Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Face to face with totalitarian

Wasn't that just a bit scary? Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sounded so reasonable, it was easy to see how that country's leadership could have gone for him. This is the face of dictatorship, and it doesn't look a bit like George W. Bush. Of course, I'm talking about Ahmadinejad's speech to Columbia University students, in which the Iranian president defended his seemingly unbelievable positions on Iraq, Israel, nuclear weapons and homosexuality. Ahmadinejad was in New York to speak to the United Nations, and it shows how enlightened we still are that both forums were available to him. The Iranian leader got a very rude welcome from Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, which Ahmadinejad quite correctly said was rude, but proceeded to defend his country's policies, which have caused no small amount of distress in Washington.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a student at Columbia, I have to say I'm embarrassed by by the way Bollinger sold out on this. Ahmadinijad's presence on the campus was part of the World Leaders Forum, a program which invites world leaders to speak on our campus. Some are more controversial than others, but most have at least a streak of malevolence. Our customary approach is to introduce the leader cordially and then address the issues. Bollinger could have legitimately made his remarks afterwards, but insulting a guest before the guest has had chance to speak demonstrates that his commitment to "robust debate" (his words) isn't quite as strong as his fear of an alumni boycott.

joe said...

I agree with the anonymous comment. I believe we would have demonstrated a higher position than Ahmadinijad by not stooping to his level. He embarrassed himself better that we could have done. The US would have looked much better if Ahmadinijad was introduced without the insults. I think the way Ahmadinijad's visit was handled overall, only empowered him in Iran.

blog guy said...

Do you think Bush should go to Iran as Ahmadinejad suggested? That would be pretty amazing, don't you think?

briangoesnorth said...

Presbo should have taken Ahmadinejad to the Wien food court and shown him some real Columbia hospitality. Would have made him feel right at home with all the vermin and such.

Blog guy said...

Could he have gotten a nice falafel at the Wien food court, or would he have had to eat a greasy hamburger and fries? Where is the Wien food court?