Thursday, September 15, 2005

A disagreeable breakfast

In his first encounter with reporters on American soil, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad showed his solidarity with the Democrats today as he criticized the Bush administration for it's handling of the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina:

Meeting over breakfast with about a dozen journalists in a Midtown Manhattan hotel conference room, Ahmadinejad blamed the Bush administration's policies for instability in Iraq. A veteran of Iran's war against Iraq, the president described the removal of Saddam Hussein as "necessary," but said the task should have been left to Iraqis.

"It is the occupiers who have responsibility for stability in Iraq," he said, adding later, "The root of the problem is the presence of foreign troops."

Ahmadinejad, who was an obscure provincial politician when he was elected mayor of Tehran in 2003, was the surprise winner in June's presidential elections. His anonymity outside Iran has helped keep alive accusations that he was photographed with American hostages at the U.S. Embassy in 1979, a charge repeated during his visit here and categorically denied by Ahmadinejad over breakfast.

Seeming relaxed in a tan sports jacket and open collar but initially almost timid, Ahmadinejad, 49, opened his session with journalists expressing condolences for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He said he was puzzled by how the storm received its name. "The letter K," offered CBS News' Mike Wallace, launching a discussion of the idiosyncratic American practice of personifying some of the nation's most destructive natural disasters.

Later, Ahmadinejad returned to the subject of Katrina to poke at the Bush administration's response and perhaps draw lessons about solidarity among Americans. He compared the delivery of aid to victims in the Delta unfavorably with the response to natural disasters in the Islamic Republic.

"When this hurricane occurred, we were all extremely sad," Ahmadinejad said, speaking through a translator. "We thought Americans would act more quickly and help their fellow Americans. We expected more." He added: "During the very first day of the hurricane, people could have brought more and limited the extent of the tragedy."

Why was this buffoon even invited to our country? Is Iran only part of the "Axis of Evil" on certain days if the week? It should come as no surprise that this guy would feel emboldened by the opportunity thrown in his lap and proceed to give us a lecture on everything that is "wrong" with America. Send him home and make him pay his own airfare.

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