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Let’s get something perfectly clear
Posted by: McQ on Monday, September 24, 2007

To the Ezra Kleins of the world, no one is afraid of what Ahmadinejad might say.

Not a bit. In fact I wasn't at all surprised by what he said at Columbia.

That's not why I objected to his speaking.

I objected to his speaking because he's a thug and a terrorist. I objected to his speaking because he has American blood on his hands. I objected to his speaking because while he was standing at the podium at Columbia, Iranian EFPs and rockets were aimed at American soldiers in Iraq.

You don't fete men who are responsible for killing your countrymen. You don't socialize with them. You don't legitimize them. You don't invite them for tea and crumpets and photo ops or give them a platform for their propaganda or treat them like they're worthy of any attention from a free country.

This contemptible cretin is here only because his country is a UN member and we've agreed to let even the worst among that bunch gather here and pollute that chamber of horrors with their poison.

But we don't have to go one inch further than that. To pretend anyone is afraid of what that mental midget might have to say is both laughable and insulting. He's a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal and zealot stuck in the 7th century and trying to drag the rest of the region and world back there with him.

You don't legitimize people like that. It's that simple. That is what they crave. And no matter how ill-mannered his hosts acted after inviting Ahmadinejad to speak the fact remains he got what he wanted.

From the Islamic Republic News Agency (Iran):
Despite entire US media objections, negative propagation and hue and cry in recent days over IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's scheduled address at Colombia University, he gave his lecture and answered students questions here on Monday afternoon.

On second day of his entry in New York, and amid standing ovation of the audience that had attended the hall where the Iranian President was to give his lecture as of early hours of the day, Ahmadinejad said that Iran is not going to attack any country in the world.

Before President Ahamadinejad's address, Colombia University Chancellor in a brief address told the audience that they would have the chance to hear Iran's stands as the Iranian President would put them forth.

He said that the Iranians are a peace loving nation, they hate war, and all types of aggression.

Referring to the technological achievements of the Iranian nation in the course of recent years, the president considered them as a sign for the Iranians' resolute will for achieving sustainable development and rapid advancement.

The audience on repeated occasion applauded Ahmadinejad when he touched on international crises.

At the end of his address President Ahmadinejad answered the students' questions on such issues as Israel, Palestine, Iran's nuclear program, the status of women in Iran and a number of other matters.
Way to go Columbia. Way to go Bollinger.

And hush, Ezra.
 
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Well said, McQ.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Way to go Columbia. Way to go Bollinger.
I dunno. Given the disconnect between what Bollinger said and how Iran’s "news" agency reported it, I’m not sure there’s anything Columbia could have done or not done - including either disinviting the guy or not inviting him in the first place - that wouldn’t have been spun just as bad. Let’s see how it shakes out when the real event airs on Radio Free Iran.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
Given the disconnect between what Bollinger said and how Iran’s "news" agency reported it ...
Yeah, well see, there’s that word "propaganda" that keeps cropping up and, well, whaddya know, there it is for all to see ...
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
What exactly is it with the leftists like Ezra that they simply refuse to name anyone as an enemy except their domestic political opponents? What kind of blindness does it take to focus one’s energy and disgust on a George Bush instead of a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

I saw that Glenn Greenwald is similarly blase about Ahmadinejad’s treatment, calling the controversy over it "tiresome". Though he’s openly homosexual, he seems to have no significant problems with a man who leads a regime that executes homosexuals. That’s so far into fantasyland that I simply don’t know how to even begin to respond to it.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
What kind of blindness does it take to focus one’s energy and disgust on a George Bush instead of a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
Well, after a long day spent ranting at the evils of Rovetron2000 et al, they’re just too tired to go after anyone else. BDS is a very draining disease, you see, not unlike diarrhea.
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
LOL! You’re clutching at straws, McQ. You claim "legitimation" based on an that? The Iranian news agency?! Sheesh. Thank God you’re not in a position to make these calls or teach students.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I’m getting out of this thread before the irony of Scott’s comment drips out and jams up my keyboard.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Hah, you’re wearing your frustration on your sleeve, Mr. Erb...

Mr McQ’s point is that the Iranian news agency has spun this into a propaganda event, where the Great Leader was adored by US college students. It makes no mention of him being booed and so forth. By allowing Ahmadnejad to speak at a public event like this, we allowed him to score a little PR coup (although I think that Xrlq is right; we couldn’t win this one no matter what Columbia chose to do.)

You don’t give toddlers throwing tantrums all the attention they want; you put them in time-out. I don’t see why the same shouldn’t apply here.
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
At least it was educational. I learned that there’s no such thing as a homosexual in Iran. Whaddaya know?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
The left is blase because they are myopically focused upon the fleeting benefits of anti-Bush propaganda. Short term thinking - they refuse to see that it is not just anti-Bush, but anti-America, anti-west, and patently anti-modernity. They, and we, have been afforded the luxury of living in a society where dismissing the good for the perfect carries little baggage. GW Bush is seen as no different from Ahmadinejad because of his steadfast refusal to buy into their utopian fantasies. As if with the signature on paper, global climate would stabilize, health care costlessly unfettered, unemployment non-existant, and animosities (nationalistic belligerance) relegated to the ash heap of the past.

But real problems exist, and whether the next President has a D or an R won’t change that. The USA, worts and all, is still the best vehicle to address, and perhaps solve those issues. I only hope that the Sully’s and Sock-Puppets of the free world wont taint too many to sacrifice the good for their narrow visions of the perfect.

It is, after all, primarily the USA that stands between their free choices... and their being buried up to the head and stoned to death. Pity (and their own peril) they choose not to see this.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Thank God you’re not in a position to make these calls or teach students.
Yep, and that’s what our colleges and universities have fallen to Scott. You can teach, but forbid Bruce... he might offer a different opinion, and Lord prevent, may even sway a student to a POV proscribed by the coastal intelligensia.

Your true colors are showing...
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Mr McQ’s point is that the Iranian news agency has spun this into a propaganda event
Please tell me what event, or entirely fabricated situation, would NOT be spun into propaganda by the Iranian News Agency.

Personally, I kind of like the idea that they can speak here, lies, propaganda, and all, and we can’t speak there. It’s what makes us, and our form of government, better than theirs.

IMHO, that unspoken propaganda is worth 1000 speeches from Achmenijad.

Or do you think Iranians are not clever enough to figure that out?

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Thank God you’re not in a position to make these calls or teach students.
Is Erb man enough to offer a forum to opposing viewpoints on his own blog?

Erb is a laughable hypocrite who is afraid his students might not accept his bias if his lies were exposed.

I also notice Erb hasn’t settled his wager yet.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
This contemptible cretin is here only because his country is a UN member and we’ve agreed to let even the worst among that bunch gather here and pollute that chamber of horrors with their poison.
Though military action may eventually become necessary, Iran should be addressed in ways other than bullying, ostracism, and demonization. This man is the president of the country (though clearly not its true leader). Let him say what he has to say.
Personally, I kind of like the idea that they can speak here, lies, propaganda, and all, and we can’t speak there. It’s what makes us, and our form of government, better than theirs. IMHO, that unspoken propaganda is worth 1000 speeches from Achmenijad.
I agree.


 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
As I said the other evening:

The right to Free speech, as Tom Jefferson and the boys thought of it, was with regards to citizens being able to speak their mind without legal action by the government, preventing it, or punishing such speech. Free speech had nothing to do with someone from a foreign government supporting genocide, without repercussions from the citizenry…. the latter of which is in reality what Colombia is pushing, here. The purpose for free speech was to allow us to defend ourselves… to fight against tyrants so as to prevent human atrocities, the like of which Ahmadinejad both represents, and urgently requires to achieve his goals… not to sit and politely applaud. that the muckties of Columbia, and their defenders, do not know the difference, suggests that the educational values of Columbia university and others with it went off the rails years ago. Not only have a broken faith with American values, but they have broken faith with humanity.
President Bollinger’s comments only partially mitigated the offense of his school.

As a final comment;
The point that Erb doesn’t seem to understand about allowing such an animal to speak, as regards the propaganda involved, is that the propaganda in his own country is what this speech is all about. If he manages to swing a couple of people away from pro U.S. sentiment within the United States, all to the better. Of course, there are people like Klein, who will gladly oblige him. And, Erb. But the real issue, the real reason he’s here,is the reaction to him within the Middle East. And what kind of opportunity for opposing views to suppose is going to be available there?

Oh.. almost forgot:
This contemptible cretin is here only because his country is a UN member and we’ve agreed to let even the worst among that bunch gather here and pollute that chamber of horrors with their poison.
yes, well, I said about a week ago when the subject originally started coming up, that if that wasn’t the reason for dropping out of the U.N. and kicking their backsides out, I couldn’t think of one. That comment holds.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Personally, I kind of like the idea that they can speak here, lies, propaganda, and all, and we can’t speak there. It’s what makes us, and our form of government, better than theirs.
While you may be right Cap, I struggle with the idea of him speaking here. He is actively engaged in killing Americans in Iraq. Don’t you see that crosses the line?
I also notice Erb hasn’t settled his wager yet.
Now, now JWG... remember that Scott replied to this the other day? Something along the lines of ’really? I don’t remember making that wager. I shall have to revisit that thread to determine what was said.’

In other words ’be gone you pestering little gnat. I say, I say, I say, ya bother me boy!’
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
His speech is not enlightening nor informative. It does nothing to make students wiser or more well rounded. His reasoning skills are week. Everything he says does nothing more than advance his personal agenda. His ideas are so out of the mainstream it puts him on the trivial ends of the worlds bell curve of thought and that Mahmoud guy from Iran sux also.

 
Written By: coater
URL: http://
Keep in mind this guy was one of the planner of the US Embassy takeover. (Actually, he voted to take over the Soviet embassy first.) Did anyone at Columbia ask him about that?

How about Beirut, Khobar, Buenos Aires, and other instances of terror attacks backed by Iran? It seems to me this would be the best reason for denying him access to Ground Zero.

I also have to contest the comment by Bollinger that Ahamadinejad is a "dictator." He was actually elected and that’s one of the only semi-good points about the guy. At least he was elected. Like David Duke was.



 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Newt had this to say today -
It’s too bad that the leadership of Columbia University hasn’t learned the lesson of the New School: America honors freedom of expression by being a refuge for the oppressed, not by giving a soapbox to the oppressors. This is not about free speech, the Iranian dictator can stand on any New York City street corner and say what he wishes, but we do not need to legitimize his hate-filled holocaust-denying diatribes by giving him a platform at a "distinguished" lecturer series at Columbia.
I think that sums it up very well.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Boris Erb writes:
LOL! You’re clutching at straws, McQ. You claim "legitimation" based on an that? The Iranian news agency?! Sheesh. Thank God you’re not in a position to make these calls or teach students.
Boris, McQ could walk into any class you teach at UMF and with, say, two days to prepare beforehand, do the job so much better than you’re able to do it that your students would immediately demand a refund if you threatened to return.

The first advantage he would have over you is an interest in truth. The second would be an interest in facts. The third would be an interest in actually knowing what he’s talking about.

You don’t have any of those interests.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
The sad fact of the matter is that there is not much daylight showing between Ahmadinejad’s (real) positions on Jews and those of Klein’s friends in the netroots.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Personally, I kind of like the idea that they can speak here, lies, propaganda, and all, and we can’t speak there. It’s what makes us, and our form of government, better than theirs.

IMHO, that unspoken propaganda is worth 1000 speeches from Achmenijad.

Or do you think Iranians are not clever enough to figure that out?

Cap
The Palis elect Hamas, and Hezbollah does well in Lebanon.

Such subtly will likely be lost on the Mideast.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Thank God you’re not in a position to make these calls or teach students.


It’s as shame that you are Dr. Erb.
Who do I blame thank for that?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
JWG... remember that Scott replied to this the other day? Something along the lines of ’really? I don’t remember making that wager. I shall have to revisit that thread to determine what was said.’
He said something about October, so I’m going to check it out when October comes. I’m sure he’ll remind me ;-)

Bithead, you vastly overestimate the propaganda value of this, and likely will be a net loser for him internationally, perhaps even at home.

In the other thread on this I go into a lot of detail (recently posted so it’s towards the bottom) about the reality of the threat. Hezbollah, Syria and Iran form a dangerous nexus, with Hezbollah’s anti-semitism more virulently than past rhetoric about the Israeli state. Bottom line: this is very dangerous and we need to take it seriously. A speech at Columbia gives us a glimpse at the ideas (to a mass audience — Americans know how bizarre his ideas are much better than before) and also might make it easier to find the right mix of diplomacy and strength to deal with a situation where regional war would be disastrous.

Defending the need for academia not to create definitions of political correctness cannot be countered by ’we think this man is so bad’ or by the reality of the dangers created by the policies of the Iranian regime.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
He said something about October, so I’m going to check it out when October comes. I’m sure he’ll remind me ;-)
So everybody else.
Bithead, you vastly overestimate the propaganda value of this, and likely will be a net loser for him internationally, perhaps even at home.
I doubt it.
A speech at Columbia gives us a glimpse at the ideas (to a mass audience —
unfortunately, all that’s going to do is reinforced those on the right woman screaming about this stuff for years. As evidenced by the way that the Kossaks were having an orgasmic experience, over having found their political soul mate in the creep, I doubt that it’s going to be changing the minds of the rest of us. They’re not interested in fact, anyway.

And Scott? It’s not about political correctness. That’s about right and wrong, and our cultural survival.

And by the way... Has occurred to anyone at Columbia, that what they did by allowing the Iranian nutjob to speak, was to allow for intolerance, in the name of tolerance, to allow for a known liar to speak, in the name of truth seeking?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
much better than before
Did you mean before or after his UN speech LAST year?
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday dismissed the possibility of U.N. sanctions against his country and called for the dissolution of Israel, saying that the country is an artificial state and Jews should return to their "fatherlands" in Europe.

And, as he has done in the past, he appeared to question whether the Holocaust took place. He called Israel’s regime artificial, saying it was established in the late 1940s on a "story" and "to this day, it bloodies and kills defenseless people."
Asked about the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran, Ahmadinejad said he did not believe such a military operation would take place, but he warned, "My nation is a strong nation. It can defend itself."
It all sounds sooooooo familiar.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Eric writes:
And Scott? It’s not about political correctness.
Boris doesn’t understand why you don’t give someone a university lecture engagement while he is responsible for ongoing attacks on and the killing of American troops. So, he calls it "political correctness."
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I saw that Glenn Greenwald is similarly blase about Ahmadinejad’s treatment, calling the controversy over it "tiresome". Though he’s openly homosexual, he seems to have no significant problems with a man who leads a regime that executes homosexuals. That’s so far into fantasyland that I simply don’t know how to even begin to respond to it.

I don’t think Glenn Greenwald sees Ahmadinedjad as a threat to his way of life. I don’t really, either.

That doesn’t mean (well, I can’t speak for Greenwald) I don’t have a problem with the guy. I don’t get up every morning cursing the mother that let him be born. He’s one thug among many, and he happens to be one confronting us more openly than others right now.

It’s not a moral approval of Ahmadinedjad to have him speak at the university, it’s just a refusal to engage in symbolic belligerency. Ahmad won’t convince anyone important that he’s a good guy. The only reason to bar him is to whip up more anti-Iranian sentiment as a prelude to military action. Enough symbolic footsie fights, enough popular demand, and military action will fall into place like a ripe plum.

To be civil to thugs is not enjoyable, but when the thugs run nations and you don’t want to kill people pointlessly, civility is a tool.

PS: On the other hand, I would have been okay with him not being invited. I’m just not going to call Columbia a bunch of names about it. They had good reasons, even if other people had good reasons for being bothered by it. Which, I’ll admit, perhaps they did.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://

And Scott? It’s not about political correctness. That’s about right and wrong, and our cultural survival.
You almost have it right. It is right for a university to invite people, even controversial people with ideas we despise, to talk and be challenged. It defines our culture, one of liberty, open debate and freedom. Not inviting him out of fear or anger would be to deny our basic cultural ideals.

I’m amused that so many on the right, who correctly condemn left wing political correctness, have no problem embracing it themselves.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Is it true that Erb is finally going to invite comments or guest commentary on his blog, even controversial people with ideas he despises, in order to talk and be challenged?

No? Oh, never mind. I must have misunderstood.

Erb, I’m sorry I got a little off topic... please continue with whatever you were saying...
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Boris Erb, ever oblivious to plain facts and never found associating with the truth, writes:
It is right for a university to invite people, even controversial people with ideas we despise, to talk and be challenged. It defines our culture, one of liberty, open debate and freedom. Not inviting him out of fear or anger would be to deny our basic cultural ideals.

I’m amused that so many on the right, who correctly condemn left wing political correctness, have no problem embracing it themselves.
His "ideas" are irrelevant, you bumbling moron.

He’s responsible, right now, in present time, for killing American troops in Iraq. Is there some sort of "open debate," in your feeble mind, about whether that is good or bad?

There is nothing of "political correctness" in refusing to sponsor a university lecture for someone who is killing your troops, among the many others killed by Iranian-backed terrorism. Solidarity with our own troops is far more basic to our cultural ideals than offering that little creep an opportunity to speak at Columbia. If not for the UN, he wouldn’t even be allowed into the U.S.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
You almost have it right. It is right for a university to invite people, even controversial people with ideas we despise, to talk and be challenged.

(Sigh) Erb, if you measure this strictly on ideas, if this is a ’freee expression of ideas’ issue, as you seem to be claiming, how in the world do you justify not allowing ROTC on campus? How do you react violently to the Minutemen, and not at all, other than polite glad handing, to the little creep?

Maybe under that light, the concept of which ideas are supported and which are not, is exposed?



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Bithead, I’m not defending other things Columbia has done, I’m only talking about this incident. I believe ROTC people should be allowed to speak at campus presentations and make their case for why they should be allowed to be a campus organization (which is, of course, different then just giving a speech on campus). And I have very clearly argued that all people, including the Minutemen, white supremicists and others who speak on campus should be listened to politely and have ideas engaged. Protests should not take place in that forum, IMO.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
others who speak on campus should be listened to politely and have ideas engaged. Protests should not take place in that forum, IMO.
Does that include ambushes like Bollinger laid where he asked the tough questions and ’spoke truth to power’?

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
There is nothing ’ambush’ like with asking tough questions. Politeness does not mean one can’t be very challenging, it means you make your point, and then you let the other respond. What I oppose is when protesters try to silence speakers or disrupt their ability to make a point.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Heh -
Remind me never to accept an invitation to dinner at your house if you don’t think that was an ambush.

In any event, we’re agreed on the protester issue.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

 
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