The only real surprise from the disgraceful speaking appearance by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University is that anybody was surprised at all. University President Lee Bollinger was so taken aback by the ferocity of public anger that after first stridently defending his decision to bring the crazed Iranian ruler on campus, he felt compelled to excoriate Ahmadinejad once they were both on stage.
University leaders felt a necessity to justify themselves, resorting to most of the worn out clichÃ©s by which they have repeatedly justified their abysmal behavior in recent years. Among other excuses, Columbiaâ€™s defenders claim a â€œFirst Amendment issue,â€ along with their predictable mantra that â€œuniversities exist for the purpose of freely and openly exchanging all ideas, no matter how outrageous they may be.â€
To begin with, the First Amendment was not the product of a committee of bloodthirsty mullahs intending to confer it upon all humanity. Rather, it resulted from the measured thought and reason of a handful of God-fearing men who, as a result of their Christian perspective on the inalienable rights of man, sought to establish a nation in which such rights would be protected among its citizens.