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Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of Tibet House US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion[…]

“A petty little tyrant like Ahmadinejad” could be toppled depending on U.S. actions in the region.

Robert Thurman: Iranians should be nonviolent. And therefore, if they think their elections is miscounted, they have every right to protest. And actually, the more the regime should stay with their thug police, the more they become identified with the Shah, they run, and the more they lose legitimacy. However, that’s for them to decide. And the U.S. has no statement, as long as we’re funding Al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups in most incredibly stupid way. And I sure hope [Barack] Obama blocks that. He’s funding terrorism; Baluchistan and Kurdistan to attack Iran.

If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did win, and he night have won still, and not by maybe as big a margin as they say, but he might have won. But as long as we’re funding people trying to topple his government and threatening him with attack, then we have nothing to say about it. We can’t actually help the people there. We just have to keep repeating that democratic free extension, nonviolence, we applaud it, we admire it. We finally did have that kind of election. We also had two stolen elections.

We should be admitting openly in our big media, not just the internet. We should notice Greg Pelaez and Michael Moore. We should be admitting that Florida was stolen and so on so. They can go wrong but they just stick with it and then look, we had a good election now.

We should stop undermining them and that is what will really topple a petty little tyrant like Ahmadinejad. He’s a pathetic little character and he’s only in there because we invaded Iraq. If he stayed in there, which he might have is because we are attacking there and that delegitimizes whatever we say. We have no more high grounds.

It’s the moral high ground that is our only hope in dealing with the Muslim world. There are many people in Islam who want to be modern, and want to be practical, and want to be pleasant with their wives and children, and want their wives actually to love them and not just obey them. Many of them do. But we keep messing with them and then the right wingers types take over.

When we behave like tyrants, they will naturally react by behaving like tyrants.


Recorded June 24, 2009.