The Spectacle Blog

You Say ‘Stinking Corpse,’ I Say ‘Cancerous Tumor’

By on 5.20.08 | 3:21PM

Time's Joe Klein is out to prove that McCain is lying about Obama's position on negotiating with Iran, and doesn't know who is running the country.

He wrote:

On Friday, I promised to check into whether Obama had ever said that he would negotiate--specifically, by name--with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Indeed, according to the crack Time Magazine research department and the Obama campaign, he never has.

As for J. Klein's first point, Michael Goldfarb has already done an able job of discrediting it by posting a video of Obama using the name Ahmadinejad in the context of his pledge to negotiate with Iran, so I expect that a correction will be forthcoming.

But J. Klein makes even more of a fool of himself -- if that's at all possible -- by trying to suggest that Obama may have been talking about Iran's supreme leader, rather than its president:

(Obama) did say that he would negotiate with the Iranian leadership--but, on matters of foreign policy and Iran's nuclear program, the guy in charge is the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. As of today, John McCain was still accusing Obama of wanting to negotiate with Ahmadinejad. Why doesn't the McCain campaign and other assorted Republicans ever accuse Obama of wanting to negotiate with Khamenei? Well, because Khamenei isn't quite the flagrant anti-Semite Ahmadinejad is...and, as we keep hearing, Obama has a Jewish problem.

I wonder what his definition of "flagrant anti-Semite" is, because it turns out that while Ahmadinejad has called Israel a "stinking corpse" that needed to be wiped off the map, Khamenei has called it a "cancerous tumor" that "should be removed from the region..."

As Reuters reported on Decmber 15, 2000:

"Iran's stance has always been clear on this ugly phenomenon (Israel). We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region," Khamenei told thousands of Muslim worshippers in Tehran.

The larger point here is this. The left wants to portray McCain as an ignoramus for constantly mentioning Ahmadinejad --the most identifiable public face of Iran -- rather than Supreme Leader Khamenei. J. Klein proudly confronted McCain on this at a press conference today. But it isn't as if Ahmadinejad is a member of some opposition party, nor would he be allowed to make the statements he does were his views not shared by the ruling regime. It's pretty clear that his inflamatory statements were just in keeping with long-standing Iranian policy.

So, McCain was absolutely correct when he responded to J. Klein's chest-pounding interrogation by saying of Ahmadinejad that:

When he's the person that comes to the United Nations and declares his country's policy is the extermination of the state of Israel, quote, in his words, wipe them off of the map, then I know that he is speaking for the Iranian government and articulating their policy and he was elected and is running for reelection as the leader of that country.
If Obama and his media allies want to change course, and advocate meeting with the guy who thinks Israel is a "cancerous tumor" instead, that's their right.

But I say, let's call the whole thing off.

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