I doubt that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will ever allow anything ever remotely similar to "FREE SPEECH" in Iran. Not if his treatment today at the hands of the President, faculty and students of Columbia University was any example of the treatment he might expect at the hands of his own countrymen.
"Mr President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," University President Bollinger told Ahmadinejad, accusing him of brutal crackdowns on the country's academics and homosexuals.
"Why are you so afraid of Iranian citizens expressing their opinions for change?" he asked, challenging the leader of the Islamic republic to explain his comments downplaying the Holocaust.
"Frankly, in all candor Mr President, I doubt you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions," he added.
To his credit Ahmadinejad handled the criticism well and recovered quickly. But he faced a relentless attack at the hands of the various university representatives.
The tragedy of surrounding yourself with "yes men" and stifling all forms of free speech and dissent is that you remain ignorant of the real world and real people. This was clearly evident when Ahmadinejad said: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran we don't have this phenomenon."
It's tragic he is so ignorant. Of course that's because the state policy in Iran concerning homosexuality is "Don't tell or you're dead."
Read the full report here: Ahmadinejad faces public dressing down at US university