From my view, as an academic and journalist, the decision by Columbia University to host the Iranian president was a brave one, to be applauded. However, the welcome given to him by the university’s president, Lee Bollinger, was a disgrace. I’m no fan of the Iranian regime, but Bollinger’s ambush smacks of a set-up and diminishes that institution’s standing. It was childish. As for Ahmadinejad’s reply … as one letter writer said: “it just proves both countries elected an idiot for a leader”.