Mahmoud Ahmedinijad's lecture and Q&A at Columbia University turned out to be a farce. Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia, opened with an attack on his guest, calling him a petty and cruel dictator. Interesting. I thought being a petty and cruel dictator should bar a person from speaking at a university. When it came his turn to speak, the Iranian president said nothing new, except for the revelation that homosexuality doesn't exist in his country. Other than that, he pretty much repeated old mantras.
In the end, the event didn't do any harm, but it didn't do any good either. If anything, it harmed Ahmedinijad and Columbia University. It still should not have taken place. As could be expected, it did not turn into an intellectual dialogue. Bollinger and the audience insulted Ahmedinijad without really challenging him with specific questions. Ahmedinijad gave general replies, but didn't really answer anything.
A Christiane Amanpour interview with Ahmedinijad is scheduled to air Wednesday night on CNN. I hope she'll ask him the pointed questions that should be asked, like what specific aspects of the Holocaust have not been researched - a question he probably won't have a good answer for.
The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P.
3 weeks ago