Monday, September 24, 2007

An American Hero? President Lee Bollinger!

Yesterday, when at the end of my busy day I realized the speech was not called off, I said:
It takes courage to do what Lee Bollinger did today!
I have not watched Ahmadinejad's speech. I do not care much for what he said. At this moment,what I take comfort from, is that America has not succumbed to Zionism/Neoconservativism. And that there ARE individuals who stand up to defend the foundations of their own civilization: freedom of speech and opinion in the case of a Western Civilization!
I will be back with more on this!
a few hours later, after hearing the cruel treatment Bollinger gave his guest speaker:
Well well,
Lee Bollinger is a hero, but he is a very rude one! What kind of a civilization invites someone to give a speech and then starts name-calling? I guess a "heroic" American one!!! I sympathize with Bollinger though, he has to appease the fundamentalist Americans (AKA zionists and neoconservatives) but I doubt the most fundamentalist of Iranians would be calling (even) an invited "enemy" names! Certain cultures do not have proper manners! And I am planning to not waste time and sleep over this charade!

Ridwan correctly criticizes my post for its over-simplicity. In his blog he writes:
Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia University’s president, spoke before Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today, and he made a mockery out of the valued principles of academic freedom and free speech.

Bollinger decided it was more important to defend his reputation and ward off patriot critics who would cast him as soft on terrorism.

In these terms,
Bollinger is neither an academic nor a patriot of the Bush position on Iran. Instead, he is a selfish man who chose the shallowest of all positions to guard his reputation and his job.

There is nothing academic and principled in this position.

Rather, there is the usual buffoonery that typifies the gross and ugly American stereotype.

Brother Tim is also calling to task the American hypocrisy on the freedom of speech.

He first tackles those who protested Ahmadinejad's presence in Colombia:
Our dim-witted politicians and block-headed pundits have really shown their hypocritical colors. Freedom of Speech is only to be enjoyed by holders of American passports. The hypocrisy of the matter literally short-circuits my brain.

While our arrogance says that we have the best form of government, with guaranteed rights and liberties; and that others, mainly in the Middle-East, should emulate us. Those in power seek to deny his right to free speech.

He then characterizes Bollinger:
Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, is at the top of my list. It was he who extended the invitation to Ahmadinejad to speak at the University. Then, after feeling the pressure from politicians and pundits, went into a lengthy, incoherent rant under the facade of an introduction. I was embarrassed for him. I think his lowest point was when he called Ahmadinejad petty and cruel. No, Mr. Bollinger, it was you, sir, who was petty and cruel. For you to belittle and insult him, after he accepted the invitation that YOU offered him, shows your crass and philistine character. When he responded to you, he took the moral high-ground, and didn't respond with the ad hominem attacks that YOU used on him. To me, you looked and sounded like a two-year old, trying to blame the dog for eating the cookies, while the crumbs were still on your lips.

Newt Gingrich, that slobbering dolt, said he should not be allowed to speak in America because he is a "pathological liar". By that standard, that would mean Bush and Cheney should not be allowed to speak in America (talk about heaven on earth).
Please do read Brother Tim's passionate post: Some may call it propaganda, but Ahmadinejad has extended the 'olive branch' many times, only to have his hand slapped. He was grateful to the U.S. for taking out his two main enemies, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. He offered Iranian help, in both Afghanistan AND Iraq; and his offers were snubbed by the Bush Administration. Maybe if we had taken him up on his offer, we wouldn't be in the quagmire we're in right now. He has been fighting al Qaeda (the Wahhabis) for years, we could have made use of his help.


Iran has seen cruel dictators, this little guy is NOT one of them.

How can a man be called terrorist based on MISTRANSLATION of his statement about the illegitimacy of ZIONISM?!


Aardvark EF-111B said...

well, if granting freedom of foolishness is heroism, he is a real hero

really LOOOOOOL :)

Ridwan said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now. I respect what you are doing.

And I agree with your view of what Bollinger did today.

I have taken a more 'academic' view of what he did on my blog.

What drills me is that the substance of what could have transpired is lost in this posturing.

Thanks for writing.

Peace and struggle,

Brother Tim said...

Hi Naj. This little fiasco really set me off. American Hero???? I don't think so. More like, American *sshole. I just did a post on this circus, or maybe better described: freak show.

Larry said...

I think he was grandstanding because he took flap for letting the guy make a speech at his school.

Naj said...


I don't know what you mean by freedom of foolishness. Whose foolishness?

The foolishness was in the cruelty of the treatment Ahmadinejad was given.

Dishonor is all Bollinger's. I commend Ahmadinejad for his COURAGE to enter such a hostile setting and to not deviate from his message of peace! Not very many leaders in the world have the guts to do that!

Aardvark EF-111B said...

i don't intend to make a case from Najad Speech (a focus he does not deserve), but the [Monkey Business] he is doing for a while is a luxury that Iran Foreign Affairs can't tolerate, he better leave such nonsense to Chavez.

I hope the criticism he got in C.U. will make Najad more conservative & selective in viewing his case.

[[I commend Ahmadinejad for his COURAGE to enter such a hostile setting and to not deviate from his message]]

i agree, it takes extreme guts or extreme foolishness to do what he did!!

Naj said...

Aardvark my friend, I know you are in favour of "let's all bend to America" but I disagree with you about Ahmadinejad's foolishness.

Take a look at the LA times take on it!

Aardvark EF-111B said...

Take a look at the LA times take on it!

links!!, i beg you!!

Aardvark EF-111B said...

that is all i could find in LA Times, which is neither supportive.,0,7833406.story?coll=la-opinion-leftrail,0,4977628.story?coll=la-home-world

nunya said...


What DO you expect from a government with a Flyswatter in Chief?

nunya said...

Oh, yeah, I watched a fascinating show on PBS the other night on TE Lawrence
and the difference between his intentions and actions during WWI and the British Government actions after WWII.

Brother Tim said...

Thanks for the mention! My words looked more impressive in your formatting of colors on a black background.

I have never been a fan, or supporter, of Ahmadinejad; but as the days roll on, I am definately gaining more respect for the man.

As for the mistranslations: when I don't speak the language being translated, I always seek out multiple translations in order to get a more thorough understanding. I use this same principle when studying the Bible. Reading or listening to only one translation can be misleading, as it is subject to the objectivity and education of the translator.

A case in point, is his remarks about homosexuality in Iran. All the pundits are laughing and saying he said, "There are NO homosexuals in Iran". I have yet to research the translations, but the impression I got was: Iran does not have the large, in-your-face, homosexual population that the U.S. has. His translator at the speech used the word, 'phenomenon'.

Phenomenon - n. - 1. Something visible or directly observable, as an appearance, action, change, etc. 2. Any unusual occurrence; an inexplicable fact; marvel.

Ahmadinejad, thought by many to be delusional, is actually a man of high intelligence. I seriously doubt that he would say, "There are NO homosexuals in Iran", rather, I believe he meant that Iran does not have the 'problem' the homophobic right-wing Americans perceive it to be. By their religous culture, as with ours, and most others, homosexuality is an abomination; and they stick to that, staying closeted from their embarrassment. Yet, I can guarantee, that in the days ahead, we will be bombarded with the 'no homosexuals in Iran' thing. If I had the stomach for it, I'd tune in to Faux News and catch what O'Really, Slanthead Hannity, and Goofy Gibson et al, had to say.

I apologize for the ignorance of my leadership, Naj. As you are aware, most Americans are not cut from that cloth. Our problems are birthed by complacency and apathy.

Ann said...

Well I'm glad to read you thought it backfired on Bollinger, this ingracious little stunt of his.

I thought the Iranian President came off well, and there's been plenty of sympathy and grudging respect for Ahmadinejad just going by the forums on You-Tube. The only low point was the claim that there were no gays in Iran.

Ridwan said...

Hello Naj:

Thanks for highlighting my comment. Please know that I did not intend it to be critical of your comment.

In fact, I was merely adding another voice to what you were saying.

Peace and struggle,

Naj said...

I'll be back, but just very quickly:

"There are no gays in Iran" is an accurate statement.

"sexuality" is not a discourse in Iran. You can be homosexual, as long as you do not brag about it, and as long as no one finds out.

Khomeini is perhaps teh only religious figure who decreed the liberty of sex-change for individuals who were transgendered.

It is very hypocritical of americans to blame Ahmadinejad for not respecting gays rights, when their liberal democracies do not allow them get married.

Again, what Ahmadinejad said about absence of gays is TRUE. You will find men holding hand in Iran, all the time. They are not prosecuted unless if caught in public engaging in sex. And that woudl go for anyone.

Iran is a conservative society, and a puritan one, and it doesn't have to do with its Islamic regime, it's the entire society.

Sexual liberation is NOT on the agenda of Iran's leftist activists either.

Naj said...


Ahmadinejad did teh right thing to ACCEPT the invitation

He did right in conducting himself the way he did. the shame of this will stain America's so called democracy and falshood of freedome of speech.

The LA Times article I referred to is posted over at Fanonite's.

Also, I do not seek "supportiveness" from any Western media, left or right. and just to make it clear to you, the supportiveness of the American press is not the necessary condition for anything's validity. It is time for the middle easterners and other orientals to CLAIM THEIR OWN IDENTITY! AND BE VOCAL ABOUT IT!

Anonymous said...

"sexuality" is not a discourse in Iran. You can be homosexual, as long as you do not brag about it, and as long as no one finds out.

Well done Madam LOGIC!

Your mangling in the words so pathetic like your Mullah.

Anonymous said...

It is time for the middle easterners and other orientals to CLAIM THEIR OWN IDENTITY! AND BE VOCAL ABOUT IT!

Totally agreed, but what you said about your Mullah’s Mouth Hussein Shariatmadari, each time bulling Iran's neighbors?

Naj said...

Anonymous, Shariatmadari is NOT a mullah! And he is an idiot! You can't expect all Iranians to be saints! For a Shariatmadari in Iran we have a dick cheney in the US!

I have no idea what your hysteria about my word mangling is :)

Aardvark EF-111B said...

one last comment to add Naj


I use the media tools to obtain information but NEVER judge a case from any media RETROSPECTIVE

My mirage on Najad is my OWN mirage on Najad

I did not even think about refering to LATimes review till you mentioned....

Naj said...


I understand.

You see, Ahmadinejad is stirring a lot of dust! He is trying to wake up a lot of dormant monsters. I wish he had better speech writers. I wish he was better looking. I wish he did away with his stupid proclamations about the return of the messiah and what not!

At a very visceral level this man disgusts me. But when listening to his words, they are NOT really foolish. They are things that all of us say.

ahmadinejad's relevance is that he is the only one to DARE to ask questions, he is the only Iranian president to have OPENLY extended a hand of reconciliation to the US. He is repeatedly saying he supports the Palestinian's decision about their future state.

They haven't got anything real on him, other than that stupid holocaust-denier line, which is a LIE, a FALSEHOOD. He has never called for DESTRUCTION of Israel, but for anulling of the apartheid Zionist state.

I don't see anything wrong with this stance.

The AIPAC is ABUSING Ahmadinejad's rhetoric to their own gain.

This will backlash. The world is fed up with this slow return to colonialism! There is no way back.

Dave said...

Your comments on homosexuality in Iran contradict a lot of what I'm hearing. I've frequently been told that the IRI persecutes - and even executes - homosexuals.
I'll keep an open mind, but do you know of a sensible study on the tolerane of homosexuality in Iran?

Naj said...


There was a documentary done recently by a hmosexual on the state of homosexuals in Iran.

As I said, if "caught" during the act, the homexuals (males) are likely to be executed. But there is no outbreak of such events!

Ironically, the Mullahs have a reputation of being gay! Like priests all over the world! A lt f these things are myth, and singualr cases blown out of proportion.

In my entire entourage, I know of only one person who was homosexual, she underwent a sex operation, she was banished by her family.

As I said, Iranians are very puritan. Take a survey of the IRanian families who live in the UK and see how many of them let their UK-borne children have sex before marrying! Now transpose that kind of sexual repression onto homosexuality. It is not a sudden change!

Just as heterosexuality is not a commodity on display in Iran, nor is homosexuality. Iranians, by and large do not wear their "sexual orientation" on their sleeves. To watch someone give an open mouth kiss in presence of others is considered rude! Just as farting is considered rude. Would you condemn Iranians for torturing the people by not letting them release their gas!!?

The homosexuals have a cafe, in north of Tehran. Every now an again, just like they start cracking down on wmen, they crack down on gays! The gays are most vulnerable when the fascist elements of state want to have their show of force. They are easier to beat because there is not going to be a revolt in the society for beating up homosexuals. The whole country is not sympathetic to them. Homosexuality is tolerated as a disease, not as a life style!

To treat homosexuality as a disease LEAVES ROOM for the shiite clerics to deviate from Koran and to be in fact more tolerant to homosexals than would Sunni arab countries be.

This is why Khomeini gave a fatwa that allowed sex change! I have sen so many cross dressers in Iran. I have seen people who ignore their appearnce, and others who are rude to them.

Iran does not have an agenda against homosexuals. But if homosexuals align themselves with the political streams of Washington, they are confronted!

Iran's human rights record is not any worse than what is hapening in the US today! Scary thought, no?!

Anonymous said...

Speacking about "Khomeini is perhaps teh only religious figure"

Yes off course very religious folk

Khomeini also ordered the 1988 mass killings in Evin prison. And we all remember poor Sadegh Ghotbzadeh who was only a tool in Khomeini's hands. When told to ask for forgiveness, Ghotbzadeh refused and Khomeini ordered his execution. He had no mercy, not even upon those who had helped him come to power!

Aardvark EF-111B said...

thanks for being understanding, it is a rare commodity nowadays

Dave said...

Thanks for that, Naj, it certainly sounds more nuanced than what some seem to think. I'll look out for that CBS documentary.

Anonymous said...

Mullah’s Mouth Hussein Shariatmadari,

Who said he is Mullah!! He is NOT a Mullah, did you know English? I said Mullah’s Mouth

He is an Editor of the daily Iranian newspaper Kayhan, and a key spokesman for the radical Khomeini's faction.

Hossein Shariatmadari : officer in the ideological and Political Bureau of the Islamic Revolution guards corps ;interrogator in the Evin prison, Ali Khamenei’s representative and adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He is a general manager of Keyhan publishing company. (Not to be confused with the venerable Ayatollah Shariatmadari, who died under house arrest on Khomeini's orders).

Do you need more info?

Who is in hysteria Status?

Look not far from your hysteria about US University?

Anonymous said...

More about Shariatmadari:

IRAN DIARY, Part 4: Follow the leader

Anok said...

Naj, I was looking forward to thoughts on all of this. As I can see, I need to read your blog more regularly - I can't keep up! Before I comment any more, I must read more.

But, so far, so good.