“Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.”
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
How can an offer to hold a televised debate be a “diversion” from anything? Yet, that’s what the White House has said about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s challenge to George W. Bush.
“Talk of a debate is just a diversion from the legitimate concerns that the international community, not just the US, has about Iran’s behaviour, from support to terrorism to pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
There was a time when “spin doctors” could at least make their flimflam appear reasonable. The balderdash that now comes out of Washington doesn’t even pretend to appeal to reason.
A reasonable response to the challenge by Iran’s president would be to accept the challenge out of a sincere desire to expose whatever deception the USA is convinced that Iran is guilty of.
When challenging President Bush for a televised debate, The Iranian president said, at a news conference in Tehran, that he wanted to give the public in the United States and elsewhere a chance to listen to the Iranian views on a number of global matters.
Are the neo-conservatives in Washington afraid of a public airing of Iran’s views? Americans keep boasting about liberties and freedoms, including free speech. What are we afraid that the world might hear if an Iranian were to speak freely?
“The debate should go uncensored in order for the American people to be able to listen to what we say and they should not restrict the American people from hearing the truth,” said Iran’s president.
Why doesn’t President Bush take Ahmadinejad to task by challenging the Iranian position on developing nuclear power and Iran’s presumed desire to develop nuclear weapons? Why wouldn’t he welcome the opportunity to show Americans and the rest of the world that they have a legitimate concern about Iran’s support for terrorism and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability?
If he thought he had a case, President Bush could easily use such a debate to rally American and global public opinion behind him. He might even convince other Arab countries that Iran is the miscreant.
The fact that Bush has his stooges deceiving the public about Iran’s offer to debate publicly makes it pretty clear that Washington’s case concerning not only Iran’s nuclear plans but Iran’s position on “a number of global matters” is less than convincing.
If Iran’s president clearly lost such a debate, Ambassador Bolton, President Bush’s rotweiler at the UN, should have no difficulty convincing the Security Council to approve sanctions.
If sanctions weren’t enough to gain compliance by Iran with the world’s position on Iranian nuclear development, a televised debate won by President Bush would almost assure approval of almost any action the US might take to reign in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
With the irrational spin about how Iran’s offer is a diversion, the US refusal to entertain such a challenge becomes clearly the real diversionary tactic. But then Washington’s spin doctors are experts at diversions.
The pot has been caught calling the kettle black. Not only that; just as Hezbollah whipped one of the strongest militaries in the world, Ahmadinejad has scored a victory over Bush without ever taking the podium.
PAUL BALLES may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org