Politically Savvy: Iranian President to Visit Columbia

So, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is visiting the US today amidst a steady stream of protests from the White House and others. He is in New York to visit the United Nations headquarters and then he has accepted an invitation to speak tonight at Columbia University. America has been in uproar over this speech – I found a really good article in the Columbia student newspaper, the Columbia spectator, detailing how different communities on campus have been reacting to the Iranian president's visit. It has been alleged that Ahmadinejad has ties to terrorists, and the White House has maintained a staunch refusal to deal with Iran until Ahmadinejad loosens his ties to suspected terrorists groups.

However, whether you like Ahmadinejad or not, this editorial in the Columbia Spectator points out why it is worth listening to the man's speech anyways, and they have a point. Whether you agree or disagree with someone's politics, it is important to encourage dialogue on these kinds of world issues. I find it particularly awesome that Ahmadinejad is speaking at a university and giving American college students an incredible experience to see a powerful player in world politics up close (I'm jealous!). What do you think – is it a good thing or bad thing to allow Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia? Any Columbia students out there want to voice an opinion?



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