He makes the point that Ahmadinejad would never allow an American critic of the regime to propagandize at an Iranian university. True as a general rule but as a one-time gesture to make a show of his own alleged enlightenment, I wonder. Remember, Ahmadinejad’s shtick is that he’s more “western” than the west. That was how their Holocaust revisionism conference was sold — as a celebration of free inquiry. Regardless, whether it’s their apologists coming here or our critics going there, any acknowledgment of the mullahcracy’s legitimacy is cringe-making. Bollinger can lay it on all he likes, but like Bolton says, at the end of the day Mahdi got his photo op. Even if the university emblems were conspicuously blacked out.
Bryan and the boss are at Ground Zero, just in case any unexpected visitors drop by. A few protesters are already waiting. Meanwhile, Bollinger sent around an e-mail after the event reiterating that “it should never be thought that merely to listen to ideas we deplore in any way implies our endorsement of those ideas, or the weakness of our resolve to resist those ideas, or our naiveté about the very real dangers inherent in such ideas.” Exit question: When do they host an event for the Klan, then?