Roger L. Simon

Shame on Lantos

Frequent readers of this blog may know I have nothing but the greatest respect for Tom Lantos. The only Holocaust survivor in Congress, the representative from San Mateo has shown true courage in many instances, including when he recently took on Google and Yahoo for their overly-cozy relationship with the Chinese government.

So I was deeply disappointed when I read of the Congressman’s willingness, indeed desire, to talk with Ahmadinejad:

Speaking just for myself, I would be ready to get on a plane tomorrow morning, because however objectionable, unfair and inaccurate many of (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s) statements are, it is important that we have a dialogue with him,” Lantos said. “Speaking for myself, I’m ready to go — and knowing the speaker, I think that she might be.”

Objectionable, unfair and inaccurate???? It’s hard to believe a Holocaust victim of Lantos’ stature is applying those banal euphemisms to a man who is not only a Holocaust denier but most probably the most powerful Holocaust denier since the event itself? How about “Homicidal lunatic liar”? Ahmadinejad, as I assume Lantos must know, is the man who ordered the state-sponsored Holocaust denial cartoon contest in Tehran last year, the one with the seemingly-endless collection of vicious anti-Semitic cartoons out of the pages of Der Sturmer.

What does the Congressman hope to accomplish by “having a dialogue” with such a person? What does Lantos expect Mad Ahmadinejad to say? “I see your point, Tom. Maybe all those Jews were incinerated in those ovens, after all.” Not bloody likely. In fact, it is Ahmadinejad who has everything to gain by such a meeting and Lantos nothing.

Back in the interview I did with the Congressman (link above at “overly-cozy”), Lantos said an interesting thing vis-a-vis Google, Yahoo and the Chinese: “I would hope than they would change China, but China changed them.” He should think about that when he next considers venturing forth to “dialogue” with the mullah’s lap dog.