Breaking: Columbia pulls the plug on Ahmadinejad? Update: Confirmed; Update: Unconfirmed — appearance is still on; Update: No Ground Zero visit, says Iranian mission

posted at 6:59 pm on September 20, 2007 by Allahpundit

That’s the word from the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations by way of JPod at the Corner. Looking for confirmation. Standby.

Update: Columbia was under a lot of pressure to cancel him, especially given their history of comparative hostility to the ROTC. Lee Bollinger issued a statement yesterday assuring everyone he’d personally be asking some tough questions which Ahmadinejad’s already answered a thousand times before in every western interview he’s ever participated in. His intoning about freedom of speech is especially fragrant given the Middle Eastern Studies department’s alleged history of intimidating students who support Israel and going easy on scum who rush the stage to silence speakers they don’t agree with.

Update: Bloomberg’s got it. Plug pulled.

Columbia University said it canceled a planned speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after failing to reach agreement on the format of his scheduled appearance on Sept. 24.

Columbia wasn’t able to “establish a conversation with the Iranian embassy that would ensure to my satisfaction that the specific arrangements of any such program would reflect the academic values that are the hallmark of a university,” university President Lee Bollinger said in a statement.

See for yourself how “the academic values that are the hallmark of a university” were on display the last time an Iranian fascist came to Columbia.

Update: Then again, he is “the Socrates of the third millennium.”

Update: There must be a lot of pushing and shoving going on in Bollinger’s office because Bloomberg has a corrected report now saying the appearance is still on. How in the hell did they get the statement from Bollinger quoted above, then? Or did Columbia change its mind and then change it back again?

Update: They must have cancelled it and then un-cancelled. CBS NY was also reporting that the event had been negged.

Update: The Ground Zero visit, at least, is officially cancelled according to the Iranian mission. I’d advise protesters to be there anyway, in case he has a convenient last-minute change of heart.


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Man, I hope so.

Spirit of 1776 on September 20, 2007 at 7:00 PM

He never should have been invited in the first place.

Theworldisnotenough on September 20, 2007 at 7:01 PM

Thank God sanity prevails

ThackerAgency on September 20, 2007 at 7:01 PM

JPod is now saying the cancellation is not true.

INC on September 20, 2007 at 7:05 PM

Maybe somebody at Columbia saw this…http://www.centcom.mil/sites/uscentcom2/Lists/Current%20Press%20Releases/DispForm.aspx?ID=5682&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecentcom%2Emil%2Fsites%2Fuscentcom2%2FLists%2FPress%2520Releases%2FCurrent%2520Releases%2Easpx

NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

Title:
COALITION FORCES ARREST IRANIAN QUDS FORCE OFFICER
Release Date:
9/20/2007
Release Number:
07-01-03P
Description:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces arrested an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – Quds Force officer in Sulimaniyah today.

Contrary to recent diplomatic initiatives, this individual has been involved in transporting improvised explosive devices and explosively formed penetrators into Iraq. Intelligence reports also indicate he was involved in the infiltration and training of foreign terrorists in Iraq.

The Quds Force is a covert action arm of the Iranian government responsible for aiding lethal attacks against the Iraqi government and Coalition forces.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE MNF-I PRESS DESK AT: MNFIPRESSDESK@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL.
FOR THIS PRESS RELEASE AND OTHERS VISIT http://WWW.MNF-IRAQ.COM.

doriangrey on September 20, 2007 at 7:06 PM

JOE LIEBERMAN SLAMS AHMADINEJAD: Ian Schwartz has the video.

hat tip

bnelson44 on September 20, 2007 at 7:11 PM

Thank God sanity prevails

ThackerAgency on September 20, 2007 at 7:01 PM

It’s not sanity, it’s called CYA – they know if they went ahead with this it would cause them no end of headaches.

jdawg on September 20, 2007 at 7:12 PM

When are the people in this country going to stand for the principles that birthed the constitution instead of allowing it to be used by our enemies as an excuse to spit on American interests abroad?

csdeven on September 20, 2007 at 7:13 PM

When are the people in this country going to stand for the principles that birthed the constitution instead of allowing it to be used by our enemies as an excuse to spit on American interests abroad?

csdeven on September 20, 2007 at 7:13 PM

As soon as Fred! is in the White House CS….

ScottG on September 20, 2007 at 7:15 PM

In a more sane world I’d rather he go and be ripped by the students.

Entelechy on September 20, 2007 at 7:15 PM

csdeven on September 20, 2007 at 7:13 PM

Excellent question. When, indeed?

jdawg on September 20, 2007 at 7:15 PM

In a more sane world I’d rather he go and be ripped by the students.

Entelechy on September 20, 2007 at 7:15 PM

I hate to say this, but I suspect many of the students there love him…

jdawg on September 20, 2007 at 7:16 PM

jdawg, that’s why it’s not such a sane world.

Entelechy on September 20, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Another bunch of crap from Columbia. They can not tell the truth why Ahmadinejad was canceled. They could not take the heat.

Wade on September 20, 2007 at 7:18 PM

What a line of gobbledeguck from Mr. Bollinger. It makes me want to puke.

NTWR on September 20, 2007 at 7:21 PM

The double standards at these universities is appalling. They are no more for diversity of free speech than I am Marilyn Monroe.

There is no way I would ever allow one of my kids to go to a college out East or West. Never. Universities are bad enough everywhere, but the real radicial faculties seem to be on the coasts.

katieanne on September 20, 2007 at 7:26 PM

Bloomberg now says the speech is back on.

BadgerHawk on September 20, 2007 at 7:27 PM

Probably more than a few well-heeled alumni have called and informed the university that the check WON’T be in the mail if they actually allow this slug to speak. There is no surer way to bring our intellectual betters to heel than to threaten to cut off their brie and chardonnay.

trigon on September 20, 2007 at 7:27 PM

Probably more than a few well-heeled alumni have called and informed the university that the check WON’T be in the mail if they (don’t) actually allow this slug to speak. There is no surer way to bring our intellectual betters to heel than to threaten to cut off their brie and chardonnay.

trigon on September 20, 2007 at 7:27 PM

Crappy leftist universities churn out crappy leftist donors hell-bent on ensuring future re-education of the elite.

NTWR on September 20, 2007 at 7:31 PM

I’m sure Bollinjerk wants the guy there for the same reason that the leftist media wants to be considered an international, rather than national entity, but I’m not sure it’s such a smart idea making Ahmadinejad the new poster boy of the left.

Connie on September 20, 2007 at 7:41 PM

Don’t suppose he can’t be tazered into not speaking.

Kini on September 20, 2007 at 7:41 PM

Society page…..

Himmler speaks at Columbia 9am , Dec 6 1941. Reception and picnic follows. Let’s show Roosevelt it is time to show some understanding.

Limerick on September 20, 2007 at 7:59 PM

Don’t suppose he can’t be tazered into not speaking.

Kini on September 20, 2007 at 7:41 PM

There were too many people to handle who were lining up willing and able to do the honors on ImAWhackJob.

Mallard T. Drake on September 20, 2007 at 8:01 PM

Does this mean the students of Columbia will let the Minute Men speak after all?

[/rhetorical question]

Mallard T. Drake on September 20, 2007 at 8:02 PM

They are probably trying to jack up the bribe from the Iranians to let the nutjob appear at their asylum.

jj on September 20, 2007 at 8:05 PM

No no no. This is a TACTIC. Off again ON again.

Just ask yourself how you feel. Relief that you don’t have to go down their and protest? Do you feel more or less motivated now that the speech may be on again?

They are trying to sneak him in. They are too sick in the head to see this as anything but a “prestigious” event for Columbia.

We will be lucky if we find out about it before it is over (on the TV news).

Agrippa2k on September 20, 2007 at 8:11 PM

Such is the state of America’s academia….

d1carter on September 20, 2007 at 8:27 PM

Whether it’s on or off, who cares. Columbia and Bollinger are history in my book.

And Bloomberg, who even contemplated escorting the m.a. to Ground Zero, is dead meat too.

Webutante on September 20, 2007 at 8:44 PM

Does that make Socrates the Socrates of the negative first millenium or the zeroth millenium? :)

Another similarity, if we can believe Plato, is their (the two Socrates) convergence at a strange view of what is a republic: a nation ruled by a legislative council of guardians selected by the council due to their superior moral fibre and intellectual abilities (qualities to be measured by council members). However, I don’t think a Muslim would be too agreeable to Socrates-like family planning (nor, for that matter would a Christian, but we’re talking about Ahmadinejad).

Jens on September 20, 2007 at 8:49 PM

On, then off?

Off, then on?

What is this the Columbia/Ahmadinejad strip tease?

No accounting for taste.

MB4 on September 20, 2007 at 8:51 PM

Such is the state of America’s academia….

d1carter on September 20, 2007 at 8:27 PM

Inbreeding leads to devolution.

MB4 on September 20, 2007 at 8:52 PM

Fred Thompson gets tough on Iran today with a STRONG statement.Stay out Almaneedajob!!!

““”Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the world’s premier terrorist state, is speaking before the United Nations next week. He has also asked to visit Ground Zero. If I were President of the United States none of this would have been an issue–I wouldn’t have let him into the country in the first place.”

Go Fred!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 9:30 PM

So embarrassed of and outraged at my alma mater…

zb42 on September 20, 2007 at 10:00 PM

I’m going to guess Bollinger made his decision and the dude from their Media Center made his decision. It does sound like an internal feud, akin to the NYT’s Foer interview quote, correction, uncorrection. I wonder if Bolinger even knows he has been corrected.

Maybe Bollinger doesn’t really run the place. We’ll see by tomorrow.

As for Amadinnerjacket pulling a fast one, how serious a need is there for a crowd numbers? Is anyone taking a head/group count? I really don’t want to drive 6 hours and plan to spend two days if the crowds is going to be in the thousands and I’m not needed. But if I’m needed I will go.

Dusty on September 20, 2007 at 10:12 PM

I wouldn’t have let him into the country in the first place

Good line for a candidate, but it doesn’t make sense to turn it into the “United Nations (of Countries We Like)”.

The ability of the United States to continue its run as the lone global super power is correlated with its ability to convince the rest of the world that it is a fair and benevolent power. To the extent we don’t we will more quickly see the rise of China and Russia as challengers to our dominance.

dedalus on September 20, 2007 at 10:23 PM

I really don’t want to drive 6 hours and plan to spend two days if the crowds is going to be in the thousands and I’m not needed. But if I’m needed I will go.

Dusty on September 20, 2007 at 10:12 PM

I don’t know if you’ve been there before, but the site is huge–several city blocks square. It will take thousands to surround it as there is no way of knowing where he will approach from.

IrishEi on September 20, 2007 at 10:25 PM

The ability of the United States to continue its run as the lone global super power is correlated with its ability to convince the rest of the world that it is a fair and benevolent power. To the extent we don’t we will more quickly see the rise of China and Russia as challengers to our dominance.

dedalus on September 20, 2007 at 10:23 PM

That worked well for Neville Chamberland did’nt it?

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 10:30 PM

The ability of the United States to continue its run as the lone global super power is correlated with its ability to convince the rest of the world that it is a fair and benevolent power. To the extent we don’t we will more quickly see the rise of China and Russia as challengers to our dominance.

dedalus on September 20, 2007 at 10:23 PM

This is just wrong on so many levels.

First of all, we ARE the fairest and most benevolent superpower that has ever existed–EVER! What we need to do is stop letting all these two-bit tyrannies boss us around. We need to flex our muscles once in a while.

As far as China and Russia are concerned, they will pounce at any and every sign of weakness. Do you need to be reminded what happened when we pulled our support from South VietNam?

I’m not advocating that we go around blowing up countries, but it’s about time we started using some of our “power” and stop letting these punks walk all over us.

IrishEi on September 20, 2007 at 10:36 PM

That worked well for Neville Chamberland did’nt it?

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 10:30 PM

Chamberlain’s fault was not that he was fair and benevolent, but rather that he, like George W. Bush, was very naive.

MB4 on September 20, 2007 at 10:37 PM

Chamberlain’s fault was not that he was fair and benevolent, but rather that he, like George W. Bush, was very naive.

MB4 on September 20, 2007 at 10:37 PM

To equate Bush to Chamberlain is ridiculous. Bush used preemptive military measures. Chamberlain was an appeaser…

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 11:03 PM

Chamberlain is an interesting analogy. Perhaps if the United States had been part of the League of Nations in 1938, more pressure could have been put on Germany. It’s not clear that Chamberlain could have started a war with Germany at that time and if he did start one if he could have sustained and won it. It is probable that the United States would have stayed away from a war that essentially would have been viewed as a quarrel over the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

Chamberlain was foolish to actually believe Hitler and was an ineffective war premier. I don’t know that it is clear, though, that he could have just gone in guns-a-blazing much before 1939.

Nevertheless, my point isn’t to appease Iran but rather to dialog. Kind of a “keep your friends close and enemies closer” or as Tony Soprano would say “Revenge is like serving up cold cuts”.

dedalus on September 20, 2007 at 11:10 PM

First of all, we ARE the fairest and most benevolent superpower that has ever existed–EVER!

I agree with the above statement. We did a good job picking up after Britain lost its empire, and the Soviets were never more than a corrupt dictatorship with nuclear weapons.

dedalus on September 20, 2007 at 11:17 PM

As far as China and Russia are concerned, they will pounce at any and every sign of weakness.

My Chinese friends are mostly interested in economic growth. Rather than seeing the U.S. as weak they see the recent use of U.S. military power as something that worries them, and makes them supportive of a strong China.

dedalus on September 20, 2007 at 11:31 PM

To equate Bush to Chamberlain is ridiculous. Bush used preemptive military measures. Chamberlain was an appeaser…

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 11:03 PM

To equate Bush to Chamberlain would be ridiculous, but that is not what I did. I said that they were both very naive. Chamberlain thinking that he could mollify and manipulate Hitler and Bush thinking that he could “nation build” in Iraq with much better and much sooner results than he has had.

Yes, both very naive for sure.

MB4 on September 20, 2007 at 11:44 PM

Kind of a “keep your friends close and enemies closer”

dedalus on September 20, 2007 at 11:10 PM

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
— Baltasar Gracian

MB4 on September 20, 2007 at 11:48 PM

Cross posted from another thread

Via FloppingAces

In September 1986, I began graduate study at SAIS. Shortly thereafter, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a graduate of Columbia’s Barnard College had to decline her invitation to speak on campus because of left wing protests that threatened to disrupt the event if she spoke.

Twenty years later, In October, 2006, we saw how leftists at Columbia rioted to shut down the event where the border security group “Minutemen” were speaking. For a reminder, see this brief video of the riot that ensued.

Iran under the leadership of radicals like Ahamdinejad is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans.

No doubt, the same left wing fascists who brazenly shut down free speech from “controversial speakers of different views” will embrace the appearance of the lunatic Ahmadinejad.

Via Powerline

From Death By 1,000 Paper Cuts, on Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York:

In a world of perfect karma, Ahmadinejad would be captured by American “students” and held hostage for over a year, paraded before TV cameras and threatened almost daily with death.
The “international community” would be OK with this as long as we didn’t send him to Guantanamo Bay.

Via Mark Steyn on The Corner.

CommentGuy on September 21, 2007 at 12:19 AM

Fred on Ahmadinejad here

bnelson44 on September 21, 2007 at 12:19 AM

I would be most interested in reading about why positions for or against were changed so quickly, and so often.

Who were the special interest groups, and what were their demands, and which groups were for Ahmadenijad’s visit and speech, and who were against it.

I would especially like to know why apparent decisions made were so quickly unmade, and remade again.

So who caved in and why?

rockhauler on September 21, 2007 at 12:32 AM

Jeanne Kirkpatrick, then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a graduate of Columbia’s Barnard College had to decline her invitation to speak on campus because of left wing protests that threatened to disrupt the event if she spoke.

They Kirkpatrick protesters were wrong then. The more free speech the better. The more opportunities people have to hear Ahmadenijad and to challenge him, the better our democracy will be able to support action against Iran, if needed.

If we had taken some time, as a country, to learn more about Iraq since the Gulf War our troops would be better off today.

dedalus on September 21, 2007 at 12:47 AM

dedalus:

“If we had taken some time, as a country, to learn more about Iraq since the Gulf War our troops would be better off today….”

…because we’d have taken Saddam out of the picture more than a decade ago.

JM Hanes on September 21, 2007 at 2:12 AM

Hah! If anything happens to Ahmadinejad while he’s here, we can blame it on Gut’s mom. (God bless her).

Connie on September 21, 2007 at 2:56 AM

Wonder if Omar from ITM will be at the speech? If he is going, maybe someone should send him a “Don’t Taze me, Bro” t-shirt.

Bicyea on September 21, 2007 at 8:35 AM

…because we’d have taken Saddam out of the picture more than a decade ago.

The Bush41 team considered it and decided against it.

“All of a sudden you’ve got a battle you’re fighting in a major built-up city, a lot of civilians are around, significant limitations on our ability to use our most effective technologies and techniques…Once we had rounded him up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is what do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq.”—Dick Cheney 1992

Paul Wolfowitz was the most vocal dissenting voice from the Cheney position in 1992. Over the course of a decade Cheney’s position moved closer to Wolfowitz’s. There are two considerations here:
1.) Did it make sense to topple Saddam in either 1991 or 2003?
2.) Given that the team that decided against it in 1991 decided to do it in 2003, shouldn’t they have better game-planned for the contingencies?

dedalus on September 21, 2007 at 9:56 AM

Drudge Report:

GINGRICH SLAMS NY TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD’S PLAN TO HAVE LUNCH WITH AHMADINEJAD AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL IN NYC… DEVELOPING…

Wait, isn’t like half of the Times’s editorial board queer? In Iran, they would be hanged and/or stoned, right?

Jaibones on September 21, 2007 at 10:36 AM

When is Columbia going to invite UBL?

It is all about dialogue, isn’t it???

Miss_Anthrope on September 21, 2007 at 11:13 AM

When is Columbia going to invite UBL?

Since the morning of 9/11 in NYC, I’ve been hoping we would kill UBL. Since we can’t, I do watch his video tapes and am glad our CIA watches them too.

dedalus on September 21, 2007 at 11:28 AM

dedalus:

The first Bush team didn’t do it because his international coalition had only signed on to roll Saddam back, not topple him. Time has not exactly stood still in the interim; oil for food allowed Saddam to consolidate his dictatorial grip on power by giving him control of virtually everything that came into and out of the country. By the time sanctions came to an end, as they were about to do, the idea that he was being successfully contained (at a cost in viciousness and death that dwarfs anything we’ve seen to date), would have been exposed as the convenient political fiction it has always been. As for planning, if you could point me to all the wars that went as planned and took less time and money then predicted, I might be willing to entertain your second point.

JM Hanes on September 22, 2007 at 3:28 AM