*Title thanks to Michelle Malkin.
Ahmadinejad was in NYC today. Cops were watching every corner near the UN and Columbia, soldiers were patrolling the PATH stations and traffic was redirected all over the city. So, how much does it cost to invite a de facto enemy of the state to NYC? Apparently, quite a lot.
I visited the protests against Ahmadinejad at Ground Zero and the UN. Judith at Kesher Talk kindly posted my photos and descriptions (always the hardest part of the post). Thanks to Charles at LGF for linking to it! (the flickr photos are here)
At Ground Zero, Port Authority police earned their keep by harassing a 9/11 family member who was protesting Ahmadinejad’s visit. Pamela at Atlas Shrugged has the video here (and a great shot of a motorcycle ride through NYC)
Port Authority police forcing anti-Ahmadinejad protester Desiree to move
At the Daily Kos, poster Clay Claiborne says that Ahmadinejad’s “We don’t have homosexuals in Iran” speech “sounds entirely to reasonable.” I don’t know what they’re smoking over at Kos, but it’s stronger than hookah.
While the Kos crowd praised the littlest fascist, the New York capitalists at Nino’s Positano (2nd Ave between 47th and 48th) announced that he was not welcome in their restaurant. Too bad for Ahmadinejad, it looked like a popular place.
When I got home, my husband was watching CBS news, which was all about Ahmadinejad’s visit. Not all of the coverage was favorable to the little genocidaire.
Although many people criticized Columbia U.’s President Lee Bollinger for inviting Ahmadinejad, Bollinger did truly make use of the priciples of the first amedment. Give the most vile opinions enough rope to hang themselves:
But before he even spoke, the Iranian leader, whose appearance had sparked outrage notably among US politicians and the Jewish community, sat through 10 minutes of broadsides from university president Lee Bollinger.
“Mr President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” Bollinger told Ahmadinejad, accusing him of brutal crackdowns on the country’s academics and homosexuals.
“Why are you so afraid of Iranian citizens expressing their opinions for change?” he asked, challenging the leader of the Islamic republic to explain his comments downplaying the Holocaust.
“Frankly, in all candor Mr President, I doubt you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions,” he added.
“When you come to a place like this, this makes you quite simply ridiculous. You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated,” he said.
When he did get to his feet, wearing a white open-necked shirt and gray suit, Ahmadinejad accused Bollinger of a “wave of insults and allegations” while largely avoiding any direct answers to any of Bollinger’s challenges.
I think that may have been the first time Ahmadinejad faced real criticism from a Westerner.
I would be willing to totally praise Bollinger’s support of the first amendment if Columbia University really did give all controversial speakers the same opportunities they gave Ahmadinejad. But Columbia didn’t give the same opportunity to the Minutemen who spoke there, or to Walid Shoebat, whose speech was (due to Columbia’s efforts) unpublicised and unattended.
Although I admire Bolliger’s efforts to challenge Ahmadinejad, efforts that far surpass those of any member of the newsmedia, who seem to have forgotten how to do research or ask questions, I have to wonder why a Saudi-funded institution like Columbia assembled this media circus in the first place. They weren’t trying to hide or surpress Ahmadinejad’s voice, as they did Shoebat’s. They even challenged him, something that Bush has, for the most part, failed to properly do.
We know that sometimes the Saudis and Iranians work together, and sometimes they don’t. I don’t know what they’re doing in this case, but I have to wonder, what is Ahmadinejad’s “Boo!! I’m a whacko genocidal dictator who wants to nuke you!” dog and pony show meant to accomplish?
In any case, the furor over Ahmadinejad’s visit has overshadowed one of the biggest stories of the day – Qatar and Dubai have gained control of the London Stock Exchange:
QATAR has upped its share in London’s Stock Exchange to nearly 24 per cent, giving the gulf state and neighbour Dubai a controlling stake of nearly 52 per cent.
According to LGF (one of the few American news sources to cover this story):
As if this weren’t troubling enough, Persian Gulf states are also staging a takeover of the Nordic Exchange: Bidding war expected as Qatar buys into OMX:
Dubai and its neighbour Qatar are both seeking to become the Middle East’s centre of global trading. Both emirates have an independent market regulator.
Shares in OMX closed up by almost 7.69 percent at 269 kronor following speculation that Qatar’s interest in OMX could lead to a bidding war.
“Who knows how far the bidding could go, just like Dubai, they’ve (Qatar) got more money than God,” Thomas Johansson, an analyst at Kaupthing Bank, told financial newswire Thomson Financial News.
Saudi Arab News certainly noticed, but if the American media took any note, it was a short one.
Remember the fuss the media made about the Japanese takeover of the Western economy? Interesting contrast.