I want to pay my respects at Ground Zero, says Ahmadinejad -- and also talk about "root causes"; Update: Ground Zero visit back on?

Maybe he’s not the Iranian Hitler. Maybe he’s the Iranian Ron Paul. You’re better off reading the transcript — which, thankfully, includes the entire interview, not just the parts that made it to air tonight — but if you’re intent on seeing the clip you’ll find it in the sidebar here entitled “Paying His Respects.” As suspected, the “good-faith gesture” that the idiot left is hoping for is a bit more nuanced than thought:

AHMADINEJAD: Why should it be insulting?

PELLEY: Well, sir, you’re the head of government of an Islamist state that the United States government says is a major exporter of terrorism around the world.

AHMADINEJAD: Well, I wouldn’t say that what the American government says is the prerequisite here. Something happened there which led to other events. Many innocent people were killed there. Some of those people were American citizens obviously. We obviously are very much against any terrorist action and any killing. And also we are very much against any plots to sow the seeds of discord among nations. Usually you go to these sites to pay your respects. And also to perhaps air your views about the root causes of such incidents. I think that when I do that, I will be paying, as I said earlier, my respect to the American nation.

That at least will cure the left’s ambivalence about him going down there; now they can be fully in favor. The rest of the interview is Ahmadinejad’s patented brand of sidestepping questions, accusing the reporter of being a government shill when he’s pressed, and plastering on plenty of peace and love rhetoric for the useful idiots in America whom this is aimed at. If you’re hungry for highlights, here you’ll find him denying the presence of Iranian forces in Iraq, which would be news to David Petraeus; here he defends government censorship as a policy enacted by the Iranian people’s representatives, neglecting to mention the fact that the regime purges thousands of “undesirable” candidates from the rolls before every election; here he borrows a page from Osama and floats a few Democratic talking points about wiretapping, the military-industrial complex, and Hurricane Katrina (by name), again for the benefit of “reality-based” slackjaws who can’t get enough “special comments” along these lines; and finally the cherry on top, Ahmadinejad’s theory of 9/11. If you don’t believe the Holocaust happened, this one is no big stretch:

PELLEY: One last thing. So important for the American people to understand. When your airplane approaches Manhattan this week, you will look out the window and you will see that the World Trade Center is gone. Many Americans, Mr. President, to be frank, believe that you look out that window and you say to yourself, “Good. Somebody got ’em.” They believe our countries are enemies.

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, you shouldn’t speak on behalf of the American people… The American people still don’t know who was behind the bombing of the Twin Towers. Many books in the U.S. have been written about the incident., and there are questions circling in your society. Once you go back, go to the streets, ask the local people who was behind this, what were the reason for that? And, again, I fail to see why you continually say “the American people.“ I have the latest surveys. Eighty percent of the American citizens say that the American government knew about the attack beforehand. [This figure is almost certainly bogus. — ed.] They had information…

It’s very regrettable that many thousands of people were killed in the Twin Tower incident. We have announced time and again. And what we are asking is can we do something that ensures this never happens? And the answer is “yes.” We can do that, providing a number of parties do not establish terrorist organizations and set them off on nations. We know who is behind terrorist organizations. You know full well who is behind a number of terrorist organizations around my part of the world, that is. Who provided them with logistical support, political support? It’s a very well-known fact they have made and created these terrorist organizations themselves.

PELLEY: Who, sir?

AHMADINEJAD: It’s very clear. Very clear.

PELLEY: Make it clearer. Name the names.

AHMADEINEJAD: I don’t want to name names. I don’t want to name names. But the terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, who is behind them? And what intelligence organization belonging to what country is behind them? This is very clear.

PELLEY: Shall I say CIA and the United States? Will that . . .

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, maybe you know something that . . .

If you’re the praying type, pray for an Ahmadinejad/Truther encounter somewhere on the streets of Manhattan tomorrow. The gladhanding and mutual warmth will give me content enough for the next week. I leave you with this, since it’s of a piece — former Reagan Treasury Department honcho turned bottom-feeding Truther scumbag Paul Craig Roberts, demagoging the “don’t tase me, bro” incident for his new agenda to the great delight of Iranian media.

Update: Here’s the full video of what aired tonight. Click the image to watch.


Update: We’ll find out in the aftermath whether the city or the feds were primarily responsible for preventing it, but rest assured that the guilty parties will never be forgiven. Ever.