Burt Prelutsky

I think that enough time has now elapsed since Mahmud Ahmadinejad addressed the old fools at the U.N. and the young fools at Columbia so that we can view the events with a clear and dispassionate eye.

So, first off, let me just suggest for about the ten thousandth time that we get out of the U.N. and then tell the U.N. to get out of the U.S. The organization serves no useful purpose, unless you count the number of New York bars, restaurants and bordellos, the various foreign diplomats keep afloat, thanks to their generous expense accounts.

The sad fact is that so long as we tolerate having the U.N. housed on our turf, we’re going to see the likes of Ahmadinejad, Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, taking advantage of our hospitality.

There was a great deal of controversy swirling around President Lee Bollinger’s inviting Iran’s president to address the student body at Columbia University. So, in order to show that he wasn’t just a pushover for any sweet- talking despot, Bollinger proceeded to insult the guy in his introductory remarks. Among other things, as I recall, he called him a petty dictator. I believe Ahmadinejad took exception to being called petty. As to be expected, the students showed their displeasure -- not with the fellow who’s made a career of denying the Nazi Holocaust while simultaneously threatening Israel with a nuclear holocaust -- but, instead, with Bollinger! They thought he was rude to their guest of honor. I guess they must all be boning up for their final in Moral Equivalency by watching Steven Spielberg’s “Munich.”

Actually, the event wasn’t a total loss. For one thing, Bollinger showed himself to be a complete dunce. Like a rube who sits down to play poker with guys called Doc, Slick, Sharky, Fingers and the Old Professor, he not only lost his shirt, but his shoes, his pants and, very possibly in the near future, his job.

In defense of extending the invitation to the Iranian gnome, Bollinger blathered on about Columbia’s dedication to free speech. The fact that he passed off that drollery with a straight face suggests he may have a career as a stand-up comedian. Apparently, Columbia’s approach to free speech is not unlike Iran’s. It extends to Islamic tyrants, but not to American conservatives. This is, let us not forget, the same Bollinger who fought against the ROTC’s being reinstated at his university, thus going on record as a proponent of free speech so long as the speaker is not affiliated with the U.S. military.