While liberals applaud Columbia University's invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, conservatives are apalled. Ahmadinejad is the President of possibly the world's most dangerous nation, a terrorist country dedicated to the destruction of the United States and of Israel. He is a great admirer of Adolf Hitler, and he denies that Hitler ever killed Jews in the Holocaust. But no one should be surprised at Columbia's actions. Seventy-four years ago Columbia University invited Hitler's spokesman to speak, and hosted a lavish welcome reception for the Nazi.
That's right. Columbia has a long history of supporting the wrong people, countries and causes (see LINK below: Columbia University "Invites Hitler to Campus"). One might even say that New York's Columbia University ties California's Berkley University in the contest for the "Most Anti-American Institution of Higher Learning".
Columbia's reputation as an anti-Semitic institution is well-deserved. Long before the current outrage of inviting Iran's President (who had promised to destroy Israel), the University invited Hitler's spokesman in the United States, Hans Luther, to speak in 1933. Columbia president Nicholas Murray Butler said Luther represented "the government of a friendly people" and that he was "entitled to be received...with the greatest courtesy and respect." When Columbia students protested the invitation to the Nazi, they were ridiculed as being "Ill-mannered children."
Iran's president has often expressed his admiration for Adolf Hitler and his tactics. Although he claims that he does not believe history's account of Hitler's murder of six million Jews, he makes it clear that he himself yearns to murder Jews. Thus he has earned his title, The Hitler of Iran. Although he gets his inspiration for killing Jews from The Koran rather than Mein Kampf, he is no less a Nazi for that.
Ahmadinejad's main reason for coming to the United States is to speak to the United Nations General Assembly. (Once again, I must ask: "Why is this hate-filled anti-American organization allowed to exist on American soil?") He also requested (and was refused) permission to visit Ground Zero and lay a wreath there during his visit. He has stated that he will go there anyway.
What chutzpah! Considering his oft-expressed hatred for the United States, it is clear that the wreath will not be laid in memory of the victims. One can only conclude that this representative of a terrorist nation plans to lay the wreath in memory of the terrorists!
He has declared that "with the help of the Almighty, we shall soon experience a world without America and Zionism!" This is not the kind of person we want anywhere near Ground Zero. The police say they denied his request on the grounds of security. Why didn't they deny it based on respect for those who died and the police and firefighters who perished trying to save them?
There is another strong reason why Ahmadinejad should never be allowed to speak at an American university (or even be allowed on American soil). He has been accused of the felony crime of kidnapping by numerous reputable Americans. I refer, of course, to the 1979 incident when 63 U.S. diplomats and three other American citizens were taken hostage by Iranian students.
For those who may not remember, poor, bumbling Jimmy Carter tried to negotiate with the terrorists. He then attempted a covert rescue operation which failed miserably. As a result, 52 of the hostages were held in captivity for 444 days. Fortunately for hostages, Ronald Reagan beat the peanut farmer in his bid for re-election.
I believe Reagan quietly let it be known to Iran that he would not treat them with kid gloves as Crater had done. He told them in no uncertain terms that they would face serious consequences unless the hostages were released.
January 20, 1981 was the day of Ronald Reagan's inauguration. A deal in which Iran was to release the hostages in exchange for the release of Iranian money frozen in U.S. banks was almost complete, and the hostages were to be released that day. But then Iranian officials started dragging their feet. At that point, White House official Jody Powell warned Iran that if the hostages were not released by the time Carter left office at noon, Reagan would handle the situation much differently than Carter had. Thirty minutes before Reagan was sworn in as President, Iran agreed to release the hostages.
What does this have to do with Ahmadinejad? When he was elected president of Iran and his photo was all over the news, former hostages immediately recognized him as one of the leaders of the hostage-takers and started communicating with one another. (See CNN LINK below.) Although one former hostage stated that he was not sure Ahmadinejad was one of his captors, he did not spend as much time with the Iranians as did those who are certain of Ahmadinejad's guilt.
One of the hostages was our naval attaché, Don Sharer, a trained military officer. "As soon as I saw the face, it rang a lot of bells to me," he told a reporter. "Take 20 years off of him. He was there. He was there in the background, more like an adviser." Retired Army Colonel Charles Scott told his wife as soon as he saw Ahmadinejad's photo on TV, "I know that guy. He was one of them!" Look at the photos of Ahmadinejad then and now in the CNN article (see LINK below), and make your own judgment.
Of course, Iranian officials all claim he did not take part in the hostage-taking. But Ahmadinejad's official biography states that he was a member of the student organization that planned and carried out the crime. And a former president of Iran states categorically that Ahmadinejad was part of the core group that held the hostages (see LINK below).
To those who say, "That was 20 years ago," or "He has never been convicted of the crime," I say, "So what?" Most of the hostages swear he was a leader in the hostage crisis. But if these eye-witnesses are wrong, Ahmadinejad is still guilty of crimes against humanity. At his direction, his country daily sends bombs and weapons to Iraq to murder US and other Coalition forces. Iran is racing to build nuclear bombs, which it has pledged to use against Israel.
And he is guilty of the liberals' favorite type of crime: Hate Crimes. In his speeches he incites hatred against the United States, Israel, and all free non-Muslim nations. He has promised to wipe Israel off the map and kill as many British and American citizens as possible. Why is this animal even allowed on American soil, much less being given a platform from which to spew his hatred at an American University?
Jewish organizations have taken the lead in helping Columbia find a new direction. They are contacting Columbia alumni and other donors and informed them of the prevalence of invitations to speakers whose hatred of Jews, Israel and America is well-known. They suggest that all donations to the University be cut off until the University repents of its hate-mongering. Way to go!
Dr. Tom Barrett has been an ordained minister for 30 years. He has written for local and national publications for most of his life, and has authored several non-fiction books. He has been interviewed on many TV and radio programs, and speaks at seminars nationwide. Tom is the editor and publisher of Conservative Truth, an email newsletter read by over fifty thousand weekly which focuses on moral and political issues from a Biblical viewpoint.