Ahmadinejad’s Columbia Speech, Thread 2
Here’s another thread to discuss the thug-in-chief’s appearance at Columbia’s Distinguished Speaker lecture series.
Lots of readers seem to think Columbia president Lee Bollinger deserves credit for his opening speech. I don’t. I think it was an attempt to redeem his reputation and keep the money flowing in from alumni, and does not even begin to make up for the atrocity of giving this creature a podium at one of America’s most prestigious schools.
UPDATE at 9/24/07 11:35:08 am:
The students in the audience are laughing along with Ahmadinejad and applauding him.
UPDATE at 9/24/07 11:45:45 am:
You can watch this travesty live over the web at C-SPAN3.
UPDATE at 9/24/07 11:47:14 am:
The Kos Kidz weigh in on Lee Bollinger: Daily Kos: Bollinger’s Diatribe.
As an American, I was stunned and embarrassed by Bollinger’s harangue of Ahmedinejad. It was a craven and cowardly capitulation to political pressures, and unworthy of the academic institution that Bollinger represents. I know who and what Ahmedinejad is, but I also know that he was at Columbia at Columbia’s invitation. Bollinger’s speech was less a challenge to Ahmedinejad than it was an ambush, and it dishonered all of us as Americans.
Bollinger could have challenged Ahmedinejad’s many hyperbolic and absurd statements in a manner that was not abusive and insulting. He chose instead to curry favor with those who are intent on demonizing Iran and plunging the U.S. into another illegal and immoral war.
Bollinger’s behavior was inappropriate. It presented to the world the face of an ugly and bullying America. I am utterly humiliated that Bollinger should have behaved this way.
UPDATE at 9/24/07 11:58:33 am:
Line of the day: “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like you do in this country.”
Students applauded again when he said the US has no right to question their pursuit of nuclear weapons.
UPDATE at 9/24/07 12:11:37 pm:
Ahmadinejad finished by thanking everyone, and got a round of thunderous applause, with cheers.
And Columbia dean John Coatsworth went over to him and shook his hand.
UPDATE at 9/24/07 12:29:52 pm:
President Bush once referred to Iran as a member of the “Axis of Evil.”
Today he said this.
Earlier Monday, President Bush said that while he’s “not sure” he would have offered the head of a state sponsor of terror a platform from which to outline his agenda, he thinks it’s OK that Columbia University did invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak.
“This is a place of high learning and if the president (of Columbia) thinks it’s a good idea to have the leader from Iran come and talk to the students as an educational experience, I guess it’s OK with me,” Bush told FOX News in an interview. “The problem is Ahmadinejad uses these platforms to advance his agenda, which I suspect in this case … He doesn’t want America to know his true intentions.”
UPDATE at 9/24/07 1:00:04 pm:
The only moment where the student audience really parted ways with Ahmadinejad is when he said, “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country:” Video: There are no gays in Iran, says Ahmadinejad.