The part about wiping Israel off the map received widespread attention. But our mainstream news media seemed less interested in the other part of Ahmadinejad's speech, in which he looked forward to a "world without the United States."
Bellicose statements from Iran are certainly nothing new. "The non-Muslims are [like] those animals that graze, chew their cud and cause corruption," said Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati. (The non-elected Guardian Council is the most influential body in Iran, with six clerics capable of blocking any legislation they deem inconsistent with Islam.) And, in the state-run Iranian reformist daily newspaper, Sharq, Assembly of Experts Head Ayatollah Ali Meshkini said, "The Iranian people must know that America and England are two cancerous growths, and [they] will destroy any country if they enter its body."
On state-run Iranian television early this year, political analyst Dr. Majid Goudarzi stated, "The [Zionists] claimed that they had to be the rulers of the world. . . . They wrote instructions how to gain control of the global media, and how to control the world's natural resources. . . . They want to write history as they wish, and in light of their unparalleled power in the media . . . they have managed to impose the [Holocaust] issue, and to depict themselves as oppressed."
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said, "A nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable, but it is not just unacceptable to Israel and to the United States. It must be unacceptable to the entire world, starting with the European governments and people." Yet she criticized the Bush administration for not doing enough, even as her colleagues on the Left criticized Bush for war mongering. "I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran," said Clinton, "because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations."
"The White House chose to downplay the threats"?
Recall that President Bush, amid much criticism, called Iran part of the "axis of evil." In the president's 2002 State of the Union speech, he said, "States like [North Korea, Iran, Iraq], and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world." His critics called it war mongering.