Columbia students have been doing their homework on Iran’s President
Ahmadinejad who is to speak at their campus today (student paper website above). They have discovered, as the NY Times also reports today:

that he is far from being the dominating political figure in Iran.  He will give his speech today and then be questioned on some of his controversial statements: that Israel should be destroyed, that the Holocaust never happened.

Presumably there will be some protests — the TV news were setting up last night on Broadway at the main entrance to the campus prior to the reported closing of this major thoroughfare (particularly for truck traffic) into NYC from the north.

Hopefully whatever protests will remain peaceful.  Some voices — mainly from outside the University — have expressed outrage at its invitation for Ahmadinejad to speak (which had been rejected by the university president, Lee Bollinger, last year at this time).

Six hundred tickets to the event were snatched up and classes will continue as usual, but only students and faculty will be allowed to enter the campus.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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