Yesterday I watched the live broadcast of a speech that the Iranian President had been invited to give at
At least that's what I tuned in to watch.
What I got was a long verbal assault on the President by a
He was rude, inaccurate, cowardly, and did a great disservice to his university and to the good name of American hospitality.
If you think a man is vile, you have every right to say so, but if you invite him as your guest then you should treat him (and the rest of us) with respect. If you can’t do that, then you should be honorable enough not to accept the task of introducing your guest.
For the most part, this professor's actions backfired.
The Iranian President (a man I approached with deep suspicion) came across as reasonable and honorable by comparison to the Professor, who sounded like one of those communist apparatchiks that used to disparage democracy and defend communism.
Can you imagine President Bush trying to cope with similar treatment if he had been invited to address the students at
The professor's introduction also colored my response to the questions asked to the President. It is fair enough to ask questions that put a President on the spot but it seemed to me that these questions showed a lack of self-awareness by the (American) students asking them. The questions were valid enough but the implied context was “How can you do this? Why aren’t you like us?” when perhaps the problem is that there are too many similarities between
The President was asked about why he is developing nuclear power, as if such a thing was outrageous, yet
He was asked why he supports terrorists, yet
He was asked why women are not accorded equal rights with men, yet
He was asked why homosexuals are victimized in
The most interesting question was - why did he want to go to the site of the WTC. He explained that he wanted to pay his respects and looked puzzled that this needed any explanation.
But then the whole event showed that, at least in