Black & Right » 2007 » September


Have you seen the stories, all the backlash, now at Lee Bollinger because he was rude to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? In the New York Sun today: “‘Backlash Against Bollinger Hits Columbia.’ A backlash against the president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, who on Monday delivered a harsh rebuke to President Ahmadinejad, is coming from faculty members and students who said he struck an ‘insulting tone’ and that his remarks amounted to ‘schoolyard taunts.’ The fierceness of Mr. Bollinger’s critique bought the Iranian some sympathy on campus that he didn’t deserve, the critics said, and amounted to a squandered opportunity to provide a lesson in diplomacy.” This misses the point. Ed Koch has a piece today that talks about Bollinger was rude, you don’t invite somebody into your house and treat them this way, you don’t invite them to your school, but his main gripe was that Bollinger forgot to stand up for the US. He stood up for Israel but he didn’t question Mahmoud’s assertion he wanted to wipe America off the map, too. Death to America, death to America!

There are others running around saying it was bad, it was horrible, you don’t invite somebody in and treat them rudely like that. Everybody is missing the point. If you want to feel that way, I can understand if you have manners and culture, but that’s not the point of this. Again, the point of this is the invitation should never have been given. Mahmoud was going to have media access all through his trip. He’s a star to the Drive-By Media.

Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? As a human being – forget his title – who is he as a human being? He is a man who orders his opponents to be imprisoned, tortured, and killed. He is a man who wants Israel wiped off the map and is predicting that it’s going to happen, and that he’s going to be the one to do it. We all know that his country and he participate and allow the stoning of women who look the wrong way out of the burqa. We know that he executes homosexuals when they’re uncovered. Wait ’til you hear when we get the audio sound bites, he was asked a question by a reporter about gays. Well, I’ll just tell you. He said, “We really don’t have that phenomenon.” Reporter says, “Well, I know some that are there.” And Mahmoud asks the reporter for their address so he can learn about this phenomenon that he didn’t think is going on in Iran. So who is this guy? The guy is a state terrorist. He’s a state sponsor of terrorism, and we’re worried that he was treated rudely. I can understand that some people might think this. But we’re missing the point here.

Once again, we’re focusing on ourselves. It’s all about us and were we polite or not, and are we doing the right thing, are we making the world like us. Screw that! We’re dealing with a situation like we’re in with international terrorism threatening our existence. In addition to that, the whole platform was nothing more than a propaganda thing for Mahmoud. I guarantee you, he doesn’t care he was treated rudely. He might say so, because he knows how to court Americans who have this, “I wonder what they think of me today? I wonder what they think of us?” Of course he’s going to say that, but Mahmoud clearly enjoyed the opportunity for propaganda back to his targeted audience in the Middle East.

I think that when you look at the invitation, why Bollinger did what he did, we could go nuts analyzing this from our perspective. “Oh, so rude.” Yeah, I have no doubt that Bollinger’s treatment of Mahmoud aided and abetted his propaganda and created sympathy for him. But is what Bollinger said untrue? Does it pass the truth test? What he said was true. I think that’s what some people are having trouble dealing with, not all, but they just didn’t want to hear it, makes them uncomfortable, confrontation wasn’t necessary. Invite this guy to your academic institution, and you thus convey upon him the status of a scholar. The whole thing should never have happened, because Mahmoud was going to get his media circus whether he went to Columbia university or not.