Friday, September 26, 2008

Ahmadinejad on Larry King

I used to sneer at Larry King. He is king of the puff piece interview, whether his subject is a presidential candidate or a celebrity promoting a tell all memoir.

You can imagine my surprise when I turned on the tube last Tuesday and saw King interviewing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the full hour of his program.

King wasn't much better than he usually is, but so what. Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak for himself and tell the American people what they ought to know but don't.

"Now for eight years, Saddam was supported against us. He bombarded Iranian cities and towns. He used chemical weapons against us. And in the meantime, the American government was giving support to Saddam. And then the U.S. government went and overthrew Saddam. Well, perhaps in the first instance, we might have been happy. But when we realized that the U.S. government is more interested in staying in Iraq and to dominate, through its presence in Iraq, the region, we -- I ask you, would you have been happy if you were in our shoes watching this?"

"The largest number of inspections in the history of the IAEA has been done with the country of Iran. We have offered the IAEA the largest number of documents in its history. No country in the world has cooperated with the agency as much as Iran has done. And that's verified. But I'd like to ask you, at the same, that there are countries who have nuclear weapons arsenals and are actually developing a new age nuclear warfare. Should they not be inspected, as well? Don't you think that their activities should be brought to an end, as well? Who exactly is the threat?"

"Perhaps as a journalist who has years of experience,(ouch!) you must be aware of what goes on in the Middle East, the extent of the calamity, in other words. For over 60 years, more than five million Palestinian have been displaced -- people who were forced out of their homes.And those who have stayed are being bombarded every day militarily. They are being killed in their homes at times. Women and children at times are besieged. And medicine, water and food does not always reach them sufficiently. Children lose their lives, as do women, as a result, at times. Sometimes women die giving birth. Palestinian figures are assassinated and it goes to such extent that it's actually announced beforehand.Three big wars started by the Zionist regime, the last of which was in 2006, when they attacked Lebanon.S o when will this calamity -- this catastrophe end?"

"I think that every government that comes to power in the United States must address two sort of agenda items. The first is that it must limit the circle of the interventions of the United States abroad because these interventions and interferences bring about heavy cost to the American people, both materially and both in terms of the level of dignity of a people. The dignity of the American people around the world has been hard when you -- other people, other nations do not have a good image of American people anymore. And materially, you can tell for yourself what it has done to the American economy. I heard this recently, that 700 billion dollars are to be infused to the financial institutions. Where is it being paid from? The pocket of American people."

We depend on stand up comedians like David Letterman and John Stewart to give us the news and now we depend on Larry King to give access to an important world leader when supposedly superior news people won't. Viva Larry!

The interview is on Youtube in six parts. Once again there is a problem posting Youtube on to blogger so I can only give the link.