September 24, 2007
By NAHAL TOOSI
NEW YORK - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the stage at Columbia University to a blistering welcome from the president of the school, who said the hard-line leader behaved like "a petty and cruel dictator."
Ahmadinejad smiled as Columbia President Lee Bollinger took him to task over Iran's human-rights record and foreign policy, and Ahmadinejad's statements denying the Holocaust and calling for the disappearance of Israel.
"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," Bollinger said, to loud applause.
He said Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust might fool the illiterate and ignorant.
"When you come to a place like this it makes you simply ridiculous," Bollinger said. "The truth is that the Holocaust is the most documented event in human history."
Ahmadinejad rose, also to applause, and after a religious invocation, said Bollinger's opening was: "an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here."
"There were insults and claims that were incorrect, regretfully," Ahmadinejad said, accusing Bollinger of offering "unfriendly treatment" under the influence of the U.S. press and politicians.
When the powers that be at the college decided to book the leader of Iran, just what were they thinking? Just who were they trying to prove something to? Ahmandinejad or the U.S.?
I applaud Columbia President Lee Bollinger for telling this dictator like it is! And to the powers that be who authorized this, if he/she is upset by Mr. Bollinger's remarks, just whose side of this "war" are they on?