People seem to be ignoring the obvious move. If Columbia’s invitation to Ahmadinejad is tough to justify, even on free speech grounds, maybe they have something else in mind. Bollinger could be using Columbia’s invitation to lure Ahmadinejad into a hostage taking. Think about it. What happened immediately after Iranian students (very possibly including Ahmadinejad himself) took Americans as hostages? There was general national paralysis in the United States, except for the founding of Nightline. So Columbia’s strategy is evidently to work the whole thing in reverse. Once Bollinger takes Ahmadinejad hostage, Iran will be paralyzed. Less assistance will pour into Iraq to endanger our troops. And we’re bound to see the creation of an Iranian counterpart to Nightline, which will finally introduce free debate and discussion into Iran. In short, in a clever if roundabout way, Bollinger’s hostage-taking strategy will actually forward the cause of free speech. Kudos to Columbia.