Editor’s Note: As the world knows by now, Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin had been scheduled to speak at Monday’s rally in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza to protest the appearance at the UN of Iranian president Ahmadinejad. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) had also been invited to speak, but upon learning that Gov. Palin would be there, decided against attending. Then, under intense pressure from the Obama campaign, the Democratic Party and influential Jewish Democrats, the organizations sponsoring the event rescinded Gov. Palin’s invitation.
The following is what Gov. Palin would have said had she not been disinvited:
I am honored to be with you and with leaders from across this great country – leaders from different faiths and political parties united in a single voice of outrage.
Tomorrow, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will come to New York – to the heart of what he calls the Great Satan – and speak freely in this, a country whose demise he has called for. Ahmadinejad may choose his words carefully, but underneath all of the rhetoric is an agenda that threatens all who seek a safer and freer world. We gather here today to highlight the Iranian dictator’s intentions and to call for action to thwart him.
He must be stopped.
The world must awake to the threat this man poses to all of us. Ahmadinejad denies that the Holocaust ever took place. He dreams of being an agent in a “Final Solution” – the elimination of the Jewish people. He has called Israel a “stinking corpse” that is “on its way to annihilation.”
Such talk cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a madman – not when Iran just this summer tested long-range Shahab-3 missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv, not when the Iranian nuclear program is nearing completion, and not when Iran sponsors terrorists that threaten and kill innocent people around the world.
The Iranian government wants nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran is running at least 3,800 centrifuges and that its uranium enrichment capacity is rapidly improving. According to news reports, U.S. intelligence agencies believe the Iranians may have enough nuclear material to produce a bomb within a year.
The world has condemned these activities. The United Nations Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend its illegal nuclear enrichment activities. It has levied three rounds of sanctions. How has Ahmadinejad responded? With the declaration that the “Iranian nation would not retreat one iota” from its nuclear program.
So, what should we do about this growing threat? First, we must succeed in Iraq. If we fail there, it will jeopardize the democracy the Iraqis have worked so hard to build, and empower the extremists in neighboring Iran. Iran has armed and trained terrorists who have killed our soldiers in Iraq, and it is Iran that would benefit from an American defeat in Iraq.
If we retreat without leaving a stable Iraq, Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be bolstered. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons – they could share them tomorrow with the terrorists they finance, arm, and train today. Iranian nuclear weapons would set off a dangerous regional nuclear arms race that would make all of us less safe.
But Iran is not only a regional threat; it threatens the entire world. It is the Number 1 state sponsor of terrorism. It sponsors the world’s most vicious terrorist groups, Hamas and Hizbullah. Together, Iran and its terrorists are responsible for the deaths of Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s, in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, and in Iraq today. They have murdered Iraqis, Lebanese, Palestinians, and other Muslims who have resisted Iran’s desire to dominate the region. They have persecuted countless people simply because they are Jewish.
Iran is responsible for attacks not only on Israelis but on Jews living as far away as Argentina. Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are part of Iran’s official ideology and murder is part of its official policy. Not even Iranian citizens are safe from their government’s threat to those who want to live, work, and worship in peace. Politically motivated abductions, torture, death by stoning, flogging, and amputations are just some of its state-sanctioned punishments.
It is said that the measure of a country is the treatment of its most vulnerable citizens. By that standard, the Iranian government is both oppressive and barbaric. Under Ahmadinejad’s rule, Iranian women are some of the most vulnerable citizens.