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View Full Version : Ahmadinejad Speaks at Columbia University


Jae Onasi
09-25-2007, 03:42 PM
Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, was invited to speak at Columbia university yesterday (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/am-iran0925,0,3715974.story?coll=chi_tab01_layout).

Does this demonstrate how much we value free speech in the US? Should Ahmadinejad have been allowed to go to the University? Should Columbia have invited him? What kinds of things piqued your interest in his comments?

Totenkopf
09-25-2007, 04:52 PM
Between his interview on tv and his standard "Iran loves everyone" schtick, he didn't really say anything remotely interesting. Should Columbia have invited him? No. Given that we are not in a state of declared war w/Iran, I'm not sure exactly what could have been legally done to forbid Columbia from extending the invitation or Achy from taking it. Perhaps, though, he should have been more strongly disuaded from trying to grandstand with his dog and pony show. I'd almost say kudos to Bollinger, but believe that he'd have shown more character by refusing the man in the first place.

Achilles
09-25-2007, 05:02 PM
Does this demonstrate how much we value free speech in the US? Perhaps. Bush has spoken in China. Is that evidence for how much China values free speech?

Should Ahmadinejad have been allowed to go to the University? My understanding was that the university invited him. Well...again.

Should Columbia have invited him? Sure. My understanding is the Ahmadinejad views most opposing view points as government-sponsored propaganda. Hopefully seeing grass-roots opposition to his views might help him realize what he's up against.

What kinds of things piqued your interest in his comments? His first comment after his "introduction". It seems as though if we wanted to help bolster his case for the U.S. being a bunch of uncouth bullies, we couldn't have done a better job. I'm sure his supporters will lionize him for standing up to the american elite on their own turf.

AbE: Wow, that didn't take long. Iranians decry harsh words for president (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070925/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_us)TEHRAN, Iran - Iranians expressed dismay Tuesday at the tough reception given to their president in New York, saying his host was rude and only fueled the image of the United States as a bully.

mimartin
09-25-2007, 05:07 PM
Does this demonstrate how much we value free speech in the US?It shows how much those in academia value free speech. Those protesting and those condemning Columbia for giving him the platform to speak say something vastly different.

Should Ahmadinejad have been allowed to go to the University? Yes. We are not at war with Iran (yet).

Should Columbia have invited him? If it was in the best interest of their students, faculty and alumnus, then my answer is yes. Although I cannot see how it would be in their best interest.

What kinds of things piqued your interest in his comments?That politicians are the same the world over, even the ones we consider evil, they refuse to answer a simple yes or no question.

I have no problem with him coming here speaking. Every time he opens his mouth it shows just how much hatred he has in him. I donít see how this type of dialogue is going to hurt. It may be a waste of time because we will never change his mind and he will not change ours, but understanding where each side is coming from is always beneficial.

HIGH ON PIE 14
09-25-2007, 10:23 PM
Does this demonstrate how much we value free speech in the US? Should Ahmadinejad have been allowed to go to the University? Should Columbia have invited him? What kinds of things piqued your interest in his comments?

Does this demonstrate how much we value free speech the U.S.?

Yes. Even though the vast majority of Americans do not agree with Ahmadinejad we allowed him to come anyway.

Should Ahmadinejad have been allowed to go to the University?

I guess. As previously stated we are not at war with Iran yet. Would I have invited him? Absolutly not.

Should Columbia have invited him?

As I said I would not have invited him but I'm really glad that Columbia did. All the people I know that were simpathetic with him now are not because he made a complete and utter arse of himself.

What kinds of things piqued your interest in his comments?

I was very interested to hear him say that he likes Israel. pffft yeah right, even my three year old cousin didnt believe that. That sort of goes against his comments previously to being invited to Columbia when he said that he hated Israel.

Also was interested in his comment that there are no homosexuals in his country...gee that should tell you somthing about him right there. He either:

a) is a blatant liar
b) punishes homosexuals so badly that they do not dare live in Iran
c) kills or expells homosexuals
d) All of the above

John Galt
09-25-2007, 11:49 PM
Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, was invited to speak at Columbia university yesterday (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/am-iran0925,0,3715974.story?coll=chi_tab01_layout).

Does this demonstrate how much we value free speech in the US? Should Ahmadinejad have been allowed to go to the University? Should Columbia have invited him? What kinds of things piqued your interest in his comments?

Yes, and I hope it has a net positive effect on our relationship, or lack thereof, with the Iranians.

Of course. It shows that some institutions are more willing to deal with those who are condemned by successive administrations. Hopefully meaningful dialogue will begin between our government and that of Iran.

It is their right to envite visiting world leaders to speak at their institution.

His comments on homosexuality in Iran and denying the holocaust galled me, especially given Iran's horrendous record of human rights violations and general anti-semitism.

Rogue Warrior
09-26-2007, 06:35 AM
It is heartening that Columbia is a demonstration of people no longer buying what Iran has to sell. Regrettably not everyone thinks so however.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=27176_Daily_Kos-_Why_I_Have_A_Little_Crush_on_Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad&only
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=27190_Daily_Kos-_45%_Want_Ahmadinejad_As_US_President&only

Sickening.

Darth InSidious
09-26-2007, 11:12 AM
Of course he should be allowed to speak. David Icke should give a keynote speech to the Democrat Party. Christopher Hitchens should speak at Harvard and David Irving should address your Senate.

Yours is the land of the free, isn't it?

Prime
09-26-2007, 12:07 PM
Sometimes to it is good to get the views direct from the horse's mouth, so that they can be responded to accurately. That is, if he actually says what he thinks. :)

Totenkopf
09-27-2007, 12:32 AM
If there's an actual question and answer phase, and the audience isn't stacked/pre-selected, there might be some value to having somone like Achy come and give a speech where he can actually be put on a hotseat. But, if we're just talking about some clown coming in to the country and giving a monologue........hell, he can do that by broadcasting on the airwaves or in the UN. It's not as though people can't watch these things on tv or read a paper to see where a foreign dictator stands. All the more so when they're pretty much willing to spell out what they want you to believe. And that, Prime, I think is where you nail it to the wall....."what he really thinks". All that schtick about Iran loving everyone is for foreign consumption by people they see as weak and gullible.

tk102
09-30-2007, 01:16 PM
Regarding Ahmadinejad's comments about there being no gays in Iran... Saturday Night Live had a great digital short last night worth seeing. Love the Michelle Pfeiffer dress.

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/#mea=161985

Point Man
10-01-2007, 12:35 AM
As much as I despise the things the man stands for, I love liberty more. Let him speak. Let Columbia invite him to speak. Let people hear him and make up their own minds. I serve in the Army to protect the rights of nuts like him to speak their minds.

Weave
10-01-2007, 01:08 AM
He did make two good questions. Why is it that the Palestinians still have to suffer? And why is it that the United States uses Depleted Uranium? Other than that... most of his speech was propaganda (hence the: "We have no homosexuals in Iran... we don't have that phenomenon). And the stuff that wasn't propaganda... was his own prejudice infected opinions. The translator wasn't all that great either. At least she wasn't monotonous though.

Personally, I thought it was good that Columbia invited him to speak his mind... it gives people some insight into some things.

Plus, the American government can totally use this as leverage if a war with Iran comes...
If American citizens hate Ahmadinejad... it'll make going to war much easier for the U.S. government. And possibly... the draft may even come slightly easier.

*time to move to Mexico* :p

Achilles
10-01-2007, 01:17 AM
As much as I despise the things the man stands for, I love liberty more. Let him speak. Let Columbia invite him to speak. Let people hear him and make up their own minds. I serve in the Army to protect the rights of nuts like him to speak their minds.First, thank you for your service.
Second, I thought that the freedom of speech guaranteed by our Bill of Rights only extended to U.S. citizens?
Third, if the U.S. is willing to extend the freedom of speech to foreigners, then why aren't other rights extended as well, ala habeas corpus to the alleged terrorists and enemy combatants currently being detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the various CIA-run prisons around the globe?

I realize that you might not be able to directly address my questions. Please rest assured that I am only looking for your opinions as an individual citizen, not an official comment from a representative of the United States government.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Totenkopf
10-01-2007, 05:25 PM
Seems to me that given the proliferation of communications technology globally, there's no need to humor the world's despots and give them a public relations coup by "allowing" them to make the lecture circuit, thus further enhancing their seeming credibility. Seems like a firm snub would go a long way to telling penny ante dictators that the US will no longer tolerate their propoganda ploys for their own country's internal consumption. Show's them we've got backbone and aren't playing games. You want to lie to our people about your intentions.....try Youtube. :xp:

Point Man
10-01-2007, 11:15 PM
First, thank you for your service.
You're welcome.
Second, I thought that the freedom of speech guaranteed by our Bill of Rights only extended to U.S. citizens?
Yes, the US Constitution and its amendments only applies to US citizens. However, I believe--and I am sure you would agree--freedom of speech is a universal right that should be allowed to all who do not abuse it. If a foreigner is in our country legally, and he chooses to speak in a manner that does not advocate the violent overthrow of our government or endanger others, I believe he should be allowed the same courtesy as a citizen. Just because I do not like his beliefs is no reason to keep him silent.
Third, if the U.S. is willing to extend the freedom of speech to foreigners, then why aren't other rights extended as well, ala habeas corpus to the alleged terrorists and enemy combatants currently being detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the various CIA-run prisons around the globe?
Enemy combatants do not receive the same rights as others because they are engaged in seeking the destruction of our country and its people. The conventions of war do not guarantee the same due process for EPW's as for citizens.

Achilles
10-01-2007, 11:56 PM
Yes, the US Constitution and its amendments only applies to US citizens. However, I believe--and I am sure you would agree--freedom of speech is a universal right that should be allowed to all who do not abuse it. How would one abuse free speech? It seems to me that that one of those "it either is or it isn't" type of things.

If a foreigner is in our country legally, and he chooses to speak in a manner that does not advocate the violent overthrow of our government or endanger others, I believe he should be allowed the same courtesy as a citizen. Just because I do not like his beliefs is no reason to keep him silent. If free speech is hypothetically universal, then why would it be extended based on the speakers status?

Enemy combatants do not receive the same rights as others because they are engaged in seeking the destruction of our country and its people. But without habeas corpus, what process is there to ensure that someone accused of engaging in the destruction of our country is actually guilty of those charges?

The conventions of war do not guarantee the same due process for EPW's as for citizens. EPW's? I'm not sure that I know what that means (and google appears to be useless on this one).

Point Man
10-02-2007, 12:18 AM
Free speech is just like any other right. It can be abused. Olliver Wendell Holmes had the classic example of shouting. "Fire!" in a crowded theatre.

We extend any rights to foreigners based on the precondition they are here legally. If they are not here legally, they should be escorted out of the country.

I do not know all the legalities in confinement of enemy combatants. I concede there should be some way to prevent indiscriminate imprisonment of the accused. I just do not have a good answer as to what form that should take.

EPW= Enemy Prisoner of War. Sorry for the Armyspeak.

Achilles
10-02-2007, 01:09 AM
Free speech is just like any other right. It can be abused. Olliver Wendell Holmes had the classic example of shouting. "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. Still an abuse if there actually is a fire (Don't worry, I'm familiar with example, I just want to see how far you're willing to go with it)? Would the person be charged with abusing free speech or disrupting the peace/reckless endangerment? Would an appropriate punishment be a temporary suspension of his right to free speech?

We extend any rights to foreigners based on the precondition they are here legally. If they are not here legally, they should be escorted out of the country. So then you wish to retract your earlier statement it should be a universal right?

I do not know all the legalities in confinement of enemy combatants. I concede there should be some way to prevent indiscriminate imprisonment of the accused. I just do not have a good answer as to what form that should take. I'm glad to hear that we're on roughly the same page with this one. It seems to me that we already have system that would allow us to handle this.

It seems unfortunate to me that we profess to be leaders of the free world, while admonishing other countries for the human rights records, while we can't even extend habeas corpus to people that we have abducted and are holding prisoner within our military system. Maybe I'm missing something, but this would seem to make us appear as hypocrites to the rest of the world.

EPW= Enemy Prisoner of War. Sorry for the Armyspeak. Thanks! I learned something new today :)