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Columbia University Shows True American Values

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Columbia University, by inviting Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak, has shown confidence in the wisdom and adultness of their students and our republic.
 
Ahmadinejad is the president of a major nation in a vital part of the world, and we should have enough self-assurance and belief in our own system of government, and in the intelligence of our college students, that we can let them (and our larger public) evaluate his words, whatever they may be.
 
To be terrified of his speaking there (or, for that matter, laying a wreath at Ground Zero) is behavior one would have expected from a fragile régime like Khrushchev’s USSR or Burma’s military junta, not the bold, brave, and fearless USA.
 
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We are the nation whose President Nixon reached out to and met with China’s Mao Tse Tsung at the same time Mao was funding and arming the North Vietnamese to kill our soldiers in Vietnam. We’re the nation whose President Reagan confronted Soviet President Gorbachev, who at the time had thousands of nuclear warheads armed and pointed at us and was actively funding and arming proxy wars we were fighting in more than a half-dozen nations. We’re the nation whose President Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
 
And let’s also remember that the people of Tehran, Iran, produced one of the largest candlelight vigil demonstrations in the Muslim world in support of the USA the day after 9/11, repudiating the act and actors of that event. We still have the ability to make an ally of that nation, and shouldn’t blow it by fear and bluster (or bombs). America is better and stronger than the nervous Nellies and chickenhawk war-mongers who currently have control of the Republican Party (and a few Democrats, apparently).
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As JFK said: “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
 
We are not afraid. We are Americans!
 
Permission is granted for reprint in print, email. or web media so long as this credit is unchanged.
Published on Monday, September 24, 2007 by CommonDreams.org 

 

http://www.thomhartmann.com

Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)
 

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but  since when providing access to the ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 2:21:47 PM
Some guy is repeating his angry order for 'Fre... by C.Bid on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 3:00:50 PM
It is sad that we have to glorify and praise free ... by John R Moffett on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 3:08:35 PM
Aftre watching the news flashes it is apparent tha... by Mac McKinney on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 3:24:29 PM
but, given the viewpoints of Iran's prez, woul... by C.Bid on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 4:17:40 PM
I can't really comment too much without seeing... by Mac McKinney on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 5:20:26 PM
Mistranslated - sure...  The first time Ahmad... by Barbara Peterson on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 10:21:37 PM
from sources with no credibility. You offer a tran... by Richard Mynick on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 11:54:23 PM
You like to quote anti-Israel sources, and that is... by Barbara Peterson on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 9:41:22 AM
Which one has invaded all its neighbors & bomb... by Richard Mynick on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 10:15:55 AM
Ilam Pappe and Norman Finkelstein long before anyt... by richard on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 11:55:39 AM
and I'm not talking about body organs.I admire... by Kathlyn Stone on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 5:07:04 PM
...by today's standards, Columbia's allowi... by CD Rodgers on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 5:25:20 PM
Well, mostly American values, except for busing in... by Jim Freeman on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 6:09:47 PM
obnoxious appeals to nationalism? The article reak... by Richard Mynick on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 7:12:09 PM
Maybe I did not specify it so clear in my comment... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 7:39:49 PM
It was the 6th, not  the 5th SS tank army, th... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 7:42:28 PM
I was in such a hurry and the buttons I did not se... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 8:12:28 AM
the first response, when you wrote "since whe... by Richard Mynick on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 8:23:55 PM
I think it was fairly obvious...Though no one addr... by C.Bid on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at 8:28:48 PM
Ahmawhackjob shouldn't have been invited. But ... by Scott on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 12:20:18 AM
from the audience which can be considered as '... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 8:09:47 AM
about as much grace & commitment to "free... by Richard Mynick on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 10:26:39 AM
with a word you said. Bollinger = shill for Bush a... by richard on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 12:08:24 PM
I would bet that Bollinger is a (one who practices... by Ernest on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 8:04:48 AM
Mr. Hartman's piece reads like a grade 8 piece... by bird on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 8:19:39 AM
Here I am in Tehran, where one thing all foreigner... by Rosa Schmidt Azadi on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 10:13:07 AM
Well, there you have it from someone who lives amo... by Jim Freeman on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 10:58:38 AM
Right as rain.... by Timothy V. Gatto on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 11:22:07 AM
I watched most of the spectacle on CSPAN before be... by Brad Griffeth on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 11:46:02 AM
Please stop with the American values nonsense. Thi... by coyote on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 4:43:24 PM
I think Iran should have nuclear power and the bom... by Dom Jermano on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 10:07:49 PM
You mean when he stated that there are no homosexu... by Scott on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007 at 10:37:16 PM