Outside editorial: Don't let Ground Zero be defiled by the enemy

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2007

No. No. No. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cannot be allowed to defile Ground Zero, must be stopped from exploiting this hallowed landmark, this tragic product of a fanaticism cousin to the demons in Ahmadinejad's soul.

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When Ahmadinejad expressed an interest in visiting Ground Zero during his coming trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly, he was promptly given the only correct answer: Drop dead. Now there are reports that he intends to appear at least in the vicinity of Ground Zero on Monday morning regardless. To him we say: Go to hell.

Ahmadinejad is an enemy of the United States in particular and of civilization in general. He is spilling American blood. His government is supplying weapons to forces that are killing our troops in Iraq. His presence on American soil is a damnable insult, one we suffer because New York is a global city with a slice of international territory on the East Side.

The Iranian can claim to have no affinity for al-Qaeda - they being Sunni and he being Shiite - but he harbors his own dream of imposing radical Islam on the world, and he has been monstrously frank in his attitudes toward Israel. Dear to Ahmadinejad's heart is the idea of wiping the Israelis off the map, literally.

As for 9/11, he has questioned whether, in fact, the attack was part of an American-hatched conspiracy. In a letter to President Bush in 2006, he asked: "Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services - or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess."

And there is no doubt Ahmadinejad has set his sights on Ground Zero as an act of provocation. He felt no need to go there when he came to New York in 2006. In fact, he dismissed the idea in an interview with Time magazine.

"Did you visit the site of the World Trade Center?" Ahmadinejad was asked.

"It was not necessary," he replied. "It was widely covered in the media."

Now, it's different. Now, he wants to propagandize. At the United Nations he will lie through his teeth in denying that Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions, and he will speak on the platform of a world body that's too craven to give him the boot.

New Yorkers are made of sterner stuff and decent stuff. Our city must deny Ahmadinejad aid and comfort - including restricting him to certain roads and sidewalks. All of Manhattan south of Canal Street must be forbidden to him by the NYPD.

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