"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Saturday, November 27, 2004

"You're So Gullible," a Beirut Gentleman Passer-By Told the Holder of Four Fulbright Fellowships

A U.S. taxpayer-subsized academic in Middle Eastern studies was spotted pounding the Beirut pavement in a sandwich board in the median strip of the Corniche, Beirut's seaside boulevard. Her point was to criticize the United States and call for an end to the war. Obviously a first-class education at Columbia didn't provide instruction in common sense.

Laurie Brand will preach to MESA, the Middle Eastern Studies Association, to be held in San Francisco. Laurie is an activist and was known to be one before her election. Thus, in choosing Laurie, MESA is demonstrating the endorsement of the Palestinian cause in the midst of the intifada.

As well as the four Fulbright Fellowships for research in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Tunisia, she has received at least three major U.S. government regrants, mostly for work in Jordan, as well as has been on government-funded lecture junkets to Kuwait, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Oman. She has also been a past consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State, and the U.S. Information Agency. Although support for U.S. policy isn't a prerequiste for any of these subsidies and perks, one wonders what benefit Washington and the American people derived from her consultancies, and "what sort of process plied this one academic with so many Fulbrights. Isn't investing so many Fulbrights into one scholar a bit over the top?

The old gentleman didn't use the word naive, which means that the person doesn't think things through and believes what they are told without questioning whether it is right or wrong, or unschooled. He used the word gullible which means subject to easy manipulation by others.

MESA is full of the gullible--"an easily-manipulated fifth column for the most retrograde forces in the Middle East. Laurie Brand, their president, is giving a speech entitled "Scholarship in the Shadow of Empire," ironically referring the Empire of the United States.

Why would MESA focus on the United States when their focus should be on the Middle East, an area blighted by its own rulers?

..the Middle East has languished in the shadow of despotic regimes, intolerant nationalists, and religious extremists for as long as MESA has been in the business. Regrettably, none of this ever troubled MESAns to the point of bringing them out into the street. When they weren't looking away, they were explaining away, claiming that the benighted state of their region was really the fault of the West. In a profound sense, then, the entire guild of Middle Eastern studies has been gullible--an easily-manipulated fifth column for the most retrograde forces in the Middle East. That's also why the guild has been stuck in an epistemological median strip. The MESA presidential address that will bear these tidings won't be delivered tonight.

MESA might be full of the gullible and so might Washington for continuing to fund this woman. I question her judgment and her loyalty, and like the author, Martin Kramer, I would like to see an end to her stipends and that she no longer be sent off on taxpayer-funded speaking junkets over the next four years as she certainly is not a good ambassador for the United States, especially in a time of war.

MESA needs a good looking into. The Middle Eastern Studies programs at many universities are fifth columns funded by foreign governments and entities that are hostile and don't operate in the interest of the United States.

U.S. universities are operated for the benefit of the United States and our students, but of late they have been infiltrated by groups with other ambitions. They are part of the keychain of a Muslim attempt at a paradigm shift of thought in the U.S.: educate the elites and the rest will follow like sheep. The elites are then sometimes funded, but placed in obvious positions that would make the greatest effect: schools, textbook companies, outreach programs, church, and so on. Education is the key to opening the door to the Muslim conquest of America.

MESA may be full of over-educated dupes, but we, the rest of America have common sense, something they obviously lack. Common sense and perserverance have often been the only tools that dynamic men and women need to succeed. Let's put ours to work to lick this problem.


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