I don't who Captain Ed is. But he sure has it right about Columbia and its late effort to have it both ways. It is an ugly performance, and I hope Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, demonstrates to the Morningside Heights elite that dragging the idea of free speech to accommodate some of Ahmadinejad's fans at Columbia -- and, believe me, there are some fans of his there -- does not sit well with the American public, a public impassioned about free speech.
If Ahmadinejad is as bad as Bollinger says, then why invite him? What purpose does it serve to supply a "petty and cruel dictator" with a megaphone? Rational people would advise the exact opposite -- to shun and isolate petty and cruel dictators, who certainly have plenty of other outlets for their rantings.
No one will learn anything from Ahmadinejad's visit today that they didn't know before. He's an uneducated buffoon who serves as a convenient mouthpiece for the Iranian theocrats who hold the real power in Iran. Unfortunately, Columbia has given the beffoon more prestige for his rambling and disjointed discourse. They have bestowed academic legitimacy to Holocaust denial, as well as to rabid anti-Semitism. Will Bollinger next invite the Imperial Wizard of the KKK to speak as an honored guest at Columbia, and will a rude introduction be seen as enough to justify the appearance?
And, if you're still interested in what's happening at Columbia and not just fed up with it, you can read about an interview John Coatsworth, the new dean at the School of International and Public Affairs, gave to the Sun's Annie Karni. Coatsworth actually believes that a visit by Hitler to Columbia might have actually influenced his behavior. Anyway, here is the dean talking nonsensically.
And, while we're basking in the Sun, you might as well its very intelligent editorial, as well...