< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Columbia Faculty continue to condemn alleged US global imperialism (and Israel)

Story covered at Arutz Sheva by my friend - Alyssa Lappen - and colleagues

Alyssa A. Lappen, journalist, essayist, editor, poet, friend and devoted advocate for Israel, has a piece in the Opinion Section at Arutz Sheva, entitled Columbia's MEALC Praises a Legacy of Hate, co-authored with Jerry Gordon and Maria Silwa. Mazal tov, Alyssa, and my hearfelt thanks for all your hard work.
"A veritable geyser of hate, in the tradition of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi Der Deutscher Beobachter editor Julius Streicher, erupted Friday evening, December 5th at a festschrift to honor the memory of the late cultural polemicist and Comparative Literature professor Edward Said.

The “US Imperialism in the 21st Century” intellectual atrocity gathered in the Teatro at Columbia University’s Casa Italiana, sponsored by the controversial Middle East Arts Language and Culture (MEALC) program, an interdisciplinary Barnard/Columbia affair founded by Said. This glimmering Morningside Heights campus was designed in the late 19th century by the fabled architectural firm of McKim Mead & White (and completed by the university’s dynamic early 20th Century President, Nicholas Murray Butler) to host world-rank civil and intellectual discourse. Indeed, in the 1930s and 1940s, Columbia offered a refuge for many scholars driven from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. . .

Khalidi, who ran the daylong conference, featured speakers harboring these sentiments:

* The US, and particularly the Bush administration, are hegemonic, imperialist aggressors. The Bush "regime" does not bully other countries, but reshapes them to be totally dependent on the U.S.

* The US has been baiting the Islamic world to enrage Muslims and transform Western Europe.

* The Bush administration has successfully divided Western and Eastern Europe.

* The Bush administration espouses a grand hegemonic strategy, in which the Middle East is central.

* Yasser Arafat is one of the most legitimate leaders in Palestine. This is why the U.S. government targets him (says Sorbonne University of Paris professor Gilbert Achcar).

* The Bush administration aims to tighten its hegemony and seeks the vassalage of other countries and of the people in the U.S.

* Israel is an occupier and oppressor, working with the US.

* The U.S. and Israel viewed 9-11 as a good thing, which justified further oppression of Palestinians, a ramped up global war on terror and conquest of Iraq.

* The Palestinian Authority militants and Iraqi and Afghan guerrillas commit armed resistance and terrorism due to intense forces of oppression and occupation imposed by the U.S. and Israel.

* The Bush regime wields great influence over faith-based Christians, who want him involved in foreign affairs.

* “Straussians” - alias neo-conservatives - run right-wing U.S. think tanks and the pro-Israel U.S. Defense Department.

* Bush did not anticipate getting blowback from Iraq, local guerrillas and international freedom fighters.

* At the core of Bush administration policy is an overt embrace of armed preemption in Iraq, within the Arab Muslim heartland, according to Professor Khalidi.

* The Bush imperialist occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq exceeds the efforts of any prior U.S. administration to establish a new security paradigm, announced in September 2001 and promoted internally among Defense Department neo-conservatives.

* Iraq was not connected to the attack on the World Trade Center.

* The U.S. intentionally exaggerates the savagery of Saddam Hussein against Iraqi people and others in the region.

* The US obstructs democracy in the name of democracy and the Bush administration operates in Orwellian fashion.

* The depiction of Islamic beliefs by Muslim apostate, author and playwright Salman Rushdie (lionized at a spring Columbia festival that produced Midnight’s Children) is inaccurate and irreverent.

* Al-Jeezera the 24/7, Qatar-based Arabic language satellite TV propaganda network, portrays the truth concerning the Middle East and Gulf region to the Arab/Muslim street. "
Be sure to read it all.