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Old March 2nd, 2008 #21
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,490
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

[Context: Blacks say whatever they want, never get fired (scroll, near bottom)]
Old March 2nd, 2008 #22
Sean Gruber
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,465
Sean Gruber

Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
stupidity can really be dangerous, even in a university. Better keep quiet.
Stupidity means blacks. Blacks are dangerous. These subhuman vermin, these low-grade morons, these NIGGERS (that's exactly what they are, and how they behave) don't like freedom, civilization, intelligence. It's all about "DON'T YOU BE DISSIN ME." Say the word "niggardly" (definition here)? Discuss the problems of the black community in a straightforward and factual manner? Don't dare to! These homegrown Hutus, crying "offensiveness," will sharpen their machetes on your skull, with all the righteousness of a barbarian slaughtering a rival tribesmember.

You can have blacks, or you can have a civil society. You can't have both.

As Thomas Jefferson observed, "These two races [black and white], equally free, cannot live in the same government." The entire history of America, including its downward curve over the past 40 years, confirms it. Go walk through a "no-go" area if you doubt it.

Last edited by Sean Gruber; March 2nd, 2008 at 07:06 PM. Reason: addition
Old March 10th, 2008 #23
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,490
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

[E. Michael Jones]

Catholic University Cancels Anti-Semites’ Lectures
Posted in radical traditionalist Catholic, Anti-Semitic by Heidi Beirich on February 12, 2008

A lecture series featuring presentations by two virulently anti-Semitic “radical traditionalist Catholics” was cancelled by The Catholic University of America on Monday after Hatewatch contacted the university to ask about the events. Radical traditionalist Catholics deny certain Vatican teachings, particularly the Second Vatican Council’s reforms of the 1960s, and most hold anti-Semitic views that are rejected by the Roman Catholic Church. Many radical traditionalists have been excommunicated by the church.

E. Michael Jones was scheduled to speak Wednesday at the university’s Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies as part of a lecture series “exploring how to create new communities based on the tradition and teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.” The lectures are sponsored by an off-campus, private group called Building Catholic Communities, which describes itself as “an informal confederation of scholars, architects, religious and lay leaders who are hungry to rediscover the rich history and tradition of community life based on Catholic principals [sic].”

Jones, a former hippie who spent his honeymoon in traffic trying to reach Woodstock, has a long track record of anti-Semitism and his writings run through all the usual anti-Semitic canards — that “Jewish media elites” run the country, that Jews are “major players” in pornography, and that Jews are behind Masonry and the French Revolution. And that’s only the start. Jones also publishes a “continuing series on the Jews,” looking into the various evils Jews have allegedly caused, in his magazine, Culture Wars. The magazine’s cover stories give a flavor of its message: “Judaizing: Then and Now,” “The Converso Problem: Then and Now,” “The Judaism of Hitler,” “Shylock Comes to Notre Dame,” and so on. Jones has also described the Holocaust as “a reaction to Jewish messianism (in the form of Bolshevism).”

According to Victor Nakas, associate vice president of public affairs, the university was unaware of Jones’ anti-Semitic views. Shortly after Hatewatch contacted him to inquire about the lecture series’ sponsorship, Nakas sent an E-mail saying, “The individuals you reference below will not be speaking on our campus.”

Building Catholic Communities, which the university says is run by Tim Ehlen, also had a man named John Sharpe slated to deliver a lecture on April 23. Sharpe, a former public affairs officer on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, is another particularly hardline radical traditionalist. He has attended major white supremacist events and blamed the 9/11 attacks on “Judeo Masonry,” which he considers the “current and historical mortal enemy of Christian civilization.” He runs two hate groups, the Legion of St. Louis and IHS Press, which Building Catholic Communities’ website links to. The legion’s material brims with propaganda from the likes of Ernst Zundel, the neo-Nazi publisher of such books as The Hitler We Loved and Why, along with Holocaust deniers and other Jew-haters.

After Sharpe’s anti-Semitic beliefs were disclosed by the Intelligence Report in 2006, the Navy began an investigation into him, suspending him his post on the aircraft carrier. Officials said last fall that they were in the process of reassigning him.

[SPLC attack on traditional Catholics]

The New Crusaders

The radical traditionalist Catholics, who reject the teachings of the modern papacy, may form America's largest group of anti-Semites.

Lecture Series

Building Catholic Communities
A lecture series exploring how to create new communities
based on the tradition and teaching of the Roman Catholic Church

Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family
4250 Harewood Road, NE
Washington, D.C.

The Shrine is just down the street from the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on the left side of the road. Park in the rear and enter the building through the four large wooden doors on the front of the building.

February 11 – April 30, 2008

All lectures will be digitally recorded and posted on the website:

All lectures are free and open to the public

Philip Bess
E. Michael Jones
Milton Grenfell, Moderator
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
5:30 PM

"A Symposium on the Nature of Community"


lecture series sponsor: Building Catholic Communities

[loxist profile of E. Michael Jones]

The Dirty Dozen Page 3

E. Michael Jones
South Bend, Ind.
E. Michael Jones, a former hippie who says he spent his honeymoon stuck in traffic while trying to reach the 1969 Woodstock Festival, started down the road of radical traditionalism in 1981, when he founded Fidelity magazine after being fired as a professor at South Bend's Catholic women's college, St. Mary's. According to religion scholar Michael Cuneo, Fidelity was devoted to exposing wrongdoing in the church with a special emphasis on sex, a topic Jones seems obsessed with. Jones developed a reputation for his frequent clashes with other radical traditionalists, notably Father Nicholas Gruner. (For his part, Gruner told Cuneo that Jones was "secretly a Jew.") In 1996, Jones changed the name of his magazine to Culture Wars, and he has increasingly focused on the alleged evils of the Jews as he adds to his "continuing series on the Jews." The magazine's cover stories over the last year or so are instructive: "Judaizing: Then and Now," "John Huss and the Jews," "The Converso Problem: Then and Now," "The Judaism of Hitler," "Shylock Comes to Notre Dame" and so on. Jones runs through all the usual anti-Semitic canards -- the ideas that "Jewish media elites" run the country, that Jews are "major players" in pornography, and that Jews are behind Masonry and the French Revolution -- but that's only the start. He also accuses Jews of poisoning society with thinkers such as Karl Marx (a devotee of Satan, says Jones) and Sigmund Freud (who set off an epidemic of sexual sin, he says). And he describes the World War II Nazi genocide of the Jews as "a reaction to Jewish Messianism (in the form of Bolshevism)." Last April, in an article raging about a new president of Notre Dame University, Jones charged that anyone who went to a mainstream university would emerge "with a Jewish world view … and maybe a Jewish spouse." Jones, who has written nine books and hundreds of articles, regularly cites extremist sources, especially the American Free Press run by veteran anti-Semite Willis Carto. He also has taken up race, most obviously in his "Rooted Culture" conferences that include a trip to Germany. The 2005 trip theme would be familiar to any neo-Nazi -- "the continuing deracination in Germany." Jones has one other line of business that would be familiar to the racist right: the "neo-ethnic songs" he sells as part of a bid to create what he calls a true "Volk" music.

The Dirty Dozen Page 4

Norfolk, Va.
John Sharpe Jr., a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former submarine officer and media spokesman for the Atlantic Fleet, runs both the Legion of St. Louis (LSL) and IHS Press -- two of the most nakedly anti-Semitic organizations in the entire radical traditionalist Catholic pantheon. LSL explicitly pledges in its vision statement to unite Catholic men around the teachings of Father Denis Fahey and other anti-Semites, particularly Hilaire Beloc, author of the anti-Semitic book The Jews. It calls for the creation of self-contained communities of Catholic "militants" who intend "to wage ... real ideological and political war" against their enemies, "the Judeo-Masonic tendencies of the modern social order." LSL's bulletin brims with anti-Semitic materials from the likes of Ernst Zundel, the neo-Nazi author of The Hitler We Loved and Why who is now in prison in Germany for Holocaust denial, and the American Free Press, a newspaper run by veteran American anti-Semite Willis Carto. Sharpe blames the 9/11 attacks not on Al Qaeda, but on "Judeo-Masonry." "The temporal power that the Jews have achieved since … 1789 is both pervasive and relatively unchallenged," he writes. "[T]he current and historical mortal enemy of Christian civilization is Judeo-Masonry." At the 2006 conference of American Renaissance, a racist magazine specializing in theories of race and intelligence, Sharpe sold his two-volume set Neo-CONNED!, which has several articles by racists and anti-Semites. LSL also serves as the U.S. distributor for Britain's St. George Educational Trust, which sells a catalogue of anti-Semitic books including works by the late "radio priest" Charles Coughlin, Holocaust denier Michael Hoffman's Strange Gods of Judaism and Henry Ford's The International Jew. The trust's board includes convicted Italian terrorist Roberto Fiore, who Sharpe has described as a close personal friend, Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) priest Michael Crowdy, and other hard-liners. Sharpe also has written articles for The Angelus, published by SSPX, including "Judaism and the Vatican," which blames Jews for three centuries of political liberalism. In The Angelus' June 2003 issue, Sharpe approvingly cites the assertion of his mentor, Father Denis Fahey, that "every sane thinker must be an anti-Semite." Sharpe's parents, John Sr. and Judith, run a similar radical group, the In the Spirit of Chartres Committee, which sponsors regular conferences in Phoenix and hosts an array of radical traditionalist speakers.

Extremists in the Military
Navy Extremist Disciplined, Reassigned


John Sharpe Jr.

The Navy has declared a "finding of misconduct" and issued a formal letter of reprimand to Lt. Comdr. John Sharpe Jr., according to his parents. But Sharpe reportedly was disciplined only for criticizing President Bush and the war in Iraq — not for his extensive anti-Semitic activities.

Jim Brantley, a spokesman for the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, would not confirm the report in a letter from Sharpe's parents that was published on the site of the left-wing journal Counterpunch. He said that the Navy "normally doesn't discuss non-judicial punishment," but added that Sharpe would be reassigned. Non-judicial punishment is administrative, and does not equate to a criminal conviction.

Sharpe was suspended from his job as spokesman for the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson last spring, following an exposé by the Intelligence Report detailing his anti-Semitic activities. Sharpe blames Jews for the 9/11 attacks, for instance, writing that a "conspiracy" organized by the "Zionist New World Order … plan[ned] to push the entire world into World War III for the glory of Israel." He has attended a white supremacist conference, been on the board of a neofascist British group, and still runs two groups listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

According to the letter from his parents, the Navy chose not to charge Sharpe under Navy Regulation 1167, which bans supremacist activity and requires a court martial. Officials also declined to use Uniform Code of Military Justice provisions that ban "conduct unbecoming." Instead, he was charged under UCMJ Article 88, banning "contemptuous words" against the president and other high officials, based on comments in two books Sharpe edited for his IHS Press that were critical of the Iraq war and suggested that Bush was responsible for the murder of Iraqis.

Sharpe also has connections to Arab extremists that were ignored. On his website, for example, is an interview with Ibrahim Ebeid, a Baathist and supporter of Saddam Hussein. Ebeid says in the interview that "neo-cons and Zionists" are responsible for a "vicious criminal war" against Iraq and Palestine.

Another case of extremists in the military came to light in June, when two privates attached to the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., were arrested and charged with selling narcotics and equipment stolen from the Army to an undercover FBI agent posing as a white supremacist. Joffre J. "Trey" Cross III and Jason Scott Niewoit also allegedly offered to procure military weapons. Cross had a web page that listed various Nazi officers as his heroes.

Last edited by Alex Linder; March 10th, 2008 at 02:09 AM.
Old March 11th, 2008 #24
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,490
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

By Christopher Donovan

Arun Gandhi: Another Casualty of Jewish Censorship

Just how unable are we to discuss Jews and their attitudes and behavior? An amazing admission from the Washington Post's ombudsman recently tells it: very unable. As in, don't even think about it, or you'll lose your job.

Deborah Howell, in a Sunday center-of-the-page column, responded to the controversy surrounding an online column by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, which was solicited by the Washington Post's online "On Faith" website for reactions to the PBS series "The Jewish Americans" (no need to wonder about where that presentation was coming from, trust me). Gandhi? That's right. The grandson of the Gandhi.

Gandhi's sin? The question put to the panelists, of which he was a member (but now may be removed), was, "PBS is airing a series on 'The Jewish Americans.' We know what 'Jewish identity' has meant in the past. What will it mean in the future? How does a minority religion retain its roots and embrace change?" Gandhi's response, said Howell, included the following:

Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the Holocaust experience... It is a very good example of how a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends...The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on the regret turns into anger. . . . The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak. . . . We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.

Needless to say, any suggestion that Jews have done anything untoward creates a hysterical reaction, even when the suggestor is the grandson of a veritable god of pacifism. Under Jewish pressure, Gandhi resigned from his post at the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester. How's that for Jewish commitment to peace?

As for Howell, she simply condemns Gandhi's article, without any specific refutation, and declares that "the piece should not have been published." End of story.

But of course, for racially conscious whites and others, the Washington Post's censorship of criticism of Jews is not the end of the story. The criticisms should be made, heard, and weighed for credibility. The course of action chosen by the Post — and those calling for Gandhi's head — creates a dangerous corking of legitimate discussion. That same corking has contributed to unchecked policies of open immigration and Middle East warfare, both of which have hurt whites — to say nothing of Palestinian suffering.

Christopher Donovan is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist.
Old March 14th, 2008 #25
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,490
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

[June Griffin]

Cleveland Condemns Newspaper After 'Racist' Column

Bill Estes and six other Cleveland councilmen publicly condemn the March edition of "The People News of Bradley County."

"It was so heinous and over the top, something had to be said," says Councilman Bill Estes, who brought the issue up at this week's meeting.

The council passed a resolution disapproving the paper and it's [sic] writer June Griffin.

In her column titled "A Female Manifesto", Griffin writes that she is "mad at the Blacks[sic]."

She goes on to write, "Your music is awful, for instead of the beautiful hymns which our forefathers taught have turned to the filthy and unclean authors of confusion from New Orleans and called it a good sound...I have sought to do business with the Black People and have suffered long with them often enduring their late payments, accepting their excuses and praying with them to be prospered to pay their mortgage."

"I would call it racist speech and certain parts of our society would certainly call it hate speech," says Estes.

Griffin is a regular columnist for the People News of Bradley County, which has a circulation of about 10,000. The free newspaper can be picked up at places all throughout Cleveland, including the inside of the Bradley County courthouse.

In 2006, Griffin pled not guilty to violating a shop owners [sic] civil rights. She was accussed [sic] ripping down a mexican flag which she says offended her citizenship [sic].

Drew Robison is a prominent Cleveland prosecutor.

"It's trying to incite people and I just have a hard time dealing with that," he says.

"I commend Bill Estes and the City Council for saying that this type of hate speech is not going to be tolerated."

Neither Robinson or Estes want to speak to Griffin directly. What they want is for Cleveland businesses to do the speaking for them, and stop carrying the People News.
Old March 14th, 2008 #26
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,490
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder


GoDaddy Silences Police-Watchdog Site

By Kevin Poulsen

March 11, 2008

A new web service that lets users rate and comment on the uniformed police officers in their community is scrambling to restore service Tuesday, after hosting company GoDaddy unceremonious pulled-the-plug on the site in the wake of outrage from criticism-leery cops.

Visitors to on Tuesday were redirected to a GoDaddy page reading, "Oops!!!", which urged the site owner to contact GoDaddy to find out why the company pulled the plug.

RateMyCop founder Gino Sesto says he was given no notice of the suspension. When he called GoDaddy, the company told him that he'd been shut down for "suspicious activity."

When Sesto got a supervisor on the phone, the company changed its story and claimed the site had surpassed its 3 terabyte bandwidth limit, a claim that Sesto says is nonsense. "How can it be overloaded when it only had 80,00 page views today, and 400,000 yesterday?"

Police departments became uneasy about RateMyCop's plans to watch the watchers in January, when the Culver City, California, startup began issuing public information requests for lists of uniformed officers.

Then the site went live on February 28th. It stores the names and, in some cases, badge numbers of over 140,000 cops in as many as 500 police departments, and allows users to post comments about police they've interacted with, and rate them. The site garnered media interest this week as cops around the country complained that they'd be put at risk if their names were on the internet.

"Having a website like that puts a lot of law enforcement, in my eyes, in danger because it exposes us out there," Officer Hector Basurto, vice president of the Latino Police Officers Association, told ABC television affiliate KGO.

Since undercover officers aren't in the database, and the site has no personal information like home addresses, that fear seems unfounded. Chief Jerry Dyer, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, voices what sounds like a more honest concern: that officers will face "unfair maligning" by the citizens they serve.

Sesto says police can post comments as well, and a future version of the site will allow them to authenticate themselves to post rebuttals more prominently. Chief Dyer wants to get legislation passed that would make illegal, which, of course, wouldn't pass constitutional muster in any court in America.

Unfortunately for the startup, the company it chose for hosting is known to be quick to censor its customers. In January of last year, GoDaddy took down entire computer security website -- delisting it from DNS -- to get a single, archived mailing list post off the web.

On that occasion, at least, it gave the site's owner 60 seconds notice. GoDaddy notified Seto by posting its "Oops!" message to his public website.

"You put on my website for me to call you, when you have my phone number?," says Sesto.

A GoDaddy spokeswoman says the company can't comment on the RateMyCop takedown due to its privacy policy. Sesto says he's already arranged hosting elsewhere, and hopes to have the site online Tuesday night.

March 12, 2008 | 6:00:00 PM RackSpace Cops Out. Sesto says he'd arranged for the Texas-based hosting firm RackSpace to take over permanent hosting for, and paid them $2,000 for the first two months of service. But he heard from RackSpace's lawyer minutes ago, and the deal is off.

"We believe that the website to be found at as described to our sales representative could create a risk to the health and safety of law enforcement officers," wrote general counsel Beth Sherfy, in an e-mail to the startup provided by Sesto.

Sherfy didn't immediately return a phone call from THREAT LEVEL.

At the moment, the site has temporary hosting on its own server, but Sesto says it won't be able to handle the kind of traffic he expects as becomes more popular. He doesn't sound too worried, and there's little doubt that he'll be able to find a hosting company.

Our prediction: A year from now will have won public service awards. Good cops, and clean departments, will have come to think of the site as a friend, and its founders will be sought-after speakers at police gatherings. Hosting companies that reject them on "health and safety" grounds will look like fools and cowards.

March 12, 2008 | 19:40:00 PM GoDaddy Breaks Its Silence. The company insists the takedown had nothing to do with the content of the site.

"The site's operator has publicly disclosed the concerns were over bandwidth," spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll writes in an e-mail "More accurately, GoDaddy's concerns were about how the RateMyCop site was far exceeding the amount of server usage for which it had contracted."

I asked for clarification, and Driscoll agreed with Sesto that hadn't exceeded its monthly bandwidth allotment. But the spike in popularity that followed the police backlash resulted in far more simultaneous connections than GoDaddy can handle under the low-budget shared hosting plan Sesto signed up for.

There's no hard contractual limit on the number of connections a customer can receive at once, but Driscoll says GoDaddy pulled the plug under a broad provision of its terms-of-service that lets it "remove your website temporarily or permanently from its virtual dedicated servers if GoDaddy is the recipient of activities that threaten the stability of its network."

"Basically, he was paying for compact car, when he really needed a semi-truck," Driscoll writes. "The customer was not willing to work with our staff to resolve the issue."

Sesto refutes that last part, and says GoDaddy didn't contact him before cutting off the site.
Old August 20th, 2009 #27
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,490
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

[Gary North shows how ideas are censored by college accreditation agencies.]

There is a tiny Christian college – then unaccredited – that has pretensions of being a first-rate Christian university for conservatives. The librarian put a book by a certain historian on its shelves. This scholar had written some unconventional books regarding certain controversial aspects of World War II. This book was not one of them.

Some bonehead faculty member came to him and told him to remove this book. He refused. She then told the administration. The librarian was ordered by the administration to remove the book, because a library-review committee was scheduled to visit the school. This team could revoke the library's accreditation if certain kinds of books or authors with certain views were found on the shelves. The librarian quit, as he should have. The book was then removed.
Old August 20th, 2009 #28
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,490
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

[cops bust a bloggeress]

'Uh-Oh They're Here'
A persistent blogger annoys police -- and winds up in jail.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A 34-YEAR-OLD woman, the mother of a 12-year-old girl, has been locked up in a Virginia jail for three weeks and could remain there for at least another month. Her crime? Blogging about the police.

Elisha Strom, who appears unable to make the $750 bail, was arrested outside Charlottesville on July 16 when police raided her house, confiscating notebooks, computers and camera equipment. Although the Charlottesville police chief, Timothy J. Longo Sr., had previously written to Ms. Strom warning her that her blog posts were interfering with the work of a local drug enforcement task force, she was not charged with obstruction of justice or any similar offense. Rather, she was indicted on a single count of identifying a police officer with intent to harass, a felony under state law.

It's fair to say that Ms. Strom was unusually focused on the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force, a 14-year-old unit drawn mainly from the police departments of Charlottesville, Albemarle County and the University of Virginia. (Her blog at, expresses the view that the task force is "nothing more than a group of arrogant thugs.") In a nearly year-long barrage of blog posts, she published snapshots she took in public of many or most of the task force's officers; detailed their comings and goings by following them in her car; mused about their habits and looks; hinted that she may have had a personal relationship with one of them; and, in one instance, reported that she had tipped off a local newspaper about their movements.

Predictably, this annoyed law enforcement officials, who, it's fair to guess, comprised much of her readership before her arrest. But what seems to have sent them over the edge -- and skewed their judgment -- is Ms. Strom's decision to post the name and address of one of the officers with a street-view photo of his house.

All this information was publicly available, including the photograph, which Ms. Strom gleaned from municipal records. The task force's officers may have worked undercover on occasion, but one wonders about their undercover abilities, given that Ms. Strom was able to out them so consistently. Chief Longo warned Ms. Strom that her blog posts were scaring off informants and endangering the officers and their families, but he provided no evidence. At no point did Ms. Strom's blog express a threat, explicit or otherwise, to police or their sources.

Ms. Strom is not the most sympathetic symbol of free-speech rights. She has previously advocated creating a separate, all-white nation, and her blog veers from the whimsical to the self-righteous to the bizarre. But the real problem here is the Virginia statute, in which an overly broad, ill-defined ban on harassment-by-identification, specifically in regard to police officers, seems to criminalize just about anything that might irritate targets.

It should not be a crime to annoy the cops, whose raid on Ms. Strom's house looks more like a fit of pique than an act of law enforcement. Some of her postings may have consisted of obnoxious speech, but they were nonetheless speech and constitutionally protected. That would hold true right up through her last blog post, written as the police raid on her home began at 7 a.m.: "Uh-Oh They're Here."
Old October 22nd, 2009 #29
Mike Parker
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,311
Mike Parker

The New American McCarthyism:

Policing Thought about the Middle East

Joel Beinin

Department of History

Stanford University

Stanford , CA 94305-2024

[email protected]

Since the September 11, 20001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, s upporters of George W. Bush's Manichean view of the world have mounted a sustained campaign to delegitimize critical thought about the Middle East . The have exploited the understandable fears of the American people to intimidate and defame ordinary citizens, public figures, scholars who study the Middle East and the Islamic world, and elected officials who have publicly criticized the Bush administration's war on Afghanistan, the prospect of an endless “war on terrorism,” the assault on Iraq, and the indulgence of Israel's repression of the Palestinian people. Universities and colleges have been a particular target of policing what may be thought and said about the Middle East because they are among the few institutions where intelligent political discourse remains possible in the United States .

The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) has been subjected to a barrage of intemperate attacks. MESA is the largest organization of scholars who study the Middle East . Its members include students, teachers, and interested individuals from all the academic disciplines and are citizens of North America , Europe , and the Middle East . Conservative pundits accuse MESA members, not the FBI or the CIA, of bearing responsibility for what befell us on September 11 because we failed to warn the American public about the dangers of radical Islam. They do not consider that President Bush might be held responsible for his failure to attend to terrorist threats the summer before the September 11 attacks. For the neo-conservative true believers, the buck never stops where a Republican president is sitting. Scholars who stray from their doctrine are a much easier target.

The current campaign of vilification, guilt by association, guilt by ethnic or religious affiliation, and delegitimization of dissenting opinions recalls the early years of the Cold War. Then the American people were whipped into an anti-Communist frenzy by the infamous Republican Senator from Wisconsin , Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). McCarthy and his minions epitomize the tendency in American political life that conflates dissent with treason. C laiming to find Communist conspiracies in every corner of American life, McCarthy and HUAC conducted modern-day witch hunts. Scholars of East Asia were blamed for “losing” China , and the Rosenbergs were blamed for the Soviet Union 's development of nuclear weapons. Then, as now, fear of a foreign enemy and an unfamiliar ideology was deployed to bully the American people into abandoning customary standards of civil liberties, academic freedom, and common sense. There are, of course, important differences between the two historical periods. But the similarities are nonetheless striking.

The hysterical tone and political character of the effort to muzzle criticism of the Bush administration's foreign policy is exemplified by the inflated rhetoric of Americans for Victory over Terrorism (AVOT) , founded in March 2002 by former Secretary of Education, former Drug Czar, and moralist to the nation, William Bennett. AVOT is a subsidiary of the Project for a New American Century, the think tank distinguished by its energetic efforts to promote a U.S. war on Iraq since 1998. Its principal funder is Lawrence Kadish, chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which aims to bring Jews into the Republican Party. AVOT aims to “take to task those who blame America first and who do not understand – or who are unwilling to defend – our fundamental principles.” On March 10, 2002 Bennett published an open letter as an advertisement in the New York Times describing the external and internal threats to the United States . The external threat comprises “radical Islamists and others.” The internal threat consists of “those who are attempting to use this opportunity to promulgate their agenda of ‘blame America first.''' AVOT's list of internal enemies includes former President Jimmy Carter. Carter's offense was to criticize the ‘axis of evil' notion President Bush advanced in his 2002 State of the Union address as “overly simplistic” and “counter-productive.” Other internal enemies include congressional representative and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland and Democratic representative Maxine Waters of Los Angeles .

The first post-September 11 expression of the link between the neo-conservative political agenda and the attack on critical thinking about the Middle East was a report issued by t he American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) in November 2001 entitled “Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done about It.” As the title suggests, ACTA maintained that criticism of the Bush administration's war on Afghanistan on campuses across the country was tantamount to negligence in “defending civilization.” and proof that “our universities are failing America .” ACTA alleged that American universities were brought to this sorry state by inadequate teaching of western culture and American history. Consequently, students and faculty did not understand what is at stake in the fight against terrorism and were undermining the defense of civilization by asking too many questions.

ACTA was founded by Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice-President Dick Cheney. Former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Joseph Lieberman is a member of its national council. Although she is no longer officially active in ACTA, a lengthy quote by Ms. Cheney appears on the cover of the report, giving the document the appearance of a quasi-official statement of government policy.

The original version of “Defending Civilization” named and quoted comments by 117 university faculty members, staff, and students in reaction to the September 11 attacks. ACTA's ire was aroused by my statement that, “If Usama bin Laden is confirmed to be behind the attacks, the United States should bring him before an international tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity.” Other remarks in the report's list of unacceptable speech included “Ignorance breeds hate” and “[T]here needs to be an understanding of why this kind of suicidal violence could be undertaken against our country.”

Of course, ACTA's attack on American universities in the name of “defending civilization” was a ruse for its objective of suppressing any form of dissent from the militarized policy response to the September 11 attacks. By vilifying those who attempted to engage in a debate over the efficacy of a war against Afghanistan and by creating a list of those who did not religiously endorse the line of the Bush administration, ACTA revealed its affinity with the McCarthyite tradition in American political life. After receiving considerable criticism for resuscitating the tactics so infamously deployed during the McCarthy era, ACTA removed the appendix to the report containing the names and quotes.

Some of those named in the ACTA report were teachers and students of the Middle East and Central Asia . But like AVOT, ACTA's effort to quash free speech and political debate did not discriminate by specifically targeting them. ACTA is an equal opportunity defamer, and considers anyone who criticizes Bush administration foreign policy an enemy of civilization.

A band of neo-conservative pundits with strong allegiances to Israel took on the task of launching a more focused assault on Middle East scholars. The principal players in this drama are Martin Kramer, who authored a hot-headed and poorly researched tract attacking MESA published by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), and Daniel Pipes, who directs the Middle East Forum, which hosts the neo-McCarthyite Campus-Watch web site. Kramer and Pipes have Ph.D.s in Middle East studies; but they are considered eccentric and marginal by most of the scholarly community. Hence, they have retreated from academia to WINEP and the Middle East Forum – think tanks with close ties to Israel 's ruling circles. Somewhat less prominent, though equally persistent, is Stanley Kurtz, a contributing editor of National Review Online and a fellow of the Hoover Institution, a veteran conservative think tank located on the campus of Stanford University . Kurtz has a Ph.D. in anthropology with a specialization in south Asia but has no Middle East credentials. Bit players include Jonathan Schanzer, sometime co-author of columns in the New York Post with Pipes, Jay Nordlinger, Managing Editor of National Review , and Marc Rauch and David Horowitz of . Horowitz is the most notorious of the erstwhile sixties radicals who turned on his former associates with a vengeance.

T he gist of the neo-conservative attack on Middle East scholars is that MESA has been taken over by a crowd of post-colonial studies/post-modernist extremists inspired by the late Edward Said's book, Orientalism . These un-American radicals, they claim, have imposed an intellectual and political orthodoxy on the study of Islam and the Middle East . Martin Kramer's Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle East Studies in America , is the fullest expression of that argument. Kramer argues that Edward Said is responsible for what went wrong in American Middle East studies, and a good deal else besides.

Why Kramer decided that Said is such a bogeyman is unclear. Perhaps it is because Bernard Lewis, in addition to exemplifying the style of scholarship Said disparaged, was Kramer's teacher at Princeton University and is, along with the late Elie Kedourie and P.J. Vatikiotis, an intellectual patron of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University , of which Kramer is a former director. Said and Lewis had an ugly exchange in the New York Review of Books incited by Lewis's harsh review of Orientalism . Subsequently, Said overwhelmed Lewis in a public debate on the topic of “The Scholars, the Media, and the Middle East” held at the annual MESA meeting in November 1986. But Said was never a regular presence at MESA and did not even belong to the organization until he was made an honorary fellow in 1999. His 1986 appearance at the MESA annual meeting was his first. He did not return for a second time until 1998, when he attended a plenary session dedicated to assessing the impact of Orientalism twenty years after its publication. Kramer attended that session and threw a public tantrum.

Said's Orientalism certainly has affected American Middle East studies, and rightly so. It is an important and intellectually impressive work. But it is not without flaws. Hence, it was not and should not have been received uncritically. Nor did it eliminate other approaches and understandings of the Middle East .

Kramer's claim that wholesale adoption of Said's views by the leading members of MESA led to the failure of the entire edifice of American Middle East studies is contradicted by his own evidence. He cites a critical review of Orientalism published by the late Malcolm Kerr, a former MESA president, in MESA 's International Journal of Middle East Studies – the leading scholarly publication in the field. Kramer also quotes former MESA president Nikki Keddie, who wrote that while Orientalism was “important and in many ways positive” it had “some unfortunate consequences” among them that “Orientalism for many people is a word that substitutes for thought and enables people to dismiss certain scholars and their works…It may not have been what Edward Said meant at all, but the term has become a kind of slogan.” These critical comments by former MESA presidents who are highly regarded by their peers demonstrate that there is no orthodoxy and no wholesale adoption of Saidian ideas.

Kramer explicitly denigrates several scholars whose approach to modern Islam he deems faulty: John Esposito, John Voll, Richard Bulliet, and Fawaz Gerges. But any careful reading of their work will reveal that while they differ with Kramer's understanding of modern Islamic movements, their work does not reflect the slightest intellectual influence of Edward Said, cultural studies, post-colonialism, or post-modernism – all things Kramer abhors. Similarly, Kramer pours scorn on Roger Owen, Philip Khoury, Robert Fernea, Elizabeth Fernea, Michael Hudson, Rashid Khalidi, and Augustus Richard Norton for their interpretations of modern Arab politics. But, with the partial exception of Khalidi's Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness , their rather traditional, empiricist methods also reveal no evidence of Said's intellectual influence. What is common to all these scholars is that despite the variety of their work and their negligible affinities to post-anything, they are more critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians than Kramer and his enthusiasts are willing to tolerate. And since their opinions are also more critical of Israel than the views commonly presented in the U.S. mass media, it is possible to make a case – a woefully uninformed one to be sure – for Kramer's position.

The unstated but never entirely concealed agenda of shielding Israel from criticism links the efforts of Kramer and Pipes to earlier attempts to monitor teaching and research on the Middle East . After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and the demise of the Black-Jewish coalition that was central to the American civil rights movement, the American Jewish Committee, whose mission includes strengthening “the basic principles of pluralism around the world, as the best defense against anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry,” the B'nai B'rith Anti Defamation League (ADL), whose purpose is to expose and combat anti-Semitism, and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the leading Zionist lobbying organization, sounded alarms about the increasing influence of “Arab propaganda” on university campuses. They began to monitor the activities of students and teachers they considered “anti-Israel” and they frequently suggested that criticism of Israel was equivalent to anti-Semitism.

During the 1970s public criticism of Israel and Zionism increased, in large measure due to the activities of the newly formed Association of Arab-American University Graduates and the bold interventions of Noam Chomsky. However, it remained a phenomenon limited primarily to the academy. Even in colleges and universities, few non-Arab teachers or students had the mettle to face the inevitable charges of anti-Semitism or the even more ludicrous “self-hating Jew” routinely directed at those who opposed Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (along with the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights) and supported the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. This began to change when the former terrorist leader, Menachem Begin, became Prime Minister of Israel in 1977. The expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank during the Begin regime (1977-83) signaled that occupation and annexation might become a long term affair. Some Palestinian leaders, in the occupied territories and abroad, began to seek Israeli and Jewish partners for a struggle against Begin's policies. This posed a substantial threat to the likes of the AJC, the ADL, and AIPAC because it reduced the credibility of the charge of anti-Semitism aimed at critics of Israel .

One of the initial public sorties reflecting the more aggressive posture of American Jewish organizations who adopted as their mission protecting Israel from criticism was the Tucson Jewish Community Council's charge in 1981 that the outreach program (i.e. activities aimed at the general public and K-12 teachers) of the Near Eastern Center of the University of Arizona and its coordinator were guilty of anti-Israel bias. An external investigating committee dismissed the charge of bias. Unsatisfied with this outcome, the American Jewish Committee commissioned Gary Schiff to prepare a report which surveyed centers for Middle East studies at several universities. The Schiff report expressed concern about “possible bias in outreach programs dealing with the controversial issues that surround the Middle East .” Schiff considered it ominous that, unlike Arabic, Turkish, and Persian, federally funded fellowships were not available for the study of Hebrew because the U.S. government does not define Hebrew as a “critical language” (i.e. a less commonly taught language whose study should be encouraged to enhance national security). Finally, Schiff was troubled about the provision of funding by Arab states to centers for Middle East studies at universities such as Princeton and Georgetown .

In November 1983 the New England Regional Office of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, reacting to increased criticism of Israel following its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, distributed a booklet designed “to help Jewish students deal with anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic activities on college campus.” Once again, there was no clear distinction between the two. The booklet lists “anti-Israel” organizations and individuals with an emphasis on those in New England and northern California . The same year the national ADL published Pro-Arab Propaganda in America : Vehicles and Voices, a Handbook . These were the first efforts to compile lists of university faculty and staff whose opinions did not accord with the Zionist doctrine. They were not the last.

In 1983 the London monthly, The Middle East , reported, “AIPAC puts a lot of effort into monitoring anti-Israel speakers. Tapes and notes are collected and files compiled.” In 1984 AIPAC compiled a 187-page college guide whose objective was to “expos[e] the anti-Israel campaign on campus.” A twelve-page questionnaire filled out by students who volunteered to do so (i.e. those sympathetic to AIPAC's world view) provided the basis for the information in the guide. Students were invited to “name any individual faculty who assist anti-Israel groups. How is this assistance offered? (If there is a Middle East Study Center , please elaborate on its impact on campus.)”

MESA responded to these activities of the ADL and AIPAC by passing, after a hotly contested debate, a resolution at its 1984 annual meeting which described the publications of the ADL and AIPAC as “factually inaccurate and unsubstantiated” and “unbalanced.” The resolution called on the ADL and AIPAC to “disavow and refrain from such activities.” This resolution signaled that a majority of MESA 's most active members were no longer intimidated by fear of being labeled anti-Semites when discussing the Arab-Israeli conflict. Therefore, MESA became a dubious institution among American Jewish organizations, like the ADL and AIPAC, whose identity is dependent largely on their uncritical support for Israel . Some of the minority of Middle East scholars who shared the views of the ADL and AIPAC – most visibly concentrated at Princeton and Johns Hopkins universities – stopped attending MESA meetings.

It is worth noting in passing that organizations like the ADL and AIPAC do not, in fact, speak for a majority of Jews in the United States . About half of American Jews belong to no Jewish organization whatsoever, some of them precisely because they do not wish to be associated with uncritical support for Israel .

The ADL went beyond merely monitoring people and institutions and individuals it considered “anti-Israel” and/or “anti-Semitic.” In April 1993 San Francisco police seized over 10,000 files from the ADL's local office. The files were compiled from information provided by Roy Bullock, who had worked as a “fact finder” for the ADL since the 1960s. Bullock sold information to the ADL, the South African intelligence agency, and possibly also to the Israeli Mossad, and he worked occasionally for the FBI. He compiled dossiers on some 10,000 individuals and 600 organizations labeled “pinkos,” “right,” “Arabs,” “skins,” and “ANC” (the African National Congress, which led the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa ). Among those subjected to surveillance were the San Francisco Labor Council, ILWU Local 10, the Oakland Educational Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Irish Northern Aid, the International Indian Treaty Council, the faculty of Mills College , and the Asian Law Caucus. San Francisco police estimated that 75 percent of Bullock's information was illegally obtained. Police Inspector, Tom Gerard, had supplied Bullock with confidential information about his targets in exchange for an $8,000 fee. Gerard was indicted for illegal use of a police computer in 1994 and fled to the Philippines . Ultimately he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of illegally accessing government information. The ADL made out-of-court cash settlements with the city of San Francisco , the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, and three individuals.

Despite the illegal over zealousness of the San Francisco office of the ADL, from the mid-1980s until the September 11 terrorist attacks, there were only occasional efforts to defame individual Middle East scholars who were critical of Israel and U.S. Middle East policy. Some unknown number of professorial appointments and promotions was tainted by political pressure. But in part because of MESA 'S resistance to the agenda of the ADL and AIPAC, there was no concerted campaign.

Publication of Kramer's Ivory Towers on Sand heralded a new the beginning of such a campaign and a new phase in the efforts to subject critical thinking in Middle East studies to surveillance. Kramer and his ilk were emboldened by their links to officials in the upper-mid levels of the Bush administration such as Richard Perle, former chair (and still a member) of the Defense Advisory Board, and Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Douglas Feith, Deputy Secretary of State, and Elliott Abrams, National Security Advisor for the Middle East. They had mutual affiliations with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Project for a New American Century and other conservative think tanks whose ambit is broader than the Middle East .

The neo-cons have much more powerful political connections than the AJC, the ADL and AIPAC were able to mobilize for their campaigns of defamation in the early 1980s, which largely failed to silence criticism of Israel and U.S. Middle East policy in American universities. Because of September 11 and the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East is more prominent topic in public culture, albeit largely in a caricatured form, than ever before. Moreover, internet technology has enabled the neo-cons to reach a much broader audience.

The pretentiously-named Campus-Watch website established by Daniel Pipes purports, in language removed from the website after it aroused a storm of criticism because of its naked McCarthyite character, to “monitor and gather information on professors who fan the flames of disinformation, incitement, and ignorance.” Campus-Watch alleges that Middle East scholars “seem generally to dislike their own country and think even less of American allies abroad. They portray U.S. policy in an unfriendly light and disparage allies.” Campus Watch asserts that “ Middle East studies in the United States has become the preserve of Middle Eastern Arabs, who have brought their views with them. Membership in the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the main scholarly association, is now 50 percent of Middle Eastern origin.” Therefore, MESA is, Campus-Watch implies, an unpatriotic and not truly American organization.

These assertions are false and brazenly bigoted. Expressing dissent from prevailing foreign policy is no indication of whether one does or does not like the United States . Such dissent is in the tradition of democratic patriotism. The majority of MESA members are not of Middle Eastern origin. Moreover, casting aspersions on scholars, or anyone else for that matter, because of their national origin violates the fundamental spirit of American liberties and misrepresents the history of the United States as an immigrant society.

The unabashed racism in the statement of purpose of Campus-Watch is not a one-time slip of the tongue. Pipes has described Muslim immigrants to Western Europe in language suggesting he may or may not endorse this view as, “brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene. Muslim customs,” he wrote, “are more troublesome than most.”

On the basis of such scholarly insight and empathetic understanding of foreign cultures, in the spring of 2003 President Bush nominated Pipes to a seat on the board of directors of the federally funded United States Institute of Peace, whose mission is to sponsor research promoting peaceful conflict resolution. After massive expressions of opposition to Pipes' nomination from a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations, including some Jewish groups, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions declined to approve Pipes' nomination. Nonetheless the President partially had his way by making a recess appointment after the Senate adjourned for the summer. Pipes may serve on the board, but for less than a full term. This episode signaled that what began as an apparently arcane debate among scholars had assumed national political significance.

In June 2003, Stanley Kurtz testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that, “ Title VI-funded programs in Middle Eastern Studies (and other area studies) tend to purvey extreme and one-sided criticisms of American foreign policy.” He urged legislators to take action to ensure “balance.” Representative Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan) obliged by introducing a bill designated the International Studies in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3077). The bill passed the House of Representatives by a unanimous voice vote in October 2003. In March 2004 the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions had the measure on its agenda. Its fate is undecided as of this writing.

HR 3077 reauthorizes funding for Title VI of the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and the Higher Education Act of 1965, which provides about $95 million for graduate fellowships, language training, and community outreach to 118 centers for regional area studies. It would also establish an International Education Advisory Board with investigative powers “to study, monitor, apprise, and evaluate” activities supported by Title VI. The advisory board is charged with ensuring that government-funded academic programs “reflect diverse perspectives and represent the full range of views” on international affairs. Three of the board members are to be appointed by the Secretary of Education; two of those will represent government agencies with national security responsibilities (the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, etc). The leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate each will appoint two more.

Everyone understands that “diverse perspectives” in this context is code for limited criticism of U.S. Middle East policy in general and of Israel in particular. The legislation is not motivated by concern with what centers for Latin American or East Asian studies are doing. The International Studies in Higher Education Act would immediately impact only the 17 federally-funded national resource centers for Middle East studies at U.S. universities. But this is clearly a dangerous precedent portending the possibility of direct government interference in teaching, public programming, and research.

The activities of AVOT, ACTA, Martin Kramer, Daniel Pipes, Stanley Kurtz, Campus-Watch, and the introduction of HR 3077 bear the marks of a concerted campaign. The principal figures involved have more than a casual attachment to Ariel Sharon's understanding of the Middle East . The core proposition of that in the post-September 11 period, which Sharon has successfully sold to the Bush administration, is that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are equivalent to Usama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The effect of this campaign has been to open the door to a host of other statements and political initiatives that imperil free discussion of the Middle East , and potentially much more.

Academic freedom and open debate on Middle East-related issues were very badly served by the widely reported sloppy thinking of Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, formerly Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration. At the start of the 2002-03 academic year, he addressed a student prayer meeting and argued that harsh criticisms of Israel were “anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent.” Among other things Summers was referring to a petition signed by 600 Harvard and MIT faculty, staff, and students to divest university funds from companies that do business in Israel as a protest against Israel 's continuing occupation of the West Bank , the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem . Similar efforts with a range of formulations of the target were subsequently launched at over forty colleges and universities. One need not support the substance of the demand for divestment in order to discern the difference between even the most vehement criticism of Israel and its policies and anti-Semitism. Whatever one thinks of the demand for divestment, it is directed at specific policies of the state of Israel . It is, therefore, not inherently anti-Semitic.

Summers may have thought he was expressing himself in a reasoned way to an academic audience. But the conflation of criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism was an already well-established ploy. The endorsement of this notion by the president of the country's most prestigious institution of higher learning authorized others to go on the political offensive without fear that they would be criticized as boorish enemies of academic freedom.

The B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, the Likud-affiliated Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Committee, and the Hillel Foundation (the parent body of the largest Jewish student organization) sought to convince federal legislators that there is a wave of anti-Semitism on American campuses. The ADL's “annual audit” of anti-Semitic activity in America detected an increase of 24% in anti-Semitic activities on U.S. college campuses during 2002. However, the entire increase in incidents of anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses, according to the ADL's own statistics, amounted to 21 actions.

Among these were several high profile incidents, most of them motivated by opposition to Israel 's policies towards the Palestinians. Paradoxically, by failing to make a clear distinction between anti-Semitism, which should always and everywhere be opposed, and anti-Zionism, which is a legitimate political opinion, the ADL and like-minded organizations exposed American Jews to attack because they were identified with Israel .

In the spring of 2003 several Republican Senators and aides attended met with the representatives of the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, the Likud-affiliated Zionist Organization of America, and the Hillel Foundation. Shortly thereafter, the third-ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate, Rick Santorum (PA), announced that he planned to introduce so-called “ideological diversity” legislation that would cut federal funding to colleges and universities that permit professors, students, and student organizations to openly criticize Israel . Like the ADL and some other organizations that purport to represent American Jews, Santorum considers criticism of Israel equivalent to anti-Semitism. Santorum has not yet formulated his announcement into an actual bill.

Most of those who have attacked the Middle East Studies Association and individuals identified as foreign policy dissidents spend their days in think tanks where they are paid to hobnob with foreign policy makers and mass media opinion makers. They mainly write op-eds and policy think pieces. They do not, for the most part, engage in the primary recognized activities of scholars: teaching and research. These individuals a re on the far right margin of the Bush administration's power base. They serve as its attack dogs. It is easy to show that their scholarship and commentary on the Middle East is ludicrously defective. In fact, most Middle East scholars have long ago rejected their views. That is one of the sources of their unhappiness. It would be reasonable to conclude that perhaps scholars who study the modern Middle East know something worth listening to even if it does not accord with the views of right wing radicals. But the neo-McCarthyites already know what they want to hear.

Having failed to win in the marketplace of ideas, the neo-McCarthyites seek to use the power of the state to suppress wayward ideas. Consequently, this is a political fight, not merely a scholarly debate. The battle for ideas is surely a component of this struggle, but academic freedom is likely to be severely attenuated if the professoriate restricts itself to that arena. Even if only in self defense, students and scholars who want to preserve their right to think and speak and write critically about the Middle East , and potentially much else beyond, need to expose those who are assaulting our liberties and take the case for academic freedom to the public.


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