Democracies talk, tyrannies act


“I’m proud of my university today,” Stina Reksten, a 28-year-old Columbia graduate student from Norway, told the New York Times. “I don’t want to confuse the very dire human rights situation in Iran with the issue here, which is freedom of speech. This is about academic freedom.”

Isn’t it always? But enough about Iran, let’s talk about me! The same university that shouted down an American anti-illegal-immigration activist and the same university culture that just deemed former Harvard honcho Larry Summers too misogynist to be permitted on campus is now congratulating itself over its commitment to “academic freedom.” True, renowned Stanford psychology professor Philip Zimbardo is not happy. “They can have any fascist they want there,” said professor Zimbardo, “but this seems egregious.” But, hey, don’t worry: He was protesting not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presence at Columbia but Donald Rumsfeld’s presence at the Hoover Institution.

At some point during this past week, it was decided that the relevant Ahmadinejad comparison was to Nikita Krushchev. The Soviet leader toured America in 1960, was taken to a turkey farm, paid a visit to Frank Sinatra and Co. on the set of “Can-Can” and pronounced the movie “decadent.” And yet the republic survived. As one of my most distinguished fellow columnists, Peggy Noonan, put it in the Wall Street Journal, Krushchev’s visit reminded the world that “we are the confident nation.” And, as several e-mailers observed, warming to Noonan’s theme, back then hysterical right-wing ninnies didn’t get their panties in a twist just because a man dedicated to the destruction of our way of life was in town for a couple of days. CONTINUE

September 30, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. With respect to Lee Bollinger’s initial much applauded attack on Ahmadinejad, Mark Steyn pulls us back to reality, showing us that what Bollinger is really about deserves not our appluase, but our derision.

    Bollinger is just one of a great many names and voices in our society, some well known and others less so, whose Western passionate advocacy for giving freedom of speech to all and sundry including the evil amongst us or who come to our shores, blinds them to the fact that those who are given freedom to speak have subverted the freedoms we give them to destroy us.

    There comes a time when the person who by virtue of their taking advantage of our freedom of speech given them, to advocate harming and destroying us needs to be shut down in whatever manner appropriate so as to prevent them from ever again lifting a finger or voice against us.

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