Oct 03 2007

US and freedom

Published by at 1:21 pm under All Africa,Politics,Religion,US

What was interesting about the whole spectacle was that Bollinger had initially defended his decision to invite Mr Ahmadinejad in the face of sustained criticism from the Bush administration and rightwing American media which called him (Bollinger) “a terrorist-coddling liberal egghead” whose extension of the invitation was “a monument to everything wrong in American academia”.

In defending his decision, Bollinger cited the First Amendment to the American constitution that says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the Press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Said Bollinger: “It is a critical premise of freedom of speech that we do not honour the dishonourable when we open the public forum to their voices. To hold otherwise would make vigorous debate impossible.”

But the US media was nonplussed as it tore into the Iranian leader, calling him all sorts of names. While the Iranian leader humbled his hosts, the childishness with which the Bush administration, the US media and Columbia University handled a purely academic exercise should reveal to all that the myth of the so-called “Free World” is just that — a myth.


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