The Knockout...Mah-Moud...Ahhhh-maaaa-dinejad!!!

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger may have thought he was pulling a fast one by inviting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into the ring of verbal opinion. But with only one minute gone in the second round, Bollinger's oral parries had been long forgotten, and he was laying on the canvas.

Americans are getting stupider all the time. What a silly claim that it would have been a violation of free speech to deny Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to appear at Columbia University? Okay, I want to appear as well! And I want the same amount of media coverage as Ahmadinejad got!

Columbia University just invited the #2 enemy of the United States to exercise his right of free speech on American soil. Imagine if we had invited Josef Stalin or Adolf Hitler to speak in their heydays! The only thing worse than inviting Ahmadinejad to speak in the US would have been to invite Osama b...wait a second...I don't want to give anybody any ideas.

Mahmoud Admadinejad is a tin-horn oligarch. He has no business being in power. The main reason that he is in power, though, is because of blowback due to the obscene and constant meddling of the United States in the affairs of Iran over the last 50 years. But history being what it is, and the current time being itself as well, you cannot invite your enemy to speak on your home turf!

For heaven's sake, how stupid are we?

Bollinger said a lot of very manful things, such as

Why have women, members of the Baha’i faith, homosexuals and so many of our academic colleagues become targets of persecution in your country?

Why in a letter last week to the Secretary General of the UN did Akbar Gangi, Iran’s leading political dissident, and over 300 public intellectuals, writers and Nobel Laureates express such grave concern that your inflamed dispute with the West is distracting the world’s attention from the intolerable conditions your regime has created within Iran?

In a December 2005 state television broadcast, you described the Holocaust as a “fabricated” “legend.” One year later, you held a two-day conference of Holocaust deniers.

For the illiterate and ignorant, this is dangerous propaganda. When you come to a place like this, this makes you, quite simply, ridiculous. You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.

While your predecessor government was instrumental in providing the US with intelligence and base support in its 2001 campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan, your government is now undermining American troops in Iraq by funding, arming, and providing safe transit to insurgent leaders like Muqtada al-Sadr and his forces.

There are a number of reports that also link your government with Syria’s efforts to destabalize the fledgling Lebanese government through violence and political assassination.

My question is this: Why do you support well-documented terrorist organizations that continue to strike at peace and democracy in the Middle East, destroying lives and civil society in the region?

But nary a jab connected. Mahmoud sidestepped them all. The underdog gained favor not only with the international crowd--who will always cheer for the little guy against the perceived American hegemon--but also with the home crowd. Many of the international crowd disdain Admadinejad, but not as much as they used to. The Glenn Beck program for September 25th played BBC interviews of American students saying that they were embarrassed by Bollinger's actions.

This is unfortunate, but unfortunately, it was to be expected.

Bollinger finished his opening remarks with this statement:

Frankly, and in all candor, Mr. President, I doubt that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions.
If you knew it wasn't going to be a debate, why did you invite him, you intellectual doofus? You Don Quixote, Jimmy Carter wannabe!!!

I guess I was embarrassed by Bollinger, too. That he was stupid enough to invite Mr. Ahmadinejad in the first place. The only stupider person is George W. Bush for not thinking about the effects of the gleeful skipping of his military into Iraq.

Face it President Bollinger, you got your butt kicked. And America's butt got kicked with it.

Postscript - 9/26/2007, 8:42 AM - Karnit Goldwasser, wife of a captured Israeli soldier who was never returned by Hezbollah as part of cease-fire terms last year, was not given her freedom of speech in a meeting with President Ahmadinejad.


  1. John Bolton was right - this was a charm offensive. I just hope that this won't hurt the honest, sincere Iranian-Americans that contribute so much to this country. I know several of them in my line of work and am deeply respectful of their commitment to family and to America. Many of them left Iran when the religious extremists took control of the government. Iran to me is the quintessential example of why separation of church and state is the only way to preserve the religious freedoms of everyone.

  2. That is the irony of this whole thing. The Iranian people are by and large such a gregarious people, but because of US meddling, the Mullahs came to power and have been dominating the liberties of Iranians ever since.

  3. Once again, you overstate the US' role in world events. The mullahs wanted an Islamic republic, and nothing less, and they were going to get it. Even if Iran had been a happy democracy in 1979, the mullahs wouldn't have been content. Minus US involvement, Iran would have probably been a Soviet satellite then. Of course, the Soviets would have done a lot more to prevent the establishment of a theocracy there.

  4. Any opportunity to show the world that the USA is an open society for the free expression of ideas is a good opportunity.

    Why is it that some people think we have to become less free ourselves in order to oppose undemocratic regimes? That's throwing away our biggest advantage.

  5. Okay, I'll ask the question: Should we invite Osama bin Laden to speak at Columbia or some other place in the US? Or if he asks us, should we allow it?

  6. That *would* be the easiest way to find him, wouldn't it?

  7. Frank, OBL doesn't enjoy diplomatic immunity, so I doubt if he'd accept the invitation! Don't you just love fantasy hypotheticals?

    Here's another one: if Jack Bauer knew about a ticking time bomb, would you torture him to get the information?

  8. Richard,

    You have a consistently, conveniently interesting way of sidestepping questions you don't want to answer. If you ever change your mind, let me know.

  9. Well you're right that Ahmadinejad is basically a buffoon and his ideas aren't really worth hearing...but then again, universities invite stupider people to far as being one of our "enemies," as you point out, it didn't have to be this way, and I'm not sure it actually is this way--has Iran attacked us? They have a border with Iraq and many Shiite Iraqis feel a natural affinity for Iran--can you blame them for fearing a resurgence of Sunni power in Iraq? If we stand in the crossfire, of course we're going to get hit.

    As for Bollinger's remarks on Lebanon, it's the pot calling the kettle black. Iran may be interfering in Lebanon's affairs, but so are we. We are supporting the Siniora government, and this is inhibiting the different Lebanese factions from negotiating a political compromise among themselves.

  10. Elizabeth,

    You're right about Lebanon. I'm reading "Dying to Win" by Robert Pape currently, and it points out a lot of the nuances (i.e. Israeli occupation) that you have mentioned before here and on Serving Iraq.

    I'm learning! ;-)


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