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Ahmadrive y’all crazy

ahmadinejadAlways up for controversy, Bwog perked up this morning at a Spectator headline declaring that President Ahmadinejad of Iran had been invited to speak at Columbia. We soon e-mailed Public Affairs Director Robert Hornsby to see if he could save a seat for us, and minutes later recieved this response:

“Event was never scheduled. – Rob H.”

That confused us. Even more confusing is the recently posted Spectator web update, which tells of how SIPA administrators didn’t have time to check with World Leaders Forum staff before inviting the Iranian leader, and in fact de-invited him because they couldn’t mobilize enough security.

In the interim, a predictably indignant New York Sun article noted that the Columbia VP for Public Affairs denied last night that Ahmadinejad had been invited in the first place. And LionPAC posted signs all over campus inciting protest.

So, PrezBo. You could provide security at last year’s World Leaders Forum for the presidents of Iraq, Pakistan, and Venezuela (although Chavez bowed out), but not Iran? Why didn’t a normally media-savvy administration get its story straight?

And LionPAC, calm down. We survived when the Iranian foreign minister came a few years ago. Meanwhile, Bwog enjoyed this morning’s presentation by the entire government of Papua New Guinea…

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  • Xenophia says:

    @Xenophia But Joe, this seems like a song that would promote cultural understanding:

  • Wait! says:

    @Wait! Actually, it looks like Xenophia might be a band rather than a venue. I can understand how that would distort our views on the Middle East.

  • DHI says:

    @DHI According to Joe over here, Jews have “myopic xenophia.” Near as I can find, Xenophia appears to be an Italian Electronica/Dance venue. If us Jews would start thinking about something other than going to Italy for shitty dance music, I’m sure we would better be able to analyze Israel’s treatment of Lebanon, by far the most relevant topic when discuss Ahmadinejad.

  • the funny thing is says:

    @the funny thing is that coming here and having this “criticize Israel and get blackballed” effect actually makes one more annoyed with Israel than before. I have to say that my opinion of Israel has been changed for the worse over my time here.

  • well says:

    @well the title’s cute, but not genius because it depends upon the mispronounciation of his name.

    and israel has every right to be criticized. i am never surprised, though always disappointed, at the blind support it garners on this campus. and it always becomes a pointing of fingers at the other side instead of admitting israel’s failures and injustices.

  • Jeez says:

    @Jeez If Israel is the most ethical country in the middle east, we are fucked. The Jew bashers and the fanatical Israel apologists {besides the military occupation and deadly focre seriously look up some of the things Israeli leaders have said about “the arabs”) both need to shut up and stop arguing about who’s the bigger moron. Sometimes all people want to debate about here is what NOT to debate and that’s sickening, no matter who’s asking for it.

  • This campus says:

    @This campus is so skewed. It makes me sad. Last two posts are right on.

  • Joe is a moron says:

    @Joe is a moron Our friend Joe here is the typical Columbian who thinks it’s so fashionable and cool to be sooo liberal regardless of what that really means. You somehow shift the discussion about the evil that is Ahmadinejad and move the debate to (Shocking!!) bashing Israel. Well I don’t care if you are liberal or conservative, if you can honestly say that this man is not pure evil, if you can honestly say that he is a ‘rational actor’ than you have gone way way way off the deep end of some form of twisted liberalism. Somehow you are able to turn a blind eye to the disgusting words of this disgusting man and still have the nerve to criticize Israel – without a doubt the most liberal and ethical country in the Middle East. Shame on you Joe.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous It was only a matter of time before some moron pulled the “OMG EVIL ISRAEL” card…

    The fundamental difference, Joe/Charles, is that Israel doesn’t have a policy of proclaiming that the killing of 6 million people was a “myth,” nor does it wish an entire ethnic group purged. I’d be willing to bet you most Columbia Jews are in favor of a peaceful, two-state solution.

  • Joe says:

    @Joe You jews need to get a grip and listen. If you think Ahmadinejad is an irrational actor in the middle east and worry so endlessly about his pursuit of nuclear technology, analyze, if it is feasible through your myopic xenophia, Israel’s imbecilic and irrational lashing of Lebanon–coupled with the fact that their arsenal of pawns is partly composed of nuclear warheads.

    Get a grip.

    1. "You Jews"? says:

      @"You Jews"? Ugh. Hooray for broad indictments of entire religious groups (because, of course, we all think exactly the same. We get the coded messages from the International Zionist Conspiracy in tiny antennae hiding in our horns). Ignoring the ad hominem, though, your arguement it still pretty flawed. Israel has never once tried to wipe any natioin ‘off the map’ – just not what we do. Not what most nations do. I’m sorry, but I’m really quite sure that Columbia doesn’t condone genocide, that most heinous of crimes available to a humanity set on debasing itself, and it oughtn’t invite one of its chief advocates to come speak. What if it wasn’t Ahmadinejad, but Pol Pot? Even Stalin, for that matter? Free speech is one thing, but genocide? Honestly now.

  • Orr says:

    @Orr It could entail caps, sarcasm, and something like reply # 20. Some people might like a chance to hear or judge for themselves, no matter who the speaker is or what people have already been saying. He wouldn’t be the first leader to say something idiotic, racist, extremist- why that’s closer to home than I realized.

  • silence says:

    @silence where is the outrage from the jewish community. a few fliers from lionpac. where is the official condemnation from the establishment, hillel?!

    it seems absolutely outrageous that even the fact of his invitation, especially on the eve of the jewish high holiday, has not elicited the united voice of the jewish community. im shocked and disapointed.

  • rachel says:

    @rachel wow, the PRESIDENT OF IRAN. I am truly starstruck. wouldn’t it be neat to see him exercise his influence in world affairs with nuclear weapons? i’d jump at the opportunity to see a star like him at work.
    See, i can be openminded too. But I can also be judgmental, and sometimes I like to judge so I can prove to myself that I actually have a brain.

  • rachel says:

    @rachel wow, the PRESIDENT OF IRAN. I am truly starstruck. wouldn’t it be neat to see him exercise his influence in world affairs with nuclear weapons? i’d jump at the opportunity to see a star like him at work.
    See, i can be openminded too. But I can also be judgmental, and sometimes I like to judge so I can prove to myself that I actually have a brain.

  • i can't believe says:

    @i can't believe no one has said what a fabulous headline that is yet.

  • Why says:

    @Why are Columbians so narrow-minded and closed to any views different from their own? I agree that the guy is basically a prick, but hello, he’s the PRESIDENT OF IRAN. Even if I don’t agree with him, I’d jump at the opportunity to actually see him talk about his views just because he’s so influential in world affairs.

  • Ehh says:

    @Ehh We’ve had as bad or worse over to speak. It would have been great to engage him in debate.

  • I honestly says:

    @I honestly wouldn’t have minded seeing him

  • sugar says:

    @sugar There were definitely guys in suits and earpieces wandering around Low today.

  • Erf says:

    @Erf The problem with bringing Ahmadinejad to speak isn’t so much that he holds controversial viewpoints, but rather that he’s notorious for giving selectively inconsistent messages. See his 60 Minutes interview for a prime example of this behavior.

  • Jack says:

    @Jack He was invited. This was confirmed, and it was reported. While he accepted the invitation, the logistics of an event this size can’t simply be worked out with the snap of a finger. It would seem that CU tried to do so, and couldn’t to the satisfaction of themselves and the Iranian Embassy on such short notice. So it was never scheduled [per Hornsby’s one liner]. It does not appear that there’s a larger conspiracy here, no un-inviting, I just think people are confused as to how to best connect the dots.

    All above regardless of any opinion as to whether or not he should speak or in what forum.

  • Ktoo says:

    @Ktoo That’s really very sad if they actually invited him only to un-invite him, after Bollinger’s strong words. Especially considering Bollinger’s field. How odd.

  • Grow Up says:

    @Grow Up I don’t get it. If you think he’s a rotten guy, wouldn’t you jump at the chance to take him to task about it? Not that he would have come anyway, but I’m certain that Columbia students would have asked him tough questions. I for one would have been interested to hear him clarify his positions on Israel and the Holocaust. Isn’t this the reason we go to this school anyway?

    1. rachel says:

      @rachel Ahmadinejad is arguably one of the most evil people running free today, and with the technology he is amassing he has the power to do things much worse than Hitler ever did. It is not just that he is in support of Hezbollah–he has also made comments about “wiping Israel off the map” and was openly skeptical about the existence of the Holocaust and the legitimacy of Israel’s existence. there is evidence that he is now working with russian scientists to create a nuclear bomb that can go clear to California. He calls it “peaceful nuclear technology,” whatever that means. The fact that my parents are paying 40 grand a year to fund a platform for him and his hateful cause makes me ill. And it is very likely that scheduling this event on the eve of the jewish new year was a clever way to avoid jewish protests. sometimes i’m ashamed to go to a school like this. It’s too bad newsfeed garnered more protest.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Uh, do you honestly think it’s possible to have a meaningful discussion with someone whose platform is to wipe Israel off the face of the planet?

      Disagree with anybody at Columbia and suddenly it’s OMG U HATE FREE SPEECH LOLLLZZZZ!!!!1

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I see no such web update. Link is broken.

  • A-non says:

    @A-non I don’t get it…The original Spec article says they confirmed with university sources about his invitation. Which sources, eh?

    1. it says says:

      @it says he was invited, not that he was coming. Read both articles

    2. explanation says:

      @explanation He was invited. That was confirmed Wednesday by both Bollinger’s statement and David Stone, the CU communications guy. According to the SIPA communications guy, he accepted. Then, today, he was basically un-invited.

  • Kevin says:

    @Kevin By bringing the president of Iran to CU, we would be giving him yet another legitamate stage for his hatefull messages. The UN was more than enough, and he does not deserve the chance to spread his lies on our campus. We should be bringing a diverse spectrum of world leaders, not irrisponsible world terrorists.

    1. Michael Chan says:

      @Michael Chan I agree with Kevin, but even more importantly, it is not worth spending university time and resources on such a dispicable figure.

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