Sunday, September 23, 2007

Should the "Mad Man" be allowed to speak?

Hoo Hoo! Ha Ha! ho ho ha ha! hee hee ho ho!....(ahem.)

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address students at Columbia University in New York on Monday, September 24. There's a lot of controversy as to whether he should be allowed to speak at Columbia, and a desired visit to the site of the former World Trade Center has all but been ruled out already. Should Ahmadinejad be allowed to speak at Columbia? My initial reply to that question was, yes, of course he should. That's what we're supposed to be all about, right? Freedom of speech, even for those whose views we may find to be less than palatable? I have to admit though that I had to rethink this afterward, given known Iranian support for such groups as Hezbollah in Lebanon and its rocket attacks upon Israel. Even that support though, is itself controversial, as they say that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Ultimately though, when I considered the illegal U.S. occupation of Iraq, and the tens of thousands of deaths that have occurred as a result of that unfortunate decision, not to mention a long history of U.S. illegal interference in the affairs of other nations, I came to the conclusion that this is a case of "the pot calling the kettle black", and that it would be the ultimate in hypocrisy to attempt to deny Ahmadinejad the privilege of speaking at an American university based upon supposed involvement in terrorist activities. If involvement in "terrorist activities" is a criterion regarding a right to speak freely in the United States, then the U.S. government had better arrest itself immediately, go straight to jail, and definitely not go past GO, and not collect $100. And maybe sell off Park Place, if we haven't already sold it off to the Saudis that is. In watching 60 Minutes on Sunday, it was kind of ridiculous in watching the American reporter lay at Ahmadinejad's feet a litany of charges of wrongdoing, particularly with regard to Iranian involvement in Iraq. Hello, we are like 7,000 miles away from Iraq, and we have 160,000 troops there!!! The faux outrage at the nerve of Ahmadinejad to be playing a role in the current conflict going on within Iraq, by a direct neighbor, is laughable! People will eat this stuff up though here in America. Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Fidel Castro, Evo Morales in Bolivia; they're all just some crazy brown people trying to take us over here in the United States, just like those crazy North Vietnamese Communists were trying to take us over in the 60's and 70's. We didn't win that illegal war, yet they didn't try to make us into Communists either, surprisingly enough! As Desi Arnaz used to say to Lucy (who here represents the U.S. govt.), "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!"

Ahmadinejad has made some outrageous statements in the past, particularly with regard to Israel. The thing is though, Iran is like that kid that's always talking smack, about what he's gonna do, how bad he is, etc, etc. Israel, though, is that kid that can kick your ass, and everyone in the neighborhood knows it. At least for know, Israel can handle its own affairs in that neighborhood, and it doesn't need America to do its fighting for it; it's quite capable of doing its own. And, when Ahmadinejad is not engaged in the outrageous rhetoric (which we have a tendency of replaying over and over, statements from sometime back now, as if he just said them yesterday), I have found him to be quite lucid and direct in his communications to the West, as with his famous letter to Bush from last year. It's somewhat obvious that he's trying to stave off an attack from the truly mad Bush Administration within the next several months, by a direct appeal to the American people. I, for one, would like to hear what he has to say, and if I can't find a live feed of the Columbia event on Monday night, then I'm sure it will be up on YouTube fairly shortly thereafter.


Blogger willowtree said...

I took issue with the fact that Columbia's President was basically a wuss, and it came off like he invited the man just to insult him with the opening remarks.
Really, what was the point of that but to try to big up himself and gain favor in a media that he felt cooked his goose. I thought that was outrageous.
If you feel so awful about it the man, why invite him? Was all that you felt in the invitation letter?

Americans really come off looking even more poorly I think (not that it matters) calling the man Imadinnerjacket, and insulting him to his face.
I couldnt help but wonder- if Columbia had extended the invation to Bush, would he have gone to answer people's questions? I dont think so.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Yeah, that President Bollinger is taking a lot of heat now for how he handled the situation. I never have seen anything like that before, where a guest speaker has been treated so poorly. Ahmedinejad sounded a lot more reasonable than Bollinger, for the most part (he said a few weird things too, though!). You can't treat "guests" that way, though. How you treat a guest says everything about one in middle eastern societies, as well as in many other places, and great weight is placed upon it. Not so much here, apparently.

10:46 PM  

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