Friday, August 02, 2002

BIAS AT AU: My esteemed roomate Josh Kraushaar wrote a letter recently to the head of the School of Internation Service Department at American University recently. Here's the excerpt:

IDEOLOGICAL INDOCTRINATION: That's what's happening at American University's School of International Service, where so many classes are forums for teaching anti-Israel, anti-US ideology, instead of presenting an objective curricula. I was scanning through all the assigned books for the scheduled Fall 2002 classes, and even I was shocked to see the precious few number of genuine scholarly works. I was so frustrated after making this query -- I mean, a lot of people's political opinions come into fruition in college -- that I decided to write a letter to the school's dean, Lou Goodman. Below is the letter:

Dear Dr. Goodman:

Ever since enrolling in an SIS (School of International Service) class last year, I have become painfully aware of the ideological bias prevalent within the department. Classes on conflict resolution and cross-cultural communication predominate, preferring to emphasize the optimistic view of global relations over the realpolitik. Textbooks by the leftist professors Edward Said and John Esposito are often assigned, rarely counterbalanced by their ideological and scholarly opposites, such as Bernard Lewis. A friend of mine had a (adjunct) SIS professor who proudly labeled herself with every radical ideology out there, from Marxism to "vegetarianism." I had my own eye-opening experience with the school.

In my "Analysis of Foreign Policy" class last fall semester, I was informed by Professor Philip Brenner on Sept. 6 that "perhaps Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are only bad from a Western perspective. Think about it." Five days later, 9-11 transpired yet Prof. Brenner insisted that, as tragic an event as this was, clearly the US had performed equal acts of terror in recent history. I withdrew two days later.

The latest travesty comes from a course titled "International Relations of the Middle East I" (SIS-571). The course sounds innocuous enough, until you note the professor teaching the course is Clovis Maksoud, a virulent opponent of anything Israel and former head of the Arab League -- hardly a body of democracies. Whether you agree with his views or not, I find it hard to believe that a man with his background could objectively teach about the Middle East without propagandizing. Clearly, you are aware of his background and clearly any reasonable person would not expect him to be an appropriate professor to teach about international relations in the Middle East, considering Israel plays such a huge role in that topic.

As dean of the school, it is your prerogative to set curriculum, hire teachers, and create an agenda as you see fit. If an unbalanced, ideologically-tinged curricula is what you deem appropriate, it is entirely within your role to see it implemented. But, as an educator, it should be your responsibility to ensure that all students are getting a fair and balanced curricula, free of the ideology prevalent in other areas of society. It's fine for professors to have their individual views and to share them with the class, when appropriate. But it's not acceptable when their views become the curriculum for the class.

At one time, I considered transferring into SIS, hoping to learn about the power politics that affect foreign policy throughout the world. I hoped to read primary and secondary
source material from a wide range of sources, so I could formulate my own ideas about the workings of the world. Sadly, this wasn't the case. My personal idealism is over, dampened by the harsh reality of what passes for academia in the School of International Service.


Josh Kraushaar, junior/CAS

Seeing as how I am a double major in Economics and Law, the following is of particular concern.

The economics department doesn't have that much better of a record. Out of the eight microeconomics sections being taught at American U, five of them include textbooks by Chomsky, Roy and another Chomskyite -- none of them professional economists and radical leftists to boot! And microeconomics is a prerequisite for all economics majors.

Luckily, I was never indoctrinated by Chomsky or his idiot followers, and instead had the good fortune of reading books written by economists without an agenda. (Go figure, right Chomsky?)

For those who aren't aware, Noam Chomsky is a former linguist who advocates what is essentially a welfare state, and is somewhat of a Socialist himself. However, he enjoys the fortunes of capitalism as he owns four boats and several luxury cars as has been well documented on the blog, Little Green Footballs.

I guess Noam needs those boats and luxury cars more than his Socialist friends do.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

HAMAS LEADER DENIES TARGETING AMERICANS: In the following Reuters article, a Hamas leader denied targeting Americans in the latest suicide bombing. However, the most telling quote was what he said later:

"The fighter of Hamas did not ask the students about their identity cards and he can't do so. He does not know if they are Arab or Israelis. But we are not targeting at all American targets," Abdel Azziz al-Rantissi, a senior leader of the Palestinian group, told Reuters.

When Israeli Defense Forces attack terrorist leaders, such as the attack it launched last week on a Hamas militant leader, it also "cannot ask for identity cards". When civilians die in such cases, it is because terrorists have used civilians as human shields.
Nevertheless, Hamas was quick to declare Israel as nothing less than the epitome of evil for such attacks.

However, apparently when Hamas uses suicide bombings, it is absolved from any guilt from hitting non-Israelis, (apparently all Israelis are legitimate military targets to Hamas), because "it cannot ask for identity cards". The hypocrisy is ridiculous.
THE DICHOTOMY OF PALESTINE AND ISRAEL: Compare the previous post, and the response by the Palestinian people and its leaders to the response by Israel following the attack on a Hamas figurehead which tragically resulted in the deaths of innocent Palestinian civilians. The Israeli government has accepted responsibility for its actions, apologized on numerous occasions for the civilians that were killed or injured, acknowledged the number of innocent deaths, and transferred funds for humanitarian causes to the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian terrorists deliberately targeted civilians, tried to kill as many of these innocent civilians as possible, celebrated and laughed about it, danced in the streets, and the Palestinian Authority did nothing. Nothing.

As far as I'm concerned, the Palestinians just lost their chance for a recognized state. And they have no one, no one, to blame but themselves.
IF AN ISRAELI DIES IN A SUICIDE BOMBING, DOES THE MEDIA MAKE A SOUND?: I noticed the recent suicide bombing in an Israeli University got a lot more press coverage than recent bombings in the past. Is this perhaps, because Westerners, and not Israelis, were the main victims in this latest bombing. The casualties include 4 citizens of the United States as well as citizens of France and Great Britain. Apparently, it's only news if Israeli's don't die, because Israeli deaths seem so common these days that the media doesn't seem to care.

The bombing was cheered in the streets by Palestinians, including children, as you can clearly see here.
This press release details the event further. Note the following:

According to the report, the Palestinian Authority did not intervene or act against the demonstrations.

Apparently to Arafat and his fellow scumbags, "cracking down on terror" means doing absolutely nothing. I mean, they're just Jews, no biggie, right?

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

STOCKS ARE UP AGAIN: The Dow Jones was up 447, while the Nasdaq climbed 73 yesterday.

Now that I've read my "Investing for Dummies" book, I'll be jumping on board ASAP.
WHY AMERICAN UNILATERALISM IS A GOOD THING: Here's a fantastic op-ed from Victor Davis Hanson on what seperates Europe from the United States. Many reports have surfaced indicating there were European targets for terrorists that were not pursued on September 11th. Apparently, since such events never transpired, many Europeans have not entered the world post 9/11, which is so very different than those years prior.

The second paradox about the use of American power stems from Europeans' defensiveness about their lack of military preparedness. When asked what they would do should the Eiffel Tower or the Vatican be targets, they grow perplexed and defensive. They seem resigned to the fact that they lack the air and sea forces requisite to conduct extended military operations in the Middle East or, in fact, preemptively anywhere outside of Europe. Oddly, many instead seem confident that their own professed liberality (in contrast to the world's general antipathy to America) will ensure them exemption from illogical hatred.

Europe, let us do the dirty work. Just don't stand in our way. Civilization is counting on us, whether you believe it or not.