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Friday, September 28, 2007

Bollinger's illusory idealism

This a great comment on Columbia President Lee Bollinger's performance while hosting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday.

Hat Tip: The Corner
Bollinger’s performance, however skillful, was illusory and narcissistic, precisely because he and his admirers forget that human ideals require the force of political and military institutions to guarantee their relevance. He prefers to think, no doubt, that it is his own idealism—and his knack for projecting it—that is defeating his victim. If Bollinger had to live as Iranian citizens do, he would know that idealism alone does not suffice. Any number of Iran’s jailed pro-democracy dissidents might be just as eloquent as Bollinger, but we can’t hear their voices. They lack the comfort of his illusions.

At Columbia, Bollinger was in the position of an effete mob boss in any number of gangster movies: slapping his victim around while the poor guy’s arms are pinned back. Ahmadinejad is no hero, and he deserves no sympathy. But that shouldn’t stop us from regarding Bollinger as a weakling, and being rather disgusted by the entire spectacle.
The Talmud has a term for people who act like Bollinger - who think they are succeeding on their own and avoid acknowledging the assistance of those around them. The term is "mechzey k'yuhara" - it appears conceited.

Read the whole thing (it's actually quite short and well worth it).


At 6:43 PM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

Captain Ed also has very thoughtful essay on the subject, entitled "What Free Speech Means and What It Doesn't".

The Captain notes the Western Left's narcissism. They especially love to say things such as they're "speaking Truth to Power", or some other such high-sounding, self-congratulating nonsense.

What the Western Left HATES is being held publicly accountable, particularly (as in the MSM and Academia) when their words and actions enable the fascist extreme left and Islamofascism. As Columbia University did in hosting Dinnerjacket and as Hofstra University will be doing in hosting Lynne Stewart, Al Qaeda's favorite American lawyer.

(Giving her a platform for legal ethics lectures, if you can believe it!)

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

Wups, forgot the URL of Captain Ed's blog, for those who don't know:

(Still can't figure out how to use that < a> tag! :-(


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