Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 26, 2007

Columbia's Bollinger - Hypocrisy At Large

Shortly after Columbia University's president insulted the invited guest Ahmedinejad by repeating lies of the Bush government, there was this event.

Columbia University World Leaders Forum, CMU

Monday, September 24, 2007, 9:00–10:00 a.m.
The Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue at 117th Street
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, President of Turkmenistan

Co-sponsored by the Harriman Institute

A keynote address followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

So what welcome did Berdymukhammedov receive?

The University director, Lee Bollinjer, a prominent scholar and author of a number of scientific treatises, books, textbooks, welcomed the Turkmen leader at the University.

Introducing the high guest to the teaching staff of the University, Lee Bollinjer noted that in seven months that Gurbnaguly Berdimuhamedov has been was leading the state, large-scale reforms, particularly, in education, science and culture were started in Turkmenistan.
Turkmen President speaks at Columbia University, Sept. 25, 2007


At least the guest was 'academic' enough to suffice Bollinger's standards:

Berdymukhammedov led an interactive presentation where pupils in supposedly regular middle schools in Turkmenistan were shown typing on sleek, late-model computer laptops, girls dressed in traditional costumes were dancing in a sparkling city park, and a provincial bazaar abounded in fruits and vegetables.

They were scenes of a Turkmenistan, where, as the president said, not natural gas, but people, are its "greatest asset.”

Turkmenistan is not known for its respect for its people or for human rights. Hundreds of people are imprisoned in Turkmenistan for their political beliefs.
At the conclusion of his presentation at Columbia, Berdymukhammedov urged all who are interested to know more about Turkmenistan, its economy, and other issues to approach and talk to the members of his delegation, which included several ministers and two deputy prime ministers.

Efforts by RFE/RL to speak with delegation members were unsuccessful.
Turkmenistan: President Says Press, NGOs Operate Freely, Radio Free Europe, Sep. 25, 2007

So why might Bollinger have used a different tone in this event? Could that be because Columbia has a 3 million investment in Chevron and other relations with the oil industry?

Berdymukhammedov - a former minister of health and the dentist of the country's previous ruler, Saparmurat Niyazov - was an unexpected choice to lead the impoverished country of five million people after Niyazov died last year.
ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and BP are among companies that have courted Turkmenistan recently, hoping to bolster their own reserves and tap non-OPEC sources.
U.S. officials woo Turkmenistan's president, IHT, Sept. 25, 2007

Just asking ...

Posted by b on September 26, 2007 at 7:34 UTC | Permalink


Are there homosexuals in Turkmenistan or just male wrestlers?

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 26 2007 7:58 utc | 1

Wasn't this the same joke of a guy who welcame Ahmadinejad a few days ago and basically told him he was a retard?

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 26 2007 9:20 utc | 2

Wasn't this the same joke of a guy who welcame Ahmadinejad a few days ago and basically told him he was a retard?

yep - it was yesterday, the same day he lauded Berdimuhamedov:

President Lee C. Bollinger's Introductory Remarks at SIPA-World Leaders Forum with President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Let’s, then, be clear at the beginning, Mr. President you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator.

Funni thing - unlike Ahmedinejad, Berdimuhamedov IS a dictator ...

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2007 9:27 utc | 3

updated the above post to make the content more clear.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2007 12:54 utc | 4

Excellent Bernhard!!

I sent your post to:

[email protected]

Maybe others can too.

Last night ABC's "Boston Legal" ran a rerun with a similar theme - Coincidence?

Posted by: Rick | Sep 26 2007 13:18 utc | 5

very good post! I re-posted it on my blog at:

Bollinger really is one sad character. Here is my 2ct on his performance:



Posted by: vineyardsaker | Sep 26 2007 13:57 utc | 6

The Washington Note, Steve Clemeon's blog at the New America Foundation, had a post by Scott Paul: Bollinger Gets an A that lauded Bollinger and damned Ahmedinejad.

Funny thing: All comments were negative on Bollinger and on the post. He then felt he had to update his writing:

A few readers have taken issue with the hostile nature of Bollinger's introductory remarks.

Out of 58 comments, 1 is positive on Bollinger and Scott Paul's post, the rest is negative.

"A few readers ..."

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2007 13:58 utc | 7

Thanks for this post, b, would never have found this on Bollinger. Sadly, he is probably being flooded with endowments for his pandering.

Posted by: ww | Sep 26 2007 14:30 utc | 8

Note to b: Generally in the 'States, CMU=Carnagie Mellon University, not Columbia.

Posted by: heatkernel | Sep 26 2007 17:28 utc | 9

@heatkernel - thanks, didn't know that - changed CMU to Columbia

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2007 17:56 utc | 10

It simply seems rude to invite someone to speak and then introduce him by lambasting him. I've been unhappily surprised that some of my favorite bloggers were opposed to Ahmadinejad visiting Ground Zero or, after his Columbia appearance, decided that he'd made himself a laughingstock. At the same time, it was heartening that almost all their commenters disagreed. Bollinger came off like a self-righteous swellhead, especially when he brought up the "wiped off the map" mistranslation and the undocumented charge that Iran is undermining American soldiers by supporting and arming insurgents. An elite institution, eh?

Posted by: Zotz | Sep 26 2007 22:26 utc | 11

Interesting piece in Al-Ahram with a lot more background on Bollinger

Posted by: Bea | Sep 30 2007 1:03 utc | 12

An Open Letter to Lee Bollinger.

Sock it to him.

Posted by: Bea | Sep 30 2007 2:06 utc | 13

AhmadiNejad $ Jews

Posted by: loyal | Sep 30 2007 17:27 utc | 14

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