The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

25 September 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Visit To Columbia University, Talk Radio, Blogs


In NYC Visit, Ahmadinejad Makes Clear Strategic Error

He came, he saw, he made a fool out of himself.

After a rambling speech full of kooky rhetoric, that's how history is likely to record yesterday's visit by Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Columbia University.

And while the intellectually intolerant school may have no business lecturing the country about "free speech", in the end, it may have done the US a favor by inviting him here. With Ahmadinejad's insane conspiracy theories and fascist extremism in full view on our own soil, Americans are finally paying attention to the threat this would- be Hitler poses to the world.

Clearly, however, "free speech" on campus applies only to thuggish dictators:

Update 1:35pm Eastern. Inside the gates, Ahmadinejad has begun the “dialogue.” Video. There are several hundred counterprotesters outside the Columbia gates, mostly Jewish organizations and some brave Persian dissidents.

I’ve talked to rabbis, young families, students, alumni. Most are livid that Columbia has penned them off campus. There are busloads of kids here, but many older folks are disappointed that the turnout isn’t higher. This may be because lots of people turned out for the anti-Mahmoud rally at the U.N. Organizers expect many of them to head over here. Lots of helicopters overhead.

Not wanting to miss the action, bloggers and talk radio hosts were ready for battle, providing updates all day as protesters filled the streets of New York City. With contributors providing live reports from the scene, however, several blogs ran circles around their mainstream media counterparts.

Meanwhile, a New York Times reader comment section was quickly taken over by anti- American, pro- Iranian regime moonbats.

Talk radio coverage fell along party lines, with conservatives denouncing the genocidal creep, while libtalkers made excuses for his behavior.

First, from Rush Limbaugh's Monday program, where the talk titan was quick to point to Columbia University president Lee Bollinger's harsh words for the cruel dictator. Rush wondered why it took the school so many years to come to this kind of realization:

RUSH: I'm certain that Cookie has been rolling tape on the introduction, if you will, by the Columbia University president Lee Bollinger to the Iranian axis of evil leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I have to say, folks, I do not believe what I just saw. The Columbia University president, Mr. Bollinger, in a 30-minute-plus introduction of Ahmadinejad, just took it to him, and the students applauded. [He said things like], "Could you explain to us why you are repressing women in your country? Could you explain to us why you are threatening your neighbors? Your maniacal statements are so embarrassing reasonable Iranian citizens that your party lost last December's mayoral elections. You have become a laughingstock. You threaten peace-loving democracies in the Middle East. I don't expect that you will answer any of these questions, Mr. President, but your refusal to do so will inform us much. Our military families rightly see you as the enemy. You are undermining US soldiers in Iraq. You are targeting them with your own manufactured munitions." He quoted Petraeus as an authority in a speech he gave to the National Press Club.

It was just a broadside. It was every accusation that you could level, that I heard, anyway, true accusations in the form of questions. He's now saying that many of the claims by Bollinger were incorrect and so forth and that people misunderstand the peace-loving people of Iran, the peace-loving leadership of Iran, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So I have to tell you, I was shocked and surprised by it. And so was Mr. Snerdley, who was in the room watching it with me. So we'll get the tape, we'll get some translation of all this, and we'll probably not be able to get to this in great detail 'til tomorrow because it will take awhile. It's going to be tough to edit that because the whole 30 minutes was bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, like "You little runt, who do you think you are," was basically the theme of the questions that Bollinger asked Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


RUSH: One of the students at Columbia just asked Ahmadinejad, "Why are you executing homosexuals?" and he started to answer just as soon as the break here ended. I talked earlier about how I was totally surprised, taken aback by the aggressiveness of Columbia President Lee Bollinger in his introduction of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We have two examples.

BOLLINGER: A number of Columbia graduates and current students are among the brave members of our military who are serving or have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They, like other Americans with sons, daughters, fathers, husbands, and wives serving in combat, rightly see your government as the enemy. Can you tell them and us why Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq by arming Shi'a militia targeting and killing US troops? And, finally, Iran's nuclear program and international sanctions: This week the United Nations Security Council is contemplating expanding sanctions for a third time because of your government's refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

You continue to defy this world body by claiming the right to develop a peaceful nuclear power, but this hardly withstands scrutiny when you continue to issue military threats to neighbors. Last week, French president Sarkozy made clear his lost patience with your stall tactics and even Russia and China have shown concern. Why does your country continue to refuse to adhere to international standards for nuclear weapons verification, in defiance of agreements that you have made with the UN nuclear agency? And why have you chosen to make the people of your country vulnerable to the effects of international economic sanctions and threaten to engulf the world in nuclear annihilation?

RUSH: Now, it speaks for itself. Correct? But I, ladies and gentlemen, seeing the stitches on the fastball, have additional questions. I made mention of this when it happened, but very, very few have commented on it themselves. During General Petraeus's testimony before the House and the Senate recently, he referred to the "proxy war" that we are fighting with Iran, in Iraq, that basically our involvement in Iraq is a proxy war with Iran. The president of Columbia University just referenced it, too. In this question -- this litany of charges, if you will -- the liberal president of Columbia University had no difficulty whatsoever spelling out what is at stake. Why do we never hear this from the American left?

Obviously members of the American left get it, understand exactly what's going on, but yet they're doing everything they can to undermine it and essentially aid and comfort the enemy! I was taken aback by these allegations in the questions for far more than just the words that the president of Columbia used. He is one of these leftists, folks. His faculty, as you can well imagine at Columbia University, is among those who think that Bush lied, that none of this is real, that it was all made up, that Iran isn't a threat, that we're causing all this. The world hates us. If Mr. Bollinger had been consistent with what he actually says publicly and people like him say publicly, his questions would have not been this at all.

He would have said, "Mr. Ahmadinejad, what can we do to help you deal with our president who has brought war to your part of the world?" Because that is what they think. That is what they're out there saying. That's what elected Democrats are saying. It's what their kook blogosphere is saying. It's what their base believes and thinks. There were protesters carrying signs outside this speech today, saying "Ahmadinejad is bad, Bush is worse." Now, there's no question about it, there is some real intellectual dishonesty going on here in academia. What this tells me is these people know what's at stake. They know full well what's at stake. They know full well who the real enemy is. But in public discourse, even though today they don't dare acknowledge it because that would mean Bush is right, or something else. Here is how Mr. Bollinger closed this.

BOLLINGER: In all candor, Mr. President, I doubt that you would have the intellectual courage to answer these questions, but your avoiding them will in and of itself be meaningful to us. I do expect you to exhibit the fanatical mind-set that characterizes so much of what you say and do. Fortunately, I am told by experts on your country that this only further undermines your position in Iran, with all the many good-hearted, intelligent citizens there. A year ago, I'm reliably told, your preposterous and belligerent statements in this country at one of the meetings at the Council on Foreign Relations so embarrassed sensible Iranian citizens that this led to your party's defeat in the December mayoral elections. May this do that, and more.

RUSH: "May this do that, and more." Um... I'm really sort of perplexed here, at a bit of a loss. I mean, this is everything I would say to Ahmadinejad. I can't believe... (sigh) I was going to say that Mr. Bollinger may end up in the same situation as Larry Summers at Harvard, but he won't because he stood up for women being murdered and homosexuals being murdered. Well, he didn't stand up. He actually challenged Ahmadinejad on it. But this is so off the playbook. This is, um... Well, it's a little frustrating. On the one hand, all right! Rah-rah, way to go! I apologize for being critical of you, Mr. Bollinger. I really do. But, on the other hand, where's this been for five years? Where is this in the academy? Where is this in the classrooms? Where is this being taught? You obviously believe this stuff. You actually faced down a US enemy instead of coddling him! The rest of the time, people like Mr. Bollinger are all coddling our enemies and blaming Bush. Where has this been?

Libtalkers, on the other hand, were consumed by the "Iran is bad, America is worse" sentment and painted themselves into a corner while looking for reasons to defend the Iranian thug.

Need an example? From Monday's Lionel show, heard on Air America Radio, here's one:

(Hour Two, begins at 32:30, subsequent quotes are from slightly later in the hour)

LIONEL: The [Bush] administration is doing everything in [its] power to demonize [Ahmadinejad] to the point that any chances of any proposed war or invasion [of Iraq], we would be more amenable to. If you keep promoting the fact that this is the devil incarnate, and if the media keep going along with this and repeating this idea that he should be vilified, arrested, killed, we're missing the point.


He wanted to put a wreath at [Ground Zero]. Here's the question: Why not? The reason why is, because [the Bush admin doesn't] want him to look sensible."


[Iranians] were marching in the street [just after 9/11] in support of [the U.S.], and what did Dubya do? He went and coined this 'Axis of Evil' and that's when the problem started. They want there to be discord. They want a war.


Aren't we supposed to be this place that lets people speak? [Ahmadinejad] is the president of, albeit a shady country, but don't we realize we're just caving in to the administration, who wants [to keep him] quiet because he might say something that makes sense, like he did last night on 60 Minutes.

Frankly, on days like this, your Radio Equalizer hopes liberal talk radio sticks around for years to come. If this is how Democrats plan to campaign next year, we can't possibly hear enough of this kind of language. Bring it on!

And in the end, it's clear Ahmadinejad's visit has greatly backfired, damaging the image of campus radicals and other supporters of Iran's regime of terror.

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Images: AP, Michelle, NY Daily News


  • Why? Most rational Americans agree with solid, rational, liberal positions, not the muddled, fear-filled slop you and the shirt laundress push like heroin to Rush.

    Bollinger's lecture was a disgrace to the nation, and he needs to learn how to STFU, no matter WHAT special-interest groups coerced him into making it.

    Ahmadinejad appeared to represent the interests of his nation and his people, and managed to present his case acceptably under impossibly uncomfortable circumstances, responding to questions and issues, unrehearsed, in a rational, coherent manner.

    Would anyone expect George W. Bush to ever handle rising to the same challenge?

    Besides, everyone saw on global television just who the protesters were...

    Methinks America is waking from her slumber.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 25 September, 2007 01:03  

  • Maybe "Muslims against Sharia" should learn how to act like Americans. We have that little thing called the 1st amendment, all the knee jerk reactionaries are shrieking about this speech and demanding the school to pay a price for exercising the 1st amendment?

    shame on you, for forgetting what this country is all about. SHAME ON YOU.

    Why would anyone in Columbia university (who Im sure are versed in the constitution) object to the appearance and speech?

    It is disturbing and sad to watch local NY politicans rally against free speech. Good for Columbia U, for not caving in.
    As far as Bollinger, he may have been harsh, but that is part of politcal discourse, I have no problem wuth what Bollinger did, WHAT I HAVE A PROBLEM with are the fake Americans protesting Columbia university and trying to cut off funds to a school that practiced FREE SPEECH.
    NY is the home of the UN. For decades we have had dictators and assorted "bad" guys appear in NY.
    This is nothing new. What is astonishing is the new willingness to urinate on the first amendment. The kids at Floridia U, submitted to this as well, as they watch FREE speech being TASERED by bully police thugs at that Kerry appearance, and they cheered the stifling of free speech. Amazing.

    What is it with you people?
    so scared of the "terrorist" your tossing the 1st amendment down the drain?

    The cowad American is the American who spits on the constitution because they are scared.
    That would be many on the right

    Muslims Against Sharia (which is probable a pimple faced white kid right winger running a blog) LEARN HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN.

    Free speech is the issue in this case. IF you cant handle someone like Ahmadinejad speaking, maybe you should move to Eurpope, where free speech is curtailed on a regular basis.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 25 September, 2007 09:42  

  • MoP,

    You do see the irony in telling someone to move to Europe for posting statements with which you disagreed right after you defended the 1st Amendment (which applies neither to Columbia University or to our discussion, really), don't you?

    By Blogger Snowed In, at 25 September, 2007 16:54  

  • How Did Jew-Friendly Persia Become Anti-Semitic Iran?
    Muslim, but not Arab, Iran protected its Jews from the Holocaust, but now questions that it ever happened. Once one of Israel’s closest Muslim allies, it now seeks to wipe the “Zionist entity” off the map. Tens of thousands of its Jews have left, yet it still boasts the largest Jewish population of any Muslim country. In an in-depth cover story (Dec. 2006), Moment magazine asks:

    How Did Jew-Friendly Persia Become Anti-Semitic Iran?

    By Blogger Unknown, at 26 September, 2007 08:34  

  • Minister of Propaganda,

    Not only you are a hypocrite (Ahmadinejad has the right to Free Speech, but we do not), you are also not that bright. Providing public forum to an enemy leader is providing aid and comfort to the enemy. It is a criminal offense. If the Feds had any balls, everyone responsible for Columbia mockery would have been charged by now. Unfortunately, this administration seems to unload in its pants every time a Democrat raises a voice.

    Absolutely The Most Brilliant Commentary on Ahmadinejad & Columbia (R-rated language)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 October, 2007 14:49  

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