The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Qaddafi Comes to Columbia

Interesting article regarding Columbia's willingness to invite dictators and questionable regimes to speak on their beliefs and to engage in intellectual debate. As an intellectual I am somewhat torn on issues like this. I am a full believer in freedom of speech, particularly on University and College campuses, and I believe that information and ideas in and of themselves can almost never be "dangerous," only the actions that result. I understand as well, to a degree, the desire by members of the academy to get inside the heads, or so it seems, of dictators and politically corrupt regimes. They are necessarily investigating dangerous territory much in the same way that psychologists, sociologists, and criminalogists wish to get inside the heads of criminals and psychopaths. You can't fix it if you don't know what's broke.
At the same time, however, there is this prevailing notion that I have, and I'm sure many agree, that mass murderers and hatemongerers, such as Qaddafi who has been responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, who wholly supports terrorist organizations and the downfall of the United States, and who believes that there is no state with a democracy on this entire Earth except for Libya, should not be given the opportunity to spread their hatred and their lies in the context of an academic discussion at an intellectual powerhouse such as Columbia, especially under the farcical guise of "examining prospects for democracy."
In choosing to teleconference with Qaddafi, though, rather than bring him here for a personal visit, Columbia may have actually been wrong. For we lost a great have him imprisoned.

Dangerous Professor Invites Dangerous Dictator

By: Christopher Flickinger
Posted 03/27/06
04:03 PM

One of David Horowitz's "most dangerous professors" brings one of the world's most dangerous minds to campus.

Columbia University's Lisa Anderson, dean of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), co-sponsored an event on campus last week where Libyan dictator Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi shared his views of democracy via teleconference.

According to a school press release the two-day "academic conference" included U.S. and Libyan scholars and examined prospects for Democracy.

Fact Check: Qaddafi is a dictator whose country is one of six states that sponsor terrorism according to the U.S. State Department.

But, Columbia didn't let that little fact get in the way of its democracy conference. In fact, it welcomed Qaddafi's perspective on the subject, and boy did he deliver.

According to the Star Online, Qaddafi flaunted, "Libya's political system as superior to 'farcical' and 'fake' parliamentary and representative democracies in the West.." and said "There is no state with a democracy except Libya on the whole planet."

And while we're living in this fantasy world, here are a few more random statements that hold just as much merit as Mr. Qaddafi's comments on democracy:

* 9/11 was an elaborate conspiracy orchestrated by the Bush administration.

* The Titanic is docked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

* Saddam Hussein is the world’s foremost humanitarian.

* Hillary Clinton really just wants to be a house wife.

* The Earth is flat.

All of these statements are on par with Qaddafi's comment, "There is no state with a democracy except Libya on the whole planet."

Human Events U has been in contact with Chris Kulawik, president of the Columbia College Conservatives. He is outraged that the school gives credence to a man like Qaddafi.

"This is a man with a hand in the murder of all those aboard the Lockerbie flight, a purported bankroller for Black September and a Hamas supporter among other infamous deeds. Libya is on the same short list as Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria; …If Columbia is so susceptible as to host this farce, what's next? Is Castro to speak on the right of dissidents? The Mullahs on religious tolerance? The Chinese Premier on free speech in Tibet? Sadly, you just don't know."

Bottom line: Here's one of "America's most dangerous professors" welcoming one of the world's most dangerous dictators into the land of academia.


  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Eric said…

    Qaddafi's message is welcome at Columbia, yet when the university senate discussed ROTC last May, the US Military's message was considered so antithetical, they decided it couldn't be countenanced at Columbia.

    What's up with that?


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