There’s a bit of a lag on the ‘net, and that’s to be expected. More will be revealed in due course, but for the moment, here’s Jonah Goldberg’s response to Dr. Bollinger’s introductory remarks, in it's entirety:
Bollinger So Far [Jonah Goldberg]
I was against the invitation, I still am. I am no great fan of Bollinger's. But, I must give credit where due. His opening statement is about as hard-hitting and tough as one could hope for. This may still be a debacle, but there's a possible benefit more plausible than I imagined just minutes before this began. If the video of Bollinger's statement is distributed throughout the
Fox News is running reactions, commentary, and clips of Ahmadinejad’s speech as I type.
Speaking of Fox News…I wonder if those on the Left will praise or pan FNC for carrying the introductions, the speech itself, and the question/answer period complete and uninterrupted. I cut to CNN, very briefly, during Ahmadinejad’s speech and saw a “talking” head” pontificating over Ahmadinejad. Not cool.
My initial reactions follow…
Most amazing revelation: “There are no homosexuals in
Ahmadinejad’s actual speech was a rambling, disorganized rant for the most part. He equivocated and dodged the hard questions during the Q&A period, as I expected. When asked if his government seeks the destruction of
I was against the very idea of Ahmadinejad being invited to
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
And sunlight, in this case, was letting this idiot reveal himself for what he IS: a lying, equivocating, tinpot, wanna-be “Head of State.” And Dr. Bollinger’s introduction, assuming his introductory remarks get wide dissemination, took the air out of Ahmadinejad and his “remarks,” at least as far as YrHmblScrb is concerned.
Interesting times, indeed.
Update: C-SPAN has a RealPlayer video of the Ahmadinejad speech and introductory remarks posted on its website. Look for "Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad Speech at Columbia Univ." Dr. Bollinger's remarks begin at three minutes 50 seconds and end at 19 minutes 15 seconds into the one hour 21 minute clip. I highly recommend you view Dr. Bollinger's remarks. They're very, very good. So good, in fact, that Ahmadinejad spent the first three minutes of his speech extemporaneously responding to the "insults" delivered by Dr. Bollinger. Interesting, indeed...one man's truth is another man's "insult."
Update II: Gerard has a roundup of initial reactions to the Bollinger/Ahmadinejad remarks by the Big Dogs. Samples:
Not Bolllinger's first rodeo, but it certainly was his best.
"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."
"Frankly and in all candor, Mr. President, I doubt that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions. But your avoiding them will have meaning for us." Bollinger Explains It All for You.Mr. Bollinger asked Mr. Ahmadinejad: "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator, and so I ask you, and so I ask you, why have women members of the Bahai faith, homosexuals and so many of our academic colleagues become targets of persecution in your country?"Masterful.
He asked whether Mr. Ahmadinejad was using a nuclear confrontation with the West to distract from his incompetent leadership at home. He also asked to be allowed to lead a delegation of scholars to Iran to speak freely, as Mr. Ahmadinejad can do today.
He confronted Mr. Ahmadinejad over his description of the Holocaust as "a fabricated legend," calling him either "brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated." He called Columbia a world center of Jewish studies that since the 1930s has provided a home for Jewish refugees. He called the Holocaust "the most documented event in human history."
"Today I feel all the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for," Mr. Bollinger told Mr. Ahmadinejad. "I only wish I could do better."
I'll be looking for the wave of apologies to President Bollinger. Starting with mine for thinking ill of his motives.
UPDATE: Dean Barnett @ Townhall.com is straightforward: "Regardless of how stupid inviting Ahmadenijad to the Columbia was in the first place, let’s give Bollinger credit for standing face-to-face with evil and calling it out. Dean Bollinger, if you want to be fair about things, has either partly or fully rehabilitated his reputation with his speech today. Believe me, I didn’t expect to be typing those words."
Lisa Schiffren at The Corner on National Review Online with what seems to be the emerging line on Bollinger's admirable remarks: "I thought that he was being a tough guy — even though I liked the content of the rhetoric — to compensate for what he had done by inviting Ahmadinajad."
No retreat for BLACKFIVE: Ahm-a-nuttah-job speech "Bollinger represented his sorry peers in academia better than expected, but you can't fix stupid."
Charles Johnson at LGF holds his line: lgf: Ahmadinejad's Columbia Speech, Thread 2Lots of readers seem to think Columbia president Lee Bollinger deserves credit for his opening speech. I don't. I think it was an attempt to redeem his reputation and keep the money flowing in from alumni, and does not even begin to make up for the atrocity of giving this creature a podium at one of America's most prestigious schools.
Koz Kids (which Johnson links to in the same item) agree with him, but for slightly different reasons: Daily Kos: Bollinger's DiatribeAs an American, I was stunned and embarrassed by Bollinger's harangue of Ahmedinejad. It was a craven and cowardly capitulation to political pressures, and unworthy of the academic institution that Bollinger represents.
Do go... to Gerard's place, I mean. The KosKidz are being their usual clue-free selves.