Tuesday night I attended the Dr. Daniel Pipes lecture at Cleveland State University. Prior to entering the auditorium I observed a number of security officers and everyone had to pass through a metal detector. I thought that was rather odd but, as you'll read, security of that level was surely needed. About 100 people attended the 40 minute talk, which was followed by a lively Q & A session.
Dr. Pipes, although a supporter of the President, wasn't pleased with the way the Administration has handled the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. He felt, and I agree, that we should be tougher on the enemy. But when he pointed out how dysfunctional Arab nations are compared to America and Israel, that's when some in the audience got hot under the collar and just had to have their voices heard during the 1/2 hour Q & A session.
Most of these people felt they had to make a speech prior to asking their question. One Islamic man started verbally attacking Dr. Pipe for things he's written. However, Dr. Pipes, who took no guff from anyone, boldly told the man that he didn't write any of the things mentioned. A lady at the microphone called him a "liar," but he didn't let her get away with that either. He vigorously defended himself and I was happy to see him do so. He also made it a point to flat-out tell someone when they were dead wrong.
A man, who said he was a soldier who fought in Iraq, claimed that the war was "all about oil." However, his demeanor made me doubt that he actually was one of our fighting men. I've heard many soldiers speak, but this man reminded me more of an angry thug as opposed to a disciplined American serviceman.Dr. Pipes did address the oil question. He told the man, in no uncertain terms and with common sense and clarity, that the war is not being fought for oil, and for him to think such a thing is foolishness. At one point, while Dr. Pipes was answering a question, the leftists in the audience grumbling allowed, to which Dr. Pipes responded, "Are the children finished? Can I go on?" Like I said, he didn't take any abuse from anyone.
I also found it interesting that most of those asking questions failed to address the speaker as "Dr. Pipes." But, knowing how the Left operates, that's really to be expected.
When the Q & A session finally ended I walked up to the stage and thanked Dr. Pipes for his terrific talk. And I now realize how important the security measures were because, if not for them, I can only imagine how much more arrogant and rude those who disagreed with the speaker may have acted. I also believe that Q & A sessions should consist of those in the audience writing their questions down on slips of paper, then having them relayed to the speaker. This would cut out the insults, badgering, and speechmaking that many on the Left partake in when a conservative is at the podium. I must applaud CSU for allowing Dr. Pipes to speak. Many colleges don't want people with his views talking on campus. Universities are simply afraid to criticize radical Islamic terrorism.
Great going Cleveland State University!
So thanks for informing me about this most interesting lecture. I would not have known about it without your considerate letter.
God Bless Sonino John Paul
Scardelletti - A Christian
(PS - Note from Dianne... Sonino, do you remember that grey-haired woman who also went to the stage to shake Dr. Pipes hand and thank him for coming? That was me. I was sitting right in front of the "...Liar, liar!" woman and had to warn her a couple of times to shut up or else. I, too, was very grateful for the opportunity. Thanks, Sonino, for sharing your experience.)