Hugh Hewitt
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Reports early on Thursday evening relayed that the fanatic who is the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had decided against visiting Ground Zero.  Perhaps he lost faith in his ability to mesmerize what promised to be an energized crowd of New Yorkers unwilling to forgive and forget the bombing of the Marine barracks in 1983, the bombing of the Jewish center in Argentina in 1994, the supply to Hezbollah of the rockets and missiles used in last summer's indiscriminate attacks on civilians, or the killing and wounding of American soldiers and Marines in Iraq through the use of Iranian manufactured explosives and Iranian trained and directed terrorists.

New Yorkers may be liberals, but on terrorism and state sponsors of terror, on the threat Iran poses to the world and especially Israel, and on Ahmadinejad 's Holocaust denials and his genocide incitement, they are not MoveOn.org lefties --and they were not about to allow this fanatic to desecrate the site of the 9/11 attacks.

Two leading Republican candidates for president, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, immediately blasted Ahmadinejad 's plan when it was announced:  If Senator Clinton (D.-MoveOn.org) had a reaction, I could not find it on her website. (Thursday was a busy day for the senator given the effort she had to put it defending MoveOn.org's assault on the reputation and integrity f General Petraeus.)

Ahmadinejad has not run out of New York venues, though, because of the welcome extended him by Columbia University.

Columbia University was once led by Dwight D. Eisenhower.  It is easy to guess what Ike would have though of the fanatic who will grace the campus Monday unless the Trustees of that university come to their collective senses and instruct the president, Lee Bollinger, to rescind this outrageous invitation.  Ike had experience with Holocaust deniers:

When General Eisenhower learned about [Buchenwald], he immediately arranged to meet Generals Bradley and Patton at Ohrdruf on the morning of April 12th. By that time, Buchenwald itself had been captured. Consequently, Ike decided to extend the group’s visit to include a tour of the Buchenwald extermination camp the next day. Eisenhower also ordered every American soldier in the area who was not on the front lines to visit Ohrdruf and Buchenwald. He wanted them to see for themselves what they were fighting against.

During the camp inspections with his top commanders Eisenhower said that the atrocities were “beyond the American mind to comprehend.” He ordered that every citizen of the town of Gotha personally tour the camp and, after having done so, the mayor and his wife went home and hanged themselves. Later on Ike wrote to Mamie, “I never dreamed that such cruelty, bestiality, and savagery could really exist in this world.” He cabled General Marshall to suggest that he come to Germany and see these camps for himself. He encouraged Marshall to bring Congressmen and journalists with him. It would be many months before the world would know the full scope of the Holocaust — many months before they knew that the Nazi murder apparatus that was being discovered at Buchenwald and dozens of other death camps had slaughtered millions of innocent people.

General Eisenhower understood that many people would be unable to comprehend the full scope of this horror. He also understood that any human deeds that were so utterly evil might eventually be challenged or even denied as being literally unbelievable. For these reasons he ordered that all the civilian news media and military combat camera units be required to visit the camps and record their observations in print, pictures and film. As he explained to General Marshall, “I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’”

His prediction proved correct. When some groups, even today, attempt to deny that the Holocaust ever happened they are must confront the massive official record, including both written evidence and thousands of pictures, that Eisenhower ordered to be assembled when he saw what the Nazis had done.

Eisenhower understood how propaganda worked, how the Nazis had used it through the '30s and the war, and how evil men would use it again in the future.

One such evil man is Ahmadinejad.  It is inconceivable that Columbia will allow this anti-Semitic blowhard a podium, or in any way add to his prestige at a time when the world is attempting to halt this gangster state's illegal acquisition of nuclear weapons.

But what is truly outrageous is that Columbia does not see the deep dishonor it is doing to the men and women killed and wounded by the machinations of this man and the regime he represents.  Some of those casualties of Iranian intrigue have come in Iraq just this year.

But Ahmadinejad’s rogue state has been killing Americans for far longer than that, and using terror against us since the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

Only weeks ago a United States District Court awarded the wounded and the families of the dead in the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing $2.65 billion in damages.  The opinion stating the damages is here.  It is hard reading because Judge Royce Lamberth details the terrible injuries these man have lived with for a quarter century, and many stories of the loss of loved ones are in the paragraphs as well.

Has the President of Columbia, Lee Bollinger, read this opinion?  He is a fine legal scholar, and was my professor at the University of Michigan Law School, and was a decent, friendly man.

But what is it about academia that robs its elites of basic decency towards their fellow citizens that he would invite one of their murderers to grace the stage at one of the nation's greatest universities? 

Where is the outrage among the faculty and the students?  Where are the parents of the students? 

Where are the Trustees and the alumni?

This should not stand. 

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Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.