Writing at NRO, two undergraduate students at Columbia, David J. Feith and Jordan C. Hirsch, related the university’s invitation to Ahmadinejad to standards.
They inquired as to what standards universities should use in extending official invitations to speakers, and they concluded, rightly in my view, that campuses should not grace persons such as Ahmadinejad – a sponsor of terror against us, a killer of our troops, a religious fanatic, and Jew-hater – with “a valuable political gift that…he will use to further repress his people and threaten his neighbors.”
In other words, considerations regarding international security should come into play in defining the standards underpinning what campus events are allowed or disallowed. A critical standard for issuing such invitations should surely be that the proposed speaker reasonably be expected not to use the forum as a weapon to destroy others.
The propaganda tool handed to Ahmadinejad constitutes just such a weapon. As noted in The New York Sun:
The bursts of applause he received from…Columbia’s leftist student body and faculty will be broadcast at home, along with Mr. Ahmadinejad’s sneering and lying responses on everything from the A-bomb to the Holocaust to the war his country is fighting by proxy against our own and Israel. That will be a gift to him that keeps on giving.