Over an avalanche of protests, New York's Columbia University invited Iran's Holocaust denying dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on campus. That any American institution would furnish a propaganda platform for this murderous thug is symptomatic of staggering ignorance about our enemies in this global war on terror.
Self-congratulatory liberals, like Columbia's President Lee Bollinger, actually see the university's hosting of Ahmadinejad as a cause to celebrate -- advancing free speech and diverse viewpoints -- as opposed to something that must be reluctantly tolerated.
What will it take to wake people up to the reality that this tyrant is every bit as pernicious as Osama bin Laden? Then again, many would probably jump to offer bin Laden a forum, as well. After all, they believe both have legitimate grievances against U.S. policy.
Columbia history professor Kenneth T. Jackson said New York has more than a legal duty to accommodate controversial figures from abroad. "It's a moral obligation as a great city," said Jackson. "New York's record is one of toleration of difference."
Doesn't that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Well, I'm not rejoicing over this wrongheaded decision to turn over a major university megaphone to Ahmadinejad to help him "teach Americans about the world."
We have no legal duty to accommodate the despot behind many, perhaps most, of the improvised explosive devices killing our soldiers in Iraq. The U.S. Constitution is not a global guarantor of civil rights. It does not protect the speech of foreign dictators. It was not written to safeguard al Qaeda's rights or its sensibilities.
Even if the First Amendment did apply, it wouldn't oblige us to provide rhetorical weapons, ammunition and delivery systems to our sworn ideological enemies in this deadly war of ideas. Ideas have consequences, and the promotion of deadly ones can have deadly consequences.
Some leftist media types are afflicted with this bizarre notion that their journalistic integrity requires them to strive for neutrality between the United States and her enemies. Remember CNN anchor Bernard Shaw professing such nonsense when refusing to be debriefed during Gulf War I?
Nor do we have a "moral obligation" to enable terrorists to kill us, destroy our nation and promote a worldwide caliphate. There's no ethical requirement that we prop up a sadistic egomaniac who has threatened to dispatch 40,000 suicide bombers throughout the civilized world and who is rattling his saber against this country amid chants from his indoctrinated, crazed subjects calling for "death to America."