Powerline picks up reports that Columbia University will play host to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on September 24 for what the university describes as "a question and answer session with university faculty and students." Well, not really. University president Lee Bollinger elaborates: "In order to have such a University-wide forum, we have insisted that a number of conditions be met, first and foremost that President Ahmadinejad agree to divide his time evenly between delivering remarks and responding to audience questions."
Bollinger then goes on to list Ahmadinejad's crimes against "innocent civilians and American troops...journalists and scholars, including one of Columbia's own alumni, Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh," and "his government's widely documented suppression of civil society and particularly of women's rights," before declaring that "vigorous debate," "America at its best," etc., etc.
Columbia and President Bollinger are a disgrace. They welcome to their campus a man who is a ringleader in the seizure of American hostages, a terrorist, the president of a terrorist regime, and the representative of a regime responsible at present for the deaths of American soldiers on the field of battle. Columbia's prattle about free speech may be a tale told by an idiot, but it signifies something. And President Bollinger is a fool who is not excused from the dishonor he brings to his institution and his fellow citizens by the fact that he doesn't know what he is doing.