Friday, October 28, 2005
From The Threatening To The Absurd
I was going to say "from the sublime to the ridiculous", but there's nothing sublime about this:
Reuters UK: Iran President Stands By Israel Remarks(The remarks in question, if you didn't know, are that Israel should be "wiped off the map". He said this in a delightful Tehran conference titled "The World Without Zionism".)
TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, cheered by thousands of supporters, signalled on Friday he stood by his call for Israel to be wiped off the map, while Iran's foreign ministry sought to defuse a diplomatic storm.As Robert at Jihad Watch notes, the call was not just for Israel's destruction:
Israel said it would request an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council over the comments, which have drawn the condemnation of the West and Tehran's ally Russia.
Iranians chanting "death to Israel" and "death to America", converged from nine points in the Iranian capital for a rally attended by most of Iran's top officials. Some protesters set fire to or trampled on Israeli and U.S. flags.
Ahmadinejad took a short walk in the crowd, rallying in support of his comments that the Islamic world could not tolerate the Jewish state in its heartland. He said Western criticism carried no weight.
"My words are the Iranian nation's words," he told the official IRNA news agency, when asked if he had a message for the world.
"Westerners are free to comment, but their reactions are invalid."
Addressing a conference in Tehran on Wednesday, entitled "The World Without Zionism", Ahmadinejad said, "To those who doubt, to those who ask is it possible, or those who do not believe, I say accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible."Many Western news agencies are reporting only the "death to Israel" part. (I suppose the rest isn't newsworthy enough.) But some people are taking notice of the rest:
To a cheering audience that at several points erupted with chants of "death to Israel, death to America, death to England", Ahmadinejad continued, "Once, his eminency Imam [Ruhollah] Khomeini - leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution], stated that the illegal regime of the Pahlavis must go, and it happened. Then he said the Soviet empire would disappear, and it happened. He also said that this evil man Saddam [Hussein] must be punished, and we see that he is under trial in his country. His eminency also said that the occupation regime of Qods [Jerusalem, or Israel] must be wiped off from the map of the world, and with the help of the Almighty, we shall soon experience a world without America and Zionism, notwithstanding those who doubt."
Tony Blair delivered his strongest warning to Iran last night, saying Teheran would not be allowed to become a "threat to our world security".Sounds good to me. It's clear that all the diplomatic overtures -- are there any the UN and EU have not yet tried? -- have not impressed Iran very much.
He hinted that the West might have to resort to force.
In the meantime, it's good to know that the rest of Europe is staying focused:
CNN: Rome bans 'cruel' goldfish bowls
ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- The city of Rome has banned goldfish bowls, which animal rights activists say are cruel, and has made regular dog-walks mandatory in the Italian capital, the town's council said on Tuesday.
The classic spherical fish bowls are banned under a new by-law which also stops fish or other animals being given away as fairground prizes. It comes after a national law was passed to allow jail sentences for people who abandon cats or dogs.Thank goodness for Rome. With petty annoyances all around, from the threat of nuclear annihilation to the prospect of war to contain it, it's nice to know that Rome has its goldfish's best interests at heart.
"It's good to do whatever we can for our animals who in exchange for a little love fill our existence with their attention," said Monica Cirinna, the councilor behind the by-law.
"The civilization of a city can also be measured by this," she told Rome daily Il Messaggero.
The newspaper reported that round bowls caused fish to go blind. No one at Rome council was available to confirm this was why they were banned. Many fish experts say round bowls provide insufficient oxygen for fish.
The northern city of Turin passed a law in April to fine pet owners up to 500 euros ($597.7) if they do not walk their dogs at least three times a day.
The new Rome by-law requires owners to regularly exercise their dogs, and bans them from docking their pets' tails for aesthetic reasons.
It also provides legal recognition for cat lovers who provide food for the colonies of strays which live everywhere from the city's ancient Roman ruins to modern office car parks.
(hat tips: Smash for the Jihad Watch link and the Tony Blair link, Lileks for the goldfish, PowerLine for the "World Without Zionism" photo, and Google News for the rest.)