Monstrous Idiocy is what the Daily News calls Columbia Dean Coatsworth's invitation to Iranian Maniac I-have-a-dinner-job

We agree, it was monstrous idiocy.
Monstrous idiocy
Monday, September 24th 2007, 4:00 AM

The Columbia University dean who is sponsoring today's obscene appearance by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is deeply unworthy of the position he holds. In saying that he would welcome Adolf Hitler to campus, John Coatsworth revealed that he lacks the moral compass, historical perspective and human decency to be the head of the university's School of International and Public Affairs.

Coatsworth's invitation to the Iranian president was a gross abuse of academic freedom that he has been attempting mightily and futilely to defend. But there is no way, at least in civilized society, to defend Coatsworth's expressed openness to granting a forum to a man who was the world's most determined, most efficient mass murderer.

Here is what Coatsworth said in a Saturday interview with Fox News. So shocking were his comments that we quote verbatim to assure the reader that he actually said what he said: "If Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms to speak in the United States. If he were willing to engage in a debate and a discussion, to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly run it."

Coatsworth is grievously wrong on so many counts. His belief that Hitler would be invited to speak across the U.S. is an insult to America's character. And his thought of engaging the guiding force of the Third Reich in collegial debate is simply monstrous. In your worst nightmare, you can imagine the topics. For example: Yes or no, are Jews truly subhuman? Even to conceive of such a colloquy is both soul-deadening and a wellspring of fury. Identical thinking - repugnant on its face and grossly insensitive to the Jewish community and to all good people - drives Coatsworth's event with Ahmadinejad.

Coatsworth's efforts to justify his remarks further showed he is absolutely ill-equipped for his post. He told the Daily News yesterday he meant "in 1939, [when Hitler] had not started the war and the Holocaust hadn't begun." Oh. So six years after Dachau, four years after the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws and a year after Kristallnacht, when Hitler's intentions were known to all, he'd be a fine speaker for Columbia?

The Iranian president denies the Holocaust and has declared that he would like to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. His regime is a leading exporter of terror, provided munitions that are killing U.S. troops in Iraq and is openly trying to go nuclear. He is repressing his own people with radical Islamic law and would similarly repress everyone else if given a chance.

He's his own Hitler - for now without the resources. Despite the established record - right down to Ahmadinejad's "Death to America" rallies over the weekend - Coatsworth is determined to bring the Iranian to Columbia. And Columbia President Lee Bollinger foolishly agreed to legitimize Coatsworth's circus by playing Ahmadinejad's foil. Bollinger will challenge the madman, yes he will. As if Ahmadinejad will give a hoot to what any of Columbia's academics think - although he'll take full advantage of their forum. As if anyone will learn anything that isn't well-known from the record of Ahmadinejad's actions.

Bollinger believes that he'll be standing up for what is right in confronting Ahmadinejad. He's mistaken. In truth, he squandered the opportunity to stand up for a higher good when he did not reject this perversion of academic freedom - a freedom that, like all others, must be exercised responsibly. Simply put, he should have told Coatsworth to stuff it. Fortunately, Coatsworth is only the acting dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. Now, given Coatsworth's disqualifying remarks about Hitler, Bollinger needs to find someone who is fit to lead the school.

1 comment:

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

some shameless self-promotion... i've got a report on the protests