simply a question of ignorance and one cannot conclude these ugly phenomena through consular campaigns. Efforts must be made to put an end to the abuse by Zionists and their political and international supporters and in respect with the will and aspirations of nations. Governments must be encouraged and supported in their fights aimed at eradicating this barbaric racism and to move towards reform in current international mechanisms.

There is no doubt that you are all aware of the conspiracies of some powers and Zionist circles against the goals and objectives of this conference. Unfortunately, there have been literatures and statements in support of Zionists and their crimes. And it is the responsibility of honorable representatives of nations to disclose these campaigns which run counter to humanitarian values and principles.

It should be recognized that boycotting such a session as an outstanding international capacity is a true indication of supporting the blatant example of racism. In defending human rights, it is primarily important to defend the rights of all nations to participate equally in all important international decision making processes without the influence of certain world powers.

OK, now where are the parts that are 'vile and hateful' and are worth walking out of or boycotting an important UN meeting on racism? Is it just referring to the Israelis as racist? Is it referring to Zionism, and calling it a racist belief?

Its interesting how there appears to be no attempt to refute these claims. False claims can usually be addressed with facts. There's no need to walk out or boycott the speaker. And perhaps a path towards peace and understanding would be to start such a discussion about what Mr. Ahmadinejad is claiming. But, instead we don't see that. We see a great deal of bombast about the speech from the US, Israel and the corporate media. But, very little that tries to point out where Mr. Ahmadinejad is incorrect.

Do you see anywhere in the western media either video of this speech, or translations of the transcript? Isn't it interesting how its totally blacked out? When I googled to find the transcript, I found no western references. When I removed the word 'transcript' and just searched on 'ahmadinejad geneva', the only stories that I found on the first pages of the search refer to jewish protesters who tried to interrupt the speech, and to the western walkout during the speech.

One good rule to learn. When people don't want you to hear or read a person's words, go find them and read them. Doesn't mean I agree with everything he says. But, its usually worth going and finding.

Maybe this is the section that they don't want you to hear or see?

Dear friends, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. What are the root causes of the US attacks against Iraq or the invasion of Afghanistan?

Was the motive behind the invasion of Iraq anything other than the arrogance of the then US administration and the mounting pressures on the part of the possessors of wealth and power to expand their sphere of influence seeking the interests of giant arms manufacturing companies affecting a noble culture with thousands of years of historical background, eliminating the potential and practical threats of Muslim countries against the Zionist regime or to control and plunder the energy resources of the Iraqi people?

Why, indeed, almost a million people were killed and injured and a few more millions were displaced? Why, indeed, the Iraqi people have suffered enormous losses amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars? And why was billions of dollars imposed on the American people as the result of these military actions? Was not the military action against Iraq planned by the Zionists and their allies in the then US administration in complicity with the arms manufacturing countries and the possessors of wealth? Did the invasion of Afghanistan restore peace, security and economic wellbeing in the country?

The United States and its allies not only have failed to contain the production of drugs in Afghanistan, but the cultivation of narcotics has multiplied in the course of their presence. The basic question is that what was the responsibility and the job of the then US administration and its allies?

Did they represent the countries of the world? Have they been mandated by them? Have they been authorized by the people of the world to interfere in all parts of the globe, of course mostly in our region? Are not these measures a clear example of egocentrism, racism, discrimination or infringement upon the dignity and independence of nations?

Ladies and gentlemen, who is responsible for the current global economic crisis? Where did the crisis start from? From Africa, Asia or from the United States in the first place then spreading across Europe and their allies?

For a long time, they imposed inequitable economic regulations by their political power on the international economy. They imposed a financial and monetary system without a proper international oversight mechanism on nations and governments that played no role in repressive trends or policies. They have not even allowed their people to oversea or monitor their financial policies. They introduced all laws and regulations in defiance of all moral values only to protect the interests of the possessors of wealth and power.

They further presented a definition for market economy and competition that denied many of the economic opportunities that could be available to other countries of the world. They even transferred their problems to others while the waves of crisis lashed back plaguing their economies with thousands of billions of dollars in budget deficit. And today, they are injecting hundreds of billions of dollars of cash from the pockets of their own people and other nations into the failing banks, companies and financial institutions making the situation more and more complicated for their economy and their people. They are simply thinking about maintaining power and wealth. They could not care any less about the people of the world and even their own people.

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