Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in N.Y. today delivering a speech at Columbia University. Before the speech Columbia University President Lee Bollinger ripped into Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “going through a long list of documented actions and remarks by the firebrand Iranian leader and his government.”
“Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” Bollinger said to applause from many of the 600 people in the room for a speech from the Iranian leader.
Bollinger cited the Iranian government’s “brutal crackdown” on dissidents, public executions, executions of minors and other actions.
And he assailed Ahmadinejad’s “denying” of the Holocaust as “ridiculous” and “dangerous propaganda.” He called the Iranian leader either brazenly provocative “or astonishingly uneducated.”
“The truth is that the Holocaust is the most documented event in human history,” he said.
Ahmadinejad’s visit to the U.S and his speech has been the source of a lot of controversy with many speaking out about the visit. Senator John Kerry made the following statement today about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the United States and his address at Columbia University:
“Today Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was permitted the freedom that he denies to his own people, the right of free speech. I hope the Iranian people welcome him home with tough questions about why he believes he should enjoy liberties his own people do not share,” said Kerry.
“I’m proud of the Columbia students and faculty today who reminded the world that this man engages in the cruelest forms of oppression to strengthen his brutal regime.
“Calls for ‘research’ and ‘study’ don’t change the fact that this man is a Holocaust denier who trades in anti-Semitism. It is long past time for the world to renounce this bigoted revisionist history, and important for everyone to remember that this demagogue fronts the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, aids and abets the killing of American soldiers in Iraq, and is illegally pursuing a nuclear bomb.”
Opinions on Ahmadinejad’s visit to the U.S. in the blogosphere can be found at Shakesville; Thought Theater; ThinkProgress; TalkLeft; The Moderate Voice; The Washington Note; The Van Der Galiën Gazette; Captain’s Quarters; Jules Crittenden and Feministe.