Dear Reader, tonight you're in for a treat, and I'm in for a break. I'm going to post commentary by "Call Me Mom" a fellow Federalist Patriot who has been kind enough to grace us with her thoughts on current affairs.
Without further adieu, here's Mom.
"I was watching the Mike Wallace interview with the Iranian president the other evening. I think this interview was a test to see how the manipulation of the media can be used to the advantage of the nation of Islam. And guess what? It was pretty successful. The Iranian president says I want to do an interview with Mike Wallace, and Mike Wallace leaps at it. He presents himself as reasonable and says the most amazing things in a reasonable tone. He makes points about religious convictions (martyrdom, etc.) that seemingly go right over Mr. Wallace's head. He insults Mr. Wallace, saying "Oh are you giving me lessons in courage now?" and Mr. Wallace doesn't even bridle at the aspersion.
At no time in the interview does he have physical contact with Mr. Wallace, not so much as a handshake. That seems a little odd and quite adversarial to me. It also maintains his distance from the mainstream American media machine, while using it to manipulate foreign and domestic opinion. It says to Americans, "Look at me, I am perfectly reasonable and all the things liberals have been saying about American tendencies toward imperialism and greed are true" while saying to his own people, "I am doing my job as president, I have boldly told the American people that I will not bow down to their wishes", and giving the nation of Islam yet another message; "See how I can use their own media against them. I send them a message to convert and they are such fools that they don't even recognize it for what it is. See how even this veteran journalist doesn't know enough about his own faith, much less mine, to understand what I am saying." He successfully deflected any question that he didn't want to answer and made every point he wanted heard.
Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad was very impressive. He dressed in a way that would be appealingly upscale, yet casual. His answers were well rehearsed and appeared spontaneous rather than scripted. (A spontaneity supported by Mr. Wallace's insistence that he didn't ask for a list of the questions that would be asked beforehand-as though a 10 year old couldn't tell you what sorts of questions would be likely to come up in such an interview) Even his facial expressions were well controlled. If he were an American we could have presidential candidate material here. He is sincere. He is bold. He knows what every American wants to hear.
The more perplexing thing is Mr. Wallace's apparent lack of understanding of the fundamental gulf between our country and his, between Christianity and Islam. There was a point in the interview with Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad where he says he believes the United States is against Islam. Instead of acknowledging that as a Christian nation we have basic irresolvable issues with Islam, Mr. Wallace simply dismissed it with a "oh, that's not true" type of statement. As though he wanted to indicate that it is not possible to have differences with an entire religion or group, because that wouldn't be very nice. (And we all know that being nice is what America and Christianity is all about, right? May I suggest the book No More Christian Nice Guy to those who may have missed the sarcasm of the preceding sentence?) Mr. Wallace also seemed flustered and defensive throughout the interview. He seemed unaware that many statements had religious overtones that I, as a viewer, would've liked him to follow up on. Perhaps the main stream media really is oblivious to the fact that deeply religious people will hold their loyalty to God in higher regard than their loyalty and duty to any one government or people. Perhaps they don't get it that when a people's governmental goals align with their religious goals, it will be very difficult to stop them from achieving those goals, no matter how small the country.
The reason our governmental structure has been as successful as it has been, I believe, is because of it's Christian underpinnings. It is difficult to espouse freedom when your religion demands that everyone must convert or die. I would submit to Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad that my religion allows you to take your time and investigate other religions because it is the truth. "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." Christianity allows you to be of your "same opinion still" for as long as you have time in the world without threatening you with death if you don't convert immediately. Islam does not.
Mr. Wallace also missed several points where I thought, he is telling the truth, as he sees it. I have no doubt that he loves all the people of the world and wants them to get along peacefully - as members of Islam. I also have no doubt that what he thinks of as peaceful and what I think of as peaceful are not even close. I'm sure that he would regret the necessary deaths - of all infidels. Not enough to prevent them, because that would go against Islam, but he would regret it deeply that they chose not to swell the ranks of Islam by refusing to convert.
In his letter to President Bush, it seemed to me that there was a call to conversion throughout that letter. (Very evident in this passage on page 7: "Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets?" See here for the letter. Maybe I'm reading that incorrectly, but it seems like a call to the president to recognize Jesus as being just another prophet as Islam does, instead of being one part of a triune deity, which is the Christian belief.
I also found it very interesting to watch the segment on the 60 minutes web-site where Mr. Wallace is giving his "take" on the interview. He speaks with a closed body position, much stern hand shaking and anxious knee rubbing. When referencing Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad's insistence that the Jewish people should have been given Germany instead of Israel, Mr. Wallace has a smirky look on his face and there is a photo flashed of Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad greeting (or being greeted by) another man giving him a kiss. While I have heard that this is a perfectly acceptable greeting between two men in that culture, it is certainly a photo most likely to cause unfavorable associations in ours. My point is that when I watched the segment with the sound off, I received the impression that he is uneasy about the content of what he is saying and that the show had some hostility toward the Iranian president. Once I turned the sound on though, he was full of praise for the way the Iranian president conducted himself. See the segment at this link.
Perhaps this is the mainstream media's gut reaction to anyone of faith now, look interested and then make them look bad in editing. A rather passive-aggressive approach and perhaps they are truly unconscious of it in this case, but it was badly done.
I believe that this Iranian president is a deeply religious man who will act according to his principles. We know what those principles are. I think that given the opportunity, he would wipe Israel from the face of the Earth and us along with it in service to his God.
I could be wrong. I do tend to look at things from a Biblically centered perspective (at least I try to). I may be reading too much religion into the whole situation between our countries. After all, I'm not psychiatrist, an intelligence officer, an elected official, a journalist, a Biblical scholar or even a veteran. (My thanks and prayers go out to those who serve.) I'm just a Midwestern mom who is trying to stay informed."
OK, it's Alex again: Thanks Mom, I think you're not alone in your impressions of the Iranian President. I've said as much here before: we really ought to take this guy at his word. I hope you don't mind I edited a little and made some of your links embedded in the post.
For the record, you don't have to be any of the above professionals to understand what's going on in the world. You need to have brains in your head and the heart - the courage - to use them. Lots of experts possess the former, yet imperil Freedom with wrong assumptions due to a lack of the latter. I've heard Dr. Rice's comments replayed two days running now that we should "hope" that Hizbollah lays down their arms, but that it is not our job (that of the UN, specifically) to disarm them. If that's the best we've got - if we're reduced to hoping that tyranny will leave peace-loving people alone - we're doomed.