The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend
That sort of thinking is seldom admitted to as frankly as in this statement
by the Columbia Coalition Against the War.
As Columbia only very recently announced, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be speaking in Roone Arledge auditorium this Monday. A number of students and student organizations have already announced plans for a protest rally the same day. We are not among them. We do not endorse Ahmadinejad or his views, many of which are inexcusable. However, as opponents of a US military strike against Iran, we have serious concerns with the content of some of the hostility that has been expressed to his presence, and specifically with the planned protest.
We fear the demonization of Ahmadinejad, because we think this demonization contributes to the likelihood of war. In the current climate, with many on the political right in the U.S. and Israel pushing for air strikes, a campaign against Ahmadinejad is dangerous, regardless of the intentions of most involved. A call to action, unless it prominently rules out war, implies military action.
It's a tough balancing act that "progressives" must face: how to maintain some credibility as human rights campaigners, while avoiding the endorsement of any action to improve the human rights situation in Iran.
Labels: Columbia University, Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad