Not to be outdone by the mainstream media, higher education is doing its utmost to educate useful idiots in training. Columbia University has announced that 15 of its students will have a private dinner meeting with Ahmadinejad when he comes to New York City later this month to address the UN General Assembly. Perhaps they can offer him a tour of the newly opened 9-11 memorial. Or, they may prefer to join him in a demonstration against Zionism and in favor of the UN vote on Palestinian statehood. It is good to know that a new generation is being nurtured to defend our freedom.
To be fair, Columbia President Lee Bollinger acquitted himself quite well back in 2007, when Ahmadinejad appeared at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs' annual World Leaders Forum. The Iranian President faced critical questions from both students and faculty--memorably responding to a question about gay rights in Iran by stating that there are no homosexuals in his country. (It would have been more truthful for him to say, "There are no live homosexuals that I know about in my country.") In introducing Ahmadinejad to the audience, President Bollinger said, "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."
However, this format of this year's event allows Ahmadinejad to avoid public questioning about the radical Islamist policies of his government. It is likely to be an Iranian PR triumph pure and simple. When the students shake the dictator's hand, it will be still be dripping with the blood of the pro-democracy protesters murdered on the streets of Tehran last year.