Protocol was not the order of the day at the so called prestigious Columbia University yesterday as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was blindsided, ambushed and verbally mugged by someone that should have and we suspect did know better, than to extend an invitation to a controversial leader of a foreign nation and display a behavior that should have been beneath him.
Lee Bollinger, 19th president of Columbia University, displayed disgraceful and embarrassing manners and conduct that demeaned, not only the institution, but further fueled the world’s opinion of America as a thug-like nation, completely devoid of respect of those holding counter views.
The fact that Mr. Bollinger extended an invitation to the Iranian president, placed him in the position of host; and as the host it was his responsibility to afford Mr. Ahmadinejad basic courtesy, security and a venue where a fair exchange of ideas could take place among learned and civilized people. Given that opportunity, Mr. Bollinger let Columbia University down while making a world class spectacle of an event that started out with America owning the high ground.
Mr. Bollinger’s wallowing in name calling at the very onset of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s introduction was appalling and detrimental to the process. His actions were so diametrically opposed to the offer made, we wonder if Mr. Bollinger suddenly caved into the powers that be at the last moment and used the opportunity to berate Mr. Ahmadinejad at the behest of his benefactors. Hopefully this sad display of crude American hospitality will be the bottom of a shameful lack of etiquette by any prominent representative of American culture and its populace.

Had Mr. Bollinger simply adhered to basic common courtesy, the objectives of the massive numbers of dissenters outside protesting would have been achieved without tainting ourselves as asses. Mr. Ahmadinejad, true to his nature and pre-billing made many ridiculous remarks and assertions, far too many to detail, that exposed him for the malignant misfit his detractors are desperately trying to portray him as. We lost ground and let him off the hook by loosing our cool and stooping to the level of juvenile antics by taking cheap shots at an invited guest. This, in our opinion is tantamount to inviting someone to dinner and then spitting in their food.

After Mr. Bollinger’s introduction, any ranting and raging on the part of the Iranian president may have been justified.If I was ever attacked like that before I had an opportunity to speak, I would have invited Mr. Bollinger and anyone else for that matter to an extra hot spot in Hell. I was shocked the Iranian president did not simply and politely excuse himself from the event altogether.

This nation has sunk very low in many areas over the years and if we are not careful in how we are viewed beyond our borders, we certainly will not be respected or welcomed beyond them. We are better than this America because we believe one can be tough while maintaining at least a modicum decorum and class