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Monday, September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad In NY Amid Massive Protests-All Day Updates

This post will be updated throughout the day. [Updates below] Photos added!

The Lunatic, Ahmadinejad, is Here in the U.S.

The protests started yesterday at Columbia University which has invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the lunatic president of Iran, to speak before their students today.

Pamela from Atlas Shrugs will be at the protests:

MONDAY SEPT. 24: Ahmadinejad STILL ON for Ground Zero! Kevin McCullough is staging a rally at Ground Zero

9:00am - Liberty St and Broadway

9:30am - Be in place to block Ahmadinejad's access to the site!

10:00am - Expected arrival...

MONDAY, SEPT. 24: What: Ahmadinejad to speak at luncheon at National Press Club by videolink
When: Protesters needed from 11:00-2:00. Come for however long you can.
Where: Washington, DC: National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW Please note: Attendance inside is limited to NPC members, their guests and accredited media only. Our protest will be held outside of the NPC Building at the corner of 14th and F Streets NW which is close to the Metro Center metro station.
For More info: Contact Meagan Buren at 202-230-7389 or Brandon Gray at 202-857-6627

MONDAY - 9:30am - Liberty Street/Broadway at GROUND ZERO...

Then head uptown to the National Rally to End the Threat Now:

What: Rally led by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Community Relations in cooperation with United Jewish Communities, UJA-Federation of New York and Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Speakers include Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame, III, (Capt., USNR, Ret.), pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. When: 12 p.m. (rain or shine)
Where: NYC: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 2nd Ave. at 47th St.(across the street from the UN) For more info: Conference of Presidents, 212-318-6111 or or the JCRC, 212-983-4800, ext. 161 or

What: Rally by students from Columbia and dozens of other organizations
When: 12:30 - 3 p.m.
Where: NYC: Outside Columbia University at W. 116th St. and Broadway- only people with Columbia student IDs will be allowed on campus. The main protest will happen on Broadway on public space next to the building where Ahmadenijad is speaking, so even non Columbia people can protest at this event.

This lunatic is still planning to go to Ground Zero, despite his request being rejected and family members of 9/11 victims have been EVICTED from Ground Zero this morning??? What the hell is wrong with this picture?

But foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini insisted a visit to Ground Zero was still on the itinerary.

"The visit to the site of the twin towers to pay tribute to the victims is part of president Ahmadinejad's program even if some people are trying to have it cancelled," he said.

From PJM:

Andrew Marcus - on video assignment for PJM - reports that the Port Authority evicted protesters from Ground Zero this morning. Group - including family members of 9/11 victims - was in front of the PATH station protesting possible appearance at Ground Zero by Ahmadinejad.

Having many family members in New York and having been there dozens of times visiting them, I can tell you one thing about the people of New York- They will not allow this monster to step foot on Ground Zero.

If he tries there is going to be trouble.

It is what it is.

Malkin will also be there, keep up with her site throughout the day.

David M Schizer, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law Columbia Law School, issued a statement, showing some sanity does still exist at Columbia University.

(Sept. 23, 2007) -- A controversy has developed about the invitation extended to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran by the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. Although Columbia Law School was not involved in arranging this invitation, we have received many inquiries about it.

This event raises deep and complicated issues about how best to express our commitment to intellectual freedom, and to our free way of life. Although we believe in free and open debate at Columbia and should never suppress points of view, we are also committed to academic standards. A high-quality academic discussion depends on intellectual honesty but, unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has proven himself, time and again, to be uninterested in whether his words are true. Therefore, my personal opinion is that he should not be invited to speak. Mr. Ahmadinejad is a reprehensible and dangerous figure who presides over a repressive regime, is responsible for the death of American soldiers, denies the Holocaust, and calls for the destruction of Israel. It would be deeply regrettable if some misread this invitation as lending prestige or legitimacy to his views.

Our university is a pluralistic place, and I recognize that others within our community take a different view in good faith, and that they have the right to extend invitations that I personally would not extend. I know that we will learn from each other in discussing the difficult questions prompted by this invitation.

Legislatures from New York may act regarding this issue which could effect the schools state aid.

"Bollinger made a big mistake, and there should be consequences for him for making that decision," the chairman of the New York City Council's Finance Committee, David Weprin, said in an interview. "We should look at everything involving Columbia, whether it be capital projects, city and state, or other related things that we do in the city for them," he said.

Mr. Weprin was one of several elected officials who joined Jewish leaders, Columbia students, and alumni yesterday at a demonstration at the Morningside Heights campus to protest Mr. Ahmadinejad's talk.

"It's not going to go away just because this episode ends. Columbia University has to know … that they will be penalized," an assemblyman of Brooklyn, Dov Hikind, who also attended the rally, said. The lawmaker said Mr. Ahmadinejad should be arrested when he sets foot on campus.

Speaking at the rally, a New York City Council member, James Gennaro, urged university donors to withhold their dollars from the institution, while Rep. Anthony Weiner, a potential mayoral candidate in 2009, said Columbia's reputation was taking a "brutal beating."

Mr. Silver's warning of sanctions against Columbia is a highly unusual departure for a state leader who has seldom, if ever, threatened to use the power of the state purse to punish a private university.
[Update] Jules Crittenden manages to put everything we should be worried about, concerning, Ahmadinejad, all in one paragraph:

Times doesn’t exactly bend over backwards to point out what decent people here and elsewhere find offensive about Ahmadinejad. There are his calls for the destruction of Israel and his claims that if the Holocaust happened at all, it must have been a Jewish plot. Highly offensive. There’s the stoning to death and hanging of young lovers, the arrest of women who show their hair or dare to wear bright colors. There was his direct involvement in the illegal seizure and humilation of British sailors and Royal Marines. Very offensive. There was his direct involvement in the illegal seizure and humiliation of United States Embassy personnel. Very offensive. There is his nation’s supply of weapons and training to terrorists in Iraq who do not simply attack American soldiers, as Times gets around to stating, but have murdered them. Offensive. The arming, training and manipulation of murderous terrorist organizations in Lebanon and Gaza. Offensive. The development of chemical weapons with Syria. Offensive. The development of nuclear weapons, which doesn’t simply alarm the United States, as Times suggests, but even alarms France. Which is saying something.

That “Mr Ahmadinejad” kid glove treatment has a little of the “Mr Hitler” about it. Offensive.

Well said Jules.

[Update] NewsMax reports that Representatives Steven Rothman, D-N.J., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., have won 103 co-sponsors for legislation they introduced earlier this year that calls on the U.N. Security Council to charge Ahmadinejad with violating the U.N. Charter because of his calls for the destruction of the state of Israel.

House Concurrent Resolution 21 also calls on the Security Council to charge Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The Coatsworth statement, and the unflappable attitude of Columbia University president Lee Bollinger who has maintained the invitation despite massive protests, has got many Columbia alums up in arms.

Sally Zelikovsky, who has an L.LP in international law from Columbia, now lives in California and is raising three children.

After several attempts to register a complaint with Bollinger’s office, she thinks Columbia alums should pocket their contributions to their alma mater.

“Their contempt for any other viewpoint is palpable,” she told Newsmax in an email exchange. “We live in a topsy-turvy world: they protest against supposed human rights abuses when any Israeli speaker appears but embrace Ahmadinejad as a champion of their free speech and emblematic of academic freedom. G-d help our children.”

The American Congress for Truth has gathered close to 10,000 signatures in an on-line petition calling on Columbia to cancel the Ahmadinejad speech.

In addition to reviewing Ahmadinejad’s statements about wiping Israel off the face of the map, and his involvement in the holding of American hostages following the U.S. embassy takeover in Tehran in 1979, it noted that Columbia’s invitation “empowers his terrorist regime and Islamic radicals everywhere.”

Congressional sources told Newsmax over the weekend that they planned to examine the conditions for Columbia’s massive federal grants and student loan guarantees this week.

“What if parents sending their kids to Columbia all of a sudden were told they wouldn’t be eligible for federal loan guarantees or Pell grants?” a Senate aide said.

[Update] I try to point out when moderate Muslims stand up to be heard speaking out against extremism and I would like to thank Muslims against Sharia for doing exactly that in the comment section of this thread.

The comment:

Muslims Against Sharia condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the decision of Columbia University to provide a speaking venue for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Apparently letting Akbar Rafsanjani speak at the National Cathedral was not the height of American Dhimmitude, because providing a venue for the world's foremost anti-Semite, whose proclaimed goal is the destruction of the USA and Israel, definitely takes the cake. What is surprising is that we don't hear any complaints from Columbia alumni who should be ashamed of their silence.

More on the subject: Why Does Columbia host Ahmadinejad?

Please visit their site and show them support for taking this stand against Ahmadinejad and terrorism as well as extremism.

[Update] Duncan Hunter is also proposing legislation to pull federal funding from Columbia University if the Iranian president's invitation to speak is not revoked today. (Via Washington Times)

[Update] Photos from Malkin's site:


In remarks that veered between sermon and speech, Ahmadinejad quoted frequently from the Koran, warning of the corrupting influence of the material world and extolling the importance of spiritual guidance.

He inveighed against governments that "tap telephones" and decried "their onslaught on the domestic cultures of nations".

Speaking in Farsi with a simultaneous translator, Ahmadinejad several times addressed the audience as "my dear friends."

He started his speech by calling uncivil the remarks of Columbia University president Lee Bollinger, who said as Ahmadinejad sat on stage, "We do not honor the dishonorable when we open our public forum to their voices."

In unsparing remarks that were frequently interrupted by applause Bollinger called the event consistent with the idea that "one should know thine enemies," and apologized to those who suffered hurt and pain as a result of the speech.

But he emphasized the university's role as encouraging free debate and the exchange of views.

Bollinger lambasted Ahmadinejad for his denial of the Holocaust, hatred of Israel and sponsorship of terrorism. He also denounced the recent arrest and imprisonment of several Iranian Americans by Iran's government, and said Ahmadinejad "exhibited all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator".

If Bollinger thinks his little speech gets him off the hook for inviting this monster to speak at Columbia, he has a surprise coming. He should step down, he has embarrassed the school, he has betrayed every single soldier and Marine that has died from an Iranian weapon, he is a disgrace and should be forced to leave Columbia.

The parents of the students, the alumni, those that contribute to that school should stop and think about whether they want Americas children in the presence of terror sponsoring, murdering thug.

[Update] More fallout regarding alumna of Columbia University:

Caroline Glick:

As a result, what was said yesterday at Columbia is of no consequence whatsoever. What matters is that by inviting Ahmadinejad to its campus, Columbia University announced that supporting or opposing the genocide of the Jews is a legitimate topic for discussion. In so doing, as an institution Columbia has taken itself beyond the pale of legitimate discourse. As an institution, Columbia has embraced depravity by renouncing the intrinsic sanctity of human life.

COLUMBIA'S supporters who have defended it over the years through mounting criticism, cannot look at Ahmadinejad's visit to campus as simply another policy dispute without themselves legitimizing the school's belief that genocide is a reasonable subject for debate. They cannot defend the school without themselves rejecting the basic principle of Western civilization - that human beings have an intrinsic right to live.

Given this, it is incumbent on all those affiliated with Columbia who adhere to this basic principle to distance ourselves from the university. As an alumna of Columbia College, class of 1991, it is with great distress that I say it is time to disassociate with the school. This does not simply mean cutting off donations. It means understanding that the problem with Ahmadinejad had nothing to do with legitimate policy debates. It means recognizing and openly stating that by placing genocide on the debating table, Columbia ceased to be an institution that can be said to represent our values. It means stating publicly that we will not send our children to the school. It means stating openly that Columbia has abandoned the moral underpinning of civilization and has descended into the depths of evil. It means stating openly that Columbia is a depraved institution.

I DO NOT ENVY Columbia's students today. They worked very hard to get accepted to the school. They no doubt never wanted to be placed in the middle of all this. But they are in the middle and they too have a choice to make.

Will they demand the resignations of Bollinger, Coatsworth and Professor Richard Bulliet who engineered Ahmadinejad's visit or will they sit back and allow these men to get away with making the value of human life a debating topic? Will they rise up in indignation and disgust, or will they, through inaction say that these men, and the immorality they ascribe to remain authority figures for them?

Will they say that there are some things worth fighting for and that fighting the views these men advance is more important than the tainted degrees they confer? The times in which we live are difficult times. They demand an accounting from all of us. Do we uphold our humanity and defend life or do we sink into an easy silence as life's sanctity is called into question by well-heeled, smooth-talking servants of evil who hide their depravity by speaking eloquently of freedom of speech?

Columbia University has made its choice. Now it is our turn to choose.

Read the whole thing.

Bottom line here is it matters not what Bollinger said or how firmly he stands against what Ahmadinejad stands allowing Ahmadinejad the forum, Columbia, via Bollinger, has just tried to make Genocide a legitimate question up for debate.

It isn't.

[Update] U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell remarks (as prepared) on the Senate floor:

“I rise to discuss Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York.

“The ostensible purpose of this visit is to address the United Nations General Assembly. But Ahmadinejad will have accomplished much more than that by the time he leaves. By opening its gates to this man’s hateful ideology, Columbia University is allowing him to take full advantage of a golden opportunity to spread it — and giving it a level of deference it does not deserve.

“It is one thing for a foreign leader, even one as disreputable as Ahmadinejad, to visit the U.N. and remain confined to its grounds. As head of state, he is legally entitled to visit the United Nations. It is quite another to give a man who has referred to the United States as ‘the Great Satan’ and who denies the Holocaust a coveted platform from which to speak.

“Let’s consider for a minute what Iran has said and done under his presidency:

* Iran actively supports militias that undermine the Rule of Law and export weapons that are killing our United States soldiers and Marines in Iraq.

* Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear program that puts it on a path toward possessing nuclear weapons.

* Iran is a state sponsor of terror.

* Iran supports proxies that are undercutting attempts to bring peace, reconciliation, and democracy to Lebanon.

* Ahmadinejad has called for Israel, one of America’s closest allies, to be ‘wiped off the map.’

* Iran supports proxies in Syria and Gaza that are actively trying to goad Israel into war and undercut efforts to facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

* Ahmadinejad has denied that the Holocaust ever took place, calling it a ‘myth.’

* “He even hosted a convention of Holocaust deniers.

“It’s hard to imagine any nation on earth that threatens U.S. interests and those of its allies much more than Iran. It’s equally hard to imagine any great American University of generations past inviting a world leader to its campus who supported groups that kill U.S. soldiers and Marines.

“Think of the irony: Columbia University, home of the core curriculum that prizes an in-depth understanding of Western civilization and the free exchange of ideas is bringing to its campus a state sponsor of terror.

“A school that rejected the ROTC in 2005 on the grounds that the ‘Don’t ask don’t tell policy’ discriminated against gays now welcomes a man whose government reportedly executes them.

“Whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be speaking at Columbia shouldn’t be the subject of a philosophical debate. He already rejected that debate by leading a regime has chosen terrorism over reason and open dialogue. Under Ahmadinejad, the Iranian regime trains, funds, and exports terror.

“Defense Department sources tell us that Explosively Formed Penetrators, the most lethal form of improvised explosive devices used against our forces in Iraq, are being manufactured in Iran.

“I was heartened to see some common sense was injected into the Iranian leader’s visit when the New York City Police Department denied his request to visit Ground Zero and lay a wreath. Looking at Ahmadinejad’s record on terror, one wonders whether the wreath was meant to honor the victims of the World Trade Center attacks or its perpetrators.

“I support the Administration’s approach to the Iranian nuclear program. Active diplomacy and ratcheting up international sanctions are, at this point, the best path forward.

“That said, diplomacy is only as effective as the credibility and potential force backing it up. The President, as Commander in Chief is correct to preserve a broad spectrum of policy options in confronting the Iranian threat.

“Some groups on the left, such as, believe we should take military options off the table, then negotiate. Such an approach might make sense to the zealots on the far left, but it won’t help us in our efforts to slow Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

“Why would Iran take us seriously if we negotiate with all carrots and no sticks? And why would they take us seriously when their hateful screeds against us and our allies are met with an invitation to join polite society’s lecture circuit?

“Mr. President, I would just close by saying that I strongly support free speech. Free speech is a hallmark of democracy — a right not afforded by Ahmadinejad to his people.

“There is a world of difference between not preventing Ahmadinejad from speaking and handing a megalomaniac a megaphone, and a stage to use it.”

Despite Bollinger's harsh words and questions to the lunatic from Iran, none of those questions were answered and he allowed, in fact, INVITED, Ahmadinejad, and gave him an open forum to make a speech to the children of our country.

Bollinger needs to go.

For the record, I will not be putting Ahmadinejad, the lunatic pig's, full statement here. UNLIKE Bollinger, I will not give that monster a forum to spew his filth.

More from Hot Air.

[Update] McCain's statement:

U.S. Senator John McCain today made the following statement on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at Columbia University:
"I still find it astonishing and astounding that Columbia University would welcome the president of a country that has not only dedicated itself to a policy of extinction of the state of Israel, but as he is speaking, most of the lethal and explosive devices are being exported from Iran into Iraq, endangering and taking the lives of brave Americans who are serving. Meanwhile, Columbia University's belief in free speech does not extend to Reserve Officers' Training Corps units being allowed on their campus to attract outstanding young men and women to serve in the military."


You can see who is blogging about this throughout the day over at memeorandum.

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Little Tin God from You Betcha I'm a Proud Army Mom...