.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Off-Topic: Debating Irainan President at Columbia 


我的母校最近成為新聞的焦點。這件事情跟棒球完全無關,不過是件值得一提的事情,所以破例在這裡寫下我的一點看法。

對於事情的經過,New York Times 的 Helene Cooper 在 9/25/2007 這篇 Ahmadinejad, at Columbia, Parries and Puzzles 有大致上還算完整的介紹。Columbia Univ 校方對這個事件的記錄在新聞網頁上。

對於事件的批評大概集中在兩點:
1. Columbia Univ 為什麼邀請這樣一個獨裁者來學校演講。
2. 既然邀請 President Ahmadinejad 來演講,為什麼校長 Bollinger 用這麼不禮貌的方式做開場介紹 (Maureen Doud 在她的專欄裡以 "the meanest introduction in the history of introductions" 形容)?

第一點通常是從言論和學術自由切入,論述方式大家其實都很清楚,毋需贅言。如果問題在於要不要讓伊朗總統有一個對話機會,我的想法是傾向於肯定的。他次日在聯合國大會的演講不是對話的方式,在他演講後其他國家的發言不管多尖銳,雙方不會有正面詰問攻防的機會,跟學校裡這場演講的情況不同。美國及世界其他區域對中東的了解只有不足,從來沒有過度的問題。有一個主動設定議題並且直接詢問伊朗總統的機會,總比沒有的好。

我看到 Cooper 那篇文章後,對於校長做這樣一個介紹覺得有些訝異。這不是突發事件,校長有時間準備這個開場演說,同時他會有時間諮詢其他人的意見。最後我們看到他用這樣的方式來介紹 Ahmadinejad 總統:

...Let's, then, be clear at the beginning, Mr. President you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator....
(校長 Bollinger 致詞全文連結)

也難怪 Ahmadinejad 總統在演講開始時從 SIPA 的 Dean 開始講起,忽略了校長,並且回以

At the outset I want to complain a bit from the person who read this political statement against me. In Iran tradition requires that when we demand a person to invite 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 this speech is even given to come in with a series of claims...
(Ahmadinejad 演講全文連結)

在一開始的震驚結束後,我想了一天,如果易地而處我可以怎麼做。第一選擇是像 Barack Obama 以及許多其他人一樣的做法,根本就不邀請 Ahmadinejad 總統來;次佳的選擇,其實就是校長 Bollinger 的做法。他的介紹的確非常的無禮及粗魯,不過這是對於學校傷害最小的方式。我相信這個發言與其說是校長個人的『沒教養』反應,更可能的是這是衡量政治效果後的表演。簡單的說,他對伊朗總統的無禮達到了兩個目的:給 Columbia Univ. 一個直接聽取 Ahmadinejad 總統發言的機會,以及不給猶太人及以色列人批評攻擊學校的機會。在 Helene Cooper 那篇報導最後面一段提到

It remains unclear whether Columbia's leaders were able to mollify critics through their critical treatment of Mr. Ahmadinejad. But they made some headway: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee sent out an e-mail message shortly after the speech with the subject line, "A Must Read: Columbia University President’s Intro of Iran’s Ahmadinejad today."

Inside was a transcript of Mr. Bollinger's introduction.

雖然 Maureen Dowd 在她的專欄裡說一旦邀請了 Ahmadinejad 總統來演講,就沒有修補的餘地 (...you can't undo it by belittling him in public.),不過 Bollinger 校長差不多做到了這個地步。

無禮,有時候也可以是一種政治策略,甚至可能是一種有效的政治手段。一般情況我不會推薦這樣的做法,不過這次可能相當有效,在決定要邀請 Ahmadinejad 總統演講的前提下,也許這是個好方法。

在前面引述的 Columbia Univ. 校方對這次事件的發言及資料整理裡面有這個演講的全部錄影。有興趣的人可以看看大約一小時的地方,Ahmadinejad 總統說伊朗沒有同性戀那一段,我聽到時跟在場的聽眾反應相同。

Comments:
我想問的是:伊朗總統到哥大演說,哥大校長無權決定要不要他來嗎?如果校長有權決定,那他真是居心叵測,把人請進演講會場,一開場就狠狠修理。好歹來者是客吧?而如果這是"衡量政治效果後的表演",那哥大的水準,或者說這校長的人格,真的該重新評估了!
 
請伊朗總統來演講這件事情本身已經可以預測出怎麼樣的後果,我不相信哥大校方在做出這個決策之前沒有考量到後期效應。把責任都推給校長,這個包袱對他來講也很大。我不相信哥大校長有獨裁到這種地步。這件事情依照邏輯判斷可能是經過校方高層組織決定請伊朗總統來,校長一人無力抵抗,只能在演講一開始時發表那些狀似無理言論作為另一種方式的抵制。哥大已經很有名了,應是不必要利用這種方式來打知名度。
 
Hi, CCLU (<--this is your blogname, right?):

First of all, I must say that as a Cubs and Marines fan, I rarely walk through your blog unless necessary (like, if you talk about a player that I 'm interested at and I googled you).

I'd known one of Columbia's "Oriental Studies" professors for years, since he came to my school and talked about Islamic art in our Islamic Studies guest session.

I was impressed by his aggressiveness and I guess, Columbia has been leading this field partly because they love the competition and they show it.

Pres. Ahmadinejad is by no means a blame for any conflict b/w the Islamic world and the West. He'd done a lot of reforms, esp. on supporting civil societies.

He's not even liked by Iranian religious leaders.

It's quite a shame that AIPAC is working AGAINST Islamic leaders for the pure sake of American interest. They can find every way to help the big heads in White House and Congress, ignorant of Islamic culture, finding plans to disrupt self-determination in Iran.

This political world puts effort in misleading public opinion which seems, well, part of a precocious plan.

Even so, it's still great to know that Columbia had stepped up and get some exposure to counterbalance our minds.
 
Post a Comment


Links to this post:

Create a Link

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Page visited since 1/28/04
Hit Counters
Ad: Bionicle
Listed on BlogShares