Too bad I stumbled upon an email from The Independent's Tehran correspondent, Angus McDowall too late. The email ended up in my Yahoo email which I only use as a spam trap.
An article was published today about the Iranian public's ho-hum reaction to the "Holocaust" cartoon exhibition. I was pleased to see that I was treated fairly.
"The cartoons included US, European, Brazilian, Korean and Chinese entries. However, the US cartoonist David Baldinger said that his drawing "in no way ridiculed the Holocaust".
It is best to let people determine what is propaganda and what is not. Most of the time intelligent people know the difference. Sane people, I would think, don't place value on government statements refuting the Jewish Holocaust's historical fact. I doubt Iranian president Ahmadinejad even believes his statements. He is engaging in what I would call "political mooning". A bare ass sticking in the world's face gets a lot of attention.
According to the article "Officials said that the exhibition championed freedom of speech, but yesterday they closed Iran's most popular reformist newspaper. One alleged offence was its publication of a cartoon which appeared to show President Ahmadinejad as a donkey."
I believe many Iranian cartoonists hope one day to have true free speech. Unfortunately, a government that executes teenage boys for being homosexual would hardly care about the freedom to make political statements through cartooning. My personal feeling is this: more can be accomplished through interpersonal dialogue between people than the sabre rattling and childish lack of diplomacy exhibited by world leaders. I will continue to engage my Iranian cartoonist friends for this reason. The less people fear each other because of the lack of truthful information, the less likely they can be whipped into a war frenzy. Take note of the most pro war population of the USA. They seem to be the most xenophobic, world history and geographic deficient group of people.