The meeting did take place with Ahmadinejad last Tues. (9/21) and Margaret and I were there along with 100 others; including the likes of Ramsey Clark, Sara flounders from the IAC, Ramona Africa from the Free Mumia Coalition, Cynthia McKinney, Ann Wright and an excellent representation of leaders, writers, activists from labor, alternative media, Iranian and Palestinian justice work, and many others.  The purpose of the meeting was to deepen communication and friendship between the 2 countries with a frank and open discussion.

Twenty-two of the participants gave moving, eloquent, thoughtful statement about their work and how it relates to the struggle to oppose U.S. threats against Iran.  Ahmadinejad began his statement by saying he agreed with everything that had been said and therefore we spoke from his heart.  Without ever saying the U.S. by name he talked about the war on Afghanistan and the killing of so many innocent civilians for a few terrorists.  The war on Iraq for oil.  He said it is hard to sleep because of the heart-wrenching stories out of Gaza and the lack of food, medicine and clean water.  He spoke of the bombing of Pakistani villages, even during this unprecedented flood.  And he said the historical moment for capitalism is over.  It has reached a deadlock.  Violent capitalism starts wars in part to fill pockets with money by emptying the arsenals so more weapons can be made and sold.  Wonder if he’s been reading WAMM newsletters?

And actually, Margaret noticed after his appearance on Larry King Live last night, that he used much that was said to counter very effectively Larry King’s questions; e.g., the number of prisoners in U.S. jails when asked about people in Iran’s jails, the attacks on the protesters in Pittsburg at the G-20 mtg when asked about the protests after the elections in Iran.  He’s already delivering on his promise to stand firm with U.S. peace and justice activists.

And he said again and again there could be no peace without justice.

At the end of the meeting Margaret showed Mrs. Ahmadinejad pictures of Colleen’s Don’t Bomb Iran banners, and she of course liked them.  We both had a chance to talk with her for several minutes through an interpreter of course.

Hope this gives you a taste (and by the way the Iranian food was incredible) of the amazing evening.

As WAMM members we attended the meeting with the position of no war, no sanctions, no interference in Iran.  We weren’t there to criticize or defend President Ahmadinejad. We were there to strongly oppose the current drumbeat for war from the Zionist lobby, neocons, and mainstream media; Obama saying all options are on the table; Sen. Lindsay Graham declaring the U.S. must prepare to launch on Iran – all deja vu all over again; reminiscent of before the war on Iraq. This was our main focus. Sarah

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By Published On: September 24th, 20101 Comment

One Comment

  1. wammtoday September 26, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    From Andy Berman:

    In the “frank discussion” you mention, did anyone touch on Ahmadinejad’s anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and brutal suppression of internal democratic opposition in Iran? Did anyone raise any
    question, suggestion or hint that Ahmadinejad’s regime has major shortcomings that help the US Government argue it’s case?

    (Fidel Castro certainly doesn’t hestiate to condemn Ahmadinejad’s anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial….see Fidel’s recent interview in The Atlantic).
    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/09/fidel-to-ahmadinejad-stop-slandering-the-jews/62566/

    I worry sometimes that some folks on the US left willfully overlook the dark side of brutal thugs who find themselves in opposition to US Government policies. We saw this with Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, and others. If we do get an audience with such folks, I’d suggest (diplomatically of course) sharing both our opposition to US government polices as well as our concerns that their own regimes make it easier for US imperialism.

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