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Video Roundup:  Ahmadinejad at Columbia University

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Posted on Sep 26, 2007

John Harrison at The Largest Minority has put together a collection of video clips from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at Columbia University on Monday, complete with Columbia President Lee Bollinger’s controversial introductory remarks.

Follow this link to watch the clips.


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By boggs, October 8, 2007 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Iran is a country which has once again fallen prey to the propaganda of the United States Jewish Lobby.
It just happens that Ahmadinejad is the current elected leader and he is a bit stronger then our Bush Regime like. We prefer weakness, so we put sanctions on countries to suck all the strength out until they are weak enough (like Iraq) for us to attack. We can then take the oil, and place our empirical embassies, and administer our policies into their government. Aren’t we great?

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By Steve, October 7, 2007 at 12:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Columbia University claims they are America’s best and brightest?

Did you see the way they applauded Ahmadenijad?

They are just a bunch of filthy Little Eichmanns.

Too bad that Cho Seung-hui didn’t go to Columbia University!

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By Tonto, October 1, 2007 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

someone must have told Bollinger that Fox News was going to be watching what he said. Kiss Ass

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By jon, October 1, 2007 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks Frank.

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By Douglas Chalmers, September 29, 2007 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

#103022 by nefertiti on 9/27 at 12:31 pm: “...Some iranians you might Know ??

“Know us before you hate us…”

Join the air force, travel the world,
Go to interesting places, meet interesting people,
Then bomb them!!!

#103354 by Paolo on 9/28 at 8:24 pm: “...The saddest part of this whole situation is that Ahmadi-Nejad seems to be trying to reach out with an olive branch of reconciliation. But the Bush Administration will have none of it…!”

Neither will that opportunistic little rat, Sarko the Neocon - the new French “Blair poodle”. Pity the French didn’t vote for Sego instead - bad choice, uhh.

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By Paolo, September 28, 2007 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

The saddest part of this whole situation is that Ahmadi-Nejad seems to be trying to reach out with an olive branch of reconciliation. But the Bush Administration will have none of it!

Iran has its problems, as indicated by Ahmadi-Nejad’s speech: they oppress gays and other minorities, and don’t acknowledge the equal rights of women. On the other hand, this is a new concept for the entire world (as evidence, see how gay people were treated as recently as the 1960’s, when homosexuality in many states was regarded as a “crime against nature.” (!)

The surest cure for these problems? Open, friendly relations with Iran!

By the way, it is not mandatory for women to wear a burka or chador in Iran. You can find many photos on the net of Iranian women wearing a scarf, in the interest of Islamic modesty. Is this old-fashioned? Is this maybe even a bit oppressive? Sure—but if that’s the biggest problem we have with Iran, it’s a small problem indeed. And, open, friendly relations will tend to overcome those limitations on Iranian women.

Ahmadi-Nejad looked like a model of reason and temperance in contrast with Bollinger. What an idiot!

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By Frank, September 28, 2007 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Jon, I am also an atheist and consider myself a freethinker, both politically and philosophically. I don’t fit neatly into any political box, and I tend to suspect intellectual laziness when the bulk of somebody’s personal views falls too neatly within the parameters of one political party or ideology.

I’m glad there are others like you who frequent this board to challenge the almost uniformly leftist, contrarian inanity that proliferates here.

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By dick, September 28, 2007 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Which one was the greater fool??  Who did the most damage to the USA? I believe Bollinger.

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By Peter RV, September 28, 2007 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How about this introduction of George W, by Lee Bollinger:

  “Mr Bush, you have been invited to this university to express views that are repugnant not only to the majority of students and academics of this institution of higher learning, but to the vast majority of the world.
    You exibit the traits of a liar and warmonger who has brought tremendous suffering to millions of people in the Middle East and beyond, a suffering to which you appear utterly oblivious. Nor do you appear to learn from your errors, normally a sign of basic intelligence amongst humans. Furthermore,you mangle the English Language, get your facts (especially Geography) wrong with alarming frequency and have plunged America into a financial, military and moral abys. Now you will have the opportunity to confront an audience that has not been hand picked by your advisors and I wish you luck-( with sottovoce) you’ll need it.”

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By Douglas Chalmers, September 28, 2007 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

#103157 by Marshall on 9/28 at 1:26 am: “...A rational person might think that Iran’s secretive Shia theocracy and its bellicose President…”

Oh, come on, really, Marshall. If anyone was “bellicose”, it was Columbia University’s Lee Bollinger the other day. Go read the text of poor little Ahmadinejad’s speech and it really was quite polite.

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By Marshall, September 28, 2007 at 2:26 am Link to this comment

A rational person might think that Iran’s secretive Shia theocracy and its bellicose President who denies the existence of gays in his country, oppresses and executes women according to draconian interpretations of Muslim theology, and publicly advocates racial genocide would be universally condemned here in the developed world.  That same rational person might also assume that the developed world would see a legitimate threat in Iran’s clandestine development of nuclear technology (while denying it) and supplying of weapons to be used against coalition troops in Iraq (while denying it)... whatever that person’s opinion of our involvement there…

A rational person wouldn’t entertain the notion that some in the US would be so blinded by hatred for their own leaders that they’d fall into the waiting arms of a regime politically savvy enough to manipulate them into becoming Iran apologists.  It’s a twisted logic that sides with a dictator whose stated ideals would cost the lives of those in the west most supportive of him.  These are tolerant people indeed, though it seems only to apply the world’s tyrants and dictators and not to those who would condemn them.

Of course, there’s precious little logic at work for these people; driven as they are by emotion and a disregard for the facts with which they disagree.  I see many on this board who sound as though they’d prefer to be governed by Iran’s President than by ours.  Failing to understand the faustian bargain that would require.

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By John, September 27, 2007 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please check this out before you put your head in the sand any further….

These are ex-muslems talking,G.
Spend some time here. You may learn something.

We need to wake up G.

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By G, September 27, 2007 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Jon -

Not to be too personal, but the aggression in your tone is evidence of someone so locked in a certain Ideology that they cannot see beyond what they have been fed by their societal masters!

Don’t you think there are others out there like you? With different Masters serving them a different slice of reality?

Do you believe that Iranians are living in constant fear of their government? That we define who terrorists are? That Israel isn’t seen by many to be a racist, political state that has been sold to regular Americans as a biblical one?

Do you really believe these constructs we speak of are as real as the LCD screen you are looking right now?

I don’t have the answers, but I do know that many others do not believe the above…and they have just as convincing an argument. - But I really doubt what I just said will soak into your ego-locked mind…I do hope so though!
Have a nice day.

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By nefertiti, September 27, 2007 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

this visit was Ignored by the mainstream media in the US

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By nefertiti, September 27, 2007 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Some iranians you might Know ??

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By Jon, September 27, 2007 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t think it is an irrational fear. This is a country that supplies weapons to terrorists, and doesn’t denounce Ahmadinejad. Regardless of his figurehead status, if he is indeed speaking on behalf of the muslims to the west, then the concensus must be that America is “the great satan”, Israel must be destroyed and we should embrace a theocracy. I don’t think so. As an Atheist coming from a Jewish Israeli family, I don’t think they want me dead, I know they want me dead if not for my affiliations with Israel, then for my “heresy” of rejecting religion. To be honest, a nuclear Iran or Syria scares the hell out of me, and I am happy to see a global response to this horrific threat. Also, why would I think that a country which will respond to questions regarding why Muslims insist on perpetuating terror will respond with “You are a heretic, and I don’t need to answer you”, has any compunction regarding the use of nuclear weapons, and the oppression of hundreds. Before you start to criticize me about my baseless accusations, that quote I just mentioned was from an iranian television channel showing a debate between an Iranian professor and a woman who wanted to know why terrorism reigned in the a lot of the arab world. You earlier asked if a nuclear Israel is any better than a nuclear Syria. Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. Do you want to know why? Because Israel has active diplomatic relationship with the US, the UN and humanitarian organizations. Israel would not preemptively strike in a nuclear attack, because Israel’s survival in the middle east is highly dependant on western support. However, Syria and Iran are surrounded by rich, friendly Islamic nations who would be happy to see the state of Israel obliterated in a nuclear strike, and would not condemn the motion, they would celebrate it. Before you talk about my irrational fear again, consider their track record regarding Israel. Iran wants to be seen as a world power, Ahmadinejad even told us. A nuclear Iran would be a world power because they would be holding a gun on the rest of the world, and unlike the cold war, their interpretation of the religion not only approves, but tells them that they must kill anyone who does not believe in Allah and the Prophet. One last thing. In a state that we know kills homosexuals, tests women for adultury by having them lick a red hot iron and seeing if they get burned, practice death by stoning and immediately react violently to any opposition, do you think that they would allow a video showing their state in anything but a glowing light be released?

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By nefertiti, September 27, 2007 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Do I think Ahmadi-Nejad is a good leader? Hardly—but he’s no worse, and probably a lot better, than most Muslim Middle Eastern leaders.

You re a 100% right . Ahmadinejad was the 3rd of the list of people admired in the Arab world after hassan nasrallah and Khaled Mishaal, people who can Say no to America and who have Guts .
You are also right about Ahmadinejad rgime being a lot better than Arab regimes who are more ruthless and more abusive to their own people .
women have high ranking jobs in Iran and even members of Parliament and drive cars and own businesses , and even are Film makers , architects , etc..  35.000 Jews Still live in iran and they were offered thousands of pounds to leave but refused to be bought (guardian) Maurice Motamed A Jewish iranian member of parliament was outraged . women play football , POLO , and other sports even Rally Racing . they have their own Shumaker the beautiful stunning Laleh Seddigh . how many can claim this much freedom in Saudi arabia or Kuwait . there are thousands of Armenian christians and other sects in iran as well as thousands of zorostrians who worship freely in their temples .
how many Jews still live in saudi Arabia , the major source of extremism   .
(im not Iranian but Arab )

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By Douglas Chalmers, September 27, 2007 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

#102971 by jon on 9/27 at 8:05 am: “...Most of your comments here make me sick. Feel greatful that this country has laws allowing you to call it’s leaders liars and cheats. If you feel Ahmadinejad is not so bad, you go live in Iran and see…”

See what, jon? They don’t want you dead - that is your own irrational fear controlling you. Watch this instead:-

Iran: Another perspective - “These days everything you hear about Iran on the news is bad. Many people have a very negative image of Iran by now. Given these dangerous times we live in, and the possibility of a war with Iran, I decided to make this video to show the world this beautiful country—Sina Ferdosi

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By writeon, September 27, 2007 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Disconcerting as it may seem, Iran’s President is not just a fool, but, like many Iranian’s a very cunning tactician. Many of his statements are primarily designed for domestic Iranian consumption, to strengthen his position and wrong-foot his competitors on the greasy pole of power. Iranian society is contradictory and complicated as hell. It’s dangerous for the United States to misunderstand Iran. It’s also foolish to underestimate the skill of Iranian diplomacy and how adept they are at manipulating Islamic opinion and playing a weak hand for all it’s worth.

Whilst the US is incredibly strong militarily and can crush most non-nuclear nations with ease, fighting and winning a protracted guerilla war is another thing altogether. Does the United States really want to get into an even bigger and bloodier guerilla war, this time in Iran, which is so much bigger and with a much larger population. Winning is possible, but certainly undisirable. America would pay for such a victory with its soul and its freedoms. Winning requires incredible slaughter and massive brutality, witness the Indian Wars. Whilst crushing Indian resistance to US expansionism was possible does one really want to go down that route in Iraq or Iran? Are we really sure we want to attempt to ethnically cleanse Iraq and Iran? How would we do it in practice? Do we just kill them all? What kind of a people do we become if we adopt a final solution to the Iranian question?

Many of Iran’s policies are designed to widen the conflict with the United States by supporting groups hostile to American interests in the Middle East. Iran criticizes Israel for the same reason. By framing the context as it does Iran is attempting to mobilize Islamic opinion in opposition to the United States so that any attack on Iran risks creating a gigantic backlash against the US and therefore may act as deterrent, and make the Americans think twice about attacking Iran. This is of course a high-risk strategy from Iran’s side, things could easily get out of control.

Is a war with Iran even necessary? After all many powerful groups in Iran want to come to an accomodation with the United States on a whole range of issues. They have price of course, but it’s reasonable. The United States must state that it has no designs on Iran’s oil and gas, renounce any plans to invade Iran and promise not to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. All in all, these demands are not particularly outrageous. Leave us alone and we’ll leave you alone!

Unfortunately, the United States is actively working for regime change in Iran just like it did in Iraq and for much the same reasons. Iran like Iraq has an awful lot of oil and gas which we desparately need, and at a prices we can afford. Unhappily Iran wants to remain in control of its own oil and that’s a fundamental problem that can only be solved by crushing Iran and basically taking their oil and gas.

At the moment I think there’s a more than even, seven to five probability we’ll launch an attack on Iran to secure our oil. Wish it wasn’t so.

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By Kalifornia1, September 27, 2007 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lee Bollinger certainly had the right to speak his mind. Under the circumstances, however, he made a fool of himself to most of the world. I’m sure this has been mentioned elsewhere, but in the Muslim world—above all in the Arab countries, Turkey, and Iran—hospitality is a highly prized virtue and a guest is sacrosanct. He is felt to be under the host’s protection. One would never invite someone to one’s house and then insult him. Bollinger’s behavior in this respct was seen as dispicable throughout the Muslim world. He should have confined himself to asking a few serious questions and kept his opinions to himself.

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By jon, September 27, 2007 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most of your comments here make me sick. Feel greatful that this country has laws allowing you to call it’s leaders liars and cheats. If you feel Ahmadinejad is not so bad, you go live in Iran and see how quickly your friend has you executed for speaking your minds. People need to grow up and lose the naivety. They want us dead. What are you going to do about it? Sit back and leave them alone? What are you talking about reagarding the “Zionist expansionist intentions”? When Israel was founded in 1948, all the Arab countries surrounding it decided that they would rather slaughter all the Jews than share the country and attacked en masse. Miraculously, Israel survived, and in a series of wars, instigated by Arab countries, Israel won land from aggressors. Israel then GAVE THE LAND BACK. The ONLY country in our history to have won land from larger more powerful aggressor nations, and given that land back. Zionist expansionist intentions my ass. America is partially responsible for 9/11. What is wrong with you? I don’t care what you decided the big bad government has done, there is no act that causes a “retaliation” involving hijacking airliners full of civilians and flying them into civilian targets. Ahmadinejad is like Malcolm X. A rabid fundamentalist who preaches hate and violence. A fitting comparison. And to “G”, go back into your little hidey hole and wear your tinfoil hat, because I’m sure the CIA, FBI and NSA are reading your mind just like you know that Ahmadinejad doesn’t want us dead you conspiracy jackoff. They are not crazed fundamentalists?! Riots in the streets and burning flags when you draw a picture of Mohammed. Sure they aren’t fundamentalists, and the Inquisition was a tea party. Frank, you have a rational mind, and I apologise if you interpret this comment as offensive to you. To the rest of you on this page, write whatever you want, as an Israeli and an American, I have seen first hand, in Israel the retaliation of the “oppressed” palestinian “retaliation”. Next time you go out to a crowded resteraunt, imagine everyone you see there dead, in pieces, covered in blood and excrement with the people who perpetrated the crime cheering in the streets and praising the “martyrdom” of the man/woman/child who voluntarily strapped themselves with explosives and bags of shrapnel to better slaughter as many civilians as possible. Then you will see how “harmless” these fundamentalist whackjobs are.

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By G, September 27, 2007 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

It seems that no matter how many times the Iranian President spells it out, the American mainstream, which now includes its “Ivy League” (how interesting a label) will never really understand that he, and much of the Arab world (except for regimes planted by the West i.e.: primarily the Gulf States) is ultimately presenting a challenge to Western Ontological Imperialism…

In other words, he speaks on behalf of the billions around the world, challlenging the West’s arrogant establishing of global reality, as we know it, and history as we’ve known it. Israel is a political state that systematically has pushed and killed Palestinians into a prison-state, America has supported terrorist groups, and is partly responsible for 9/11 (what some may consider retalliation), and has invaded and wreaked havoc on a sovereign nation. Americans (including Ivy Leagurs) are ignorant of their Govt’s history, etc, etc. Lets grow up to these realities…even if we don’t believe them, they are believed to be true by billions world wide.

Someone once said something like he who controls the information controls power…or is it the world?? Regardless, the Arab world continuously has attempted to entice the west to examine its collective assumptions regarding who terrorists are, war, the US’s/Israel’s underlying ethnocentrism, and more…however, these challenges meant to spark the people’s curiosity are well filtered down to images of encrazed fundamentalists who want nothing more than American blood…..How much cornier can we get?

He is comparable to Malcolm X in it that he is effectively challenging the meanings that we have built foreign reality on:

-We didn’t land on plymouth rock, plymouth rock landed on us

Or Stokely Carmichael who referred to the Watts/Chicago riots as “rebellions”.

Both of these statements, I say, are just as accurate if not more so, as those descriptions established by our institutions.


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By Paolo, September 27, 2007 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Frankly, I’m surprised at the patience of Iranians in dealing with the USA, given our egregious history of intervention there. The CIA in 1953 instigated a coup and installed the Shah—basically, their own puppet—who instituted a reign of terror using Savak, his secret police.

I suspect Savak was about on a par with Saddam Hussein’s secret police, with one important difference: Savak and the Shah were “our boys,” so everything was forgiven.

The US supported the aggressor, Iraq, in the 1980’s Iran-Iraq war, which killed (conservative estimate) 300 thousand Iranians. Why did we support Hussein at that time, given we knew he was an oppressive dictator? Why, he was OUR oppressive dictator!

And, like spoiled kindergarten children, our leaders were upset that the Iranian people rebelled against our friend, the Shah. This, in the twisted minds of our leaders, justified the deaths of hundreds of thousands of young men (many of them teen-agers) in a pointless war.

Yet—amazingly, in my view—Ahmadi-Nejad has tried to reach out and open channels of communication with us. Our response? Slap him down!

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By Douglas Chalmers, September 27, 2007 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

From something I wrote re an article in the Guardian:-
“The hostility between the US and Iran has deeper causes…” stems from the US CIA-plotted usurpation of democracy and the installation of the Shah, the bloody war with the US puppet regime of Saddam in Iraq and, believe it or not, the US’s past intransigent refusal to accept major oil producers accepting any currency other than US dollars for their oil.

“a US striving to repair its loss of authority in the Middle East…” is in no way helped by the bombastic president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, whose offensively malicious and arrogant invective in New York is a disgrace to diplomacy and the sensitivities of all decent people. What a disgusting welcome to a foreign dignitary! So much for higher learning - show me the size of your PhD, uhh!

“the anxieties of Israel” is a misnomer for Israel’s (not Iran’s) “unrealistic ambitions in the area…” which indeed “are on dangerously converging trajectories…” and their bombing of Lebanon and more recently their attack on Syria have proved their Zionist expansionist intentions. There is a water and oil supply issue at stake via Trukey and Israel intends controlling it at all costs.

By the way, who has the supposed plutonium captured in Syria? Israel, of course. Its safe there at their Dimona nuclear reactor or their Negev nuclear WMD facility? Hardly! The issue of the forthcoming Talebanisation of Pakistan will prove what a disaster alienating and demonizing Iran was. The USA has no policies and no soultions. Neither does anyone else. So France’s Sarkosy is now to become the Blair poodle and fall guy for Bush???

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By Douglas Chalmers, September 26, 2007 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

Interesting to note the miserable attitude of this guy - Bollinger, not Ahmadinijad - Lee C. Bollinger “ a lawyer and a noted legal scholar of the First Amendment and freedom of speech. He was at the center of two notable United States Supreme Court cases regarding the use of affirmative action…” Its hard to get a full bio on him, though, and especially from Columbia.

Bollinger’s family geneology is Germanic and he gives the impression that he is the typical apologist for the Jews and in denial of his own negative ethnic links with the Holocaust. Psychologically, that seems to be emphasised by his family’s US-European emigre history and he himself is obviously avowedly an “alpha male” academic in the worst sense.

The fact that he once presumed to champion causes such as freedom of speech and affirmative action is merely indicative of his utter betrayal of these causes in reality once his conservative credentials are at stake. One can’t be a Neocon and espouse to the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have done unto yourself” - its just not possible. Sadly, the typical lawyer!

In that regard, he is like the current Australian federal attorney-general, Phillip Ruddock, who also once supposedly championed human rights as a lawyer only to turn to constructing prisons on off-shore “Devil’s Islands” in the Pacific to suppress Asian migration and, in particular, Middle Eastern refugees and mainly from Iraq. How they both love their WASP homelands and their selfish and self-righteous ‘security’.

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By Paolo, September 26, 2007 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

If Ahmadi-Nejad really is the monster the mainstream media would have us believe, then let him speak openly and betray himself with his own words.

Bollinger’s introductory remarks were both rude and incorrect. He referred to Ahmadi-Nejad as a “cruel, petty dictator.” Even a cursory look at Iran’s political system shows that Ahmadi-Nejad is not a “dictator”: he’s not even the most powerful man in the country. In fact, he is more a figurehead than anything else.

In giving his loud, accusatory, and inaccurate introduction, Bollinger accomplished the opposite of what he intended: he made Ahmadi-Nejad look calm and collected by contrast with himself.

Do I think Ahmadi-Nejad is a good leader? Hardly—but he’s no worse, and probably a lot better, than most Muslim Middle Eastern leaders.

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By Frank, September 26, 2007 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Academic freedom of speech is what Columbia University President Lee Bollinger was exercising when he spoke his mind to Ahmadinejad during the introduction.  Bollinger is not a head of state or a diplomat. It is not his job or responsibility to kiss someone’s ass when they are permitted to speak at his university. He is an academic first and foremost and it is his right to speak his mind at his own university, a right that Ahmadinejad does not have since the right to free speech does not include a captive audience or guaranteed public speaking forum like a university where you are not a member of the faculty or student body. 

Ahmadinejad was warned in advance he would be challenged and given a harsh introduction by Bollinger, and he was willing to accept this for the privilege of speaking at Columbia University. Otherwise, Ahmadinejad still would have been free to go speak his mind on any street corner.—colubmia-ahmadine0926sep26,0,4043826.story

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