Saturday, August 18, 2007

Appeasement in Middle East Studies

Cinnamon Stillwell's got a great article up today at American Thinker, "Appeasement Finds a Home in the Academy":

Instead of providing moral clarity in a time of war, too many academics busy themselves inventing strategies to get along peaceably with genocidal terrorist groups and the governments that aid and abet them. Among the appeasers, three professors of Middle East studies stand out: the University of Minnesota's William O. Beeman; Boston University's Augustus Richard Norton; and Harvard University's Sara Roy.

William O. Beeman,
professor and chair of the department of anthropology at the University of Minnesota, as well as president of the Middle East section of the American Anthropological Association, apparently thinks the bloody, belligerent Iranian regime can be placated by politeness. In a recent article (scroll down), Beeman counseled the U.S. to negotiate with Iran using "language" that is "unfailingly polite and humble."

Humbleness toward a regime hell-bent on building the bomb, funding terrorists worldwide, threatening to wipe Israel off the map, seizing U.S., British and Canadian citizens as hostages, and
supplying weapons that kill American servicemen in Iraq?

"Politeness," is hardly the best tactic for dealing with opponents who clearly hold strength in the highest regard, but such is Beeman's recommendation. Unfortunately, it's advice that the Bush administration, and the State Department in particular,
appear to be following, and the lack of desirable results thus far point to its ineffectiveness. The recent decision to consider classifying Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization provides hope that realism may yet prevail.
Read the rest. Norton and Roy are calling Hezbollah and Hamas "complex and nuanced," and they suggest that we can work with these groups.

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