Monday, September 24, 2007

Exercising freedom sometimes means exercising discretion

Ahmadinejad says there was no holocaust!

So, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in town. Not my town, thank goodness; he is in New York instead, and it appears that he will have a busy agenda there. He will be speaking at Columbia University and at the United Nations.

I am all for free speech, freedom of movement, and even the freedom to be an idiot. What I don't understand is what useful purpose will be served by having someone as clueless (or as calculatingly incendiary) as
Ahmadinejad given a forum at a prestigious university. For every intelligent student and other interested party listening to his speech, there will be a lunatic who will applaud every bit of anti-American and anti-Israel drivel spouted by this madman. Let's forget everyone's legitimate preoccupation with the Iraq war for a moment, and whether the United States should be there at all, and consider the man's broader message of hate and intolerance.

Ahmadinejad has every right to be an idiot. Iranians and others have every right to support him and even to believe his holocaust denials and other ravings. I'm not sure though, that thinking individuals should give the man a pulpit from which he can further incite other lunatics, either here in North America or abroad.

Maybe that's the problem: There isn't enough thinking going on.


  1. I think your last line summed it up; just not enough thinking going on. I think this is the pandemic we should be most worried about.

  2. I think some of the bigger idiots are the people who invited him to speak (in America) in the first place.

  3. I quite agree. Even if the outcome at Columbia turned out to be something of a flogging, I just don't think he deserved a platform on American soil. His stand on the topic of homosexuality alone is enough to make me want him kept out of my country. Yeah, I know we're hip-deep in bigots and haters over here, but 99.9999999% of our bigots and haters don't go out killing gay people for being gay. This really gets my blood up.

  4. I was amused to read the Iranian take on it all on one of their news websites. In their version, there was a standing ovation, rapt students asking interesting questions, and no mention whatever of protests, etc.

    I hate top-down censorship, where we are told what we can or cannot do or say. I just wonder why, simply because we can, we have to do every silly and ill-conceived thing we can think of. I'm not just speaking of this bozo's visit to Columbia, but to things in general.

  5. THINKING individuals didn't provide the forum, demagogues did.
    On American college campuses, what passes for "free speech" is only what the socialism proponents in charge agree with. Anything outside their agenda is "politically incorrect" at best, or branded "hate speech" should it deviate too far from orthodoxy.
    "A-mad-jihad" is radically anti-American, and was thus provided a soap box because his rhetoric jives with establishment jingoism. What the idiots hosting him don't get is, he would have killed every one of them as slowly as possible for an encore, and enjoyed every minute of it.

    We are not committed to victory over such men, but they make no bones about their resolve to prevail. We ignore it at our peril.

  6. Ahmadinejad is not IRANIAN president any more