Many Iranians — unfortunately the people who run the country not among them — are dismayed that their nation, heir to an ancient culture and civilization, is a pariah in the world today.
Their wacky president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, seems intent in cementing Iran’s place in the world’s low esteem and he just may have done it with his latest brainstorm, a two-day conference in Tehran of Holocaust deniers.
Ahmadinejad himself believes the Holocaust was a “myth.” From that starting point, he proceeds on this path of tortured logic: Israel exists because of the Holocaust but if there was no Holocaust then there is no reason for Israel to exist. Then he goes on to express his frequent sentiment that Israel should be wiped off the map.
It was a dismal little crew of revisionists that the Iranian president assembled, scholars on the order of our own Ku Klux Klan leader and white supremacist, David Duke. The title of one paper delivered suggests the elevated academic tone, “Holocaust, the Achilles Heel of a Primordial Jewish Trojan.”
President Bush probably dignified it more than it deserved by denouncing it as “an affront to the civilized world.” Similar strongly worded denunciations came from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the European Union, the Vatican and Israel.
Six million Jews died in the Holocaust as well as millions of Gypsies, communists, clergy, homosexuals, political dissidents and people generally unlucky enough to fall afoul of the Third Reich and its methodical apparatus of mass murder. The Holocaust has been documented ad infinitum by eyewitnesses, the camps themselves and the Nazis’ own meticulous records. It is incontrovertible fact.
Still, as Ahmadinejad said with breathtaking hypocrisy since Iran is notorious for its censorship, it’s a free country and, “Here you can express your views and exchange opinions in a friendly, brotherly and free atmosphere.”
It’s doubtful that Ahmadinejad knows or even cares much about the Holocaust. At the closing session, he quickly got to what truly interests him “Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out,” he said. Reuters says the conferees greeted this with “warm applause.”
Ahmadinejad may be crazy like a fox, but he is crazy and Iranians everywhere who crave the world’s respect for their nation have to be cringing.