Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad Meets with Friends in New York

According to Little Green Footballs, Monday’s visit from the Iranian president included a visit and speech to US Muslim leaders. “Ahmadinejad Meets With US Muslim Leaders - Media Yawn”.

Did you know that? I didn’t either.

I swear that during the day I heard updates about Ahmadinejad’s every move, starting with his landing in New York. And of course, those of us who follow news are all aware of his appearances at Columbia University, and his closed-circuit kiss-fest with the National Press Club.

Both of those appearances were notable for showing off the little president’s ability to lie, avoid questions, and make grown journalists giggle. No one seriously expected that he would display any of the substantive insanity which he makes with so freely when addressing audiences in the Middle East. And we were right, he didn’t. So far the most important thing he had to say was that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

Which makes an address to US Muslim leaders all the more important to cover. Some of us would like to know what he said, and to whom he said it, when he feels no need to lie about what he really thinks.

1 comment:

Gary Fouse said...

What is Going On at Columbia University?

Columbia University has been in the headlines this week over the speaking appearance yesterday of Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The university and its president, Lee Bollinger have taken a lot of heat for providing Ahmadinejad a platform. Probably due to the the fact that he had placed himself in such a public spotlight, Mr Bollinger publically rebuked Ahmadinejad in strong terms in his introduction. Yet, to many, including those who demonstrated against the speaking appearance, Ahmadinejad's appearance was totally inappropriate. While I defend the principle of free speech, I don't think any institution or entity has an obligation to provide such an offensive figure with a speaking platform. Thus, I tend to be on the side of the demonstrators as long as they didn't disrupt the event itself. Where do we draw the line on who gets invited to a university event to speak? Would Columbia have invited Adolf Hitler to speak as well? Larger questions also exist. Did Columbia invite the controversial Ahmadinejad to speak in order to provide an open forum for debate? Or did they invite him to appear because there was some degree of sympathy for the man, his country and his ideals?

Given President Bollinger's remarks to Ahmadinejad, it would be easy to say that Columbia was right in its invitation, and that it was only to provide an open debate, especially since many of the questions were pointed and that Ahmadinejad, in his anwers, demonstrated what a fool he is. One example was his answer to a question about persecution of homosexuals in Iran; he stated that, unlike the US, there were no homosexuals in Iran, a statement that drew laughter from the audience.

But what about the idea of providing a forum to a man who questions the Holocaust and has made statements about Israel being wiped off the face of the earth? Senator Charles Schumer of New York, in criticizing Columbia's invitation, asked if a university would invite a representative of the "Flat Earth Society" to come and argue that the world is not really round. Nice analogy, but is Senator Schumer aware that Columbia already employs a professor, one Joseph Massad of the Middle Eastern Studies Department, who not only defends Palestinian suicide bombers, feels that Israel has no right to exist, but who also has argued that the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre was carried out not by Palestinian terrorists, but by Israeli agents? Sen. Schumer, the Flat Earth Society is alive and well at Columbia. Massad is not the only terrorist sympathizer at Columbia. There is also professor Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Chair, Middle Eastern Studies Dept. at Columbia, who holds similar views as Massad. In fact, many have charged that Columbia, like so many other universities, is noted more for its faculty of radical leftists than for a faculty of true scholars, especially in Middle Eastern Studies.

Meanwhile, if speakers like the Minutemen happen to be invited to Columbia by conservative students, what happens? Not only is their presentation disrupted, but the stage is stormed by no-nothing students, egged on by their radical professors, something that did not happen to Ahmadinejad. Does the US Military enjoy the opportunity to come to Columbia to recruit? No, but the president of Iran, who is sending bombs and weapons to Iraq to kill our soldiers, is invited. Kind of shows you where Columbia is politically, spiritually and intellectually.

As I said, I believe in free speech. I simply question whether everyone is entitled to a public platform to mouth their insanity. We have plenty of street corners where Ahmadinejad could have said whatever he wanted and no one would have arrested him. Personally, with everything that is going on in the world right now (emanating out of the Middle East), I feel it would have been more appropriate to escort Ahmadinejad from the airport to the UN and back to the airport. As Americans, we need to tell him and his ilk that they are not welcome in our country, we are up to here with their nonsense, that we will stand up to them, we will stand up for Israel, and if his 3rd rate country tries any military or terroristic action against the US or Israel, that we will crush them like the bugs that they are.

gary fouse