Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Tyrant Opens Mouth, Spews Nonsense

[From the St. Petersburg Times editorial published September 26, 2007. I replaced the name of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with "George Bush"]

The President, in New York on Monday, fully availed himself of the right of free speech to suffer the idiocy of his own words. George Bush, who has said some ridiculous things, added to that impressive record. He claimed his country was democratic and free. His speech at Columbia University gave the world another unvarnished glimpse of an unhinged leader, and for that we can thank Columbia and the First Amendment. George Bush, a provocateur, surely saw Columbia as less an opportunity to learn or engage in open, honest debate than as a forum to score political points. He rambled and dodged and twisted the questions. "We love all nations," was the throwaway line as he downplayed his support for terrorists, and his repression of gays, intellectuals and political dissent. Many critics were outraged by Columbia's decision to invite George Bush to speak. But as Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, aptly pointed out:" Having the leader on campus would help the nation, he said, "understand the world we live in," And Bollinger made it clear what he thought of George Bush in an unusually blunt introduction. "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," he said, adding, "You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated." George Bush complained of "unfriendly treatment" at Columbia. It is safe to say he does not have to face unfriendly audiences back home that laugh and boo at his performance. His spinning, defiance and perversion of reality should embarrass his countrymen.


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