Perhaps President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a little taken aback to be diminished by a university chancellor, no matter how qualified. It was an extraordinary snub on the face of it, a foreign President visits and instead of finding a path to resolve differences it appears that the Iranian President was reduced, by diplomatic snub. It was not however delivered by the US Government (well, not visibly).
It is the aggressive stance made by Lee Bollinger, Chancellor of the University of Columbia (within the diplomatic 25 mile circle) the man who invited President Ahmadinejad to speak, and opened by calling him no less than an uneducated and dangerous tin pot leader, or words to that effect. In the eyes of the Iranian people, this is seen as bullying – and that meme
should extend into accepting that it was the very intention of it, that the snub not be delivered by anyone of rank like the President, but it be delivered by a man of letters on the day before the UN address by both Presidents Ahmadinejad and Bush.
Constitutional freedom of speech is not a blood-right of Americans but the Constitution of the land. Think of it like this, the Forefathers believed it was necessary to not so much limit speech but to ensure the opportunity to listen to it
. The Constitutional Amendments also ensure the right to bear arms, and thus the implicit acceptance that a certain percentage (of the American people) will be shot as a result. The Second Amendment is not the specific cause of shootings but guns are there to be fired as a result of it. They may of course be fired by American citizens or foreigners. The risks of free speech should not be realistically limited to American mouthed ideas only. That is small minded.
The staged event appears to be a precursor to further attacks by the Bush administration upon American Freedom and Democracy. The President of Iran may have his own political agenda, that is accepted as fact. But exactly what elements of life in Iran are so oppressive as to warrant war?
Iran is quite a different kettle of fish than either Iraq or Afghanistan. How much intelligence is there that genuinely supports the theory that Iran is developing nuclear weapons? America can not be pulled into war just because die-hard Bush fans think it should.
Has the U.S tabled significant evidence at the UN of the need to upset Iran again, or does it plan to do more extending the “war on terror” to include Iran with ground forces facing military engagement with the US or worse, something much worse.
And if President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could consider this – if the West believes Iran is developing the potential for carrying out your words that Israel would be knocked off the map – it may eventually form a coalition to fight Iran, and that would be stupid and tragic. Nobody objects to you having enough power for your people, but why make an example and consider other options than oil or coal or nuclear – for the sake of your people.
Nuclear energy has many hidden costs. Solar Energy is an investment and the wind is free.