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Ahmadinejad Speech:

Eugene's right, I do disagree with Columbia's decision to invite Ahmadinejad. That Pres. Bollinger made sure to have the right to questioning him is better than giving him a completely open forum, but it's not enough.

Unlike when I objected last time Ahmadinejad was to visit Columbia, my reason this time is that Ahmadinejad is the head of state of an enemy state, whose armed forces are killing American soldiers with equipment they provide to Iraqi insurgents. That makes Ahmadinejad an enemy of the United States, something that can't be overcome with some questions.

Should an American university care? Or should a university be completely cosmopolitan about such things. In some ways it's a tough call, but ultimately I think that American universities should come down on the side of not giving a respectful forum to our enemies. It's unfashionable in Ivy League circles to talk about such things as enemies, but they do exist. And with Ahmadinejad one can't make the argument that this is just a matter of great power politics or otherwise, an aberration that could be corrected through dialogue. He's an enemy not simply in a current physical struggle, but in an ideological one, as well.

In short, I wouldn't invite Stalin or Mao to Columbia when their forces were directly or indirectly killing Americans in North Korea, and I wouldn't invite Ahmadinejad, either.

U.Va. 2L:
Well said. And frankly, why should we permit enemy leaders to enter our country at all? It's one thing for enemy leaders to enter the country on a diplomatic mission in official peace talks. It is another thing entirely for an enemy leader to enter the country and travel around at his leisure and be given a prominent public platform from which to say whatever he wants.
9.24.2007 4:52pm
The Good Democrat (mail) (www):
Mr. Bernstein,

my reason this time is that Ahmadinejad is the head of state of an enemy state, whose armed forces are killing American soldiers with equipment they provide to Iraqi insurgents


Until this is actually proven, you cannot state something like this. You can believe it, but you cannot accuse someone of something so serious unless you have proof. Last I heard, there is no actual proof that Iran has actually provided weaponry that killed American soldiers.

I mean, heck, the poor country of Iraq is awash with weaponry from all over the world. You don't think influential Saudis right up the chain of command have not given weapons and money to Sunni insurgents? Yet I hear of no talk of taking war to Saudi Arabia.

Ahmadinejad may be a reprehensible man, or he may not. It matters not. What matters is how WE treat him. It speaks volumes about who we are, NOT about who he is.
9.24.2007 4:53pm
BobH (mail):
U.Va 2L: My understanding is that Ahmadinejad is in New York to attend a session of the United Nations, i.e., a diplomatic mission. I don't think one can quite say that he is "travel[ing] around at his leisure."

That being said, I agree with David Bernstein on this.
9.24.2007 4:57pm
young economist:
BobH,

Last time that Ahmadinejad was in NYC for a UN session, his movement was restricted to the UN buildings, his hotel and a few blocks in between.
9.24.2007 5:01pm
Mark F. (mail):
Unlike when I objected last time Ahmadinejad was to visit Columbia, my reason this time is that Ahmadinejad is the head of state of an enemy state, whose armed forces are killing American soldiers with equipment they provide to Iraqi insurgents.

That's the Bush/neocon propoganda line. However, the last time I checked the United States was not officially at war with Iran. And your self-rightousness is alarming. As many as a MILLION people have died since the United States invaded Iraq. If anything, the United States is an "enemy state" to the peace and well being of the world.

Here's a quote from Juan Cole, who actually knows something about the Middle East:

"U.S. officer corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency are clearly spoiling for a fight with Iran because the Iranian-supported Shiite nationalists in Iraq are a major obstacle to U.S. dominance in Iraq. Although very few U.S. troops in Iraq are killed by Shiites, military spokesmen have been attempting to give the impression that Tehran is ordering hits on U.S. troops, a clear casus belli. Disinformation campaigns that accuse Iran of trying to destabilize the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government -- a government Iran actually supports -- could lay the groundwork for a war."

So, your neocon pals are (again) orchestrating a plot to get the United States involved in a war. This time in Iran. Shame on you.
9.24.2007 5:02pm
Stating the Obvious (mail):
Admittedly, Bernstein would likely not be allowed to speak at Tehran University, but, then, *he* clearly has an agenda....
9.24.2007 5:02pm
Brian K (mail):
this reminds me an awful lot of the heckler's veto posts on this website that were recently brought to my attention.
9.24.2007 5:03pm
WHOI Jacket:
One MeeeLLION people.

/Dr. Evil
9.24.2007 5:05pm
MikeC&F (mail):
Yet I hear of no talk of taking war to Saudi Arabia.

Exactly. Neocons hate Iran because they view it as a threat to Israel - not because they view it as a threat to the United States. Calling Iran an "enemy" of the United States is a smokescreen.

Viewing Iran as evil is, of course, a perfectly legitimate view. I myself do not think the United State should sit back idly and allow another Holocaust. And there is no question that Iran would attempt another Final Solution. But at least I have the integrity to say that I would (potentially) support, on moral grounds, military intervention to prevent another Holocaust; and not because Iran is a threat to the United States.

I just wish the lies and gamesmanship would stop. People should have the courage and integrity to stop pretending that Iran is a threat to the United States. The Iranian government is evil, and to the extent they make efforts to exterminate an entire race, they should be stopped.

Sadly, though, I don't see any neocons advocating an intervention in the Sudan. Millions are actually dying in horrible ways in Darfur. But the death on those people doesn't seem to rouse the neocons.

Why do so many noecons care more about potential dead Israeils than they do actual dead people in Africa?
9.24.2007 5:07pm
Lonely Capitalist (mail):
As many as a MILLION people have died since the United States invaded Iraq. If anything,

MILLIONS have died of various causes around the world since we invaded Iraq, but those deaths had NOTHING to do with our being in Iraq. Why do leftists keep making up FANTASY death figures?

If anything, the United States is an "enemy state" to the peace and well being of the world.

Flights leave every few minutes. Your catching one would be most welcome.
9.24.2007 5:08pm
glangston (mail):
I wonder if there is any truth to a claim that the last American General to speak at Columbia University was Eisenhower, pre-POTUS, but while he was President of Columbia University. The anti-ROTC stance of the University seems to run counter to their normal version of the 1st Amendment.
9.24.2007 5:09pm
WHOI Jacket:
MikeC&F, come on out and say it. JEWS. There, isn't that better? No more of that "neocon" middleman.
9.24.2007 5:11pm
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
Columbia *had* to invite him because its a matter of free speech and to hear all ideas so they can be examined. Except if you are a conservative in favor of border enforcement or just a conservative with a pulse. Then the free speech and hearing all points of view cover story that Columbia is using for this truly vile decision is shown to be just more BS flowing from one of the academic capitals of BS in the country.

Some people who had tickets to attend the speech were denied the right to bring an American Flag into the auditorium. If they had wanted to bring in a Hamas flag, I'm sure that would have been fine.

Don't tase me bro

Says the "Dog"
9.24.2007 5:12pm
anonthu:
NEOCONS,
BEHOLD THE AWESOMENESS OF MY POST AND DESPAIR. YOUR PUNY COMMENTS ARE NO MATCH MY QUOTE FROM JUAN COLE.


YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT MCKEAN, I USED "AWESOMENESS"
9.24.2007 5:13pm
U.Va. 2L:
BobH: True, attending a United Nations session probably classifies as a diplomatic mission. I should have stated: "It's one thing for enemy leaders to enter the country solely on a diplomatic mission in official peace talks." To my knowledge, Columbia University is not a part of the United Nations and thus making speeches at Columbia could not be considered official diplomatic business. So, perhaps it's not "traveling around at leisure," but neither is it diplomatic peace talks.
9.24.2007 5:13pm
Mark Field (mail):

my reason this time is that Ahmadinejad is the head of state of an enemy state


Ahmadinejad is NOT the head of state. Cite.
Nor is he, to the best of my knowledge, the head of the Iranian military, so your indefinite pronoun usage ("whose"), combined with your factual inaccuracy, might lead some to believe that Ahmadinejad is the one "whose" armed forces "are killing Americans [indirectly]". I assume you meant to write the sentence as follows: "my reason this time is that Ahmadinejad is the head of state [sic] of an enemy state, [the] armed forces [of which] are killing American soldiers with equipment they provide to Iraqi insurgents."

I'm curious on what basis you describe Iran as an "enemy state".
9.24.2007 5:14pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):

Admittedly, Bernstein would likely not be allowed to speak at Tehran University, but, then, *he* clearly has an agenda....



Which is one reason why we should have Ahmadinejad speak, then rebut him.
9.24.2007 5:15pm
WHOI Jacket:
Mark, on what objective analysis is Iran NOT an enemy of the US. All the way back to 1979.
9.24.2007 5:19pm
The General:
"It's unfashionable in Ivy League circles to talk about such things as enemies" because so often the people in those Ivy League circles SUPPORT America's enemies but don't want that to get out there in public domain. They know who they are. Lee Bollinger is among them.

The proof: American enemy, Imonajihad, is welcome at Columbia, ROTC is not.
9.24.2007 5:19pm
U.Va. 3L:
I think I have to agree with Prof. Volokh on this one. As Louis Brandeis said, sunshine is the best disinfectant.
9.24.2007 5:20pm
U.Va. 2L:
@MikeC&F: "Neocons hate Iran because they view it as a threat to Israel - not because they view it as a threat to the United States. Calling Iran an "enemy" of the United States is a smokescreen."

Really?

Here's Ahmadinejad in his own words:

"We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world."
"The wave of the Islamist revolution will soon reach the entire world."
http://preview.tinyurl.com/2rrb8j


I don't know about you, but ruling the world sounds like more than just a threat to Israel...
9.24.2007 5:22pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Sure, Mark.

Nobody has an answer. The embassy thing....piffle. Weapons to Iran? Only dead US soldiers.

They're making commercial grade uranium for their power plant. Does anybody know if they have one?
9.24.2007 5:22pm
Guest101:

Until this is actually proven, you cannot state something like this. You can believe it, but you cannot accuse someone of something so serious unless you have proof. Last I heard, there is no actual proof that Iran has actually provided weaponry that killed American soldiers.

Good Democrat,

In case you haven't heard, the presumption of innocence and requirement of proof only apply to white kids accused of rape.
9.24.2007 5:23pm
Houston Lawyer:
If he has something so important to say, why don't the Democrats ask him to address the Congress?

Was Kim Jong Il unavailable?
9.24.2007 5:23pm
faux facsimile:
Being dramatic, are we? Just out of curiosity, are there any third world demagogues for whom the Stalin or Mao (or Hitler?) comparison don't work?

It's people like David Bernstein who help build Ahmadinejad up into more than he is: a ridiculous loudmouth serving as the figurehead of a weak third-world oligarchy.

I'm not keen on giving petty thugs a platform to air their lunacies. But can we do it on grounds that actually have some bearing on reality? Akbar Ganji's open letter is a good starting point.
9.24.2007 5:26pm
AntonK (mail):
Yes, Volokh lays the value of "different views" silliness on real thick. Different views indeed, You know, antisemitic, Holocaust-denying, gay-executing, woman-beating, Islamic supremacist views.
9.24.2007 5:28pm
Montie (mail):

Sadly, though, I don't see any neocons advocating an intervention in the Sudan. Millions are actually dying in horrible ways in Darfur. But the death on those people doesn't seem to rouse the neocons.


I would be curious to know what your solution to Darfur is. The UN avenue is basically blocked by Sudan's allies. Western sanctions so far have been ineffective. What can be done?
9.24.2007 5:33pm
RMCACE:
The General:

The proof: American enemy, Imonajihad, is welcome at Columbia, ROTC is not.


http://www.columbia.edu/cu/rotc/hist.htm

Before saying something really stupid, please google it and at least check the first hit.

I for one am not convinced that Iran is yet an enemy. Are they enriching uranium in violation of treaty? Yes. Does that make them an enemy? Not sure yet.

As for supporting terrorists in Iraq, let's just say I don't take the blanket assertions of the adminstration as seriously as I used to.

Remember, Iran sent us a letter in May of 2003 agreeing to negotuate everything, support for terroists, hezbollah, nuclear weapons etc. We turned them down because we refused to talk to them. Do we have any moral high ground left to say that they are our enemy (a phrase used in a time of war)?

Washinton post article
9.24.2007 5:34pm
Anonymouseducator (mail) (www):
Although you do have to go up to Fordham to participate in ROTC.
9.24.2007 5:36pm
Anderson (mail):
Remember, Iran sent us a letter in May of 2003 agreeing to negotuate everything, support for terroists, hezbollah, nuclear weapons etc. We turned them down because we refused to talk to them.

The irony being, of course, that if the March '03 invasion of Iraq had been followed by the U.S.'s accepting the Iranian invitation and negotiating a modus vivendi, then Bush would've waved that as a huge success and a justification for the war itself. And he wouldn't have been wrong.
9.24.2007 5:38pm
Ilya Somin:
Sadly, though, I don't see any neocons advocating an intervention in the Sudan. Millions are actually dying in horrible ways in Darfur. But the death on those people doesn't seem to rouse the neocons.

Actually, there are numerous prominent neoconservative supporters of US intervention in Sudan.
9.24.2007 5:39pm
AntonK (mail):
Report: Ahmadinejad Tasered at Columbia University

(2007-09-24) — Columbia University promised a full investigation into charges of police brutality after today's reported Tasering of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had come to the Ivy League school to give the annual Adolph Hitler Memorial Peace and Tolerance Lecture.

Like a similar incident at the University of Florida last week, the stun-gun assault by police followed a lengthy anti-American rant by the alleged victim, and was immediately condemned by civil rights advocates.

According to eyewitnesses, Mr. Ahmadinejad was dragged from the room shouting: "Do not make to Tase myself, slang brother man."

It was not immediately known whether the victim was legitimately attempting to exercise his freedom of speech or if, as one unnamed witness said, "he's little more than a publicity hound and prankster who will do anything to get news coverage."
9.24.2007 5:42pm
U.Va. 2L:
@faux facsimile: "It's people like David Bernstein who help build Ahmadinejad up into more than he is: a ridiculous loudmouth serving as the figurehead of a weak third-world oligarchy."

The situation seems a bit different to me: head of Islamic state that (1) supports suicide bombings, (2) advocates the destruction of Israel, (3) advocates Islamic global rule (presumably not by global democratic vote), (4) would like to get a nuclear bomb and is working toward that end. We could debate whether Iran will ever obtain a nuclear bomb or what it would do if it did get one. But I'd prefer to take Ahmadinejad's statements as serious threats and be wrong than dismiss him as a "ridiculous loudmouth" and wake up one morning to see a building collapse or a mushroom cloud blotting out rising in the distance.
9.24.2007 5:42pm
Mark Field (mail):

Mark, on what objective analysis is Iran NOT an enemy of the US. All the way back to 1979.


Why do I have to prove a negative?

As for 1979, that ignores the small fact that the Reagan Administration was selling arms to Iran a few years later. Unless and until I see some treason indictments, I'm inclined to think that practice meant Iran was NOT an enemy. There are other problems with this theory as well, not the least of which is that the official State Department site I linked above says nothing about Iran being an enemy. In fact, it even offers some faint praise.

As for claims by the current Administration that Iran is intentionally supplying weapons to Iraqi groups, let's just say that this Administration's credibility on such matters isn't high enough for me to trust it without some verify.
9.24.2007 5:43pm
Justin JJ (mail):
I think I have to agree with Prof. Volokh on this one. As Louis Brandeis said, sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Prof. Volokh would prefer to keep the sunshine off Ahmadinejad.

I like the fact that he got laughed at. Aside from demonstrating the virtues of American openness, I find branding him a threat who must be confined to the U.N. to unduly magnify him. Better to let a tinpot mouthpiece for a repressive regime see how a grand nation is contemptuous of him, rather than dignify him as a threat.
9.24.2007 5:43pm
Mark Field (mail):
AntonK wins.
9.24.2007 5:44pm
Anderson (mail):
Broken English! And the guy is a foreigner! I get it - funny!
9.24.2007 5:49pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
I love google. The host country has a policy of restricting representatives of countries it doesn't like to a 25 mile radius of Columbus Circle. This has prevented the Cuban representative from attending conferences at West Point as well as Princeton.
9.24.2007 5:52pm
Anderson (mail):
This has prevented the Cuban representative from attending conferences at West Point

A curious prohibition, but perhaps we're still sensitive about potential spies and West Point ....
9.24.2007 5:53pm
MikeC&F (mail):
MikeC&F, come on out and say it. JEWS. There, isn't that better? No more of that "neocon" middleman.

Nope. I would have said that if that's what I meant by "neocon." That's a pretty typical neocon move, though - accusing dissenters of antisemitism. (That insult, of course, is hurled once the chicken hawks realize that, as I have prior military service, they can't accuse me of being a terrorist or unpatriotic.)

I grew up in an area populated with poor, country folks. I never met a Jewish person before college. Yet people in my hometown are all major Israel backers. It's due to religious views that if Israel doesn't exist, something or other bad will happen when the Antichrist comes. All of this was supposedly laid out in the book of Revelations. You should watch the 700 Club sometime.

So lots of non-Jewish people support military intervention in Israel. Lots of non-Jewish people view any enemy of Israel as an enemy of the United States.

Again, though, nice try.
9.24.2007 5:56pm
grackle (mail):
This seems like one of Prf. Bernstein's Major Hoople posts: Harrumph, Phapp! Egad Martha, etc.I fail to see the propoganda value to Ahmadinejad of having been allowed to address American students. I say good on Columbia.
9.24.2007 5:56pm
George Tenet Fangirl:

Ahmadinejad is the head of state of an enemy state, whose armed forces are killing American soldiers with equipment they provide to Iraqi insurgents. That makes Ahmadinejad an enemy of the United States, something that can't be overcome with some questions.


So when do we ban Bush from giving speeches?
9.24.2007 6:01pm
Erik M. Lehnsherr:
Professor Bernstein and his ideological allies seek to live in a world where only the voices of those with whom they agree may be heard.

All hail the new American facism.

The neo-cons have created a tempest in a teapot with this non-issue.

In reality it is a simple example of the Twain quote: "It is better keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

American's know stupid when they hear it.
9.24.2007 6:01pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Re ROTC and


Before saying something really stupid, please google it and at least check the first hit.


from the link:

The program was dissolved in 1969.

Today many students still partake in the Reserve Officers Training Corps through U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force programs offered at Fordham University and Manhattan College respectively.



Who is stupid?
9.24.2007 6:02pm
MikeC&F (mail):
Here is why "neocon" does not mean "Jew":


Of course, we, like all right-thinking people, support Israel because Israel is an island of democracy, an island of individual freedom, an island of the rule of law, and an island of modernity in the midst of a sea of dictatorial regimes, the suppression of individual liberty, and a fanatical religion intent on returning to the feudalism of 8th Century Arabia.

These facts about modern day Israel are all true. But mere political rhetoric does not account for the profound devotion to Israel that exists in the hearts of tens of millions of evangelical Christians.

You must realize that the God who spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai is our God. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our spiritual Patriarchs. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel are our prophets. King David, a man after God's own heart, is our hero. The Holy City of Jerusalem is our spiritual capital. And the continuation of Jewish sovereignty over the Holy Land is a further bulwark to us that the God of the Bible exists and that His Word is true.

And we should clearly take note that evangelical Christians serve a Jew that we believe was the divine Messiah of Israel, spoken of by the ancient prophets, to whom He entrusted the worldwide dissemination of His message to twelve Jewish apostles.


Etc.

Pat Robertson is non-Jewry is ever anyone was. Yet he supports military intervention when anyone threatens Israel. So do all of his "flock."

So, folks, "neocon" does not mean "Jew."

I realize, of course, you'll still call us antisemites. After all, it's easier to call the anti-neocons racists than it is to address our arguments.
9.24.2007 6:05pm
Le Messurier (mail):
Perhaps Columbia wasn't as proud of themselves as we thought. Check out MyManMitt.com As Sargent Schultz said "Veeeeery interesting".
9.24.2007 6:14pm
HLSbertarian (mail):

American's know stupid when they hear it.


But not when they read it, you hope?
9.24.2007 6:15pm
Le Messurier (mail):
errata:

Check out MyManMitt.com . As Sargent Schultz...

I forgot the period.
9.24.2007 6:16pm
The General:
9.24.2007 6:16pm
MikeC&F (mail):
BAGHDAD (AFP) — Iran is smuggling advanced weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, into Iraq to be used by extremists against American troops, the US military charged on Sunday.

That's all the proof I need! Or maybe not?
9.24.2007 6:20pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
That just means you don't know a neocon from a whole in the head, because Pat Robertson's no neocon.
9.24.2007 6:23pm
Hoosier:
RMCACE:

While someone has beaten me to it, it bears repetition: ROTC is banned from Columbia's campus. They don't /prevent/ students from partipating off campus. But I'm not certain how they could. And one suspects that they don't say "no" to the scholarship money.

As to the "something really stupid" comment, I'll just leave that one be.

MikeCandF--Your post shows only that you don't need to be a Jew to be /pro-Israel./ But that's not what you think you have demonstrated. Pat Robertson a neocon? That's new to me.

So for the record: I am generally "pro-Israel," if that means that one believes it has a right to exists as a Jewish state. I am NOT in any way a neocon. And I'm Catholic.

So what? That proves zilch about neoconservatism.

"Neocon" and "Zionist" are used so freely by anti-Semites that many of us tend to cringe when we hear how damned awful and dangerous they are. The phrases are so often deployed as code for "The Joos" that it is hard not to respond that way.

So I always ask: what IS a neoconservative? Not WHO. WHAT distinguishes a neocon? If someone has a non-ethno-religious definition, then I am all ears. If they say only that it's anyone who is more concerned with Israeli security than American security, then we have nothing to talk about. Why wouldan American think that way? Hmm. Perhaps because he's a disloyal Jew?
9.24.2007 6:23pm
feature:
He means: "hole" in the head....
9.24.2007 6:26pm
The General:
RMCACE:

perhaps you should check out some of the results under the first link on your next Google search.
9.24.2007 6:28pm
faux facsimile:
@U.Va. 2L:

Calling Ahmadinejad the head of an Islamic state is a misnomer on two levels: he has only as much power as Iran's Supreme Leader, Khamenei (who has been ruling Iran since the early 90s) chooses to give to him, and most of the Muslim world does not regard his state as legitimately Islamic. Heck, hardliners in the Iranian parliament censured him for un-Islamic behavior only a few months back.

If one is going to take every loudmouth at his word, irrespective of facts, one is not going to get anywhere, particularly in the Middle East. We've seen that movie before. It's called Iraq. (Incidentally, the mushroom cloud imagery while nice, has a distinctly 2003 air about it).

Of course, for folks who want a war with Iran, or increased military aid to Israel or for those who just don't particularly like Muslims, Ahmadinejad is a godsend: every time he opens his mouth, he says something outrageous. Playing him up as a global threat is quite helpful in that context.

Likewise, every time we allow Ahmadinejad to appear to 'stand up' to the US by making a fuss about him, his sagging popularity at home revives, and he gets another boost in the region.

The only folks who lose in such a situation are ordinary Iranians and Americans whose real problems and dangers get obscured by this sort of posturing.
9.24.2007 6:30pm
Gaius Marius:
I think allowing this buffoon to address a college audience was the right thing to do not only to demonstrate this country's reverence for the rights embodied in the First Amendment but also to permit our citizens an up close view of this clown before he ends up like Adolf Hitler a few years from now.
9.24.2007 6:32pm
Stuart M. (mail):
Mike, I'm not sure how to tell you this, but "neocon" is not a synonym for "pro-Israel." Pat Robertson is an evangelical Christian. He's not a neo-con by anyone's stretch of the imagination. Neoconservatism ("newly conservative" - get it?) started with liberals who were appalled by the excesses of the sixties. It became a group of thinkers and policy wonks who advocated domestic social moderation, promotion of US-style democracy and freedom abroad, and a muscular foreign policy to back it up. Pat Robertson, and other evangelical Christians, don't fit that mold by any stretch of the imagination. Being pro-Israel is only part of the neocon position and not even the major part.
9.24.2007 6:33pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
WHOIJacket and Richard Aubrey get it. Of course Iran has been at war with the USA since 1979. We haven't noticed because in world power terms, Iran is nothing but a flea and a very small flea at that.

That need not stay the same. A flea with an atom bomb is an atom bomb controlled by a flea.

Appeasers like Mark F are happy to ignore distant people of whom they -- obviously -- know nothing. Anybody who cites Juan Cole is dismissed from class for not paying attention.
9.24.2007 6:40pm
Happyshooter:
Whilst president at Michigan Bollinger had the very old very nice bar ripped out of the lawyer's club (clubroom area of the law dorms) because he dislikes alcohol use by adults unless they are special.

In fact, he made a policy that University Student Funds could not be used for any alcohol event unless it was for gay students.

He also led jihad's against student drinking, including settup up city and U police strike teams which broke and entered houses without warrants if drinking was suspected.

Bollinger and Ahmadinejad are not so different. Except for the gay issue, they are fairly alike in many beliefs including alcohol and the role of overwhelming police power unrestrained by civil rights.
9.24.2007 6:47pm
AntonK (mail):
If Columbia is not ashamed of the decision to host the Iranian Madman, then why did they blacken out the podium and the backdrop?
9.24.2007 6:49pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Although I clearly agree with Professor Volokh, and think David's statement that Iran is an enemy state is absurd (under this reasoning, Saudi Arabia is also an enemy state as it has without question provided funding to Sunni insurgents and even said it would support them against the elected Shiite government of Iraq were we to pull out), I warn people against using Juan Cole as an example. Although he has many insightful things to say on Middle Eastern issues, he loses a lot of credibility on because he constantly goes out of his way to apologize for anti-Jewish (I prefer that term to anti-Semitic for a variety of reasons) statements from leaders in the Muslim world. For example, here he argues that MA is not anti-Jewish because he "denies he is an anti-Semite, . . . and allows Iran's 20,000 Jews to have representation in Parliament." So I guess Southern Governments in the US during Jim Crow weren't racist because they had a black representative or two in state governments, or at least "allowed" it.
9.24.2007 6:56pm
r78:

Unlike when I objected last time Ahmadinejad was to visit Columbia, my reason this time is that Ahmadinejad is the head of state of an enemy state, whose armed forces are killing American soldiers with equipment they provide to Iraqi insurgents. That makes Ahmadinejad an enemy of the United States, something that can't be overcome with some questions.

If all of this is true and as incontrovertible as DB and others apparently believe, why did the United States government permit him to enter the United States?

Or, better yet, why didn't the United States just shoot down his plane as it entered US airspace?

Is it because the United States loves terrorists?

If we can imprison US citizens in solitary confinement for years without charges, it seems we should also be able to capture or kill someone who is so "obviously" an enemy of the US.
9.24.2007 6:58pm
FC:
It seems to me that this whole affair boils down to an ego trip for Bollinger.
9.24.2007 7:04pm
RMCACE (mail):
It's tough to see what kind of ROTC ban is in effect if so many students participate in it.
9.24.2007 7:06pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Here is why "neocon" does not mean "Jew":
[snip quote from Pat Robertson]
Pat Robertson is non-Jewry is ever anyone was. Yet he supports military intervention when anyone threatens Israel. So do all of his "flock."

So, folks, "neocon" does not mean "Jew."
Mike, you're very, very, very, very, confused.

"Neocon" does not mean "supporter of Israel," so the fact that Pat Robertson is a supporter of Israel is utterly irrelevant to the discussion of neoconserativism.

All poodles are dogs, but all dogs ain't poodles.
9.24.2007 7:07pm
whit:
best quote i have heard on this whole affair, just now on the teevee.

columbia college student being interviewed on her impression of ahmadinejad: "it's amazing to me that his evil is actually palpable"
9.24.2007 7:14pm
Anderson (mail):
columbia college student being interviewed on her impression of ahmadinejad: "it's amazing to me that his evil is actually palpable"

Squeezable, even.
9.24.2007 7:17pm
whit:
nice one

the threads at democratincunderground.com are similarly amazing right now

bush is just as bad as ahmadinejad, we shouldn't criticize him because it's a different culture, etc. etc.

amazing stuff
worth a read


just click the "greatest threads" and prepare to be appalled
9.24.2007 7:22pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Squeezable, even

Ahh, Outside the Beltway picks up on the Right's favorite past-time: Cherry-Pick a random Kos diary that's not front-paged and not on the rec list, and use it as "representative" of the "Left." David Bernstein likes to make sweeping generalizations about the "Left" and "Kos" when clearly knows nothing about either.
9.24.2007 7:25pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

It's tough to see what kind of ROTC ban is in effect if so many students participate in it.


You just won't give it up, will you?

From The NY Times after 1 minute of googling:


Columbia U. Senate Votes Against Return of R.O.T.C.

KAREEM FAHIM

Published: May 7, 2005

A Columbia University body that helps set policy voted yesterday to reject a resolution calling for reinstatement of the R.O.T.C., which has been banned from the campus since 1969.

Columbia students who want to enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps must continue to do so at nearby universities, including the Bronx campus of Fordham University.

The vote is a setback for a group of students, professors and alumni who have been campaigning on campus to change the perception of the military and build momentum for the return of the R.O.T.C. Susan Brown, a spokeswoman for the university, said in a statement that the administration respected the decision by the university's senate, a body made up mostly of faculty members, students and administrators. The decision is nonbinding.

The vote, which followed a two-hour debate that centered on discrimination by the military against people who are openly gay, was 51 to 11. Several participants called it surprisingly lopsided.

Alan Brinkley, Columbia's provost, said that he and the university's president, Lee C. Bollinger, had sought a decision to ''get a sense of the community.'' Mr. Brinkley said he had abstained from voting, while Mr. Bollinger voted against the resolution, according to Thomas M. Mathewson, the senate's manager. (emphasis added)
9.24.2007 7:29pm
whit:
"Ahh, Outside the Beltway picks up on the Right's favorite past-time: Cherry-Pick a random Kos diary that's not front-paged and not on the rec list, and use it as "representative" of the "Left." David Bernstein likes to make sweeping generalizations about the "Left" and "Kos" when clearly knows nothing about either."

i have read mother jones and the nation for at least the last 10 years. pretty much every issue. and i routinely read democraticunderground.org and indymedia, watch the BBC on occasion, etc. so, i consider myself pretty familiar with the leftist mindset, or "progressive" if you will

the posts speak for themselves.

there are some real wacked out wingnuts on the FAR left.

you don't need to selectively quote

feel free to go to www.democraticunderground.com, click on "greatest threads" (these are threads that are recommended by MEMBERS as being especially good) and read away.

nobody needs to misrepresent the left's viewpoints. they are right there to be read.

moral equivalence, false dilemma, multi-culti insanity, etc.

it's all there. it's beautiful stuff
9.24.2007 7:35pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
whit -- Yes, on the far left. ON the mainstream right, however, you have people like Michelle Malkin who accuses a sitting US Senator and Presidential candidate of intentionally shooting himself to win a purple heart.
9.24.2007 7:37pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
And DU is 10x farther to the left than DailyKos.
9.24.2007 7:37pm
whit:

i am assuming you are referring to the interview on hardball. i've read the transcript.

she does NOT accuse him of that. you are lying or misinformed. not unusual for you. what she said is that there are questions about how he received the wounds, and that SOME of the soldiers have made that allegation. she said there are LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS, that is not the same as saying HE DID IT. that's, as usual, a lie to smear the right, EXACTLY what you accuse the right of doing in regards to the left. how typical. pot, kettle, black. do you have specific evidence, that SHE said he did that?

here is the relevant section of the transcript:

"BROWN: He volunteered twice. He volunteered twice in Vietnam. He literally got shot. There's no question about any of those things. So what else is there to discuss? How much he got shot, how deep, how much shrapnel?

MALKIN: Well, yes. Why don't people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg. They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: What do you mean by self-inflicted? Are you saying he shot himself on purpose? Is that what you're saying?

MALKIN: Did you read the book...

MATTHEWS: I'm asking a simple question. Are you saying that he shot himself on purpose.

MALKIN: I'm saying some of these soldiers...

MATTHEWS: And I'm asking question.

MALKIN: And I'm answering it.

MATTHEWS: Did he shoot himself on purpose.

MALKIN: Some of the soldiers have made allegations that these were self-inflicted wounds.

MATTHEWS: No one has ever accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

MALKIN: That these were self-inflicted wounds.

MATTHEWS: Your saying there are—he shot himself on purpose, that's a criminal act?

MALKIN: I'm saying that I've read the book and some of the...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I want an answer yes or no, Michelle.

MALKIN: Some of the veterans say...

MATTHEWS: No. No one has every accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

MALKIN: Yes. Some of them say that.

MATTHEWS: Tell me where that...

MALKIN: Self-inflicted wounds—in February, 1969.

MATTHEWS: This is not a show for this kind of talk. Are you accusing him of shooting himself on purpose to avoid combat or to get credit?

MALKIN: I'm saying that's what some of these...

MATTHEWS: Give me a name.

MALKIN: Patrick Runyan (ph) and William Zeldonaz (ph).

MATTHEWS: They said—Patrick Runyan...

MALKIN: These people have...

MATTHEWS: And they said he shot himself on purpose to avoid combat or take credit for a wound?

MALKIN: These people have cast a lot of doubt on whether or not...

MATTHEWS: That's cast a lot of doubt. That's complete nonsense.

MALKIN: Did you read the section in the book...

MATTHEWS: I want a statement from you on this program, say to me right, that you believe he shot himself to get credit for a purpose of heart.

MALKIN: I'm not sure. I'm saying...

MATTHEWS: Why did you say?

MALKIN: I'm talking about what's in the book.

MATTHEWS: What is in the book. Is there—is there a direct accusation in any book you've ever read in your life that says John Kerry ever shot himself on purpose to get credit for a purple heart? On purpose?

MALKIN: On.

MATTHEWS: On purpose? Yes or no, Michelle.

MALKIN: In the February 1969 -- in the February 1969 event.

MATTHEWS: Did he say on it purpose.

MALKIN: There are doubts about whether or not it was intense rifle fire or not. And I wish you would ask these questions of John Kerry instead of me.

MATTHEWS: I have never heard anyone say he shot himself on purpose.

I haven't heard you say it.

MALKIN: Have you tried to ask—have you tried ask John Kerry these questions?

MATTHEWS: If he shot himself on purpose. No. I have not asked him that.

MALKIN: Don't you wonder?

MATTHEWS: No, I don't. It's never occurred to me.



"And DU is 10x farther to the left than DailyKos"

while that much is true, plenty of the people making these comments on DU don't admit that. they think they are left of center, but nowhere near far left or extremist. they are generally of the "i want kucinich, but i'll vote for hillary, even though she's a corporatist friend of the neoconz"

as for michelle malkin, if you want to provide a quote for that, i'll check it out.
9.24.2007 7:56pm
Perseus (mail):
Sadly, though, I don't see any neocons advocating an intervention in the Sudan. Millions are actually dying in horrible ways in Darfur. But the death on those people doesn't seem to rouse the neocons.


Prof. Somin is quite correct. The flagship opinion publication of the "neocons," The Weekly Standard, has endorsed just such an intervention. "The Need for Leadership in Darfur":"A fascist, terrorist supporting regime is exterminating its citizens by the tens of thousands. Why then, under the most fervent advocate of freedom and peace since Ronald Reagan, is America not justly using
its mighty military force to stop them?"
9.24.2007 7:57pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Hey, I don't know if whit actually rapes little boys, I am just saying there are LEGITIMATE questions about it. . . . How's that feel to you? Sounds like an accusation to me.
9.24.2007 8:01pm
Phil Hunt (mail) (www):
David Bernstein: Ahmadinejad is the head of state of an enemy state, whose armed forces are killing American soldiers with equipment they provide to Iraqi insurgents

I've often heard this claim. Is their any evidence for it, from sources other than the US government?
9.24.2007 8:14pm
EH (mail):
To those who assert that the US and Iran have been at war since 1979, does that mean Michael Ledeen should be brought up for treason for his role in Iran Contra? Is there a statute of limitations for treason?

But at least I have the integrity to say that I would (potentially) support, on moral grounds, military intervention to prevent another Holocaust; and not because Iran is a threat to the United States.

Hysterical. How far from your bloodline should these soldiers be?
9.24.2007 8:55pm
Toby:

It's tough to see what kind of ROTC ban is in effect if so many students participate in it.

Clearly there is no CU discouragment of Underage drinking in the dorms because so many students participate in it....

My vote for most foolish post of the day.
9.24.2007 9:09pm
RMCACE (mail):
I stand corrected. I attended law school with several former Columbia ROTC Officers. Although I am unaware on how they considered themselves Columbia ROTC. Weird.
9.24.2007 9:15pm
MikeC&F (mail):
"Neocon" does not mean "supporter of Israel," so the fact that Pat Robertson is a supporter of Israel is utterly irrelevant to the discussion of neoconserativism.

I know the traditional definition of neocon, as I don't have a "whole" in my head. But support for Israel has become the sine qua non of the neocon movement. I therefore consider everyone who has an unhealthy obsession for supporting Israel (even when said support is to the detriment of the United State's interests) to be a neocon. Though, admittedly, I suppose "unpatriotic" might be a better word. (If putting the interests of another country before the interests one's own country isn't unpatriotic, I don't know what is.)

I realize, of course, neocons might not enjoy being compared to Pat Robertson's flock. But they are all birds of a feather, even if no one wants to admit it.
9.24.2007 9:45pm
Mac (mail):
Mike C&F

Sadly, though, I don't see any neocons advocating an intervention in the Sudan. Millions are actually dying in horrible ways in Darfur. But the death on those people doesn't seem to rouse the neocons.

If you don't think Iran is important to us just think how much fun you will have walking everywhere and growing your own food. Should be interesting in NYC. Oil is the life blood of the West. Even the computer you are typing on comes from oil. Iran could be positioned, if we leave Iraq, to get a stranglehold on Middle east oil, just as Saddam tried to do. The Saudi's will be the first to go. Well maybe Kuwait would go fist.

Don't forget that after they destroy Israel, you are next in line. Feel like converting to Islam? This is about the conversion of the world to Islam or the world's death. You kid yourself if you think they will stop at Israel. Ahwhosit also said he wanted to brign about he Rapture. In Islam. that is akin to the end of the world and the 2nd Coming of Christ. Remember, everyone is dead then?

As for the Sudan, there is no infrastructuire. Please, go back and see what happened in Somalia, another country bleeding hearts got us into to stop a famine then Clinton would not support the troops he sent in.

Don't you think we are havein enough trouble in Iraq? The Sudan would be even worse. Other than a few aid workers and celebrities, the only thing both sides agree on is that they hate America. Just what we need to do, invade another Musim country, one in which we have no strategic interest. Brilliant diplomacy. I think we just might be better off to stay in Iraq and prevent the bloodbath that would occur there if we leave than going into the Sudan.
9.24.2007 9:51pm
loki13 (mail):
(DB Post about Middle East) + (Wingnuts x Moonbats) = (Signal < Noise)
9.24.2007 10:03pm
Mac (mail):
Mike C&F

In addition, we would almost certainly find ourselves in a confrontation with China who gets a lot of oil from the Sudan. You might think oil is of no importance, but just wait and see what happens if you mess with China's oil supply.

Go read and educate yourself and no, the Daily Kos and Moveon don't count.
9.24.2007 10:06pm
Mac (mail):
I would have said that if that's what I meant by "neocon." That's a pretty typical neocon move, though - accusing dissenters of antisemitism"

MikeC&F,

And throwing the word neocon around is what, intellignt debate? is not a pretty typical leftist move? Avoids debate as it pretty well dismisses all who come under that classification. I think if you are going to object to name calling, you might want to clean up your own house.
9.24.2007 10:26pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Mike, I guess this is Alice in Wonderland time, where the word "neoconservative" means anything that you want it to mean.
9.24.2007 10:27pm
advisory opinion:
Iran and EFPs.

Negroponte, Clarke et al. claim the same.

More evidence that Iran and its Quds forces are responsible for the proliferation of EFPs in Iraq.

Nice try breezily pretending that the Iranians haven't been meddling in Iraq. Wake up and smell the coffee.
9.24.2007 10:28pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
r78, it's a wise country that knows its own enemies.

Right now, the left in America doesn't recognize any enemies except American rightists. The right doesn't recognize the actual enemy, which is not Islamofascism but Islam plain and simple.

CrazyTrain, it's not just that Juan Cole thinks badly of Jews or Israelis. He is an active agent of disinformation. I assume he is in the pay of the Iranian government. Whether he's doing it for money or for love, he's doing it.

The most prominent example has been his continuing (widely successful) effort to mistranslate Ahmedinejad's remarks about obliterating Israel. That has been common coin of the Iranian revolution since 1979, and Cole must know it.

If I know it (and I can prove it), he must.
9.24.2007 10:50pm
Smokey:
Whit done Crazy Train like a WWF Smackdown. Made it look easy.

Crazy Train:
"...you have people like Michelle Malkin who accuses a sitting US Senator and Presidential candidate of intentionally shooting himself to win a purple heart."
Aside from the fact that that's a complete misrepresentation of what Malkin said, the unanswered question remains: Why has John Kerry absolutely refused to allow his military records to be opened to the voting public??

There is much speculation that Kerry does not want to make public his Dishonorable Discharge for traveling to Hanoi against orders during the war. Furthermore, Kerry now has two (2) different DD-214's. One from the Navy after he traveled to Hanoi, and one following Jimmy Carter's pardon, which just so happened to excuse anything Kerry did, including giving aid and comfort to the enemy; treason.

Kerry could easily silence such speculation by signing his DoD SF-180, just like George W. Bush did. By refusing, Kerry shows that he has something bad to hide.
9.24.2007 11:36pm
Anderson (mail):
Although I am unaware on how they considered themselves Columbia ROTC.

Victims of false consciousness, I guess.
9.24.2007 11:36pm
Brian K (mail):
and I can prove it

yes, do. your wacky claims definitely need some proof.
9.24.2007 11:39pm
Kevin P. (mail):
Here's the spin from the official Iranian News Agency, IRNA:
IRI President addresses students at Colombia University


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.


Bear in mind that due to the control of information, this is the impression that many Iranians will get - that their nutcase president was applauded by an American university audience of thinkers.

Columbia University = useful tool.
9.25.2007 2:02am
Brian K (mail):
Kevin,

It doesn't matter what actions america takes, it will be spun in ahmadinejad's favor no matter what.
9.25.2007 2:45am
Randy R. (mail):
"Different views indeed, You know, antisemitic, Holocaust-denying, gay-executing, woman-beating, Islamic supremacist views."

Well, with street creds like that, I'd say Ahmadinejad has more in common with the right wing than we thought. If you just subsitute Christianists with Islamic, that is.

(okay, and the antisemitic and Holocaust-denying. I would sub anti-atheist and evolution-denying. Then we have a pretty good parallel.)
9.25.2007 2:56am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Randy R. You know, you really ought to stop embarrassing yourself.
9.25.2007 8:37am
Anderson (mail):
Kevin P, you're absolutely right -- the Iranian newspapers wouldn't have found anything good to say about their president, had he not visited Columbia.
9.25.2007 10:01am
Randy R. (mail):
Well, it's always fun to throw a bomb once in a while! Kinda shakes people up a bit. I always like to point out that extremists have more in common with each other than they are willing to admit.
9.25.2007 11:45am
Hoosier:
Randy R.--I've taken yopur side on some matter before, but this is over the line. "Gay-executing"? A commonality?

ZSo . . . there's little difference between: "I don't want homosexuals to marry in my country" and "I don't want homosexuals in my country"? Seems a huge difference to me. As big as the difference between, say, having Liz Phair's phone number and having Liz Phair. (And I know, I know. You'd have no use for either. but just fill in another name, and you get the point.)
9.25.2007 12:53pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
I think I have to agree with Prof. Volokh on this one. As Louis Brandeis said, sunshine is the best disinfectant.


I've usually found that isolating and not touching things carrying disease works even better.
9.25.2007 1:49pm
c.l. ball:
It is odd that no one protest the fact that Turkmenistan's dictator spoke at Columbia the same day. While Iran allows limited contestation in its elections, Turkmenistan continues to ban opposition parties -- Freedom House gives Iran a 6/6 rating, while Turkmenistan has a worse rating 7/7, making it one of the worst of the worst violators for 2006.
9.25.2007 3:45pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
It is odd that no one protest the fact that Turkmenistan's dictator spoke at Columbia the same day.


Not really, I doubt that most people including most students at Columbia have even heard of Turkmenistan.
9.25.2007 5:11pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"my reason this time is that Ahmadinejad is the head of state of an enemy state, whose armed forces are killing American soldiers with equipment they provide to Iraqi insurgents"

Perhaps some historical context is appropriate?

The Soviet Union was supplying equipment and technology used to kill US soldiers in Viet Nam. So did a few other of the Soviets satellites. Same with the Chinese.

During the first Gulf War the Russians supplied the arms that the Iraqis used to kill US and allied soldiers.

Were all these folks denied forums at US universities? Who was the highest ranking official of any of these countries to speak at a US university during either Viet Nam or Gulf I?
9.25.2007 6:35pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Brian K, see Geraldine Brooks, 'Nine Parts of Desire' for a translation published in 1994 that exactly mirrors Ahmedinejad's wipe-out Israel trope.

It's been common coin of the Iranian Revolution for decades. Cole is rewriting a history that you can find in any public library in America.
9.25.2007 6:37pm
LM (mail):
MikeC&F (mail):

That insult, of course, is hurled once the chicken hawks realize that, as I have prior military service, they can't accuse me of being a terrorist

Just curious, but what would you call Timothy McVeigh?


Whit:

That Malkin was merely legitimizing someone else's scurrilous accusation without endorsing it is hardly compelling testimony to her restraint. Unless, that is, you think it's responsible, moderate commentary to suggest that since there are still people who accuse President Bush of orchestrating the 9-11 attacks, we should investigate that question more seriously.
9.26.2007 5:43am