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Insulting Ahmadinejad

October 03, 2007

Re "Columbia's farce," Opinion, Sept. 28

I agree with Rosa Brooks criticizing Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger for denouncing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during opening remarks at a Columbia campus meeting. Correct or not, the Iranian president was still an invited guest and should have been treated as such. However, I do find fault with her assertion that this could not happen to our president because Bush's minions protect him from such attacks. I wonder if she has ever watched one of the president's news conferences, where the media spend a great deal of time playing "gotcha" with him without those purported "elites" who "collude to keep our own president in his safe little bubble." In this country, the president is not immune from ridicule for malapropisms and misstatements, which is much more than I can say for Ahmadinejad under similar circumstances in Iran.

Mel Watson

Mission Hills

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So Brooks thought Bollinger was "prissy" and "infantile" when he admonished Ahmadinejad, but if he had "made those same unvarnished remarks" to President Bush, he'd have practiced "free speech at its best." Can she not set aside her liberal stance long enough to see the double standard?

Lisa Marshall

Los Angeles

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Thank God for Brooks. An intelligent woman who can see past the political charade and speak to common decency. Every liberal and conservative writer/talk show host I heard supported Bollinger's tirade as a "brave man standing up to the devil."

I watched with horror as he scathingly attacked his invited guest and was shocked that Ahmadinejad did not get up and leave the stage. I take no issue with Bollinger's words -- Ahmadinejad may well be today's Hitler. But I was embarrassed that such an educated man lacked the knowledge and insight to behave appropriately at a supposed "forum for the exchange of ideas." Ahmadinejad, by staying and offering only a slight rebuke for the tirade, showed himself far more mature than Bollinger.

Virginia Ellsworth

Studio City

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