Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has invaded America, said Julian Borger in the London Guardian. It’s strictly a public relations offensive, of course. He is sauntering around New York City in a “cream jacket” and even milling around the lobby of his mid-town hotel “kissing babies.” He seems determined to be seen as a nice guy—not a war-monger or “bogeyman”—but he “may have misjudged his venue.” Ahmadinejad faced throngs of “irate New Yorkers” at a forum held by Columbia University, and “his looming showdown with George Bush is sucking the oxygen” out of the air at the United Nations, where he is to speak Tuesday.
“Apparently not everyone is ready to talk to the Iranians,” said Corine Lesnes in the French daily Le Monde’s Big Picture blog. Judging by the “carefully considered” front pages of the local dailies upon Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York City—“Go to hell!” is a nice example—the Americans don’t buy the recommendations of moderates in the Iraq Study Group to open a dialogue with Tehran.
It was to be expected that politicians and the public would object to the suggestion that Ahmadinejad might visit the spot where the World Trade Center towers fell in the 9/11 attacks, said the Spanish press agency EFE in El Mundo. And no one should have been surprised that Jewish groups protested Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust, and his desire to see Israel swept into the sea. It was the “hostile” reaction of the “sensationalist press”—with headlines such as “The Evil has Landed,” and “Iranian Hitler”—that showed who is really leading the charge for the U.S. in the propaganda war.