Comrades, I must write on this subject!

In October, the House of Representatives passed a bill that could require university international studies programs to show more support for U.S. foreign policy or lose their funding. If HR 3077, the International Studies in Higher Education Act, becomes law, it will create a board – comprising representatives of various national security agencies and individuals appointed by congress and the Bush administration – that would make recommendations to congress about how international studies programs (especially Middle Eastern studies) “might better reflect the national needs related to the homeland security.”

Some of the bill’s supporters include the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a D.C.-based organization co-founded by Lynne Cheney and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman, which published a report called “Defending Civilization: How Universities are failing America and What Can Be Done About It” (the report lists examples of insufficiently patriotic behavior on the part of professors and called universities the ‘weak link’ in the war on terror); Martin Kramer, (see www.martinkramer.com for a happy coincidence) editor of the right-wing Middle East Quarterly and author of Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern studies in America, in which he argues that academia is so enthralled with romantic third-worldisms it has turned a blind eye to the region’s dangerous pathologies; and Daniel Pipes, a colleague of Kramer’s who launched Campus Watch, a Web site devoted to monitoring Middle Eastern studies programs and departments for signs of Anti-American bias.

In other words, those of Vijay Prashad — Director of the International Studies Program at Trinity College — “The government wants our students to enter a War Corps, to provide translators, the intelligence analysts, and others who will do the bidding of this era’s Evangelical Imperialism.”


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