Mamoud "Imadinnerjacket" made a complete jackass of himself at Columbia University yesterday and will be no doubt repeat that performance at the United Nations this evening. Should Columbia have invited him? No. It's not a question of his "right to free speech" because, need I remind you, he's an Iranian, not an American. In Iran these days free speech can get you jailed, tortured and dead.
The real point is that Iran is, for all intents and purposes, at war with the United States and inviting someone leading a nation that is shipping lethal weapons into Iraq for the purpose of killing American military is a very bad idea. Nor is this about academic freedom. A speaker from the Minute Man movement to shut down the southern border against the million or so illegals who enter this country was booed off the stage at Columbia University last year.
If you know anything about the vast majority of colleges and universities, you know that political correctness, i.e., liberalism, is the order of the day on most campuses. As St. Paul said, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child. I understood as a child" and this is a pretty good description of liberalism. It is a childlike desire for "a better world" that tends to ignore the real world's nastier aspects. Conservatives want a better world, too. Sometimes the only way to get that is to seriously deter bad people from doing bad things.
Mamoud Amadinejad is a very bad person, the front man for a bunch of very bad ayatollahs running a theocracy in Iran. This is a regime that began with the hostage taking of American diplomats. The most recent hostage taking that made big news were the British seaman. An American scholar, visiting her aged mother, was jailed for several months on the trumped up charge that she was a spy until she was released. The mullahs are bad people.
Just because they hold elections in Iran, do not be fooled. No one gets to run for office without the ruling ayatollah's permission. Just because it looks like democracy, that doesn't make it so. Ask the Palestinians whose recent election ended with Hamas driving out its opposition, Fatah, at gunpoint.
It's anyone's guess when anything resembling real democracy shows up in Iraq. Until then, it's likely to remain a bloody place where guns decide issues, not votes. Why the Bush administration even thought they could conjure up a constitution in a few weeks, an election in another few weeks, and call it democracy defies a rational answer.
Finally, the other reason why Amadinejad should not have been invited was for the propaganda value it had back home in Iran and throughout the Middle East. Just because the president of the university called him a petty, cruel dictator does not change anything so far as the message his appearance sent to those who do not like us, nor was that likely to have been reported anywhere but in the press of free nations or that of Gulf states that have no love for Iran.