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My first instinct:

Let him talk.

What could Iranian frontman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad possibly say at the Distinguished Lecture Series at Columbia University that could have a serious impact on our culture? Moreover, what possible impact could his mere appearance on the campus of Columbia University do for him and/or to us?

Reasonable people disagree about this. But I say:

Let him talk.

The most vociferous handwringers in all this are generally East-Coast intellectuals who put too much stock in the power of Ivy League universities to influence America and the world.

Let him talk.

True, Columbia President Lee Bollinger believes in free speech only as long as it does not extend to American conservative speech, but that is beside the point.

Let him talk.

For the most part, the Ahmadinejad speech went the way of all Ahmadinejad speeches.

Some things I expected:

Ahmadinejad would be boring.

Ahmadinejad would obfuscate, stonewall, and generally ignore the questions.

Ahmadinejad would not be attractive (although I was relieved not to see the Members Only jacket).

Ahmadinejad would prove incendiary (like a fox) and banal simultaneously.

Something I did not expect:

Columbia President Lee Bollinger, who spent the week sanctimoniously preaching free speech, the merits of open-mindedness, and fair hearings, would cravenly try to save his reputation by excoriating Ahmadinejad in a ten minute rant disguised as an introduction.

Something else I did not expect:

That I would agree with Ahmadinejad, when he pointed out that the prefatory remarks were insulting, inhospitable, and hypocritical:

“In Iran, tradition requires that when we invite a person to be a speaker, we actually respect our students and the professors by allowing them to make their own judgment and we don’t think it’s necessary before the speech is even given to come in with a series of claims and to attempt to provide a vaccination of sorts to our faculty and students.”

Amen. Undoubtedly, we all agree with the substance of Bollinger's comments--but what was the point? Why invite the little creep (or, to quote Bollinger, the “petty and cruel dictator”), if only to dress him down in front of a forum dedicated to civil exchange. What was the point?

One other question: if John Bolton had offered a similar introductory challenge and hypercritical assessment of Ahmadinejad prior to his distinguished lecturer speech--would Lee Bollinger have thought it appropriate?
Story here.

Tell me again, why are we supporting the economy that supports the ambitions of an enemy?
A roundup of the recent examples of the terrorist threat to the American homeland.

An Al-Qaeda Linked Iraqi, and companions, arrested in Peru trying to enter the United States on false papers. From Gateway Pundit.

A man on the FBI Terrorist Watch List questioned by local police after taking pictures of bridge. Released before the locals found out he was on the watch list. From Gateway Pundit.

Muslim medical student arrested near park in Dearborn, Michigan, carrying AK-47 and wearing camo. From Little Green Footballs. And also From Little Green Footballs.

Perhaps not on our soil, but maybe so. Terrorist arrested in Canada for plotting bombing. From Little Green Footballs.

Pakistani woman arrested crossing Mexican border into Texas has terrorist ties. From JihadWatch.

Pentagon official states that the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood has established front groups in the U.S. From JihadWatch.

Report released on contents of trunk of Muslim students arrested in South Carolina. From via Instapundit.

Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Freedom. Think about it as you consider your 08 vote.
The Washington Times has this editorial on the political problems in Belgium that may lead to that nation splitting into two: the Dutch-speaking, wealthier Flemings, and the French-speaking, poorer Walloons. Although the Walloons are the minority, at 30% of the population, the Belgium constitution guarantees them 50% of the government. In practice this has made the socialists and their Francophile agenda dominant. Now, months into a political impasse, the future of country as a united nation is in peril.

The Washington Times editorial warns the EU to take note:

It is Belgium's business whether it chooses to split in two, and certainly any observer who sympathizes with the right to self-determination would see Flanders' point. It seemingly cannot escape from the harmful policies of its central government. A split would likely send Flanders packing to join the Netherlands, while Wallonia would be pressed not to join France. What becomes of the bilingual capital, Brussels, is a devilish problem with no easy solution.

Let us hope for the European Union's sake that Brussels' E.U. leaders learn the right lessons here. Sooner or later, the will of the people must be respected. A government which aims to herd people for its own selfish purposes, or for the purposes of an overempowered minority, risks eventual destruction. As a courageous band on the other side of the pond once put it: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it."

From The Times of India this story.

NEW DELHI: Shahid Bilal, accused of masterminding the twin blasts in Hyderabad, was reportedly killed by ISI in Karachi on August 30.

According to Indian intelligence sources, Bilal was shot dead primarily because he had overstepped his brief. By acquiring a strong media profile, Bilal's actions, particularly in masterminding terror operations, was slowly squeezing the deniability argument ISI has maintained for years while overseeing terror activities in India.

In other words, killed by Pakistanis not because he was a terrorist, but because he had become too high profile and therefore had to be eliminated by the Pakistani intelligence service before his connections to them became obvious. This is the Indian take. The truth . . .hard to tell in this shadowy world, but certainly plausible.
The China Post has this transcript of an address by Thomas J. Christensen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, stating the official U.S. position on the security of Taiwan. (When you click on the link, you will be asked to install a language pack. Click cancel, you do not need the language pack, the Post is in English.)

In a nutshell, we want a democratic Taiwan, make vague noises against agression by China, but very much warn Taiwan not to do anything that might annoy China.
We have recommended Michael Yon before, and do so again. He is embeds with the troops and reports professionally. Here is a link to the start of his latest series.
Gates of Vienna has the scoop on the police reaction to today's demonstrations in Brussels against the Islamification of Europe. Water cannons, dogs, batons, mass arrests. Link from Instapundit.

Which party's candidates want us to become more like European culture and governments?
Had you told me on 9/11/01 that we would not be hit hard on our own soil for the next six years, I would not have believed you. And yet it is true. The Bush Administration has accomplished a difficult task on a level with the great governmental achievements of any nation at any time. Three cheers.
1. We live in a dangerous world in which there are people who want us dead.
2. The most sophisticated spy satellites will not replace human intelligence gathering.
3. We must not make a god of Political Correctness. One of the ticket agents thought about notifying authorities regarding one of the hijackers who seemed dangerous, but did not do so for fear of being labeled a racist.
4. The best defense is a good offense. We have not been hit hard in our homeland because we are not passively waiting another attack.
5. We cannot make American security a hostage to the attitudes of European elites.
6. Islamic ideology is the driving force behind the jihad against us. We are in another hot phase of the nearly 1400 year-long war of Islam against everyone else.
7. Expensive weapons systems will not replace human soldiers in the dangerous alleys of the world.
8. The war against Islamic radicals is not a police action that can be carried on under the rules of law enforcement. Those who declare themselves to be our enemies by their actions and words must be treated as enemies. "Ride with outlaws; hang with outlaws."
9. Killing individual jihadis is like swatting mosquitoes. We must take on the ideology of radical Islam like we took on the ideology of Marxist-Leninism during the Cold War.
10. Forget the corrupt and ineffective U.N. We must make common cause with nations that share our values and have their own reasons to fight Islamic radicals. Nations like Britain, Australia, India, Israel.
11. Nations that support attacks against us, like Iran, must pay a heavy price.
12. We must realize, and act upon the knowledge, that two incompatible world-views are in conflict. The winner will determine the future. Our freedom, and existence, are on the line.
13. We must not forget that the world is more complicated than us versus the Islamic radicals. China will take advantage of the situation to gain power in the world; Russia will pursue the old dream of being a Great Power. The world is a dangerous prison yard--to the unaware comes the shiv.
14. If we maintain our freedom, it will be because of the triumph in our nation of the Great Values: courage, self-sacrifice, honesty, commitment to the Common Good, honor.
15. We must wean ourselves from foreign oil: we are paying for our own destruction.
The Sidney Morning Herald has this video of Australian troops in a firefight in Afghanistan. We need to remind ourselves that we are not alone in this fight. And, we need to remember that over the last 100 years Australia has been our most dependable ally.

05/09: Add Joke Here

Washington D.C. groups giving away free condoms report that demand has dropped radically since the MADE IN CHINA prophylactics have packaging that tears easily, sometimes in a pocket or purse, giving the product a shoddy and defective appearance. Story here.

I'll refrain from immature jokes, though I'm tempted to list possible advertising slogans.
Perhaps the Chinese are hoping that if we have enought of these stories, we will stop noticing. AP is announcing that Mattel will recall more toys MADE IN CHINA because of lead. Story from The Times of India.