: Students at Columbia University said they were “excited” about the prospect of dining with one of the most brutal chief executives the world has known – Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Scheduled to speak on 23 September 2011 at his fifth United Nations (UN) General Assembly appearance, Ahmadinejad has somehow been permitted to invite Columbia student members of a group called CIRCA, the Columbia International Relations Council and Association, to a private dinner.

When threatened with civil and criminal legal action by the Israel Law Center, Columbia president Lee C. Bollinger hastened to clarify that the event would not be held on campus.

Nevertheless, the failure of Columbia students and faculty to recognize the moral repugnancy of appearing anywhere willingly in public with a man personally responsible for directing the vicious suppression of his own people’s struggle to be free, as well as his country’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs and global terrorist activities is troubling, to say the least.

As Mona Charen asked plaintively in her 16 September 2011 National Review Online op-ed, “Are leading American universities producing moral illiterates?” Unfortunately, the answer to that question clearly is “Yes” and has been for a long time.

But it’s much worse than the moral bankruptcy of generations of students raised on an anti-American, antisemitic, post-modernist, progressivist hash of moral relativism. Students already emptied of any inclinations to critical thinking by the time they arrive at such “elite” institutes of higher learning such as Columbia University, make easy prey for a faculty known as advocates for appeasement and rapprochement with the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism.

Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) includes such student role models as the outspokenly pro-Iranian regime advocate, Professor Gary Sick. A former member of the Board of Directors at the American Iranian Council (AIC), an organization that openly favors a friendly official U.S. foreign policy with Tehran’s clerical rulers, Sick routinely finds ways to gloss over that regime’s jihadist activities even as it continues to support Iraqi and Taliban terror militias that kill Americans on a regular basis. This is the sort of Columbia professor who blogs, “Amen, brother” to U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul’s moonbat assertion that “Iran is not a threat to the United States. Not even close.”

Another SIPA staffer is Palestinian-American Rashid Khalidi, historian and director of SIPA’s Middle East Institute. Former director of the official Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) press agency WAFA (Wikalat al-Anba al- Filastinija) in Beirut from 1976 to 1982, Khalidi also served on the PLO “guidance committee” at the Madrid peace conference. The constants running through Khalidi’s political outlook are equally deep strains of anti-Israeli animus and pro-Palestinian bias. These are the same Palestinians whose PLO and HAMAS charter documents are dedicated to jihad and the destruction of the State of Israel.

The Columbia University inclination to associations with apologists for terrorism includes more than its pro-Tehran and pro-PLO faculty. Two years ago, in November 2009, CIRCA co-sponsored an Eid al-Adha dinner with the Muslim Brotherhood front group, Muslim Students Association (MSA). MSA was the first Brotherhood organization founded in the U.S. in 1964 and has since expanded to over 600 campuses across North America.

CIRCA’s featured speaker for the MSA event was Haroon Moghul, a Columbia graduate and Executive Director of the Maydan Institute, who, in February 2011, published a rather sophomoric piece online whose absurd conclusion stated that, “In the last few decades, the Brotherhood has moved decisively away from violence, and toward a more social, albeit nonpolitical, religious role.” Whether deliberately disingenuous, naïve, or just uninformed, Mr. Moghul should have known better—and perhaps did.

His colleague at the Maydan Institute is the Imam Khalid Latif, nominated in 2007 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to be the youngest chaplain in history of the New York City Police Department. More recently, in August 2011, Latif jumped on the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) bandwagon, to complain online about “Islamophobia.” A CAP report entitled “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” was published that same month by the Washington, D.C. think tank and echoed OIC themes about the supposed “injustice” of linking Islam and terrorism, simply because Muslim doctrine, laws, and scriptures do so.

Both the mainstream media and seasoned international observers are beginning to wake up to the sickening feeling that the so-called “Arab Spring” is not quite shaping up to the Google-addled imagery promoted by either the social networking generation or its elder generation in positions of high trust in Western governments. The UN has just awarded Libya’s General Assembly seat to al-Qa’eda, which dominates Tripoli’s rebel military command.

The government in Kabul looks on course to revert to Taliban control in coming months, while Baghdad slips daily more firmly under the hegemony of Iran. Up to a decade’s worth of U.S. blood and treasure is ending with the fulfillment of al-Qa’eda’s number one top objective: a Western pull-out that leaves both places under the rule of Islamic law (which the U.S. Department of State helped write into their constitutions).

The Muslim Brotherhood is poised to step into the post-Mubarak power void in Egypt with the approval and backing of a mind-boggling trio of powers: the U.S. government, Iran, and Turkey—the latter two both with ambitions to lead the emerging Islamic Caliphate (Imamate) across the Middle East.

It’s not just the CIRCA students at Columbia University. Things are going badly off the tracks all over the place. It’s just that their lack of a moral grounding in the fundamental principles of America’s Founding Fathers is especially discouraging, given the hopes and trust for the future of this Republic that are placed in their generation.

Bon Appétit, kids.

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