Rutten: Score One For Ahmadinejad

Tim Rutten looks at the arguments from Lee Bollinger’s apologists and finds them unconvincing. Reaching back to Columbia University’s earlier support for fascists, Rutten scores the win for Ahmadinejad for his appearance at the Ivy League academy, and scolds Columbia for giving Ahmadinejad the Western legitimacy he craved (via Memeorandum):

It would be interesting to know if any consideration of these events — and all that followed a decade of engagement and dialogue with fascism — occurred before Columbia extended a speaking invitation to a man who hopes to see Israel “wiped off the face of the Earth,” has denied the Holocaust and is defying the world community in pursuit of nuclear weapons. Perhaps they did and perhaps that’s part of what motivated Lee Bollinger, Columbia’s president now, to deliver his extraordinarily ill-advised welcoming remarks to Ahmadinejad.
Bollinger clearly had an American audience in mind when he denounced the Iranian leader to his face as a “cruel” and “petty dictator” and described his Holocaust denial as designed to “fool the illiterate and the ignorant.” Bollinger’s remarks may have taken him off the hook with his domestic critics, but when it came to the international media audience that really counted, Ahmadinejad already had carried the day. The invitation to speak at Columbia already had given him something totalitarian demagogues — who are as image-conscious as Hollywood stars — always crave: legitimacy. Bollinger’s denunciation was icing on the cake, because the constituency the Iranian leader cares about is scattered across an Islamic world that values hospitality and its courtesies as core social virtues. To that audience, Bollinger looked stunningly ill-mannered; Ahmadinejad dignified and restrained.
Back in Tehran, Mohsen Mirdamadi, a leading Iranian reformer and Ahmadinejad opponent, said Bollinger’s blistering remarks “only strengthened” the president back home and “made his radical supporters more determined,” According to an Associated Press report, “Many Iranians found the comments insulting, particularly because in Iranian traditions of hospitality, a host should be polite to a guest, no matter what he thinks of him. To many, Ahmadinejad looked like the victim, and hard-liners praised the president’s calm demeanor during the event, saying Bollinger was spouting a ‘Zionist’ line.”

Rutten and the Los Angeles Times hardly qualify as conservative mouthpieces. Rutten makes a devastating argument against the notion of engagement with oppressive tyrants, or in this case, their mouthpieces. He notes that tyrannies base themselves on will, not intellectual argument, for their use of power. Intellectual challenge does nothing to deflect them from their courses of action — but it does provide an excuse for inaction from free peoples who should know better.
He particularly scolds the media for failing to report properly on Ahmadinejad. The media played up the Bush administration’s various efforts to contain and confront Iran, but managed to play down the irrational messianic nature of the mullahcracy, and Ahmadinejad’s role in it.
Be sure to read the entire essay.

31 thoughts on “Rutten: Score One For Ahmadinejad”

  1. I mentioned at Althouse’s blog Whittaker Chambers’ line that while we in the West were watching and listening to Soviet leaders in an attempt to discern their plans, millions of others – behind the barbed wire and walls – were watching and listening to us as well.
    Ahmandinejad’s appearance really wasn’t about us, as many (Bollinger et al.) simplistically thought. It was about those in the Islamic world, in Iran and elsewhere, and what they were seeing from us. How we were reacting to Ahmadinejad.
    Unfortunately, I think many came away disappointed.
    This contest, if you will, will be getting harder and not easier.

  2. So much for the absurd argument that sunlight is a more effective way to deal with poison than keeping it in the bottle. Leftist hubris and leftist naivete. Both can get you killed.

  3. For what it’s worth, columbia draped its stage in black crepe. And, also covered up its own logo on the podium.
    While in iran, Ahminutjob closed down a rival’s media network. As if this shrimp was all about “free” anything.
    As to wacky academia, they’re more than entitled to add this “roadway” to their ivory tower. None of them have any intention of ever leaving their safe haven.
    And, if you want to see academics killing each other, then you’ve got to look at their fights over parking spaces.
    I still say they’ve overpriced themselves in the market.
    And, if you think about it … You’d discover today’s kids are drafted. So there really aren’t all that many “anti-military” complaints.
    Just a bunch of soft-headed students; who will find their debts hurt to pay. And, to carry. Over long hauls.
    Sort’a like smoking dope. Or having permiscuous sex, sans protection. Eventually, the “life” of “yoot” catches up with ya, before even your knees give out.
    Okay. To translate. Those who are IN the system now? Can look forward, decades hence, to children who will ask: What did you do with your brains, growing up?
    During WW2, the threat was: If you didn’t volunteer. And, you weren’t drafted: “So what did you do, during the war?”
    It seems the blackboard gets erased from time to time.
    But in store? New messages. And, they won’t be kind to the affirmative action losers.
    Heck, even law school credentials are over-priced!

  4. I have become so cynical that I think Bollinger, like the Pelosi’s et al before, know exactly what they are doing. Because they don’t take radical Islam and terrorism in general seriously they are glad to support Ahmadinejad and Assad at Bush’s expense. Their convoluted thinking figures Hillary will be president and they are setting the stage for future cooperation.
    Their logic further concludes that in the extreme event their thinking is wrong about terrorism, no worries, their hugs will be the solution.
    Bollinger’s statement was strictly for the alumni who might be offended with the speaking engagement. He needs the Jewish donations.
    While my logic may seem preposterous to some we shouldn’t forget that 35% of dems think 9/11 was an inside job!

  5. ‘He particularly scolds the media for failing to report properly on Ahmadinejad. ‘
    Bush bashers will always get a free pass.
    And when the Chamberlains and Quislings of the Dhimmicrat party are running the White House, good news is All that will be heard by the masses who either don’t have the time or can’t be bothered, to find out the truth on their own.
    And the likes of filistro will be cheering, right up to the head chop.

  6. Here in NYC, Iran has a very strong lobby on the Columbia campus. That’s the reason there was enthusiastic applause in that auditorium at portions of Ahmadinejad’s speech.
    Rutten repeats what others have said better. He has the benefit of reviewing Iranian and foreign opinion about the event after the fact. Once Columbia extended the invitation, they were in a no-win situation. The conceit that one can engage in civilized academic discourse with the same Muslim thugs who seized our embassy in 1979, violating the most fundamental rules of diplomacy by taking our diplomats hostage and torturing them for 444 days, was ludicrous. Stories persist that Ahmadinejad was one of the ring-leaders of the storming of the U.S. Embassy, making Columbia look even more foolish.
    And the spectacle of an impotent President Carter sitting in the Rose Garden as our diplomats were paraded and humiliated before T.V. cameras reminds us of how bad a President Jimmy Carter really was, and how much we lost on his watch.
    Having lain down with dogs by issuing the invitation, Bollinger had no choice but to get up with fleas. He chose to thwart domestic critics by insulting Ahmadinejad to his face. As Rutten noted, hospitality is a very important cultural value in the Middle East. Bollinger’s survival strategy made him look like the ugly American to Middle Easterners. In the aftermath, Columbia Univesity has aided a sworn enemy of this country, and Bollinger’s reputation is in tatters.

  7. “Having lain down with dogs by issuing the invitation, Bollinger had no choice but to get up with fleas.”

  8. Jackie Mason does “U-Tube” schtick.
    And, today, I was linked to his latest effort.
    Bollinger’s now got problems he didn’t have before.
    Because you do not invite a man to your house for dinner; and then tell him TO CHOKE ON THE FOOD!
    That’s actually a breach of ediquette in most places. Including the flapping tents the arabs are most familiar with … where “hospitality” CAN interfere with a stabbing. For a time.
    Bollinger set that on fire.
    Of course, what was to be gained, which was very little; was to see Ahmadinejad having to get up, after Bollinger thoroughly insulted him. To stand on a stage TOTALLY COVERED IN BLACK CREPE.
    Heck, even the podium’s columbia symbol was draped in black.
    Just in case people were taking pictures of this midget; they’d be clueless to “time” and “place.”
    If only columbia would be that lucky.
    Wacky academics, sometimes learn that they’re not seen in such a great light.
    Heck, Pinter’s play “Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolfe,” comes to mind. It challenged them down to their manhood.
    There’s wreckage in academia, now.
    They don’t need shovels, though. They’ve got those! And, they’re still digging!
    Can the pews empty out? You mean you think only Catholics know the costs that come … “when the truth sets you free?”
    Ya know, all the cathedrals in europe, are no longer “working” houses of worship.
    So don’t discount change.
    Change and flux are interchangable.
    As to the damage? Columbia hasn’t a clue what freedom means. That’s not what the iranian midget brought them a bucket of.
    The rest? It’s just variations of diplomatic-pants-dancing.

  9. BRodhead apologized for Duke. Can Bollinger be far behind for Columbia?
    Problem is, by the time they get to the point of having been forced to apologize, the harm is done and unfixable.

  10. War with Iran is inevitable.
    The only thing nipping it in the bud is international resolve, and that quality is buried in a crypt with Sir Winston.
    I no longer ask the question how something like the Holocaust could of possibly happened.
    It’s now all too clear.
    I guess the human desire to avoid war is as strong as the inclination to fight them; eventually leading to the same result.

  11. Posted by patrick neid | September 29, 2007 6:19 PM
    I have become so cynical that I think Bollinger, like the Pelosi’s et al before, know exactly what they are doing.

    THAT isn’t cynicism – THAT is just NOT being a naive little fool.
    Where else in life do you believe everything that comes out of the mouth of destructive little snots who offer cheap excuses for their consistent behavior?
    Frankly, some people accept Liberal contentions at face value because if they didn’t, they’d be forced to take action – like putting them on trial for TREASON. And they don’t want to bother.
    If you give a stanger in your living room with your valueables in your pillowcase that kind of latitude long enough, you won’t have anything left to take action OVER!
    I’m reminded of a house that got robbed in in the Dallas area years ago, just so happened one of my cousins used to live there. The family had been gone about a month, and one day, a moving van showed up and began loading everything in the house up in it. Halfway through the loading, one neighbor went over, with a pitcher of lemonade, because the loading guys had been working SOOOOOOOOOOOOO hard, and asked where the family was moving to. The guys rattled off a specific place, said the family had been vacationing there and loved it so much they decided to move, and were so busy settling in, they just hired the movers to take care of that end of it.
    None of that turned out to be true – they were common thieves. Just none of the neighbors knew enough to realize what was going on in time (ever) to call the cops. Was the neighborhood, and the family, all shocked when the family came home about 2 weeks later to find the house totally stripped under the very eyes of the neighbors.
    I guarantee, if your baby sister, or a cousin who is a drug addict, was pulling this much stuff on anyone within the family, nobody would remain as stupidly naive as the Conservatives have about the Liberals. (AND THE ENABLING RINOS!)

  12. Posted by quickjustice | September 29, 2007 8:02 PM
    EXCELLENT POST! Just perfectly exccellent!

  13. Well, now that it’s a done deal, all you have to do is wait for the results.
    Bollinger managed to do the shabbiest of all behaviors. He disgraced the school by thinking he could disguise the columbia label with black crepe.
    And, he insulted Ahmindinejad, without gaining any points. Not for himself. And, not for the school, either.
    Plus, ahead? You think the rich arabs are gonna send him money? He’s gonna lose out, as he flops over backwards, apologizing. To everyone. In all directions.
    What’s a university degree for, if not to show leadership skills?
    Duke’s Brodhead, and columbia’s Bollinger, both failed the test.
    While Franklin Foer, at TNR, also failed the test.
    No. You can’t make up for failures with “self-esteem” mantras. Life doesn’t work that way!
    Of course, it takes time for consequences; espcially when they are unintended, to show up.
    But show up they do. And, they always will.
    Gotta tell ya; as Jackie Mason said, You do not invite someone to your house for dinner; and when your guest arrives and sits down, you pipe up: “And, may be choke on the food!”
    Bollinger it seems missed a few lessons back in kindergarten.
    But then, what do you expect? Did you see pelosi driving through the plate glass as she headed out in her majority-mobile?
    No need to make this stuff up.
    Let laughter do its job.
    This stuff is now beyond even parody.
    IF wacky academia ever gets repaired, you’ll recognize a college president by his ability to sound like Rush Limbaugh. Kapish?

  14. While I have no doubt that Rutten’s analysis about Ahmadinejad’s larger victory in on target, I have to question the implication in his piece that something so effervescent as public opinion back in Tehran should play a role in whether he was invited to speak or not. In some ways it reminds me of the argument that we should not have gone to war in Iraq because it would upset “world opinion”. Bowing to such phantoms of political spin is in effect giving the MSM in this country and the puppet press in Tehran veto power over our actions – a rather risky move.
    Having said that, there were excellent reasons to deny Ahmadinejad a platform, and to doubt Bollinger’s motives in denouncing him. Contrary to the clumsy attempts at spin, Bollinger is no friend of academic freedom, as witnessed by his limp reaction to the physical attacks on Jim Gilchrist and the banning of the ROTC. Inviting Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia – a popular move given the widespread anti-Bush hysteria on campus – is not exactly a profile in courage.
    Moreover, by inviting Ahmadinejad to speak Bollinger is signaling that he has no intentions of doing anything more than just talk about the maniac in Tehran. At least if Bollinger had instead used the opportunity to announce that he would push for a repeal of the ban against the ROTC I would have been impressed. That would have been a stronger signal than anything else Bollinger could have said to Ahmadinejad. As it is, Bollinger has indicated that he all bark and no bite. I am willing to bet that if Iran ever got nuclear weapons and threatened a nuclear holocaust, Bollinger would be among the first to blame the US – and all of those “harsh” words against Ahmadinejad would be quickly forgotten.

  15. Tim Rutten, LA Times: Bollinger’s remarks may have taken him off the hook with his domestic critics, but when it came to the international media audience that really counted, Ahmadinejad already had carried the day. The invitation to speak at Columbia already had given him something totalitarian demagogues — who are as image-conscious as Hollywood stars — always crave: legitimacy.
    BINGO! Even as we name Tehran as a state sponsor of terrorism, even after President Bush named them part of an “axis of evil”, even while we’re trying (ineffectually) to isolate Tehran… Ahmadenijad gets invited to speak at Columbia University AND GETS APPLAUSE.
    Sort of like John Dillinger or Adolph Hitler being invited to speak at a major university during the ’30s.
    Tim Rutten, LA Times: According to an Associated Press report, “Many Iranians found the comments insulting, particularly because in Iranian traditions of hospitality, a host should be polite to a guest, no matter what he thinks of him. To many, Ahmadinejad looked like the victim, and hard-liners praised the president’s calm demeanor during the event, saying Bollinger was spouting a ‘Zionist’ line.”
    I’ve thought about this. On the one hand, Ahmadinejad deserves nothing but criticism and contempt; he is a vicious thug. On the other hand, it’s rather cowardly to invite him to speak and then ask “sharp questions”. It’s almost a “you broke it, you bought it” sort of thing: Columbia invited him, and therefore they had a responsibility to be polite.
    I must also remark on the lib idea that Bollinger’s “sharp questions” somehow exposed Ahmadenijad, serving as some disinfecting sunlight for his crazy propaganda. Libs often rail (with some good reason) that we here in America simple “don’t understand other cultures”. See, if we understood Iran (or Iraq, or Somalia, or Vietnam, or Russia, etc), then our relations with them would be peaceful and benign. Apparently, it seems that Bollinger doesn’t understand Iranian culture… or the sawed-off lunatic he was hosting.
    I find it ironic that Rutten, after both criticizing Bollinger for taking pro forma swipes at Ahmadenijad and taking academia and the MSM to task for their failure to see what Ahmadenijad and his regime actually are, gets in his own obligatory barb at Bush:
    Tim Rutten, LA Times: After being duped by the Bush administration into helping pave the way for the disastrous war in Iraq, few in the American media now are willing to take the Iran problem on because they don’t want to be complicit in another military misadventure.
    Bush DUPED the media? Gimme a break!
    To the extent that the mullahs read Tim Rutten (and I suspect that they are QUITE media savvy over there), this sort of thing must make them purr with almost as much pleasure as the sight of Ahmadenijad being applauded: the MSM is continuing the meme that “Bush lied!”(TM) about Iraq, and that therefore he can’t be trusted when he says bad things about Iran. Columbia gave Ahmadenijad credibility on the world stage; Rutten and his fellows in the MSM are making damned sure that we have none. How much harder does this make “containing” Iran?

  16. So now Columbia was TOO HARD on Ahmadinejad?
    As I recall, the original posts after the speech said Columbia let him off the hook. That, if anything, those at Columbia should have been more confrontational. Now? Columbia was too hard on him.

  17. Tom Shipley: So now Columbia was TOO HARD on Ahmadinejad?
    It’s in the eye of the beholder. Speaking (writing?) as one who was vehemently opposed to allowing that sawed-off thug on US soil in the first place, much less allowed to speak at Columbia, no amount of criticism would have been too much. It would have given me a lot of satisfaction to see Ahmadenijad pelted with rotten tomatoes… or whomped upside the head with a 2×4. Swing low!
    But that’s just me.
    If the article cited by Rutten* is to be believed, Iranians take a different view: “You invited our president to speak at your school and then you treat him with such disrespect??? What sort of people are you???”
    My response, of course, would be, “They’re American liberals.” I wonder if Columbia has or will issue a formal apology to Ahmadenijad for the impertinent tone taken by Bollinger? If they do, they can always claim that Bush made ’em do it or tricked ’em into it; that seems to be SOP for libs when they get caught actually sticking up for America.
    I must say that it didn’t occur to me before that Bollinger’s weak attempts at “questioning” Ahmadenijad might work to the dictator’s advantage. I suppose that even Iranians who don’t like him or the regime aren’t too keen to see foreigners attempt to humilate their president. I guess that they just aren’t open-minded and thoughtful citizens of the world like American liberals, who cheer when our president is criticized overseas.
    (*) After all, it DOES come from al-AP and thus may well be a distortion if not an outright fabrication.

  18. “As I recall, the original posts after the speech said Columbia let him off the hook. That, if anything, those at Columbia should have been more confrontational.”
    ANYONE who thinks that Columbia could or would have been more “confrontational” would also believe that the Cubs could win a WS, or the New Yuk Times could write a piece that the policies of the Bush administration has actually prevented this nation from another attack. I wouldn’t bet on either.

  19. Hey Otter!
    Go on… coax, charm and wheedle all you like (you cute furry li’l critter) but I don’t have time to play with you right now.
    I know you miss me, but you’ll just have to be patient.

  20. Grasping the WORST of both worlds, columbia proves that there are no longer any adults in charge of the left. No hitler. No leadership. Just a bunch of morons, who keep getting stuck in every “battle plan” they try.
    Nope. You couldn’t say this about the old-old C-BS, under William Paley. Back in those days the word “Boss” held meaning.
    Then? It became a title for a man who sings.
    As if singing is the ONE TALENT you need when you proceed to ambush others.
    If these turkeys haven’t deemonstrated, yet, their lack of leadership skills, you wouldn’t have trouble these days wondering why after SNAFU’s like the Beauchamp disaster for TNR, Franklin Foer’s head didn’t roll.
    And, like the DISASTER at DUKE? Brodhead’s head didn’t roll.
    While Bollinger? He’s gonna be so bent over for apologizing for his own rudeness; he’ll discover what happens when arabs stop answering his phone calls for “money to the university,” fund.
    NOT being able to draw in dollars defeats many a man.
    No. Not just Bonkeys. It’s gonna defeat McPain. It did defeat Newt, even before he exited the gate. In search of $30-million.
    Not that I care. I really don’t.
    But when the losses pile up; and you check out the affirmative action crowd, you see them as the “last of the Mohegans.”
    What follows?
    Gee. I have no idea.
    But victory isn’t gonna be among their specialties.
    Though lots of defeated dudes throw up their hands with the Nixon “salutation” … as he bounced down the steps, out of office.
    You really do need talent to survive the pitfalls.
    Reagan was THAT talent! SO the GOP got to straighten out its ship. While the boat McGovern toodled in on, has always been lame.
    That LBJ wasn’t forced to resign in disgrace? He used stagecraft and timing. As did truman.

  21. The insult before the speech was weak. If sincere it would have been long on specific citations and short on personality assessment… It wasn’t. It was an academic CYA moment. Bollinger was speaking to American audiences-Adminejad was talking to Iran and the Shiia proxies. He was saying “See how weak these fools are” (Just as Hitler would have done. Freedom-of-Speech is a sign of weakness in the Tyrant World)
    The Kerry-style apology “IF YOU WERE OFFENED I apologize” worked for Michael Vick. Brodhead’s apology was equally insincere. Bollinger has made his stand for academic bravery and principle. Expecting any more would be to invite the Kerry-Vick style of insincerity… Why bother-?
    If they only had Establishment Media to spin, they could have a nice dinner and a tour of the campus to set things straight… When you can’t control the gateways you have to perform better.

  22. How come no one ever heaps revile on the Dean of the School of International and PUblic Affairs, John Coatsworth. Bollinger was not the only one who thought it was a nifty-cool idea to invite Ahmanwhoosit to Columbia, and if I was gonna guess as to who first came up with the suggestion, it would NOT be the President of the University, but a professor who’s tenure is wrapped up in teaching equivalency on international affairs.
    Read this quote from Coatsworth, and then tell me that he isn’t just as much to blame as Bolinger. I remember one description of the scene describing Coatsworth as walking across the stage to shake Ahmanwhoosit’s hand with a smile on his face. At least Bollinger had the decency to be honestly rude:
    “Opportunities to hear, challenge and learn from controversial speakers of different views are central to the education and training of students for citizenship in a shrinking and still dangerous world,” Coatsworth said. “This is especially true for SIPA students, many of whose careers will require them to confront human rights and security issues throughout the globe.”

  23. NanCee, Bollinger is “no Robert E. Lee.”
    As a matter of fact, like Brodhead, at Duke, you can see the major flaw flowing from the affirmative action crowd. Deadwood for leadership.
    If you haven’t seen this, before, I’d direct you back to the unions. Starting in the 1940’s, when they were the banner-holders for socialism. And, yes. They had CLOUT in DC!
    The unions had CLOUT, too, in states like Michigan.
    If you go there, now?
    You see the harms done by the unions; who had no trouble, for instance, of spending years out on strike. While they robbed their workers of union dues, to support the gangsters. Who evolved into “leadership.” What. A. Joke!
    And, that brings me to the realization that all the talent has gone out of the affirmative action drive.
    What you see now is what happens when an organization depends on winning elections through theft. Through shoring up those without talent, who happen to have feminazi characteristics.
    Perhaps, you don’t see failure, there?
    But a long time, ago; since I love to read. I discovered the ancient Greeks dealt the blows to “equality” with two plays: Antigone and Medea.
    After those two women strut their stuff? Women were considered wacko’s; and not fit for public debates. They could go an argue with the kitchen slaves (in Rome). Which they did. But the slaves had more knowledge.
    Which is what happens when people aren’t taken seriously.
    You think columbia has serious credentials for sale? Wanna buy an Edsel.
    Wow. Was Edsel such a “class by itself” car. Cost more than others. And, it’s front grill was shaped like a toilet seat.
    Sometimes, you see management confusing the powers they hold, with something called “excellence.”
    Can geniuses sometimes make mistakes? Well, let’s talk about Waterloo.
    Napoleon was in “so deep” into his soldiering machinery, that he goofed in Eygpt. And, got stuck when Wellington, seeing his fleet “parked” and unattended, in Cairo; burnt down every last ship.
    Okay. In Napoleon’s universe; where the sub-specialty of aristocrats is not to ask too many questions … Napoleon, be-medal-ing himself, came back.
    Then, he got Waterloo.
    Victor Hugo, no trumpet player for Napoleon, to begin with, wrote the classic line: “Waterloo showed that the man of genius, was defeated by the man of calculus.”
    It pays to have a working plan.
    And, when Bush, here, is underestimated? They don’t see how well his plans are working.
    While the Bonkeys?
    Kept betting the wrong horse, as well.
    Not that I care. I really don’t give a rat’s patooti for the clowns in DC. But their stage? Seems to me they could learn a thing or two about the demise of vaudeville.
    Here’s your hint: Vaudeville died because the aud8ences wouldn’t pay for admission tickets.
    Now, if you understood wholesale-to-retail, you’d understand why the Bonkeys have a problem. And, yet are also unaware.

  24. Carole Herman said

    Ya know, all the cathedrals in europe, are no longer “working” houses of worship.

    Actually, Mass is still said several times a day in Notre Dame. Regensburg, ditto. St. Peter’s, ditto. Limburg, ditto. St. Stephens (both Vienna and Prague), ditto. Carole may be thinking of France, where all the cathedrals were nationalized as a consequence of the Revolution; wiki Notre Dame for an example of treatement of the Cathedral, but note that the Catholic Church today uses the Cathedral as a house of worship.
    Now, on to the topic at hand: Here’s the take by Peggy Noonan of the WSJ
    In the third sentence, Noonan decries the thing that actually makes America America — you only get to use someone else’s press with their permission.
    Of course, the act of denying use of the press says volumes about the owner — as it should.
    And the act of allowing use of the press also says volumes about the owner as well.
    So, what do we have here? Columbia university gives a platform to the President of Iran to have his say here in America. They allow protesters of all stripes to gather outside. They allow the President of Iran to speak, while officially castigating him.
    So, how does Columbia University look afterward? We have from all sides (I’ll pick the best from just this forum) the following:
    a) Foolish for giving their podium to a tyrant.
    b) Brave for speaking truth to tyranny.
    c) Ill-mannered for abusing a guest.
    d) Laid down with a dog, got up with fleas.
    e) Showed some light in the cellar.
    I think all of the above. Bollinger should have played the gracious host, while not agreeing one wit with what el Presidente had to say. The demonstrators outside were sufficient — I’m sure Ahmadinejad got the message, as did we.
    The world got some choice sound bits out of Ahmadinejad — stuff that the Iranian networks couldn’t fix prior to presentation this time around. The line about gays is choice — and something hovering just below our radar, until Ahmadinejad, under questioning, popped it up. Now we know for sure — Iran’s targeting computer was manufactured by the Nazis.
    Personally, I think Rutten is wrong. The audience that mattered was the new audience (not the everyday one in Iran) here and in Europe, and Ahmadinejad lost to that audience. The Emperor’s new clothes have been seen for what they are. The cockroach couldn’t handle the light.
    While I think Columbia was stupid to play the diplomacy game with a pro, the pro turned out not to be so hot.

  25. Posted by Dusty | September 30, 2007 9:12 AM
    You don’t recall things very well, do you, Tom.

  26. RE: Tom Shipley and criticism of Ahmadenijad
    In all honesty and fairness, there were quite a few commenters here who felt that the “criticism” of Ahmadenijad at Columbia was pretty weak stuff. I think many of the conservatives who comment here felt that, if Ahmadenijad was to be allowed to speak at Columbia at all (a very poor decision, in my opinion), then he should have been confronted by a REAL critic, not some university flack who decided in the eleventh hour to ask “sharp questions” to provide some semblence of cover against angry critics and – more importantly – angry alumni.

  27. Columbia University, and Bollinger in particular, were the useful idiots offering their invitation, and were bigger fools for the weak denunciation. (If he were serious he would have listed the names of the murdered, the dates and locations of the atrocities, not platitudes.)
    However, it may ultimately turn out for the best (one of the useful things about useful idiots is that they are idiots).
    SNL made a mockery of Mahmoud.
    The one thing tyrants cannot survive is being laughed at. I laughed. I hope the people of Iran see it and laugh. A brutal tyrant who is the butt of jokes is not long for the world.

  28. Leadership is missing from the affirmative action crowd.
    And, today, (Sunday), just up at InstaPundit is a story about Hillary’s Media Matters. Sure, she’s got access to Soros’ money.
    And, yes, she planned to go after anybody who dares print negative stuff about her. But her rules of engagement are DUMB.
    All you need to do, now, to examine the overall flaws for the affirmative action crowd, is begin to understand what it means when your leadership STINKS.
    Bollinger? If this is an example of a university president, then universities themselves are in trouble.
    As Deadalus Mugged points out: When you’re laughing at the opposition; they’re hurting. Nothing else bursts the bubble, like laughter.
    You want to quibble that inviting Ahmadinajad to columbia was NOT columbia’s finest moment? Nope. More like among the ten worst things that can happen to perishable food.
    The Internet thrives on this garbage, though.
    Because it lets people avoid the leftist propaganda.
    As to the leftists that come here? Full of their talking points. And, what’s new in that crap?
    Even though our universities seem incapable of hiring excellent leaderhip. Or in the case of Harvard, when they had Larry Summers; they let the feminazi buffoons hyperventilate.
    Now, if you think women who get the vapors are showing “leadership,” have I got news for you!
    That Hillary, herself, baited a trap?
    Well, she created Media Matters (per a link I just read up at InstaPundit), back in 2004. With David Brock. It’s sole endeavor is to smear those on the right. Plus, anyone else who doesn’t bow-wow to her hiney-ass.
    Sure. She could do this. Up next? I think the Edsel performed “better” when the public took a good look.
    Still, I’d like to see Hillary chosen to run in 2008. Because I know the Bonkey mindset. It’s like 1972, all over again. Where McGovern lost. And, where Nixon got the landslide victory.
    Unbeknownst to the public, though, Americans “split their tickets.” Putting Nixon IN the White HOuse; and putting traitors in the senate. It was sad.
    And, Pelosi and Reid’s Ma & Pa Kettle Show, have no reasons to fear Hillary. Since they’re sure she’ll lose.
    And, voting Americans will split their tickets.
    Tragedy in 1972.
    But give me a break.
    The angriest man in DC, now, I could believe, is Armitage; at Bob Woodward. Because he couldn’t get Woodward to do to Bush, what he did to Nixon.
    You could compose another Godfather movie around these machinations.
    Now, where does affirmative action go to die?

  29. I dunno, Unclesmrgol. From my perspective, when Cathedrals went up; by and large people in the countryside were illiterate.
    The cathedrals, marvels of invention; that often took many decades to build, did more than inspire awe. They were a mecca for those who wanted to learn. And, that’s what they once housed.
    Today? No more.
    Though you may be right about “attendance.” If they were really empty? They’d be mosques.
    But it’s still not the same thing.
    Time brings changes.
    In today’s Europe, you couldn’t collect the money needed to build another Cathedral.
    The the architecture still impresses? No doubt.
    There’s a certain glory and majesty; not just in architecture. But in Shakespeare. And, Poetry. And, song. Ah, and music. Created in the past; it still inspires. But it’s from the past.
    Sure. After the affirmative action crowd gets flushed, those things will still inspire?
    I can’t imagine that the GRIFTES, the Clinton’s, are more than just an odd blip, and a porn story.

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