Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Academy in Chains!

Crushing of academic freedom! Censorship! Jack booted thugs in the halls of academia! No... Rekha's not talking about the ensconced liberal elite in our intuitions of higher learning that censor conservative and libertarian ideas and expression at every opportunity.

No, she's referring to Title XI funding and the recent oversight committee that may withhold funding for programs that were intended to enhance national security.

Fasten your seat belts and away we go to Planet Basu!

A bill called the International Studies in Higher Education Act already has cleared the U.S. House. If it becomes law, it could have intelligence officials advising Congress on whether enough pro-American views are included in federally supported international-studies programs. A stated purpose of H.R. 3077 is to train citizens to "participate in homeland-security efforts."

Rekha, what about "federally supported" do you not understand? Middle East studies programs are a hotbed of anti-Americanism. Why should we subsidize it?

Eventually, critics warn, the panel could end up dictating course curricula, materials and even who teaches them in institutions that accept Title VI money.

So... teach what you want, no matter how much anti-US self loathing in the curricula. Just don't take our money. You don't want that filthy Federal money anyway, tainted as it is and all...

This all started during the summer when someone from the conservative think tank, the Hoover Institution, testified before the House Subcommittee on Select Education that area studies centers are to blame for students not pursuing foreign-service or intelligence careers. Stanley Kurtz, the critic, even managed to make it the colleges' fault that not enough intelligence agents spoke Arabic to intercept Sept. 11 hijackers' transmissions. He especially attacked post-colonial theory, and the late Columbia University Middle East professor Edward Said for his book "Orientalism," which Kurtz claimed spreads anti-American sentiment.

Okay… Stanley Kurtz's testimony can be found here. Read it... especially you Rekha, for you apparently did not. Or, could it be that you’re being a might selective?

As for Edward Said not being anti-American (ha-ha... ha-ha-ha... ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha... whee...!), what a hoot! As Mr. Kurtz (or as you called him "someone from the conservative think tank...") put it in his testimony:

The ruling intellectual paradigm in academic area studies (especially Middle Eastern studies) is called "post-colonial theory." Post-colonial theory was founded by Columbia University professor of comparative literature, Edward Said. Said gained fame in 1978, with the publication of his book, Orientalism. In that book, Said equated professors who support American foreign policy with the 19th-century European intellectuals who propped up racist colonial empires. The core premise of post-colonial theory is that it is immoral for a scholar to put his knowledge of foreign languages and cultures at the service of American power.In his regular columns for the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram, Said has made his views about America crystal clear. Said has condemned the United States, which he calls, "a stupid bully," as a nation with a "history of reducing whole peoples, countries, and even continents to ruin by nothing short of holocaust." Said has actively urged his Egyptian readers to replace their naive belief in America as the defender of liberty and democracy with his supposedly more accurate picture of America as an habitual perpetrator of genocide.

Said has also called for the International Criminal Court to prosecute Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, and General Wesley Clark as war criminals. According to Said, the genocidal actions of these American leaders make Slobodan Milosevic himself look like "a rank amateur in viciousness." Said has even treated the very idea of American democracy a farce. He has belittled the reverence in which Americans hold the Constitution, which Said dismisses with the comment that it was written by "wealthy, white, slaveholding, Anglophilic men."

No, that's not anti-American... no siree Bob!

The fact is that foreign, particularly Middle East and African studies departments that receive federal funds have faculty and curricula that are blatantly one sided and mind bogglingly anti-American. These departments discourage (or even warn) students not to participate in the National Security Education Program (NSEP). Again, from Mr. Kurtz's Congressional testimony:

We know that transmissions from the September 11 hijackers went untranslated for want of Arabic speakers in our intelligence agencies. Given that, and given the ongoing lack of foreign language expertise in our defense and intelligence agencies, the directors of the Title VI African studies centers who voted unanimously, just after September 11, to reaffirm their boycott of the NSEP, have all acted to undermine America's national security, and its foreign policy. And so has every other Title VI-funded scholar in Latin American , African , and Middle Eastern studies who has upheld the long-standing boycott of the NSEP.

Jeez... why are we thinking of withholding our funding for these creeps?

Get your post modern moral equivalence here! Wouldn't be a Rekha Basu piece without your post modern moral equivalence!

We laugh at the pro-Saddam Hussein doctrine Iraqi schoolchildren were forced to swallow. But with measures of this kind this, we'd be heading in the same direction.

And, whenever possible, close with a Bush-bash:

Since soon after Sept. 11, when President Bush told the nation, "Freedom itself is under attack," Americans have been reminded we're in a fight for our freedoms. "They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other," Bush said of the terrorists.

Two wars, two years and many deaths later, there's hardly a freedom left that the president and Congress haven't tampered with.

Rekha, why yes… the Bush Fedayeen will be coming in the night for you and Rob. Lock your doors… load your gun (oh… you don’t have one… bwah-ha-ha… all the easier!) send the kids to the safety of Bombay… sorry Mumbai.

As always, Rekha depends on her readership being woefully uninformed. She counts on readers getting the news from her first so she can apply the proper... spin is too weak a word... deception is closer... uh, obfuscation... er, mendacity...

Well, you get the idea.

Update: Don and Jeff at Tusk and Talon are not impressed with Rekha's latest either. They must not get all of their information from the Register and CNN!


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