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Steevo

Iran also stones to death men and woman for being adulterers. And very recently the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour attended a meeting chaired by Cuba, in Tehran held to redefine and relativize human rights in accordance with "cultural diversity." While Arbour sat in the front row listening to Ahmadinejad, some Iranians were being made ready to be publicly hanged - 21 prisoners were executed the next day.

Not only is Iran supplying arms and financial support but also its Qod agents are in Iraq and some have been captured: high ranking officers at that. And members of the Iranian-backed Special Groups are smuggled in.

This is the height of hypocrisy, undermining to the grossest extent the moral responsibilities free speech relies on. Columbia doesn't invite people who have immigrated from nations with repressed rights to speak of the injustices associated with non-free speech.

David

But on the other hand, he got absolutely and hilariously crucified by one of the people attending, which I always think is the best way to deal with people like this.

American Interests

He also got hammered by the University President. At the end of the day it clearly demonstrated how deluded Ahmadinejad is. So lets have more research on the holocaust to once and for all confirm how wrong the Iranian President is on this issue alone.

Mike A

It was, of course, a good thing. He got laughed at openly.

Ami

I would suggest that Lee Bollinger got in over his head, and realized that he made a tremendous error by inviting Ahmandinejad. It was an even worse decision to fling insults at a "guest in your house." Bollinger came away looking rude and small.

Bollinger should have made his speech before the invitation was extented, and listed his opinions as reasons for not inviting the little Iranian fruitcake. Insulting Ahmandinejad at the event made him look like the victim. I don't care how many points Bollinger scored, it was a little too little too late.

Now we can only hope that this exercise will result in some alumni donations drying up and Bollinger being fired for harming the integrity of Columbia University, as if that hadn't happened back in the 60's.

Andy

He made himself look ridiculous by scoring some massive own goals. Why does he say that the slaughter of 6 million Jews needs more research? To find ways of blaming Jews for what happened perhaps? So Iran has no homosexuals... is that because they're all hanging from a noose? He doesn't need Lee Bollinger to crucify him, he does a good job himself.

Edward

I completely disagree. The question is, who decides what views are acceptable to allow to be expressed and what aren't. You may say that "libertarians" have forgotten the moral founding of free speech. You seem to have forgotten the meaning of freedom.

Absolutely the best thing to do was to humiliate this man in debate and dialogue and demonstrate he is far from the demi-god many wish to make him out to be.

atheling

Bollinger was engaging in damage control. Columbia was flooded with protesting emails and phone calls. No doubt he was worried about all the alumni who threatened to never give money to them again.

Columbia U has a history of cozying up to unsavory characters. In the 1930's they invited a senior official from Hitler's Party to speak.

http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/42946.html

Columbia U's hypocrisy is an example of what's wrong with western academia. The (poison) ivy league schools today do not teach. They indoctrinate.

JF

Edward,

That would have been a valid point if there had been debate and dialogue. Apparently you didn't watch events as they actually happened, as no person who did could have labeled that event as an interaction of any sort. No point was countered, no question was answered.

To answer your question, every nation creates its own laws to determine what is acceptable and what is not. In many countries, incitement to murder is viewed as a crime, not a simple expression of free speech. In countries in which free speech allows incitement to murder, citizens with common sense are equally welcome to condemn such incitement and demand retribution against institutions that encourage such speech. You seem to overlook the fact that Columbia accepts federal funds, which subjects it to their ultimate paymasters (the taxpaying citizens).

Columbia is not subject to libertarian protection because it rejects libertarian ideology. Columbia has no problem welcoming dictators and is equally comfortable banning the US armed forces.

Once you do your homework on the facts, I would be interested in hearing your revised argument--if you have one.

Andy

This 'finding the root causes of' 9-11 / Holocaust Ahmadinejad talks of ultimately has one motive - find an easy target (USA, Jews) to blame. Same merry-go-round. Ahmadinejad is becoming more and more of a bad joke with every nauseating cliche.

Andy

This 'finding the root causes of' 9-11 / Holocaust Ahmadinejad talks of ultimately has one motive - find an easy target (USA, Jews) to blame. Same merry-go-round. Ahmadinejad is becoming more and more of a bad joke with every nauseating cliche.

Libertoryan

There were people outside shouting 'Ahmedinejad is bad but Bush is worse'. These people have no idea do they?

mamapajamas

Am I the only one who noticed this... that right after Iwannajihad made the claim that there were no homosexuals in Iran, he started into a diatribe about the death penalty in the US? It looked like he was changing the subject, but to ME it looked like he was defending executing homosexuals. He was saying, "We don't have homosexuals because we execute them... don't you execute dangerous criminals here? Etc etc etc..." And I would bet any odds that this is what he was actually doing.

And the audience gave him an ovation for that because his shifty wording made it sound like he was excoriating the death penalty when he wasn't.

Steevo

Here's an interesting take about Ahmadinejad's visit and some questions the students *should have* asked, from Haider Ajina at Gateway Pundit:

Ahmadinejad said in the speech to Friday Prayers leaders from across his country:“Our revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi.”

Who is Imam Almehdi?

What has to happen before Almehdi returns?

What is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doing for the return of Almehdi?

When is Armageddon coming and what is he doing to prepare his country for it?

Edward

JF - you're right, I haven't seen it. If there was insufficient debate and opportunity to engage/criticise Ahmadinejad then that's wrong. The solution, however - and where you seem to betray your true, anti-freedom pro-censorship colours - is to criticise Columbia not for trying to have some dialogue, but for not doing it properly so that his views were properly debated down.

Incidentally, there's not necessarily any need for Ahmadinejad to actually counter the points to be beaten in debate - his wilful evasiveness is probably even more powerful.

And, as an aside, it's shameful that the US military is "banned" from campus. This does show their hypocrisy perfectly clearly. The solution, however, is not to ban everyone, but to let the military back on campus.

JF

Edward,

I know it's tempting to jump to Columbia's defense, as on the face of it, debate and dialogue is an attractive proposition. But Columbia has a long history of allowing only debate and dialogue of the Left while suppressing any expression of conservative ideas. For example, not long ago, a leader of an anti-illegal immigration group known as the Minutemen came to speak about his ideas on border enforcement. Some radical left-wing students stormed the stage and the even was shut down minutes into its open, and the students suffered no consequences.

In context, Columbia's decision to invite Ahmadinejad is just one more expression of the extreme left to embrace dictators and thugs and the idea that America is evil. Call my disgust at that "censorship" if you like, but I see no reason to give Ahmadinejad a platform any more than I see the possibility of enlightenment by listening to Mugabe or Hitler. When is Iran going to give a platform to Bush, my friend? For that matter, when is Columbia going to give a platform to Bush?

I think we all know the answer to that, and that is the crux of my point.

mamapajamas

This isn't a matter of "free speech" at all.

The 1st Amendment, which defines free speech, religion, press, and assembly, says, in its entirety:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

So where is Congress making a law here on whether or not Iwannajihad can or can not speak? I don't see any Congressional involvement at all. The people DO have the right to a say so, though.

Yes, while in the US Iwannajihad can say whatever his little heart desires. However, we are not required to provide a podium for him to speak from.

Bollinger's rude introduction says to me, "I think you're a crud of such a low level that you shouldn't be listened to, but I am nevertheless providing you with a stage to be heard." There is an intellectual and logical disconnect there. Why provide a podium if the subject of the diatribe isn't worth listening to? The answer is, of course, that he was nailed by the people with the funding for the college, and had to put on a show of opposition.

Further, Bollinger is a professor who specializes in the 1st Amendment, and who made the claim that it was "a 1st Amendment issue" about inviting Iwannajihad. It is NOT a 1st Amendment issue for the reasons I gave and as you can see by the text of the 1st Amendment. Congress did not take any action on this speech thingy at all.

What this does is create great fear in me that a man who is supposedly a "specialist" on the 1st Amendment could so badly misread so very direct and logical a statement as the 1st Amendment.

And THAT scares the hell out of me!

atheling

mamapajamas:

Right on.

Bollinger is as much a proponent of free speech as Ahmadinejad is.

Besides, the Constitution applies to American citizens, not foreigners, and especially not to enemies of America.

Bollinger and his ilk have yet to show that they extend the free speech to anyone that opposes their leftist ideologies: hate America, hate Bush, hate Christians, hate conservatives.

Steve

Columbia University claims they are America’s best and brightest?

Did you see the way they applauded Ahmadenijad?

They are just a bunch of filthy Little Eichmanns.

Too bad that Cho Seung-hui didn’t go to Columbia University!

Steve

Columbia University claims they are America’s best and brightest?

Did you see the way they applauded Ahmadenijad?

They are just a bunch of filthy Little Eichmanns.

Too bad that Cho Seung-hui didn’t go to Columbia University!

Steve

Columbia University claims they are America’s best and brightest?

Did you see the way they applauded Ahmadenijad?

They are just a bunch of filthy Little Eichmanns.

Too bad that Cho Seung-hui didn’t go to Columbia University!

Steve

Columbia University claims they are America’s best and brightest?

Did you see the way they applauded Ahmadenijad?

They are just a bunch of filthy Little Eichmanns.

Too bad that Cho Seung-hui didn’t go to Columbia University!

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