In a controversial decision that is rocking the nation, Columbia University has opened its doors to the President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a declared enemy of the United States, and to a nation that is a state sponsor of terrorism. In doing so, the university is giving him a forum to present his message to its faculty and student body.
Just the fact that our soldiers are being killed by Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan who receive weapons and munitions from Iran should be enough to deny him this invitation.
Words Will Echo Worldwide
However, there is an even more important reason to oppose his speech. Ahmadinejad’s words will not be confined to the halls of Columbia University. They will echo worldwide.
The world media will take it upon themselves to broadcast his message. The well-oiled propaganda machine of the Iranian regime will likewise make use of this opportunity to show the world that Iran’s President was able to speak at a famous American university. Inside Iran itself, the event will be used efficaciously to demoralize and silence the democratic reaction against the regime.
Such media posturing is certainly why Ahmadinejad asked to go to Ground Zero and lay a wreath of flowers as a clever and efficacious public opinion ploy aimed, above all, at the world at large.
Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger tried to justify the invitation in the name of academic freedom and freedom of speech. He cast the event strictly as an internal affair of the university.
However, the Iranian leader’s speech cannot be seen as a mere academic affair. It has international repercussion affecting public opinion in the U.S. and the world.
Moreover, Columbia University is not an isolated island. It is not an independent nation of its own. Rather, it is a revered American institution, and, as such, must take the nation’s interests into account.
A Nation at War
We are a nation at war, and this war is more than just the armed conflict in which our troops are giving every proof of heroism and bravery. This is also a psychological and Cultural War in which propaganda and psychological warfare play the more important role.
Labelling the propaganda of our nation’s enemy as “freedom of expression” is to stretch the concept of this freedom too far. It evinces a tendency to invest freedom of expression with an absolute privilege to the detriment of the nation’s common good.
Such an attitude is highlighted by the declaration of Dr. John Coatsworth, Dean of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, who said the university would not hesitate to invite Adolph Hitler, were he to accept a debate. Such a statement suggests that the university does not feel any obligation to our nation at war, but is somehow disconnected and removed from the military and psychological warfare unleashed against us.
Indeed, it is very doubtful that any American university would have provided Hitler with a forum during the Second World War.
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The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) protests against the sophistic criteria behind the decision of one of our most famous universities by which it is made to play the pawn in the psywar being waged against America by a declared enemy.
Our love for America, sense of honor, and the sacrifice and heroism of our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan demand nothing less than this categorial rejection and protest.
The American Society for the Defense of
Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)