Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. — Vietnam vet, ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, presidential candidate — does not approve of Columbia University’s invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"To host the leader of Iran when he supports terrorists that are moving deadly roadside bombs across the Iraqi border to be used against American troops is a slap in the face for the entire 165,000 men and women in Iraq and to those that have served before them," Hunter said. "If (Columbia U.) President Lee Bollinger follows through with this hosting of the leader of Iran, I will move in Congress to cut off every single type of Federal Funding to Columbia University. If the left-wing leaders of academia will not support our troops, they, in the very least, should not support our adversaries."
As this debate simmered over the weekend, Columbia dean John Coatsworth told Fox News he’d have been happy to welcome Hitler to the campus — the argument being that had Columbia actually hosted Hitler in the late 1930s, World War II and the war against the Jews might have been prevented.
What Coatsworth may not realize, the New York Sun NOTES, is that in 1933 Columbia invited to speak at the university Hitler’s ambassador, Hans Luther. The university president back then responded to criticism of Luther’s speaking that Columbia "does not ask what a man’s opinions may be but only whether he is intelligent, honest, and well-mannered in their presentation and discussion."
The Sun suggests that those who argue that free speech enables evil to be silenced would do well to look at this example — because it did not work then the way Columbia’s president anticipated.
In other news …
What say you?