i’m a dinner jacket

With the whole hubbub of President Ahmadinejad’s visit now done, I only have two points of supplemental commentary that were absent from all coverage of the event.

First, the speaking invitation to Ahmadinejad was part of a week-long forum, held every year by Columbia University, in which Columbia invites many world leaders to speak. It is no accident that this forum coincides with the General Assembly of the United Nations, in which many leaders are in town anyway. When put into this context, Ahmadinejad’s visit appears less like an endorsement of his views, but rather more like a forum for which to hear a world leader’s point of view.

By no means does Columbia  limit its invitations to saints and angels. In 2005, Columbia hosted President Musharraf of Pakistan; in 2003, Russian President Putin and Afghani head of state Hamid Karzai visited as well.

Even if you think his opinions are detached from reality or that he lacks any sort of real power in Iran, Ahmadinejad is still the democratically elected head of state of a nation that is key to the world’s stability. To me, that alone makes him worthy of giving a 45-minute speech at the University.

One Comment

  • abhay Says:

    you just published a post with the words ‘ahmadinejad’ and ‘columbia’ to try to get your ad revs up.

    the state of the blogosphere these days… shameful.

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