Columbia Dean John Coatsworth’s comments on Fox News:
If Hitler were at uh, the League of Nations or some meeting in NY–the League of Nations wasn’t there–um, if Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms from which 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, um, we would certainly invite him.
Now that the feret-faced piece of Shiite Ahmadinejad has hit town, Rafael Medoff of the Wyman Institute, reminds us that Columbia once invited a representative of ‘Der Furher’ in 1933:
Seventy years before this week’s invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Columbia rolled out the red carpet for a senior official of Adolf Hitler’s regime. The invitation to Iran’s leader may seem less surprising, but no less disturbing, when one recalls that in 1933, Columbia president Nicholas Murray Butler invited Nazi Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Hans Luther, to speak on campus, and also hosted a reception for him. Luther represented “the government of a friendly people,” Butler insisted. He was “entitled to be received … with the greatest courtesy and respect.” Ambassador Luther’s speech focused on what he characterized as Hitler’s peaceful intentions. Students who criticized the Luther invitation were derided as “ill-mannered children” by the director of Columbia’s Institute of Arts and Sciences.
Columbia also insisted on maintaining friendly relations with Nazi-controlled German universities. While Williams College terminated its program of student exchanges with Nazi Germany, Columbia and other universities declined to do likewise. Columbia refused to pull out even after a German official candidly asserted that his country’s students were being sent abroad to serve as “political soldiers of the Reich.”
In 1936, the Columbia administration announced it would send a delegate to Nazi Germany to take part in the 550th anniversary celebration of the University of Heidelberg. This, despite the fact that Heidelberg already had been purged of Jewish faculty members, instituted a Nazi curriculum, and hosted a burning of books by Jewish authors. Prof. Arthur Remy, who served as Columbia’s delegate to the Heidelberg event, later remarked that the reception at which chief book-burner Josef Goebbels presided was “very enjoyable.”
“Academic relationships have no political implications,” President Butler claimed. Many Columbia students and faculty members disagreed. More than one thousand of them, including Nobel Laureate Harold Urey and world-renowned anthropologist Franz Boas, signed a petition opposing the decision to participate in Heidelberg. The student newspaper, The Spectator, also opposed it. Students held a “Mock Heidelberg Festival” on campus, complete with a bonfire and mock book burning. “Butler Diddles While the Books Burn,” their signs proclaimed.
That was followed by a student rally in front of Butler’s mansion. Butler was furious that a leader of the rally, Robert Burke, “delivered a speech in which he referred to the President [Butler] disrespectfully.” As punishment, Burke was expelled from Columbia. He was never readmitted, even though he had excellent grades and had been elected president of his class, and even though Columbia’s own attorney later acknowledged that “the evidence that Burke himself used bad language is slight.”
As Prof. Stephen Norwood of the University of Oklahoma has found in his research on the academic community’s response to Hitler in the 1930s, Columbia was not the only prominent U.S. university to behave shamefully with regard to the Nazis. Harvard hosted a visit by Hitler’s foreign press spokesman, Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl. American University chancellor Joseph Gray visited and praised Nazi Germany. MIT Dean Harold Lobdell personally tore down posters for a rally against a Nazi warship docked in Boston’s harbor, and MIT participated in a 1937 celebration at the Nazi-controlled University of Goettingen. Yale, Princeton, Bryn Mawr, and others continued student exchanges with Nazi Germany into the late 1930s, and more than twenty U.S. colleges and universities took part in the 1936 Heidelberg event.
The 1st Amendment to the Constitution is a guaranteed right of American citizens, not foreign visitors. “Free speech” is a very selective item among the academic intelligentsia. There is no such thing as common sense, or the principle of inviting someone who is rational as opposed to a despot who participates in the bloody quest for a world-wide caliphate.
Columbia President Lee Bollinger chastised Ahmadinejad during the introduction for his “preposterous, belligerent statements” and called him “a petty and cruel dictator.” Wow, that’s an understatement. And nothing more than an attempt to save face and maybe what’s left of a reputation.
Ahmadinejad’s little rant was the requisite Islamofascist party line and question-dodging. Not surprisingly, the audience was conspicuously absent of dissenters and chock full of nihilistic moonbats. They gave enthusiastic applause at the end of the charade.
What a proud moment for America.
If Bollinger thinks his little spiel makes this all better, he’s as nuts as Mahmoud.
Patriots like Jim Gilchrist from the Minute Men Civil Defense Corps are snubbed, and the ROTC is forbidden, but they’ll solicit every anti-American miscreant, 9/11 ‘truther’, Communist, and pro-Al-Qaeda excrement under the pretense of ‘free speech’.
Free speech has nothing to do with giving an open forum to a terrorist thug who has oppressed free speech in his own country. Not only that, but the son-of-a-bitch was recognized by former American Embassy workers as one of the leaders of the 1979 hostage taking in Tehran. Too bad some of his victims weren’t invited to provide their side of the story. Just wait until the U.N. asshats or some other ‘prestigious’ leftwing university extends an invitation to Bin Laden.
President Bush gave a very, very lame response to this whole despicable episode, saying that the appearance of this piece of Islamic shit speaks to the “greatness” of the United States of America.
I think there are better ways to demonstrate our greatness, George.
The president added that, “He’s the head of a state sponsor of terror, and yet, an institution in our country gives him the chance to express his point of view, which really speaks to the freedoms of the country…..I’m not so sure I’d offer the same invitation, but nevertheless, it speaks volumes about the greatness, really, of America. We’re confident enough to let a person express his views. I just really hope he tells everybody the truth.”
Don’t bet on it, George. The only thing he did was take the opportunity to use our own media in our own country as a soapbox for anti- Western animosity.
On occasion, the State Department has used common sense and discretion in barring the entrance of known terrorist leaders into the United States:
DEPARTMENT STATEMENT, NOV. 26, 1988
The 1947 UN headquarters agreement obligates the United States to provide certain rights of entry, transit, and residence to persons invited to the UN headquarters district in New York City.
The Congress of the United States conditioned the entry of the United States into the UN headquarters agreement on the retention by the U.S. Government of the authority to bar the entry of aliens associated with or invited by the United Nations “in order to safeguard its own security.”
The U.S. Government has convincing evidence that PLO elements have engaged in terrorism against Americans and others. This evidence includes a series of operations undertaken by the Force 17 and the Hawari organizations since the PLO claimed to foreswear the use of terrorism in the Cairo declaration of November 1985. As Chairman of the PLO, Mr. Arafat is responsible for actions of these organizations which are units of Fatah, an element of the PLO of which he also is chairman and which is under his control.
Pssssst hey Condi, doncha think Mahmoud fits that description?