I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Banned From Ground Zero

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been banned from visiting Ground Zero when he comes to speak at the United Nations this weekend.

Iran leader denied on WTC wreath request

NEW YORK - A request by Iran's president to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site next week has been turned down by police and blasted by U.S. diplomats as an attempt to turn ground zero into a "photo op."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is to arrive Sunday to address the U.N.'s General Assembly, asked the city and the U.S. Secret Service earlier this month for permission to visit the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The request to enter the fenced-in site was rejected because of ongoing construction there and due to security concerns, police spokesman Paul Browne said Wednesday.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said a visit to ground zero "is a matter for the city of New York, but it seems more than odd that the president of a country that is a state sponsor of terror would visit ground zero."

Mohammad Mir Ali Mohammadi, spokesman for the Iranian mission to the U.N., said he was not notified officially that Ahmadinejad would not be allowed at the site, but said it was unfortunate.

"President Ahmadinejad intended to lay a wreath at the site of ground zero in order to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorists attack of Sept. 11, 2001. We are hopeful that we can still work something out with the police department," he said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday the city was considering Ahmadinejad's application, prompting an outcry from politicians and families of Sept. 11 victims. Browne said about two hours later that Kelly had misspoken.

Port Authority and police representatives decided at a meeting that no dignitaries would be allowed inside the site, said Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman.

The United States, its European allies and other world powers suspect Iranian authorities of seeking nuclear weapons, although Iran insists its uranium enrichment program and other atomic activities are aimed only at producing energy.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, told reporters Wednesday that the United States would not support Iran's attempt to use the site for a "photo op."

"Iran can demonstrate its seriousness about concern with regard to terrorism by taking concrete actions," such as suspending its uranium enrichment program and dropping support for Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Khalilzad said.

It wasn't clear whether Ahmadinejad wanted to descend to the base of the trade center site, where the fallen twin towers stood, or to lay a wreath on a public sidewalk outside the site.

Iran and the U.S. have not had diplomatic relations since 1979, when Washington cut its ties with Tehran after Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The Bush administration has accused Iran of arming Shiite Muslim militants in Iraq and seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

In a television appearance earlier this week, Ahmadinejad said his country wanted peace and friendship with the United States, despite mounting tensions between the two countries.

In a related development, the U.S. also denied a visa to Iran's United Nations ambassador in Geneva to attend next week's General Assembly meeting because he was involved in the 1979 U.S. hostage crisis, a U.N. official said.

It was not clear what role the ambassador, Ali Reza Moaiyeri, allegedly played in the hostage drama. The U.N. official who said his visa was denied spoke on condition of anonymity because there has been no public announcement.

Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said, "although we don't comment about specific visa cases we certainly would not allow a person into the United States who has taken Americans as hostages."

Are you fucking kidding me? A "photo op"? The jackass in the White House has used Ground Zero for plenty of photo ops!!

Remember these photos?

These weren't photo ops!! No, not quite!! The Boy King stood on the pile of rubble that undoubtedly contained the remains of countless people, and shouted from a megaphone about how we were going to make the evil-doers pay for attacking us. If that isn't a disgusting photo op, I don't know what is.

Don't even get me started on Rudy Giuliani. He has used 9/11 and Ground Zero to further his political ambitions since 9/11. He has no shame when it comes to exploiting it for selfish reasons. Yet he has the nerve to criticize this visit request. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!!

It's a sad day when you have to agree with Pat Buchanan. He doesn't understand the mass hysteria over this man wanting to visit Ground Zero, and said that he should be allowed to do so.

Personally, I'm waiting for the Bush regime to come out with the "facts" that Iran attacked us on 9/11 and that they are behind all terror attacks against the United States both past and present. Perhaps maybe they'll come out with the "fact" that Iran was really behind the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Iran started the U.S. Civil War. HELL, IRAN KILLED JESUS!! For that, they must die!!

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  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger IAblogger said…

    Remember How Iran Responded to the 9/11 Attacks?

    With all the ruckus over the request of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's request to visit “Ground Zero” during his visit to New York to lay a wreath [1], it is somewhat worth remembering how Iran responded to the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

    Knowing how short American memories are and knowing how many Americans share President Bush’s habit of conflating all U.S. opponents and enemies into some sort of utterly fictional “united front,” like the now famous “Axis of Evil” (none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks); I began preparing in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It was fully predictable that there would be an Islamaphobic backlash in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and that people with a vested interest in promoting anti-Muslim hatred would later try to equate the entire Islamic world with the attacks in New York and Washington DC. So, beginning on September 12, 2001, I began compiling the actual responses to the attacks by all the countries of the world with a Muslim majority regardless of their political standing or relationship with the United States. Visiting and saving snippets from official government outlets for these states (embassy websites, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, &c.) as well as searching the media for relevant articles discussing the reactions of these states, I saved all this data for the fifty-two states in question and put it online in the “International Islamic Response” website. After several moves to different hosts, I kept all this data and it can now be found online at: http://iir.internetactivist.org/

    So what was Iran’s reaction to the 9/11 attacks?

    "On behalf of the Iranian government and the nation, I condemn the hijacking attempts and terrorist attacks on public centers in American cities which have killed a large number of innocent people," President Khatami said in reaction to the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. ... "My deep sympathy goes out to the American nation, particularly those who have suffered from the attacks and also the families of the victims," he said, noting, "terrorism is doomed and the international community should stem it and take effective measures in a bid to eradicate it." Khatami added that the Islamic Republic of Iran is treading a road to uproot terrorism and to this end, he noted, it will spare no efforts.

    And related news stories included:

    “Iranians Honor U.S. with Moment of Silence” (NY Post)

    “Khatami Condemns ‘Terrorist’ Attacks on U.S. Targets (People’s Daily, Iran)

    “US calls Iran’s response ‘positive’” (Economic Times)

    “Terror attacks transform U.S. image in Iran’s media” (Gulf News)

    “Powell sees hope in Iran, Syria response to attack” (Reuters)

    “'Iran News’ deplores attacks on major US landmarks” (Iran News)

    “Iran expresses rare sympathy for U.S. over attacks” (Reuters)

    “Iran ayatollah says he is heart-broke over U.S. attack” (Gulf News)

    “Iran seals Afghanistan border” (AP)

    All of this was saved in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 at http://iir.internetactivist.org/020.html though of course many of the links are no longer valid, being six years old.

    The point was – and remains – to show that contrary to whatever the Islamaphobic hate-mongers might say today, the vast majority of the Islamic world, even including states that the US has had difficult relations with, were sympathetic and supportive in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The whole supposition that there should be any problem with President Ahmadinejad laying a wreath at “Ground Zero” is just a statement of American ignorance, bigotry, and hated completely unjustified by anything Iran has done.

    Anyway, to learn more about the response of the world’s majority Muslim countries in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, visit the International Islamic Response website at: http://iir.internetactivist.org/ Just click on any of the countries listed on the left to see how they responded. Just to save you some time, the ONLY majority Muslim states that were not sympathetic was Iraq (at the time under Saddam Hussein and suffering from US imposed sanctions that resulted in the death of over a million Iraqis [2]) and Afghanistan (then under the Taliban).

    John S.


    [1] Pat Milton, "New York bans 'photo op' visit to Ground Zero by Iran's president," The Scotsman, 21 September 2007, http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1509712007

    [2] Peace Action, “End Sanctions on Iraq,” Peace Action Education Fund, undated, http://www.peace-action.org/camp/justice/iraqfs.pdf

  • At 7:20 AM, Blogger ParisL0ve2 said…

    Thank you for posting that!!

    It's about time that the truth is told!!


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