Sep

24

Here we go – The Liveblog

Written by

jhgFind CNN’s Live Feed here!

The speech is starting, and it’s like a movie: Coatsworth asked everyone to turn off their cell phones and to stay seated, lest the Secret Service get all up on their asses.

1:50: Bwog has been chased out of Hamilton. Unbelievably, people are still in class. Inside, someone threw a pen.

1:57: Prezbo is talking: “Why are you so afraid of Iranian citizens expressing their opinions, for change?” Proposes that he go talk to the universities in Iran, to huge applause. 

Prezbo called Mahmoud a cruel and petty dictator, plus ridiculous and uneducated. Ouch. 

Now he’s asking why Mahmoud is fighting a proxy war in Iraq, and goes on with a litany of complaints. The audience’s heart swells with pride.

Hi Gothamist! 

2:03: PrezBo finishes. Oh god–Mahmoud is up. 

2:08: Ahmedinejad starts with thanks to God, and then complains about the conditions of the invitation.

“I am grateful to God for allowing me to be in an academic environment…At the outset, I want to complain a little but.”

“In Iran…We don’t think it’s necessary before the speech is even given, to come in with a series of claims.”

“He certainly took more than the allocated time to speak, and that’s fine with me.”

“In many parts of the speech, there were many insults, and claims that were incorrect, regretfully.”

sdfs2:10: Now he’s going on about Angels and the Almighty. Bwog is confused.  

2:12: From a guy on the lawn: “Either he’s stoned or the translator is.”

Fittingly, the translator is a woman.

2:15: He’s spent the last 5 minutes talking about how great science is.

“Science means rightness. Real science is the science that rescues humans from ignorance. It is the light that sheds on the hearts of those that have been selected by the Almighty.”

2:18: Hi City Room!

Uh oh, now he’s warning that scientists need to be pure, or else bad shit will happen. The Lawn has turned into a sea of confused faces.

2:25: Moving on to WMD.

“Making weapons of mass destruction is yet another misuse of science. Without the cooperation of certain scientists, we would not have witnessed the production of chemical and biological weapons…If nuclear war wages, what human catastrophe will take place?”

“These catastrophes take place only when scholars and scientists are misused.”

Some rich countries want to keep the other nuclear powers down, he says.

Hi Dems! 

2:27: Wow, first applause when he starts to talk about Palestine other than when he came out originally. And by the way, he considers himself an academic. He teaches classes, he says, at a graduate level.

“You know quite well that Palestine is an old wound. For 60 years, these people are displaced.”

Oh shit, now we’re on to the Holocaust.

“Why is there not sufficient research that can approach the event from different perspectives?” Says that people have been put into jail for trying to research it in different ways. “Why isn’t it open to all forms of research?”

jhg“Given this historical event is a reality…why is it that the Palestinian people are praying the price for an event they had nothing to do with?”

2:32: Mahmoud decries injustice in how Iran can’t develop nuclear weapons. Look, we’ve obeyed the IAEA! “Two or three selfish powers want to deny the Iranian people their right.”

2:35: “We are a peace-loving nation. We love all nations.” OK, he’s down.

2:37: A question: do you want the destruction of the state of Israel? Yes or no.

Mahmoud COMPLETELY ignores the question.

 “Is the Palestinian issue not an issue of international concern? Please tell me, yes or no?” is his sassy reply. Then, “Our solution is a free referendum…let the people of Palestine choose what they want in the future.”

2:39: Hi Gawker!

2:41: Why do you provide support for terrorism?

Welll….we don’t, you do! “We were the first nation to object to terrorism, and the first to uphold the need to fight terrorism….We need to address the root causes of terrorism.

It’s quite clear which powers incite terrorism, fund them.”

“We don’t need to resort to terrorism, we’ve been victims of terrorism.”

Bwog is beginning to wonder why this man ever seemed so threatening. Mostly he’s just sort of bumbling and self-righteous.

Hi Ivygate! 

On capital punishment: “Don’t you have capital punishment in the US?” 

2:48: On women:

“Women in Iran enjoy the highest level of freedom.”

“Our nation has the highest level of participation in elections. 80-90% turn out for elections, over half of whom are women. So how can you say that they are not free?”

2:50: What about homosexuals?

“In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.”

That’s it. That’s really all he said. Some people booed and hissed.

And then he continued… “Women are the best creatures created by God. In Iran, every family that is given a girl is ten times happier than having a son.”

And they’re even lucky! “They are exempt from the legal responsibility of men.”

 2:52: Then he called New Yorkers self absorbed for not letting him come “show respect” at Ground Zero. He references the Iran-Iraq war in the 80’s a couple of times; he keeps doing this throughout the speech although crowd members look like they don’t know what he’s talking about…

Hi again Gawker! 

 2:57: Bwog was really excited when Ahmadinejad said he was going to tell a joke! “I think the politicians who are after atomic bombs are politically backward, retarded.” The Iranian delegation chuckled amongst themselves; it seems things are certainly lost in translation. Also, “We don’t believe in nuclear weapons, period.”

Ha?

jj3:02: “Come and speak with our university students. You are officially invited.” Also, “I announced that I am ready to engage with Mr. Bush…it shows we want to talk.” He makes an earnest face and raises his hands; faces in the crowd are skeptical.

Bwog is nearly out of battery and needs to pee. The exit music, as people pour off South Lawn, is Jack Johnson’s “Better together.”

– Blogged by LBD, with text messages and pictures from SEV, KER, and JDC.

Tags:

172 Comments

  1. ...  

    alright. this is the game thread?

  2. good work, bwog  

    bwog just killed like three good comments.

    good job, bwog.

  3. holy moley

    Bollinger's giving a good speech...unbelievable

  4. can anyone  

    liveblog for those of us stuck in class in Mudd with no Flash to watch the simulcast?

  5. wow  

    bollinger is killing him. this is insane.

  6. this is awesome

    i heart bollinger. amazing. no holds barred

  7. amazing  

    jesus christ bollinger has brass balls to do this.

  8. geez

    who knew bollinger had a sack

  9. whoa

    PrezBo says: I'm in ur speech, pwning ur ballz

  10. McFister

    Bollinger is my hero.

  11. that last line

    just...wow...

    ho. lee. shit.

  12. my god  

    mahmoud came out to golf claps. that was great.

  13. whoa again

    Who's translating, and where is she?

  14. EPIC  

    mahmoud is trashing prezbo right now.

  15. uhhh

    Why is everyone applauding his condemnation of how Bollinger called him out on his record of human rights? WTF

  16. ...  

    wow. mahmoud must be on his period.

  17. argh  

    i can't believe i'm missing this. fuck macroecon.

  18. lolz

    Hahaha, PrezBo hurt his feelings

  19. I HAVE NO IDEA

    WTF is he talking about? The importance of scholarship? I don't get it, this is like Hitler talking about tap-dance. I am totally lost.

  20. christ on a cracker  

    would he shut the fuck about the almighty. jesus christ (almighty). talk about avoiding the issues.

  21. wow  

    gee. he's looking really great going on there spending at least 15 minutes on the koran. it's so bad i'm close to turning this off.

    what the hell is he talking about.

  22. Towelie

    ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, DUMBASS!

  23. this is terrible  

    i expect no stage rush since he's clearly putting everyone to sleep.

  24. yawn

    This speech is nothing but a collection of adjectives. I'm bored as hell.

  25. McFister

    The instructions for my nuclear devices are found in the Koran.

  26. or maybe

    It's hiding a subtext of nuclear war?

  27. McFister

    A rant against materialism. Big surprise.

  28. pffft

    "as long as the human heart is not freed from hatred..." lolz

  29. McFister

    A friend says: "what does this guy have against ties, is it a display of material corruption?"

  30. to be fair  

    he's such a spiffy dresser through.

    but this "speech" is... bad.

  31. Towelie

    This is so boring I'm going to go clean my shower. Seriously. See ya, onomatopoeia.

  32. oh i see  

    oh alright. he's trashing the united states right now.

  33. Michelle

    As a Columbia parent, I'm proud of the university for standing up for free speech. Nice work! Great to confront Ahmadinejad in person. Too bad he doesn't speak to schools in Iran, as PrezBo suggests.

  34. McFister

    Sheesh. This is freshman-level stuff.

  35. ok. we'll

    have to wait for questions...

    its apparent he wanted to use the original speech as a justification for a nuclear program and what he feels in monopolization of scientific developments by 'big powers'

  36. Oh, Bwog  

    "2:12: From a guy on the lawn: "Either he's stoned or the translator is."

    Fittingly, the translator is a woman."

    Woman... stoned... I see what you did there, haha.

  37. ZvS  

    What the crap was he talking about, aside from that vague nuclear threat? This is dull like dishwater.

  38. ...  

    uh oh. he just pulled out the p-card.

    [palestine]

  39. here we go

    Here's the Israel rant!

  40. and also

    ...Since when have Jews wanted to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates?

    I love how he pulls out the woman and children card to make him seem so caring...

  41. ...  

    oh. and here's the h-card.

    [holocaust]

  42. pfffffffftards

    Wow, who knew Ahmadinejad's such a champion of free speech when it comes to Holocaust deniers? If only he could extend that openness to his own people!

  43. wrong!

    He's saying the Holocaust is responsible for Zionism? Uh, no, look of Theodore Herzl, prick. That's before the Holocaust.

    And if he thinks Christians, Jews, and Muslims live in harmony all over the rest of the world, come to where I live...

  44. to be fair,

    The translator's whiny voice doesn't really help his argument.

  45. ptffffffffffffffffff  

    He's still whining about Bollinger going over his time...

  46. Zionist's ANSWER!

    WHY IS IT THAT THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ARE PAYING THE PRICE FOR AN EVENT THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH?

  47. ...  

    holy shit. he just slipped english in. wow i hate this guy now.

  48. whenever I see him

    I'm going to imagine him speaking in this voice. Forever.

  49. fercrissakes

    YES OR NO ANSWER

  50. hmmm

    Next question: "Are you capable of answering me without turning it back into a question?"

  51. god damn

    columbia sipa douches..applaud when can't answer yes or no even though the dean answers his question yes or no

    and god damn our students questions are so retarded. they're open ended and he can just say 'its not true' to every one of them

  52. ...  

    this event really didn't live up to the expectations. what a waste.

    i'm going to hamdel.

  53. Anonymous

    I think he's been reading the GOP play book, Karl Rove edition. Act indignant that the question was raised; answer a different question; suggest that the questioner is trying to oppress you.

  54. he's making no sense

    "Women in Iraq are completely free," then he starts asking us about the drug trade...WTF. Answer the freakin' question.

  55. what a dumbass!  

    HE JUST DENIED HOMOSEXUALITY IN IRAN

  56. by god  

    LOLOL THEY DONT HAVE HOMOSEXUALS IN IRAN

  57. this is officially

    a f'ing failure and now a piece of propaganda...ahmadinejad hasn't answered a question directly..routinely avoids the question to take pot shots at the US. While sipa asses applaud him.

    Great. the only time we boo him is when he claims iran doesn't have homosexuals

    and now he's extolling the merits of women in a completely unrelated diatribe

    • Towelie

      And this is why I opposed him speaking...because DID ANYONE HONESTLY THINK HE WOULDN'T ACT LIKE THIS? Of course he didn't say anything new or of earth-shattering clarity. He's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, FFS.

  58. it's sad

    There are no homosexuals in the entire country of iran? The holocaust never happened except for when it catalyzed the displacement of palestinians?

    I guess the iranian homosexuals and the holocaust victims are vacationing in Rio or something...

    How can an idiot like this have so much power?

  59. Anonymous

    He's still complaining about not being treated "with respect." Did he really think he would not encounter any direct criticism here in the Great Satan?

  60. MahmoudAdonis  

    He's a handsome guy, I'll give him that. Dude was made for television. He should have played Le Shiffre in Casino Royale.

  61. This questions

    are infantile, embarassing and never had a chance. I'm embarrassed for my peers.

  62. omg  

    Explain to me why these unemployed 27 year old shaggy haired SIPA virgins are applauding this man?

  63. ...  

    anyone know why there's no giant "COLUMBIA" or "WORLD LEADERS FORUM" anywhere on the stage? hell, it even looks like they covered up "COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY" on the podium. all i can think of is that they figured one day the image of him with "COLUMBIA" could substantially hurt the school.

  64. YEAAA  

    Women in Iran have plenty of jobs. Like cooking, cleaning, guarding the house 24 hours a day, and making sure a man's shadow is never unattended at a distance of 11 feet. Praise allah!

  65. bradpittinejad  

    Ahmadinejad is really hot. WOWIE ZOWIE.

  66. SPRING BREAK!  

    HOLY SHIT FREE TRIP TO IRAN.

  67. lawl  

    I'm in ur university denyin teh 'caust

  68. hey  

    at least bollinger gave a good speech. i think it's a worthy exercise, because his dodgy, factually absurd answers are placed in such stark contrast with people who use facts and think critically.

  69. wow

    He did not give an answer to ANY question. How anticlimactic. LAAAAME.

  70. that sucked  

    well done, to that overwhemling applause at the end.

    $50 says they pass over prezbo for the cheers on the news.

  71. whoa!

    Now CNN.com is showing dancing Jews!

  72. hey thar  

    As a gay Jewish woman I am extremely offended by Mahmoud's views, however I am extremely liberal and tolerant of other peoples and I hate our evil bigotry in the West so I am going to applaud Ahmadinejad. Also I go to SIPA, am 27 years old, haven't worked in 27 years and like eating tofu. KTHNXBAI

  73. quick question  

    after the question regarding homosexuals, was that "microbe" remark a sly reference to HIV?

  74. why the

    the heck didn't we ask any questions with his direct quotes in it?

    'you said the holocaust was a 'myth'. what did you mean?;'

    'you said israel should be 'wiped off the map'--what did you mean?'

    'you claimed the US is the 'great satan', what did you mean and how can you have a dialogue with the great satan?'

    'You've just claimed that everything needs research and that no theory is utterly beyond question---do you feel the same is true of your claim 'there is no homosexuality in iran' or do you feel that there should be debate about the truth of islam, muhammeed, religion---isn't it valid for people in your country to question that as well?'

  75. loloer  

    I'm in ur skewl insultin ur prez

  76. STOPIT  

    I'm sick of this racist hatred being spewed at this poor man. All he wants to do is slaughter Jews and homosexuals. That's part of their culture, and we are being racist by judging him!!!

  77. best moment:  

    "there are no homosexuals in Iran. it's a not a phenomenon we have"

    *COLLECTIVE LAUGHTER FROM EVERYONE ON SOUTH LAWN*

  78. Columbia Ex-Pat

    Does anyone know of a livefeed site that's going to post the video? Or a copy of PresBo's speech?

  79. honestly

    So, we've established that Mahmoud didn't say anything new, didn't answer any questions directly, and didn't speak with any kind of clarity. Basically, he contributed nothing to Columbia's campus discourse. And that was expected all along!!! Honestly, what was that retarded SIPA dean thinking when she invited Mahmoud? And why was she so hell-bent on having him, considering last year and the inevitable firestorm?

  80. FREEIRELAND  

    LEAVE IRELAND IRISH, IRELAND A NATION FREE AND IRISH, IRELAND UNFREE SHALL NEVER BE AT PEACE. FREEDOM FOR IRELAND.

  81. humiliation  

    is it possible the PR battle is a wash? laughing/booing humiliation vs. prestige of being invited?

  82. rob  

    I think it's a shame that when you finally get a chance to hear *directly* from from a person such as this, you immediately ignore everything he says. I don't know how/when he made the original statements about Israel/the Holocaust, but I would be extremely surprised if they were presented to the American public in their original context, and without a ton of negative spin. Due to this, nobody I have talked to about the event had any interest in actually listening to him, and instead of being a learning opportunity (maybe even a chance to start some peaceful dialog...!?) it ended up being a bunch of close-minded people sitting around ignoring a shitty translation.

  83. pleashutupbro  

    what is this moron talking about on campus. i dont think america has that many human rights abuses as iran. GET A JOB YOU MUTT

  84. Question:  

    Certainly, Mahmoud is an evil tyrant. That is clear.

    But as to his point concerning Israel, and specifically as to why Palestine--and not some other land--was given to the Jews of the world after the horrific genocide of WWII, what do people think? It seems as though he actually makes a valid point here. The influx of Jews into Palestine has resulted, at least in part, to 60 years of violence. By creating a homeland for Jews in Palentine (instead of carving away half of Germany, for instance), the WWII victors placed one tectonic plate against another. Shouldn't the architects of Israel bear some responsibility for the sixty years of violence that have occured?
    Again, I am not agreeing with Mahmoud. I only think that in this small case, he presents a somewhat valid argument.

    Responses?

    • no dude  

      He was asked whether or not he wanted to destroy Israel. That's a yes or no question. He basically said "yes", and tried to justify it based on his rant about Palestinians. That is clear to me. (Note: I speak Farsi. The translation there was fine.)

      • Jeff

        Yes, you're right that he was round-about in his description of wanting to destroy Israel. He took his most subtle approach, which is the "democracy" approach. He says, "let's let people vote for what they want!" knowing full well that if all of the Palestinians were allowed to vote that Israel would turn into yet another backwards third world terrorist theocracy (like Palestine is now). He bragged about Iran having one Jewish representative in its "congress" (I put it in quotes, because it has no real power other than to rubberstamp the authority of the religious council and the President), but surely he knows that Israel has a number of muslim MPs?

        • Ah, so

          democracy is not permissible if the deplorable, albeit democratic result is "Israel would turn into yet another backwards third world terrorist theocracy"

          • Jeff

            Yes, democracy is NOT permissible if it leads to cruel and unjust results. It's called the "tyranny of the majority." It's why we don't have a pure democracy in this country.

            If 51% of a country believes that homosexuals should be executed, would you support the country's decision to follow up on that and actually execute gays? I sure hope not. It's why we have a constitution in place to prevent such excesses of democracy.

            Similarly, when Britain captured Trans-Jordan from the Ottomans, they promised BOTH a jewiah and muslim state. In fact, they created two muslim states (Palestine and Jordan) and one Jewish state. The idea was so that Jews could have one spot where they could live without persecution.

            Jews that live in Israel have a right to walk around on the streets with "western" haircuts without being beaten from police. They have a right to not be executed if they dare to shave their beard (like what happens in Gaza, under Hamas).

            Surely you must agree?

  85. perspective  

    I had a rollicking good time when Mahmoud delivered the first 15 minutes of his speech in the finest of sermon forms, building up a series of metaphors hinting at his subject matter.

    its unfortunate that so many people look dumbfounded at any mention of the divine.

    instead appreciate the ridiculous sermon we just got.

    also- mahmoud got lol'd at for his comments on homosexuality.

    I sincerely believe we spend too much time asking the wrong questions. he's never going to answer the "wipe israel off the map question." ask him to elaborate why iran is so opposed to what they call zionism, and then call him out on facts instead of giving him an emotionally charged idelogical softball.

  86. nnnn  

    I've seen presbo dodge more questions than he did!

  87. Hey buddy  

    Rob: Get a job. Thanks.

  88. CML  

    Things I missed: a trite and random American Idol reference from PrezBo; the residual spirit of E. Alex Jung screaming "Ooh Jethuth, Jethuth Chritht" when Mahmoud uttered the homosexual comment.

  89. Youguysaresick  

    No, you don't understand. It's okay for a Middle-Eastern politician to believe in the Quran and apply it to his policies. We, as westerners, need to tolerate this! We are each responsible for hundreds of years of imperialism and hatred. Therefore it's worse than Hitler when an American politician vaguely references the bible. But it's so cool and diverse and urban when I see a Middle Eastern man quoting the Quran! I love Islam! It's so cool and different from anything I grew up with in Ohio!

  90. Jeff

    His idea of the Palestinians being "punished" for the Holocaust is absurd. The creation of Israel has nothing to do with the Holocaust. The British had promised BOTH the jews and muslims a country in the land. The Jews actually got less of the land (in terms of percentage of population) than the muslims. And within hours of the creation of the country, had to survive a war brought on them by several well-trained and professional armies. They earned their right to be there. It has nothing to do with the Holocaust.

  91. HA!

    Before he came, all the self-righteous nutjobs were whinging about how providing Ahmadinejad a podium "legitimized" him.

    Bull fucking shit.

    He made a total ass out of himself.

    Given his "talk", giving him a primetime newscast on every network wouldn't have "legitimized" him.

  92. he had to leave  

    cuz i was goin to the club to attract some american hunnies by doin the soulja boy dance...can't a brother get some love?

  93. Jeff

    And the idea of Ahmadinejad having his speeches manipulated by the US media... go watch the speeches themselves. Plenty of stuff is available online. In fact, it's the opposite of what you think - he catered THIS talk for his audience. For example, when speaking in Iran he often talks about how the Holocaust was a myth or that atleast it wasn't nearly as bad as the Jews made it out to be. But when speaking today, he said nothing of the sort, and merely went on a vague rant about "continuing research", as if there aren't any professors at American Universities still studying the Holocaust. Hasn't he heard of the Shoah project?

    He was gearing his speech towards his audience, which he knew wouldn't support his actual policies, but would support someone who hates the US. So he diverted questions into bashing the US, like implicitely calling them terrorists and refusing to acknowledge how many Iranian weapons are in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine right now.

  94. youalreadyknow  

    okay first of all, yas is getting muhfuggin emotion. this mayn a muhfuggin gangsta he get that money, BRAPP BRATT

  95. the  

    (probably too optimistic) way I interpreted the whole Israel thing was more a symbolic one and can be applied to any country: if we get rid of the notion of "country" we are all countrymen, and can be peaceful with each other instead of killing based on geographic labels.

    • Jeff

      That isn't what Ahmadinejad wants. The theocratic nuts who fixed the election to put him in power do not want a "peaceful world where all religions can live together." People who do not believe in Islam are not welcome. They are all to be forcibly converted or killed.


      Israel exists as a sanctuary in the middle of hell for those who still support freedom, and for those who oppose persecution on the basis of religion, creed, or anything else. It is a tiny area filled with sand, with no oil, where Jews know they can live without fear of fundamentalist tyrrany.

      For the muslims who want to live in fundamentalist tyrrany, you can live in the other 99% of the middle east. And most of it has oil, so you can make some money also.

      The land of Israel is not the holiest spot in the muslim religion. Its only claim to fame is the rock that Muhamed supposedly went to Heaven on, but as most any archaeologist would tell you, this is a dubious claim at best. Despite the Koran giving no information about where this rock was (other than that it was in the "west"), it took only a few decades for muslim "scholars" to declare that the rock sitting on the holiest site in the Jewish faith was the spot. It was intended to spit in the eyes of the Jews and deligimize their religion. A side intention, as many scholars will tell you, was to create tourism and wealth for the region. It was a shrewd business by muslims living in that area, which brought in millions of pilgrims..

      Besides, the Israeli government allows muslim authorities to control all muslim landmarks. None are touched or harmed or controlled in any way. The only religious landmarks that are destroyed are Jewish landmarks that fall into the hands of terrorists.

  96. Ahmadinejad  

    (In the female translator's voice) : It's not a crime to be a woman.

    You tell 'em, sweetie.

  97. badabing  

    I gotta admit, I like America more and more every day. Because homosexuals don't get stoned, everyone in the whole world wants to live here, women can drive, dissenters are allowed to talk, and I can eat as much pussy as I want. I bet Ahmedininieednienidejad is at Outback Steakhouse right now with some YeungLing and a copy of barely legal. BADABING

  98. president bush says:  

    Ahmadinejad's visit "speaks volumes about really the greatness of America."

    lol south lawn was so inspiring. i had, like, shivers.

    • Eh?  

      Was that sarcasm? The South Lawn crowd actually really did impress me, and seemed to be paying good attention and discussing. I think it's pretty clear that while one or two of Ahmedinejad's talking points emerge from some sort of intellectual foundation (admittedly, the plight of the Palestinians is a difficult one, and the US certainly did fuck over Iran), his arguments are so bald-facedly hypocritical that they're impossible to address in anything resembling a logical manner.

      Not to violate Godwin, but it's the Big Lie. Iran is a country of freedom and scholarship. Except when it isn't. There are no gays there. Free speech solves everything. Except in Iran.

      Or, better, as Khrushchev put it back in the day: "It's appropriate for Russia to broadcast propaganda into America, because your laws allow it. It's not appropriate for you to do it to us." [not a direct quote]

  99. an obvious one...

    "Because homosexuals don't get stoned"

    I sure know a bunch who do.

    oooh, you meant literally.

  100. Layla  

    Bollinger's speech gave me chills. Well done, Prezbo, I had my doubts about how far you'd go and you far exceeded my expectations.

    Favorite:
    "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator...you are either brazenly ignorant, or astonishingly uneducated." -Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  101. FACT CHECK!!!

    BWOG DOESN'T KNOW WHAT IT's talking about... "Iran-Iraq war in the 70s"....

    Speaking of ignorance, you guys don't even know the decade of a war where about 500,000 people died and over a million were injured/maimed with weapons supplied by the US, Russia, & Europe...

    That death toll makes the last few years look like a stroll through a garden

  102. enoughisenough  

    Islam is a dangerous religion and it's high time we throw tolerance out the window and admit it rather than demonizing its critics as evil thick-skulled Christian men. Christianity in it's purest form doesn't deserve such an insult.

  103. All I needed...

    "Yes, democracy is NOT permissible if it leads to cruel and unjust results."

    Slippery slope there, bud.

    I suspect you are a first-year, or you didn't pay attention in CC.

    • Jeff

      Where did you learn to dismiss someone's argument by trying to jump to conclusions and attack their character? You certainly must either be a first year or someone who slept through CC.

      The fact is that there have to be basic rights. The right to free speech, the right to free thought, the right to free expression. These must be sacrosanct, even if 51% of the population doesn't like them.

      This is why we DON'T live in a democracy. We live in a Republic, where we elected our leaders freely but give them a few rules to live by. The constitution keeps the tyrrany of the majority from creating unjust laws.


      Similarly, the Jews were guaranteed a state in Israel, in writing, 90 years ago. And even if you forget that, they fought a war of independence to keep their land. They have a right to have a free society, where they are free to practice their religion and (much more importantly) NOT practice their religion.


      Like I said, for those muslims that WANT to live in a fundamentalist dictatorship, they have plenty of choices. There is only one tiny sliver of land that the Jews have, and it's so tiny because they don't desire any more, not because they can't take it. They have given back huge swaths of land for peace (Sinai desert, anyone?) and are willing to continue to do so. All they want is peace from terrorists and their abettors (like Ahmadinejad).

  104. nah  

    i wasn't being sarcastic. it was actually really cool. the standing ovation, the response to the homosexuality section, american faculty being invited to iran...

    people did seem confused about the religious imagery tho.

  105. bwog

    bwog -- way to completely feed into American dogmatic rhetoric... it's so embarrasing that the questions asked were so drenched in fear and arrogance. why couldn't Prezbo grow some real balls and not ask all the questions that were asked on the 60 minutes that aired last night? oh, right, because then the media would be all over that!

    such a disappointment on the part of the moderators... Ahmadinejad should have been asked more plausibly answerable questions so that he wouldn't insist on explaining how the questions he was being asked were insulting to him. Like.. you know... a real forum?

  106. Jeff,  

    please shut up. Just shut up. Stop spewing bile.

    If you think the Holocaust had nothing to do with the creation of Israel, then you are retarded. Unfortunately, Ahmedinejad is mostly right in what he says about Palestine.
    The real question is, what the fuck does Iran have to do with Palestine anyway? Why should he (Ahmadinejad) care?

    • Jeff

      I'm replying here to the rude poster who also used the name "Jeff" but chose this forum to use poor language and even poorer logic and grasping of the facts.

      During World War I, the British needed both Jewish and Muslim help to defeat the Ottomans in the middle east. They signed written documents assuring both groups of a country after the Ottomans were defeated. From this, came the creation of Palestine, Israel and Jordan out of British-controlled Trans-Jordan, and Lebanon and Syria out of French-controlled Syria.

      The Holocaust gave sympathy to the Jews, but it didn't change the fact that the British were never going to cede all of that land to the muslims. It would have been in clear violation of their agreements.

      And whatever the British chose didn't matter anyway, because Israel lasted 24 hours before it was attacked by every muslim country within 500 miles. The lines drawn for Israel, therefore, have always been drawn by war. The 1948 lines after the war are different from the lines originally drawn up by England and the UN. Israel continued to gain more land through each war (none of which they were the aggressor in), while ceding back a bunch of other land in exchange for peace.

      As for your question about why Ahmadinejad cares about Israel, it's the same reason why all of the fundamentalists in that region care about Israel. It is an embarrassment. In 1948 it fought a war without the direct help of any other nation, and yet defeated massively superior muslim armies. Since then it has turned a desert into a blooming first-world wealthy liberal democracy. Eilat was a single run-down building in 1948. Fifty years later it was a huge resort town that rivals Cancun. Meanwhile, every country surrounding it is still mired in poverty. Israel has succeeded in every facet of development (similar to Germany and Japan after the second world war, and South Korea after the Korean conflict) while the muslim countries have failed. This is an embarrassment. Ahmadinejad can't explain to his people why he's sitting on a mountain of oil and yet his countrymen are so poor compared to the Israelis, who survive with no oil and daily terror attacks.

  107. ooo, and...

    I like how no one on this thread points out that some racist fuck is going by the name of "towelie"...

    People are too busy being revolted by another man's hate and racism to even notice their own biggotry...

    • or youre

      a retarded moron who has no idea of anything in pop culture.

      Google 'south park + towelie' and then realize that you should get off the internets now MORAN

      • or...

        Or maybe I'm a middle easterner who is a little on edge... Also, used in this context, I'm not sure what a talking towel has to do with anything... I think the implication I took from that in this context is not completely off base...

        And excuse me for being a little oversensitive on this topic... and hey, if other racial/religous groups can be oversensitive I think I will be too...

  108. GQ Magazine  

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really was dashing. At tonight's event he was dressed conservatively yet exuded a certain amicability with his lilting collar and subtly textured shirt; albeit sporting a touch of muted 60's attitude and British properness ala Michael Caine, he left his audience enthralled in this handsome figure who most certainly did not dress the part of the vicious dictator - read: Kim Il Jung. His speech, marked with gentlemanly gestures and charming smiles left many young women - even those of Jewish faith - fluttering in the same manner as the time when Will Smith descended upon Columbia's campus.

  109. Anonymous  

    I do not condone Ahmadinejad’s human rights abuses, & I’m all for nice polite discussions or heated debates.
    Caveat out of the way…I’ve a minor contention: I wish the university reps stuck to discussing the issues and didn’t resort to name calling. It’s inappropriate in an academic setting; moreover, Ahmadinejad’s right on one thing: He was our guest and one from a conservative culture!

  110. Yawn  

    Oh you mean a politician acted like a politician and a bunch of gullible fools got upset, ohmigod that's so interest -

    *falls asleep and dies*

  111. ...  

    am i the only person who is appalled by prezbo's opening remarks? it wasn't "ballsy" or "heroic," it was just ugly. even fox news was surprised. like it or not, he's an elected leader and we have to accord him that respect, regardless of whether or not we agree with his views. i cringed when he referenced our hostile welcome, because he's right. i feel like prezbo tried to appease his critics but ended up embarassing our school.

    • ...

      No, you're not the only person who feels that way... but probably are the minority in the way you feel in this thread/school...

      Prezbo had to cover his ass... By doing what he did he doesn't have to worry about donor backlash, etc... after all, he can't bite the hand that feeds him

    • Bollinger  

      Sorry, why do we have to give him that respect again? There's no point in goose-stepping around oppression... what, do we really have to preserve a world leader's feelings?

      • Anonymous  

        because we invited him to be our guest. his policies are fair game, but resorting to name calling is a bit fox news, no?

        • name calling

          he built up arguments and characterized ahmadinejad's actions based upon sourced references (everything from human rights watch to foreign service reports)

          I don't think you understand what name calling means. If you construct a sourced argument and characterize something based upon that it isn't name calling. 'Great Satan' is name calling

      • well...  

        there are certainly other ways to confront these kinds of issues. there's a whole art dedicated to it, and that's diplomacy. hateful invectives doesn't encourage dialogue, just fighting. by attacking ahmadinejad with extreme rhetoric, prezbo successfully set ahmadinejad up to appear a lot more tactful and reasonable, even victimized. in any case, common rules of decency dictate that it was no way to welcome a guest, much less an official.

        • hateful invectives?

          Bollinger provided sourced facts about him and asked him to address them and the way they seemed to characterize him. Much like bollinger suspected and even said, Ahmadinejad didnt answer a single question directly--despite even having his turnaround yes or no questions answered.

          Ahmadinejad came off as a blubbering idiot to anybody who actually paid attention to the content of the words in terms of fact and not just blind rhetoric. If you're a fan of spin rooms and gotcha journalism you might have though MA did a good job, but to most everyone else he was ludicrous.

          As for common rules of decency--ahmadinejad was accorded much more than Gilchrist and a person who has murdered your countries citizens and himself only has enough decency to propagandize your invitation and not answer any questions doesn't deserve any.

    • Anonymous  

      you're not alone on this! i too was a bit embarrassed.

    • logic

      As was hitler an elected leader.
      An elected leader can still lose their right to respect. Their actions & words can still put them in a defensive position. That's the case with Ahmadinejad - he deserves to be on the defensive b/c of what he's said & done to his people, Jews, international political bodies such as the UN. Bollinger was just making sure everyone understood that Ahmadinejad's was starting in a position of illegitimacy and disfavor.

      Also - I'm not sure Iran's "elections" are exactly equivalen to US elections. So he's probably entitled to less respect than an ordinary elected leader.

  112. Anonymous  

    but props to prez bo and co. for making this conversation possible

  113. Oh Well

    That was underwhelming. Now it's time for Columbia to return to obscurity (and lose lots of its fundraising potential)

  114. THAT'SIT!!  

    no more 28 year old SIPA women who refuse to shave their pits! NO MORE!!!

  115. Anyone else

    Notice the hostage negotiation unit truck on 113th?

  116. Well...

    The reason I'm not proud of Bollinger is that what he did achieves nothing other that fueling his own ego.

    I would be the first to criticise the Iranian regime. My family has had property taken from it, I have family friends who have been executed there or put in prison, and I fear for myself when I visit the country...

    But, Bollinger has done nothing constructive. If anything, by speaking as he did, in the eyes of Iranian culture he made himself look like a fool. The notion of treating ones guest a certain way is taken very seriously.

    As such, the criticisms he made, some of which I would say are very legitimate, lose their legitimacy in Iran.

    Though this is nothing new. Americans who like to think they are helping my peoples' cause often make such vitriolic statements against the government. But all that does is give the regime an ability to live on and get stronger since such statements get associated with the intrusive west.

    The only people who will constructively change Iran are Iranians (tho of course the country can be demolished by Americans but that's another story). But diatribes by Bollinger, Bush, or any other person only hurt the cause in Iran.

  117. Jeff

    As for the elections in Iran, it's certainly true that they aren't quite "free." First of all, the religious elite determine who can run or not. They hold they right to terminate any person's candidacy.

    And as for the specific election in which Ahmadinejad took power, there is overwhelming evidence that something shady happened. I was following the election in the weeks leading up to it, and he wasn't even on my radar. He was never higher than 4th or 5th in any poll that I saw. There were wide claims of improprieties (I assume Wiki has a page on this, so someone can look it up).

    Ahmadinejad and the regime he rules under is not popular at all. Polls show that Iranians like Bush as much as they like Ahmadinejad. They want to be western and cultured. For the most part, they dislike Arabs and hate terrorists. They don't want a war to be brought upon them because of a nuclear weapons program. They want jobs, and the right to be able to live their lives without a Morality Police beating them up.

    This regime is unstable and will not last long. A tragedy of a military strike, if it is deemed necessary, is that it could set back the anti-Islamic revolution years if not decades. Any attack on a country causes people to rally around the flag, and it hurts any revolutionary cause.

  118. Reality check

    One interesting point about PrezBo's intro and how the climate surrounding this affected it. Iran is a terrible state, but there's nothing it does wrong that Saudi Arabia doesn't do even worse. But would the king of Saudi Arabia have met with such vitriol? Clearly not.

    • Good point...

      Ya, or Pakistan... I was at the Mushariff event and Prezbo greeted him like he as a great advocate of democracy.

    • true  

      That's damn valid. I don't feel like that many CU students gave a crap about Iran a week ago, and Saudi Arabia is certainly worse. Still, I guess you don't go to the sundial with the dictator you want, you go with the dictator you have.

    • saudi arabia

      is certainly not attempting to acquire nuclear weapons in the same manner as iran and furthermore definitely is not supplying rogue militias in iraq with weapons or sending in revolutionary guards to kill innocents like iran is. oh yeah. i don't believe the main leader of saudi arabia has called america the 'great satan' and the us has been putting tons of pressure, sucessfully, on saudi arabia to crackdown

      but hey. these are just facts.

  119. fave part  

    Was when Mahmoud referred to homosexuality as a "phenomenon" - he also made that huge illicit drugs/the harm they do allegory before talking about homosexuality but never made the connection. Chris Kulawik's pock marks are the KEY!!!!

  120. nonsensical  

    it pains me but for once i have to agree with msnbc's chris matthews- bollinger dropped the ball not in inviting ahm. but in his opening remarks. he gave ahm. ample opportunity and reason to use his time to defend himself from the get-go against claims of being "petty" and possibly "uneducated." no chance for insightful conversation after this, none. bollinger should have extolled the virtues of free speech and stepped back and instead let ahm. MAKE HIMSELF look bad. this was a pr stunt pure and simple, for Iran and Columbia. no sense in debating content.

  121. roar lions  

    was anyone else caught off guard with the lionpac speech? it was actually the most well-spoken and cogent speech of the day.
    and that jacob guy a fox!

  122. so much for that

    bollinger is cheap.

  123. defenderoftruth

    It would have been dishonorable for Bollinger to do anything otherwise under the circumstances. Chris Matthews is, always has been, and always will be, an idiot. Pure and simple.

  124. defenderoftruth

    Bollinger had to make it clear that he did not intend to bestow any honor or dignity upon the Iranian president by inviting him to speak at that podium. He had to distinguish that little bastard from all of the other guests of the University.

  125. MSNBC critic

    Did anybody catch Pat Buchanan's little anti-Semitic remark about the presumptive donor base that President Bollinger was putatively trying to assuage by issuing that opening statement? Why do they keep that idiot on television?

    • ...

      What's anti-semitic about that remark? A large portion of this school's donor basis is offended by the invitation. PrezBo's opening defends him from any problems with these donors.

      Though let me be clear, I say the remark specifically... Pat Buchanan is Pat Buchanan

  126. sigh

    bollinger was in a damned if he does and damned if he doesn't situation. if he had been courteous in his opening remarks, he would have certainly been castigated all over the world as being a cowardly pansy legitimizing Ahmadinejad's views.

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