Comments About Historians: Archives 6-19-03 to 9-30-03

Comments About Historians

  • Richard Pipes: The Reluctant Power Scholar

  • Edward Said's Legacy: A Negative View

  • How Gerhard Weinberg Discovered Hitler's Second Book

  • Professor of Art History Honored by Smithsonian for book About Banned Homosexual Images

  • Wilbur H. Siebert: A Memorial Marker to Commemorate His Research on the Underground Railroad

  • Roy Foster: Irish Revisionist

  • Pipes and Kramer: Anti-Arab and Anti-Muslim, Says Joel Benin

  • John Esposito: American Dissenter

  • Niall Ferguson: Now a Star

  • Why Is John Lott Receiving Better Treatment than Michael Bellesiles?

  • A Student at Duke Says a Professor of History Was Grossly Biased

  • Stuart Macintyre: The Godfather of Australia's History Profession

  • KC Johnson Demands an Apology

  • Rashid Khalidi: What He Said About Israel

  • New Zealand Historian Claims He's Being Censored

  • Victor Davis Hanson: Mexifornia

  • Daniel Pipes, Hero

  • George Chauncey: The Historian Who Wrote the Brief in Defense of Gay Rights

  • Daniel Pipes: Quoted Out of Context

  • Shelby Foote: What Makes Him Tick?

  • Newt Gingrich's Co-Author Reveals Their Approach to History

  • Juan Cole: Neo-Cons Should Go to Iraq

  • Is Daniel Pipes a Victim of Political Correctness?

  • Is Daniel Pipes's Nomination in Trouble?

  • The New Columbia University Historian Who Called on Palestinians to Attack Israeli Soldiers

  • Response to Ronald Radosh

  • Daniel Pipes: On CAIR's Hit List

  • James F. Brooks: Rewriting the History of Slavery

  • How John Esposito Mangled a Quotation from Bernard Lewis

  • Niall Ferguson: The Historian as Media Star

  • John Esposito: Why There's So Much Controversy About Him

  • The Jewish Historian Who Disses Jewish Organizations

  • Historians Need to Travel Abroad

  • Keith Windschuttle and the War Among Historians in Australia

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    Richard Pipes: The Reluctant Power Scholar (posted 9-30-03)

    Arnold Beichman, writing in the Weekly Standard (Sept. 29, 2003):

    RICHARD PIPES is one of our most eminent historians. His books on Russian and Soviet history have been among the most influential and (at least as far as the academic left and Russian nationalists like Alexander Solzhenitsyn are concerned) among the most controversial. But his new autobiography--"Vixi," Latin for "I lived" --is of interest not just for his academic work but also for his service as a White House adviser. The book is also an informal history of the last days of the Cold War, documented in dramatic fashion by someone who was most assuredly not a belonger in official Washington.

    Pipes came to America in 1939 as a sixteen-year-old refugee from Poland. A Warsaw-born predecessor in the White House, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was already in Canada with his family when World War II broke out--and one wonders what the Kremlin thought when two anti-Communist Poles became White House foreign-policy advisers: Brzezinski as national-security adviser to a waffling Jimmy Carter, and Pipes as a national-security desk officer to Ronald Reagan. Moving from his longtime Harvard to Washington during the first two years of Reagan's presidency, Pipes was able to apply his knowledge and sense of strategy to the formulation of policies that helped bring down the Soviet Union.

    He had had some earlier experience with Washington as a member of the Committee on the Present Danger and later as head of an official group that audited the CIA's analyses of the Soviet economy--and found the CIA work to be woefully inadequate. Unfortunately, this experience didn't prepare him for the kind of stealth needed to win Washington's battles.

    Nevertheless, Pipes's appointment (thanks to Richard V. Allen, head of the National Security Council and himself a leading anti-Soviet strategist) was felicitous: a president who believed that the Soviet Union was not here to stay, a national-security chief who shared that view, and a Polish-American intellectual who agreed wholeheartedly. And they were all blessed with such superb speechwriters as Tony Dolan and Peter Robinson, and their successors who shared their clients' anti-Sovietism. That was why Reagan made his "evil empire" and Westminster speeches, and why later in 1987, over the hysterical objections of the State Department, he spoke at the Brandenburg Gate, with the Berlin Wall behind him, to utter his dramatic apostrophe to the Soviet Union: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

    One thing is clear from "Vixi": Pipes simply didn't or wouldn't understand the principles of a town where a bureau chief frequently has more power than his cabinet-secretary superior. As Pipes, the Harvard professor, describes it: "Such vanity as I possess was and remains that of an intellectual who wants to influence the way people think and feel rather than one who enjoys power over them or craves the status of a celebrity."

    But the only sure way to achieve that influence is through political power. Henry Kissinger wrote a number of highly influential foreign-policy books as a Harvard professor. His influence, however, only became measurable when he went to work for President Nixon as national security adviser, a post from which he made his great leap forward to become secretary of state.

    Pipes's complaint about mistreatment by Allen--who, he says, looked upon Pipes "as a potential rival and hence kept me in the background"--is unattractive. Far more significant is Pipes's assertion that Nancy Reagan and Michael Deaver took a dim view of Allen "since they were determined to tame Reagan's anti-communism and draw him closer to the mainstream," the mainstream being the anti-anti-communism which, I assume, they favored. Mrs. Reagan, he says, "was troubled by her husband's reputation as a primitive cold warrior." Anti-Communists like Allen and Pipes did not fit into the Nancy Reagan-Deaver world. Deaver and James Baker, says Pipes, "seemed to treat [Reagan] like a grandfather whom one humors but does not take seriously."....

    Much of what Pipes complains about in Washington ought not to have come as a surprise to him. He was accorded respect and attention, he says,"not for what I did, said or wrote but for what I was or at any rate was perceived to be"--but why should exposure to the universal condition of mankind be a shock? He felt"muzzled because I was sufficiently highly positioned so that every word I uttered could be interpreted as representing the administration"--but why shouldn't the media consider an interview with a famous historian about German and Soviet foreign policy, conducted in the Executive Office Building across the road from the Oval Office, as reflecting the views of the president who appointed him?

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    Edward Said's Legacy: A Negative View (posted 9-29-03)

    Ibn Warraq ("a pseudonym used to protect himself and his family from Islamists") is the author of Why I am Not a Muslim; writing in the Wall Street Journal (Sept. 29, 2003):

    Late in life, Edward Said made a rare conciliatory gesture. In 1998, he accused the Arab world of hypocrisy for defending a Holocaust denier on grounds of free speech. After all, free speech "scarcely exists in our own societies." The history of the modern Arab world was one of "political failures," "human rights abuses," "stunning military incompetences," "decreasing production, [and] the fact that alone of all modern peoples, we have receded in democratic and technological and scientific development."

    Those truths aside, Mr. Said, who died last week, will go down in history for having practically invented the intellectual argument for Muslim rage. "Orientalism," his bestselling manifesto, introduced the Arab world to victimology. The most influential book of recent times for Arabs and Muslims, "Orientalism" blamed Western history and scholarship for the ills of the Muslim world: Were it not for imperialists, racists and Zionists, the Arab world would be great once more. Islamic fundamentalism, too, calls the West a Satan that oppresses Islam by its very existence. "Orientalism" lifted that concept, and made it over into Western radical chic, giving vicious anti-Americanism a high literary gloss.

    In "Terror and Liberalism," Paul Berman traces the absorption of Marxist justifications of rage by Arab intellectuals and shows how it became a powerful philosophical predicate for Islamist terrorism. Mr. Said was the most influential exponent of this trend. He and his followers also had the effect of cowing many liberal academics in the West into a politically correct silence about Islamic fundamentalist violence two decades prior to 9/11. Mr. Said's rock-star status among the left-wing literary elite put writers on the Middle East and Islam in constant jeopardy of being labeled "Orientalist" oppressors -- a potent form of intellectual censorship.

    "Orientalism" was a polemic that masqueraded as scholarship. Its historical analysis was gradually debunked by scholars. It became clear that Mr. Said, a literary critic, used poetic license, not empirical inquiry. Nevertheless he would state his conclusions as facts, and they were taken as such by his admirers. His technique was to lay charges of racism, imperialism, and Eurocentrism on the whole of Western scholarship of the Arab world -- effectively, to claim the moral high ground and then to paint all who might disagree with him as collaborators with imperialism. Western writers employed "a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient." They conspired to suppress native voices that might give a truer account. All European writings masked a "discourse of power." They had stereotyped the "Other" as passive, weak, or barbarian. "[The Orientalist's] Orient is not the Orient as it is, but the Orient as it has been Orientalized," he said.

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    How Gerhard Weinberg Discovered Hitler's Second Book (posted 9-25-03)

    Daniel Johnson, writing in (Sept. 25, 2003):

    In 1958, Gerhard Weinberg made the kind of discovery that features in every historian's dreams. During his summer holidays, the young American scholar had been examining captured German military documents in the US Army archives, which - back then - were housed in a converted torpedo factory in Alexandria, across the Potomac from Washington DC. Before being shipped back to Germany, each one was being microfilmed.

    Humdrum work, but Weinberg was alert to a remote yet exciting possibility. In a memoir, one of Hitler's secretaries had mentioned a "secret" book about Nazi foreign policy - Weinberg's special subject. Then, when Hitler's Table Talk was published by Hugh Trevor-Roper (later Lord Dacre) in 1953, there was a reference to this "unpublished work" by Hitler himself. Weinberg hoped to track it down one day, though it was not easy to know where to look.

    One day, leafing through the contents of a green box-file, he found a folder labelled "Draft of Mein Kampf". Inside was a 324-page typescript: "The moment I looked at it, read the opening lines and the attached document on its confiscation, it became obvious to me that this was not a draft of Mein Kampf. In fact, this was the book to which I had seen references," he says.

    It was a dramatic moment: Weinberg had unearthed a previously unknown second book by Hitler, the only one he ever wrote after Mein Kampf. "This thing in fact existed and was here! It really existed, it had survived," says Weinberg, recalling his excitement. "Lots of stuff, after all, had been destroyed - and now this could be made accessible to anybody who had an interest in it."

    By a stroke of good fortune, it had already been declassified by the authorities, which meant there was nothing to stop Weinberg making it public. Before there could be any question of publication, however, he had to be sure that it was authentic. Though this was a quarter of a century before the great "Hitler Diaries" hoax - which damaged the reputations of the Times, the Sunday Times and the late Lord Dacre - Weinberg was already aware of the danger of forgery.

    The document itself, though yellowing, was in decent condition. Weinberg applied the logical methods of Sherlock Holmes: "If you look carefully, you can see that it has been dictated straight on to a typewriter, because, periodically, there is a space and then a full stop or a comma. In other words, the person who was typing thought there was another word coming and had already hit the space bar, then realised it was the end of the sentence or there was a comma coming. And I knew from other information that it was a practice of Hitler's to dictate on to the typewriter. So the physical appearance of the document was consistent with the way that Hitler actually operated."

    The provenance of the typescript was good: it had been found among other documents known to be genuine. According to the brief report appended by the American officer who confiscated it in 1945, this copy had been kept in the safe of the Nazi publishing house and then handed over by Josef Berg, the manager, who thought it had been written "more than 15 years ago" (i.e. before 1930).

    The Munich Institute for Contemporary History, which had also been searching for the Hitler book, told Weinberg that it had received correspondence about it. Among the letters was one from a man called Lauer, who said that, during the war, Berg had shown him the manuscript of a book by Hitler.

    "I checked up: who is Lauer and why would anybody show him secret things out of the safe?" said Weinberg. "It turned out that this was a man who had edited a whole bunch of songbooks for the Nazi party, so he knew his way around the publishing house. So it made sense that Berg, a close friend with whom he had worked there, might make himself important by saying: 'Hey - you know what we got here?' "

    Berg, who was still alive, then provided a crucial detail. Writing to the institute in 1958, he mentioned that there had been another copy of the typescript. Weinberg seized on this: "At one point, after the first couple of hundred pages of what we used to call ribbon [top] copy, it suddenly changed, and the last 100 or so pages were clearly carbon copies. That suggests to me that when they were collating it, back in 1928, somebody goofed. There were, at one point, two copies - at least.

    "Now, this combination of information, and a careful reading of the text, convinced me that there was no question but that this was authentic. The bits and pieces of evidence fitted together and made sense.

    "All the corrections, with one exception, were made on the typewriter while Hitler was dictating. He would suddenly stop and say: 'Strike that', and Max Amann [the publisher to whom Hitler dictated the second volume of Mein Kampf as well as this second book] would 'xxx' out a few words, and then would come a new bunch of words. There is one short word corrected by ink. My guess is that this was done at the time. There is no editing; it was never worked over, even for spelling errors. It's the way it came out of the typewriter in the summer of 1928. Then it was simply stashed away."

    Once the question of authenticity had been settled, Weinberg asked himself: why did Hitler's second book never appear at the time he wrote it? "I think Max [the publisher] advised him against publishing it just then," Weinberg says. It would have competed with Mein Kampf, the second volume of which was not selling well. "The following year, Hitler aligned himself with the very people he attacked in this manuscript: the people on the political Right who wanted to undo the Versailles Treaty. Hitler thought they were utter fools - but he was not about to say that in print, when they gave him money to travel all over Germany and appeal to the German people. And, later on, all kinds of other changes would have had to be made [to the book]."

    Did Hitler ever refer to the book again?

    "The one time when he did refer to it in his table talk was in February 1942, almost 14 years after he had written it. Obviously, in the intervening years, his decision not to publish it must reflect some kind of choice."

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    Professor of Art History Honored by Smithsonian for book About Banned Homosexual Images (posted 9-25-03)

    Steve Houchin, writing in the student newspaper of the Universty of Southern California (Sept. 24, 2003):

    The Smithsonian American Art Museum has recognized a USC professor of art history for his book on censorship and homosexuality.

    Richard Meyer, chair of the art history department and an associate professor of modern and contemporary art, won the 2003 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art for his book "Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth­Century American Art."

    "Outlaw Representation" is a study of homosexual art from the years 1934 to 2000. It examines the censorship and public scrutiny experienced by artists whose work was declared immoral and indecent.

    "In a way I wrote this book as a defiance of censorship," Meyer said. "I wanted to say that these images are worth more attention and have a lot to offer. They should be taken seriously."

    Works by artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol are examined in order to point out specific controversies throughout history. The book takes art that was at one time considered scandalous and gives readers the opportunity to analyze them seriously, Meyer said.

    "When there are moments of public censorship the artist experiences a lot of press coverage and visibility, but under the sign of scandal," he continued. "The work is battled over by various groups and any attention to the artwork itself is lost."

    Meyer, who spent a total of 10 years working on "Outlaw Representation," said the book wasn't published without conflict.

    Oxford University Press asked to remove certain images from the book, Meyer said. He refused to remove any of the artwork and, consequently, the book was only published in the United States.

    Meyer said he felt that if he removed images the book would become incomplete.

    "I'm glad I didn't back down," he said. "I hated the idea that a book about censorship was going to be censored."

    While attending graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley, a large controversy arose involving the censorship of Robert Mapplethorpe's art. In 1989 the Corcoran gallery of art canceled an exhibit of Mapplethorpe's called "The Perfect Moment" two weeks before it was supposed to open.

    "For me, this was the moment I lived through where I decided I wanted to be able to contribute to the explanation of why these works are important," he said. "I really wanted to use my training as an art historian to tell a story which hadn't been told."

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    Wilbur H. Siebert: A Memorial Marker to Commemorate His Research on the Underground Railroad(posted 9-23-03)

    HE was considered the world's foremost authority about the historic Underground Railroad.

    On Tuesday, the late Wilbur H. Siebert, grandfather of a St. Clairsville area businessman, will be honored with the dedication of a historical marker at The Ohio State University.
    Siebert, a professor of history at OSU from 1893 to 1935, published dozens of books and other articles on the Underground Railroad in Ohio and elsewhere.

    At the age of 80 in 1951, Professor Siebert wrote his final book, "The Mysteries of Ohio's Underground Railroads."

    Siebert is being recognized by Ohio State's Department of History, and The Ohio Historical Society as part of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission's celebration of Ohio's statehood.

    John S. Marshall, longtime resident of St. Clairsville and grandson of Professor Siebert, will attend Tuesday's dedication ceremony.

    Marshall has maintained an impressive number of significant artifacts and memoirs of his grandfather's works.

    Siebert is recognized for organizing one of the most extensive historical collections on the Underground Railroad in the United States. "When Professor Siebert began teaching history at Ohio State in 1891, there was precious little published information on the subject," noted Peter Hahn, OSU professor of history and vice chair of the department. "It's fitting to memorialize his contributions to Ohio history and Ohio's Bicentennial with this marker."

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    Roy Foster: Irish Revisionist (posted 9-22-03)

    Andrew Brown, writing in the Guardian (Sept. 13, 2003):

    Elongated, stooped and rather handsome, like the decoration in an illuminated manuscript, Roy Foster stands against the gold-washed wall of his house in Kentish Town, north London. He cuts a strange, somewhat 90s figure, but it's not clear from which century. Is he from the 1890s, when modern Irish nationalism was conceived in the occult imagination of WB Yeats? Or the 1990s, when hatreds that had seemed to define Irish history throughout the 20th century seemed at last to lose some of their power? Most of that decade he spent on the second volume of an authorised biography of Yeats, which is also a history of the birth of modern Ireland and its myths about itself. It is an astonishing blend of scholarship and sympathy, which brings together all his preoccupations with Irish history, the English language and the role played in human affairs by dreams and desires that never came true.
    "History is not about manifest destinies, but unexpected and unforeseen futures," he has written. "The most illuminating history is often written to show how people acted in the expectation of a future that never happened." This remark points to the difficulty of the task he has set himself as a historian: anyone can ascertain the things that actually happened. What's hard is the sympathetic reconstruction of the things that never happened, but which are needed to make sense of the things that did.

    His Modern Ireland has become the standard history of the period from about 1600 onwards, in which Irish history was dominated by the fact that a largely Catholic country was being governed by a constitutionally Protestant one. The first volume of his Yeats biography was praised to the skies: "Absolutely marvellous," says Conor Cruise O'Brien, who also calls Foster "a very brilliant, insightful historian."

    But Modern Ireland was significant not just as a history. Its publication, and its success, marked important parts of the process whereby modern Ireland came to terms with one of its own founding myths: that the essence of Ireland was forged in 700 years of oppression by the Saxon invader.

    Foster was one of the generation of Irish historians who came to maturity as the price of sectarian rhetoric became apparent in the bloody shambles of Northern Ireland. Their work became known as "revisionism"and was mocked by their enemies. But it was deadly serious, because it dealt with the history and nature of Irish identity. When a war was being fought in the north and people were being blown up to decide whether Protestants could be properly Irish the question of whether Protestants had in the past been properly Irish was not a purely academic one. Nor was the related question of whether Irish history was the story of Irish nationalism. Foster is in no doubt that it was not.

    "The Irish nationalist myth was energising and in many ways necessary for a couple of generations after indepen dence and the necessary reappraisals in the last generations haven't taken away from that," he says now. "I remember very distinctly in 1966, when I was 17, the commemoration of the Easter Rising. We went up to Dublin and were rather excited to see that Eamon de Valera was still there." The president was, after all, a figure from the myth himself, who had been condemned by the British to be shot after the rising.

    "All this," Foster says now, "was pre- the balloon going up in the north and pre- the rebirth of the IRA. The change in perception, after all these old issues which used the old rhetoric flared into life was very marked." What made the revisionism possible, he says, was the very success of the nationalist project in producing a state where the old questions had seemed quite safely mythological. The south was "a country that over 70 years has developed a stable, mature, and increasingly confident polity while manipulating multiple forms of ambiguity in terms of national identity and political ethos - opposite parties standing for the same things, a 'first national language' spoken by next to nobody as their first national language, a claim on territory that few politicians really wanted, and a booming economy dependent on international handouts."

    There was, however, one area of Irish life where this picture of history was not accepted, and that was among professional historians. From about 1940 onwards, at both the historically Catholic University College Dublin, and the historically Protestant Trinity College, the study of history was dominated by men who rejected the nationalist myth. They did not write large books, and their work was largely unknown to the general public. But they taught generations of teachers that Irish history was far more complicated than could be publicly acknowledged. The writer Colm Tóibín came up to University College Dublin in 1972 from a very hard-line republican background, which incarnated the tradition of violent republicanism. His grandfather had fought in 1916. He was shocked to discover that "my teachers didn't want to know anything about physical force republicanism. They talked about O'Connell and Parnell instead. This was in 1972, when a car-bomb campaign was being waged in the north and was being justified, not just in the name of what the other side had done last week, but also in the name of what Pearse and Connolly had died for in 1916."

    The term "revisionist" first became a term of abuse in Irish historiography in the late 1970s. Ruth Dudley Edwards, whose father Owen had been one of the 40s generation of historians at University College, published a biography of Patrick Pearse in 1978. She was accused of being a revisionist: "I didn't know the word. But there was a perception that we were part of a political movement." ...The quick book to make some money was Modern Ireland, and proved to be the channel through which all the pent-up scepticism of four decades of revisionism could burst into Irish public life. "Nobody else had the grasp, the energy, the style, in a sense, to get at all that graduate work and synthesise it," says Tóibín. "It really forced itself into the Irish home. People who would have bought Tim Pat Coogan bought this instead. When you went to look anything up in in it, you got the facts, but you came away scratching your head, and refusing a grand narrative."

    The distinctive quality of Modern Ireland among best-selling histories lies in the way it answers almost every question by suggesting all the answers are incomplete, and there is more to learn on almost every subject. The writer Selina Hastings met him when he was busy with it. She asked what he was doing - she was working on a biography of Nancy Mitford at the time - and when he answered "Irish history", her heart sank and it showed. "Don't worry," he said. "I'm doing it all about food and the private lives of curates."

    Nothing could be more destructive of the simple certainties of the old story. The narrative swings along easily enough, but the narrative is steeped in the rational, careful, sceptical temper of Foster's mind. He wrote of FSL Lyons, a historian he greatly admired, that "his intelligence was notably subtle, reflective, interrogative" and these, say his admirers, are the qualities displayed in his own work. Irish history is full enough of atrocity but Foster reacts with irony where others might fizzle with indignation.

    It all flickers playfully as summer lightning, until it strikes and scorches. In a recent paper on the role of hatred in Irish history, he writes: "Historical study of the IRA has now shown a rather different view of the strategy behind the 1981 hunger strikes than Padraig O'Malley's sensitive but over-literary analysis. As one of the prisoners put it, 'We felt that the IRA should have been slaughtering people in 20s and 30s' outside the prisons, to counterpoint the individual deaths in the Maze. This is an instructive contrast to O'Malley's reading of the tactic as 'the ancient tradition of the heroic quest, embedded in the hidden recesses of the Celtic consciousness'."

    But even here, the Fosterish touch is to praise as "sensitive" the author he's about to disembowel. "Foster always uses the stiletto," says Edwards, "Whereas Conor Cruise O'Brien will use anything - even a mortar." Tóibín points out that Foster has not aligned himself against the Hume-Adams agreement that brought Sinn Fein into politics in Northern Ireland in the way the other most notable revisionists have done.

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    Pipes and Kramer: Anti-Arab and Anti-Muslim, Says Joel Benin (posted 9-18-03)

    Joel Benin, writing in (July 2003):

    LEADING the charge against critical thinking about Islam and the Middle East in the US are Martin Kramer, Daniel Pipes, and Steven Emerson. Exploiting legitimate fears since 11 September 2001, their writings and speeches seek to impose an anti-Arab and anti-Muslim orthodoxy on Americans.

    Shortly after 11 September 2001 Martin Kramer, former director of the Dayan Centre for Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University, published a tract condemning the entire academic field of Middle East studies in North America (1).

    Kramer alleges that the "mandarins" of the Middle East Studies Association of North America have imposed an intellectual and political orthodoxy inspired by Edward Said's Orientalism (2); moreover they failed to predict the attacks or warn the US public about the dangers of radical Islam. Kramer has not seen fit to criticise the FBI and the CIA, who are specifically charged with conducting intelligence and preventing crime.

    Kramer also edits Middle East Quarterly, the house organ of the Middle East Forum, a neo-conservative thinktank directed by Daniel Pipes. Pipes has a long record of attempting to incite Americans against Arabs and Muslims. In 1990 he wrote: "Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene . . . All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most"(3).

    One recent project of the Middle East Forum is Campus-Watch, a website designed to police dissent on university campuses. Its aim was to "monitor and gather information on professors who fan the flames of disinformation, incitement, and ignorance".

    Campus-Watch (which has now been removed from the web due to criticism of its McCarthyite character) claimed that Middle East scholars "seem generally to dislike their own country and think even less of American allies abroad". The reason was that "Middle East studies in the US have become the preserve of Middle Eastern Arabs, who have brought their views with them".

    President Bush recently nominated Pipes for a seat on the board of directors of the US Institute for Peace, a congressionally funded foundation established in 1984 "to promote the prevention, management, and peaceful resolution of international conflicts".

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    John Esposito: American Dissenter (posted 9-18-03)

    Omayma Abdel-Latif, writing in A HREF="">Al-Ahram< (July 3-9, 2003):

    John Esposito acknowledges the fact that in the US he is "a controversial figure". One of America's foremost authorities and interpreters of Islam, as the Wall Street Journal once described him, Esposito is also considered to be one of the few voices of dissent within American academia. His opponents charge that he is an "apologist for Islam and soft on Muslims" and that he and his colleagues have misinformed the US administration about the true dangers of Islamist groups, contending that they underestimated the so-called Islamic threat.

    Esposito dismisses such charges as "ideologically-inspired". He defines himself as simply "a scholar of Islam". For him it is almost an article of faith that there is a war being fought by some ideologues to win "the hearts and minds" of the American people. "In the old days, being controversial was fine because we had a more open society. Now we don't, so we get nailed," said 63- year-old Esposito in an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly during a brief stop in Cairo last week.

    Over the past three decades, and long before the "green menace" replaced the red one, Esposito has been carving a niche for himself as an authority on matters Islamic. He is founding director of the reputable Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, a centre established in 1993 to address the issue of dialogue between Islam and the West. Esposito, once chair of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESNA), has written numerous articles, books and essays about Muslim politics, beliefs and cultures. His books are usually described as jargon-free and provide "a lucid introduction to truths on Islam which must become common knowledge", as Karen Armstrong, the famous theologian once said of his latest book Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam.

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    Niall Ferguson: Now a Star (posted 9-17-03)

    Cate Devine, writing in the Glasgow Herald (Sept. 15, 2003):

    Niall Ferguson is in jaunty mood. "Right, chaps, what's the order of battle?" he says as he is ushered into the reception hallway of his alma mater, Glasgow Academy, to shake hands vigorously with two old masters (Latin and English). He is undaunted by the experience. In fact, he looks distinctly relieved to have left behind him the bohemian Great Western Road. The clubby welcome of the old boys, into which war metaphors are the accepted passwords, is much more his thing.

    Professor Ferguson was a star pupil in the mid-1970s when the fully independent school, one of the top in Scotland, was still boys-only.

    Ferguson, the handsome (some say) 39-year-old Glaswegian who won over a whole new generation of TV viewers to history with his controversial Channel 4 series about the British Empire, and who was recently poached from Oxford University by New York University, was in Glasgow to deliver the Dallachy lecture to some 300 guests of the academy. He is now the darling of the American right, and was voted most popular professor by his high-flying US students within a matter of days. You can see why. His humour is distinctly establishment. He jokes: "I feel queasy when I come back to school, and even queasier when I think of Latin. My son has just started learning it and he keeps asking me the words for things like tongue." He smiles as the others clock the significance of what he's just said. "Really? Which school?" they murmur, and another exclusive conversation begins.

    I'm in the group, but not part of it. Actually, Ferguson doesn't address me once during this little male bonding exercise. It's only when we sit down in his old Latin classroom that he speaks directly to me, and that's only because he has to.

    Why is he so evasive? "Because I know what you're going to say about me," he responds immediately. And what would that be? "That I'm a right-wing unionist Thatcherite." Surely he doesn't think I have an agenda? This undoubtedly brilliant man knows a bit about journalism, but obviously not that much.

    He's married to Sue Douglas, the former Scotsman executive editor, ex-editor of the Sunday Express, friend of Andrew Neil, and currently an executive with Conde Nast. On his way up, Ferguson himself wrote freelance columns for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail - though under the pseudonyms of Alec Campbell and Campbell Ferguson so as not to upset his impoverished colleagues in British academia. He now has a (pounds) 1.3m three-book contract and enjoys a superstar lifestyle, dividing his time between his bachelor pad in Manhattan and the family home in rural Oxfordshire, where Mrs F prefers to reside with their three children - Felix, nine, Freya, eight, and Lachlan, three. They will not, he tells me later, be educated in Scotland.

    He looks at his exam register from 1976, tuts, and shakes his head. "I failed at the final hurdle. I only got a B in maths. There's simply no excuse for that." What exactly is wrong with getting a B in A-level maths? "I got As in everything else - history, English, and Latin. Being weak in maths is my one big intellectual regret because, along with English, it is the other global language."

    He also believes firmly that everyone should learn Latin. Does it worry him that most state comprehensives no longer teach it? "Oh, don't they?" he says. "Well, it seems to me that if you are interested in history, it's important to understand the kind of people who waged the First and Second World Wars. These were the officer classes and they were drilled in the classics. Latin is an elite education, and learning it helps us understand Britain's role in the world. The Roman empire has undoubtedly cast her shadow on our mindset.

    "People say that America is the new Rome, but they don't know what that means. They don't really understand what Roman civilisation was."

    Ferguson's next book, and his lecture at Glasgow Academy, is about the American empire. He believes America is as imperial as Rome and Britain were in their heyday, but that it lacks self -awareness. "It is an empire in denial," he says, "and an empire that doesn't recognise its own power is a dangerous one.

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    Why Is John Lott Receiving Better Treatment than Michael Bellesiles? (posted 9-12-03)

    Dick Dahl, writing for (Sept. 11, 2003):

    Early this year, it looked as though researcher John R. Lott, Jr.'s days as an influential voice on domestic gun policy in the U.S. were over. Lott, widely touted by pro-gun activists since the publication of his book, "More Guns, Less Crime," in 1998, found himself under attack for his inability to provide evidence to support some of his claims about the effectiveness of guns for self-defense.

    Most significantly, when asked to provide details of a survey that supposedly proved that 98 percent of gun defenses involved the mere brandishing of the weapon, Lott said that his computer crashed. And despite his claim that the survey was large and national, he could produce neither any records of it nor names of anyone who knew anything about it. Then, to top off Lott's apparent disgrace, a resourceful Weblogger named Julian Sanchez conducted research to show that Lott had created a fake persona named Mary Rosh for the purpose of providing rave reviews of John Lott's work.

    Much of the media response to these developments was predictable. Only one year earlier, Emory University historian Michael Bellesiles had resigned from his job under fierce pressure from pro-gun advocates over his own inability to substantiate a claim in his book, "Arming America," published in 2000. In it, Bellesiles wrote that levels of gun ownership in early America were not as high as is generally believed. It was an argument that calls into question the gun lobby's assertion that firearms have always been an intrinsic part of American culture, but when he said that he could not produce notes to prove a section about the paucity of guns in early probate records because he'd lost the notes in an office flood, the National Rifle Association went on the attack. The effort was successful and Bellesiles resigned.

    So when Lott's various credibility problems emerged earlier this year, the press called him the pro-gunners' Bellesiles. Understandable though the comparison may be, however, the media portrayal of the two men as equals within the two opposing ideological camps is misleading. Where Bellesiles' contribution to the overall gun-control argument was primarily interesting on a historical level, Lott's work is critically important to the pro-gun side. The pro-gun argument for minimal or no restrictions on gun ownership essentially rests on two claims: (1) The Constitution ensures individual rights to guns, as opposed to the militia-ensuring "collective rights" interpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court, and (2) Society is safer when people can arm themselves without restriction for self-defense purposes. No one is cited more often as an authority for the self-defense argument than John Lott.

    While the cases of John Lott and Michael Bellesiles appear to be similar, their subsequent stories have played out quite differently, however. Where Bellesiles was forced to resign, to relinquish the prestigious Bancroft Prize that his book had won for him, and to move to Europe for a time, Lott has continued to push his pro-gun agenda as a researcher at the conservative American Enterprise Institute as though nothing has happened. And judging by the frequency with which journalists use him as an "expert" on gun policy and on the fact that mainstream newspapers are running his opinion pieces, he's getting away with it.

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    A Student at Duke Says a Professor of History Was Grossly Biased (posted 9-9-03)

    Matt Bettis, an engineering major at Duke University, complaining about bias in the history department; on (Sept. 9, 2003):

    It is fair to say I have observed the university’s reflexive left-wing bias all my life. I grew up with my dad teaching at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and had been surrounded by leftists for as long as I can remember. Even my lifelong acquaintance with academic political correctness did not prepare me for what I encountered when I enrolled as a student at Duke University.


    As an engineering major, I have not had to deal with political bias in classes as often as students in other majors. However, my junior year I pursued a History minor and have been taking a lot of history classes ever since, which has brought me face-to-face with the worst left-wing bias I’ve encountered. I have been most interested in American History, and this prompted me to sign up for a class at Duke entitled “History 97D: American Dreams/American Realities.”


    The professor repeatedly described himself as “liberal,” which I thought an unusual thing to keep repeating; however, I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he would conduct his class in a manner that was fair and even-handed.


    Once he went through the preliminaries, he began to discuss how he had opinions, opinions that landed far to the Left on the political spectrum. Now I was very worried, not due to his political beliefs, because the majority of my other professors, many of whom have been amazing teachers, have been liberal. What worried me was the excited and proud manner in which he stated it, thusly implying that his politics would be a large part of the classroom experience. He then made a comment to the effect, “I don’t have a bias against anyone…except Republicans!” – which elicited roaring laughter from the students. I was absolutely dumbfounded. The message was clear: all opinions are welcome except anything contradicting the professor. And matters only got worse.


    To my shock and dismay, he began to discuss the three “Anglo-Saxon myths”: Christianity, Capitalism, and Democracy. These myths, he said, were popularized in history until the first (and perhaps only?) book was written to give a voice to people other than white males (presumably A People’s History of the United States, written by white male Howard Zinn).


    Next, he read a few quotes that were relevant to the class. One of them was by the most economically left-wing Cabinet member in recent history, Robert Reich. The prof asked the class if anyone knew who Robert Reich was. One student responded, saying that he was the Secretary of Labor. The professor slyly asked, “Under whom?” When the student responded “Clinton,” the professor let out an emphatic, “Damn straight!” O joy of the heavens! ...

    Upon leaving the classroom, I proceeded directly to the library to drop it from my schedule. I then e-mailed the professor, telling him in no uncertain terms that his comments were entirely inappropriate to an academic setting. I suggested he either remove his course from the “history” department or teach real history rather than spend class time propounding his personal ideology to a captive (and fearful) audience. His response was that the class, though listed as history, was “not a “’facts’ course,” since “to present the ‘facts’ is an impossibility.” Curiously, the fact that his classroom was a fact-free zone was not listed in the course description when I signed up.

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    Stuart Macintyre: The Godfather of Australia's History Profession (posted 9-5-03)

    Gregory Melleuish, associate professor of history and politics at the University of Wollongong, writing in the Australian (Sept. 3, 2003):

    STUART Macintyre, dean of the faculty of arts at the University of Melbourne, is the man who would be, and has largely succeeded in becoming, the godfather of the history profession in Australia. His new book The History Wars (Melbourne University Press), to be launched by former prime minister Paul Keating today, is an attempt to consolidate his godfather status. He wants to make his account of the conflicts about history in Australia during the past 30 years into the received version.

    Macintyre claims that history is under threat because the Howard Government has made dubious appointments to the various boards and cultural agencies under its control. Never mind that Macintyre has enjoyed considerable patronage under the incumbent Government. He is a member of the Civics Education Group of the Department of Education, Science and Training that oversees the Discovering Democracy program, and hence civics education in Australia. He is the chairman of the board of management of the National Centre for History Education and a member of the governing committee of the History Educators Network of Australia. The commonwealth Government funds both bodies.

    He is chairman of the humanities and creative arts panel of the Australian Research Council and the only historian on the panel. He became chairman of the panel in 2002. In that year, more than one-quarter of the grants awarded in the area of historical studies went to members of Macintyre's faculty.

    Clearly, Macintyre is the most powerful man in the history profession in Australia. He has the capacity to influence history education at every level, from primary school to university. The Government that he so dislikes has largely given him this power. This dislike is not enough for him to contemplate resigning from some of these positions.

    Now, as he extends his ambitions to control the past of the historical profession in this country, one must ask: Just how reliable and accurate is his history?

    For starters, he gets the origin of the word history wrong. He says that it comes from the Greek word meaning to know. Actually, to know in Greek is gignosco, hence cognisant (via Latin) and gnostic in English. Historie in Greek means research or inquiry. Perhaps while the rest of us engage in inquiry, Macintyre, like a true gnostic, just knows.

    Then there's his account of the Blainey affair at the University of Melbourne in 1984. Historian Geoffrey Blainey told the Warrnambool Rotary Club that the rate of Asian immigration into the country was higher than public opinion found acceptable and perhaps should be slowed. Following this speech, 23 of Blainey's colleagues in the history department published a letter denouncing his views on Asian immigration.

    After the letter came demonstrations by students to prevent Blainey from holding classes, some acrimonious exchanges with his colleagues, then a reconciliation meeting between him and the history department. As a member of the department at that time, I can comment on Macintyre's version of events. According to Macintyre, much of the fault lies with Blainey, who stubbornly refused to back down, leading him to adopt ever more extreme positions. Macintyre blames the victim.

    My recollection is that many of Blainey's colleagues were extremely jealous of his high profile. I observed them being sycophantic to his face, then saying quite horrible things about him behind his back. They were particularly contemptuous of his television show The Blainey View. My view is that they were just waiting for an opportunity to vent their spleen. Blainey's remarks on Asian immigration gave them the opportunity. In particular, I recall the reconciliation meeting between the department and Blainey quite differently from Macintyre. For example, he implies that Geoffrey Bolton, who was not a member of the department, was present at that meeting. I didn't see him there.

    The members of the department employed a rather appalling approach towards Blainey that is not uncommon among left-wing academics. They single out a person who does not share their views and persecute them. To endure such treatment is awful. It has often led to its victims exhibiting erratic behaviour. No wonder Blainey retired early.

    It all comes down to a matter of spin.

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    KC Johnson Demands an Apology (posted 9-3-03)

    Letter to the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education (September 5, 2003):

    To the Editor:

    We write regarding the letter by Timothy Gura, chairman of the Promotion and Tenure Committee at Brooklyn College (Letters to the Editor, June 27). That letter introduces new (and false) allegations against one of us, Robert David Johnson.

    Chairman Gura's letter combines a stream of denunciatory verbiage with the repetition of allegations contradicted by documents contained in Professor Johnson's personnel file, a file that Chairman Gura claims to have "considered carefully." However, his words suggest that he has not read Professor Johnson's personnel file.

    Our more pressing concern comes in the three new, and demonstrably false, allegations against Professor Johnson in Chairman Gura's letter. First, he claims that in Professor Johnson's case, "the attempted cover-up alienated more people than the crime did." Even in a process that culminated in the college's construction of a shadow file against Professor Johnson, nowhere was he ever charged with engaging in a "cover-up" or having committed a "crime." To make such an allegation -- casually and without any substantiation -- can only be construed as an unprofessional attack on Professor Johnson's professional and personal reputation.

    Second, the letter alleges that Professor Johnson "chose to circumvent both the contractual and procedural apparatus for grievance and chose the media and the legal system to make his case." Frederick P. Schaffer, the City University of New York's general counsel, concluded that Professor Johnson did not violate any contractual procedures in the handling of his case. In addition, the insinuation that talking to the press and hiring a lawyer are improper reveals Chairman Gura's lack of awareness of the gross procedural violations in the case. Professor Johnson sought legal assistance from Rosen, Leff when it was clearly apparent that his promotion-and-tenure process had to be removed from the college's handling to achieve any fairness. ...

    Third, Chairman Gura's letter terms Professor Johnson a "clever and unscrupulous scholar who admitted he would stop at nothing to win his battle." Nowhere in the voluminous record did Professor Johnson ever "admit" that he "would stop at nothing to win his battle." To make such an allegation without any substantiation can only be construed as an unprofessional attack on Professor Johnson's professional and personal reputation, and is libelous.

    Chairman Gura's letter harms Professor Johnson's reputation both nationally and at the college. It therefore seems incumbent upon him to make a public retraction and apology regarding these false charges, both to The Chronicle and in a letter to all faculty members of Brooklyn College.

    Robert David Johnson
    Professor of History
    Brooklyn College
    City University of New York
    Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Robert M. Rosen
    Rosen, Leff
    Hempstead, N.Y.

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    Rashid Khalidi: What He Said About Israel (posted 9-3-03)

    Transcript of the MSNBC show,"Scarborough Country" (August 29, 2003), as reprinted on the website of Daniel Pipes:

    SCARBOROUGH: And tonight, we're spotlighting Columbia University, where the Middle East Studies Department has been criticized for hiring outspoken opponents of American and Israeli policy. Now, some Israeli supporters are concerned that Columbia has just appointed Rashid Khalidi, a fervent opponent of Israel, to the anonymously endowed Edward Said Chair.

    With me now, Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi, and Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum. Professor, let me begin with you and just ask you to defend yourself against these charges that you are anti-American or that you are anti-Israeli.

    RASHID KHALIDI, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Well, I don't think I should have to defend myself. The charges themselves are scurrilous and the people who are making them are not very reputable themselves. I am somebody whose record and what I've written is well known. I'm somebody who thinks that the United States has made some mistakes in the Middle East and that these are things that are not in the best interest of the United States or the American people.

    And the kind of people who would call critics of this or that policy unpatriotic or un-American, I think, are doing the United States and the people of the United States a terrible disservice.

    SCARBOROUGH: Fair enough, Professor.

    KHALIDI: So I don't think I really need to defend myself at all.

    SCARBOROUGH: OK, well, let me bring up a quote or two and have you respond to these quotes and whether you think they are being misinterpreted. This is what you said in a speech in June: "Israel has killed three times as many innocent civilians as have Palestinians, for all the media hysteria about suicide bombers. Killing civilians is a war crime, whoever does it, although resistance to Israeli occupation is legitimate in international law."

    Now, Professor, it sounds like you are saying there very much that suicide bombings, like the tragic one last week that killed quite a few young children, are legitimate in international law. Do you agree or disagree with that?

    KHALIDI: Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

    SCARBOROUGH: You do not believe that?

    KHALIDI: Absolutely. That is not what I said and that's not even what the New York Post, which is notorious for making mistakes on things like this, said. What I said and what I believe is that killing civilians, in any manner, form, or shape, is a war crime, is a violation of international law. The massacre of innocent children by suicide bombers is, in my view, a war crime. And that is what I said in the speech that was taken out of context in that New York Post article.


    SCARBOROUGH: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

    KHALIDI: What I went on to say is that, in international law, in a situation where you have military occupation, resistance against that occupation is, under international law, considered legitimate. That is a far cry from suicide bombs or attacks on civilians, which are, as far as I'm concerned and as far as international law is concerned, war crimes.

    SCARBOROUGH: All right, Daniel Pipes, the professor sounds very reasonable. But there's been a big stir that he and other Columbia professors actually believe that suicide bombings are legitimate political expressions. Has the professor gotten a bad rap or do you really believe that he is anti-Israeli?

    DANIEL PIPES, MIDDLE EAST FORUM: Well, the question isn't whether he's pro-Israeli or anti, Joe. The question is, what is he justifying? And he did justify violence against those in occupation.

    So my question for Mr. Khalidi is, are Israelis living within the Green Line occupiers or are they legitimate citizens of a state whose existence you accept?

    KHALIDI: I don't really think I have to answer questions from the like of Daniel Pipes. But what I would say is that any Israeli living within Israel, the legitimate borders of the state of Israel, yet to be defined, because there has not yet been a treaty defining them—but everybody accepts that Israel is a state, has legitimacy within certain frontiers yet to be defined, presumably the Green Line—those people obviously should be immune from attack. There is no question that civilians inside Israel, civilians anywhere in the world should not be attacked.

    And I don't quite understand why the likes of Mr. Pipes is being put on television to question me. I would ask Mr. Pipes, how does he feel about the killing of Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupation forces? What does he feel about the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation that has gone on for several decades?

    SCARBOROUGH: Mr. Pipes, Mr. Pipes, obviously, you are an outspoken critic of Hamas and the Palestinians. Answer that question.

    PIPES: Well, I regret every time any Palestinian is killed who is innocent. That goes without question. But I have a second question for Mr. Khalidi. And I know he doesn't want to take it, but I will ask it anyway. How about the children and innocents who are living outside of the Green Line? Is it OK to murder them or is …

    KHALIDI: I would argue that the killing of civilians anywhere, under any circumstances, is a war crime.

    PIPES: Good.

    SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second right there. I think that answers the question.

    And, professor, you said the New York Post misquoted you. I want to read you another quote and see if this is also a misquote, because I think you have answered your charges thus far very eloquently. There was, of course, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who you supposedly called "a fanatic, extreme right-wing Zionist." You said that Israel is a "racist" state with an "apartheid system" and that America has been "brainwashed" by Israel. Now, did you say those things, yes or no? And if you did say them, do you believe that American politicians have been brainwashed by Israel?

    KHALIDI: I have to tell you, Joe, I don't recognize any one of those quotes.

    SCARBOROUGH: Really?

    KHALIDI: I do think—let me answer your question. I do think that we are in the unfortunate situation of having an administration in which, instead of people who have real expertise about the Middle East being called upon, people in the Central Intelligence Agency, people in the Defense Intelligence Agency, people in the State Department, we have a bunch of ideologues, a bunch of people who follow one narrow political philosophy and who, generally speaking, couldn't find their way from the airport to the Hilton without a minder in most Middle East capitals, in the office of the secretary of defense, in the vice president's office, leading us around by the nose.

    Now, some of these people are extreme American nationalists. Some of these people are virulent supporters of Israel. And some of these people are supporters of other philosophies.

    KHALIDI: I think that they are leading us down the garden path. And I think that their policy on the Palestine-Israel question and their policy on Iraq is mistaken. And we can see the fruits of it before our eyes.

    SCARBOROUGH: OK, I am glad you said that, Professor, because I've got to tell you, one of the things that frustrates me so much is, I hear people saying how right-wing, how fanatical, high Zionist this administration is. But if that's the case, then forget just this administration. Why have Bill Clinton and George Bush so aggressively tried to create a Palestinian state, have set up—I mean, George Bush was attacked by his own right-wing when he tried to set up his road map for peace. And it seems like, every time we start taking those first steps toward Palestinian statehood, Hamas detonates another bomb and blows the peace process up. What's happening there?

    KHALIDI: I think what's happening there is, MSNBC and ABC and all the rest of you are not doing a very good job of covering what goes on. Hamas and the Israeli army are engaged in a very deadly dance. The fact that Hamas is attacking Israelis—which, in my view, is reprehensible—I am a much more severe critic of Hamas than Mr. Pipes is—is not the whole issue. It is part of the issue. They are working to derail efforts that would take them away from the center of politics, but so is the Israeli army.

    You guys never quoted the Israeli minister of defense, when he said: We have to show the Palestinians. We have to make them understand that they are a defeated people. You never quote Israeli journalists who talk about how the policy of assassination is provoking these hideous suicide bombings. I think that you all are not doing a very good job of covering the Middle East, frankly. You repeat the same little bits again and again, the same little bits of conventional wisdom. You have the likes of Mr. Pipes on. But you don't really show exactly who, not just Hamas, but also, for example, the Israeli army or the settlers, are working against this road map and working against a settlement.

    SCARBOROUGH: We are running out of time.

    PIPES: Quickly, can I add something?

    SCARBOROUGH: I've got to have a quick response from you, Mr. Pipes. Then we've got to go.

    PIPES: Mr. Khalidi denied calling Paul Wolfowitz "a fanatical, extreme, right-wing Zionist."

    PIPES: Let me give the reference for it, Mr. Khalidi. It was an article called "Bush Winds Back U.S. Policy," Australian Financial Review, February 8, 2001. Your viewers can go see it. Mr. Khalidi is, as usual, not quite fully telling the truth.

    [Pipes commentary on his website: Time was lacking to give the reference for the other quotes about Israel being a "racist" state with an "apartheid system" and that America has been "brainwashed" by Israel. These come from Jordan Elgrably, "Crisis of Our Times: Nationalism, Identity and the Future of Israel/Palestine, an Interview with Rashid Khalidi" Oct. 2000,]

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    New Zealand Historian Claims He's Being Censored (posted 8-18-03)

    Editor's Note: In 1993 Joel Hayward, a graduate student in history at Canterbury University, argued in his masters thesis that Hitler had not personally known about the Holocaust. Hayward also suggested that perhaps only a million Jews--not six million--were killed in the Holocaust. Canterbury convened an investigation which concluded that the work was seriously flawed. Hayward eventually repudiated the thesis and took a teaching job at Massey University. In 2002 he quit, apparently as a result of ongoing hostility to his presence on the faculty by colleagues. This past spring the Canterbury history department's journal, History Now included an article reprising the controversy over Hayward's thesis. The article, which claimed that Hayward had been treated badly, was written by Canterbury history lecturer Thomas Fudge. The university subsequently ordered the destruction of copies of the department's journal. Dozens of academics from across New Zealand protested the university's action, calling it an infringement on academic freedom.

    From the New Zealand Herald (August 28, 2003):

    History lecturer Thomas Fudge last night warned that he may stay at Canterbury University to "battle out" his fight over academic freedom.

    Last night, the university's council dismissed his formal complaint over Vice-Chancellor Roy Sharp's handling of the furore over an article Dr Fudge wrote for the university journal, History Now.

    The article revisited the controversy that surrounded the 1993 masters thesis of former Canterbury student Joel Hayward, which questioned the validity of Holocaust history.

    Dr Fudge had threatened to resign after the university ordered the destruction of copies of the journal in May, but now says he may reverse his decision and stay.

    "If they think this is the end of it, I can assure the chancellor, the vice-chancellor and the council it's not," he said before giving a public lecture on the journal controversy in Christchurch last night.

    "Maybe ... I won't resign after all and will stay on to give them 30 years of grief."

    Dr Fudge, yet to give formal notice of leaving at the end of the year, has consulted a lawyer about the handling of his complaint and will meet his lawyer again today to initiate legal action against the university.

    "I intend to pursue this," he said.

    The university's council, which also sought legal advice over the complaint, considers the matter closed.

    After meeting for more than an hour behind closed doors last night, council members unanimously reaffirmed their full confidence in Professor Sharp.

    Members considered the advice of the vice-chancellor's employment committee and resolved that circumstances did not reveal any action or failure to act by Professor Sharp that failed to protect, promote or enhance academic freedom.

    They also resolved that the vice-chancellor's instruction to Dr Fudge that his lectures were not the place to air his private dispute with colleagues did not impinge on his freedom of expression.

    Council members also condemned the release of Dr Fudge's letter of complaint to the media as "most improper".

    Earlier in the meeting, Chancellor Robin Mann criticised The Press newspaper, saying its August 19 article about the complaint was irresponsible and possibly defamatory.

    This week, senior academics from several universities took out a $1200 advertisement containing 63 signatories from New Zealand and overseas. It accused Canterbury of acting improperly in endorsing a review of the thesis.

    See also: Rehashing the Case of the Australian Graduate Student Who Denied 6 Million Jews Died in the Holocaust.

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    Victor Davis Hanson: Mexifornia (posted 8-18-03)

    John Fonte, writing on (August 21, 2003):

    When Victor Davis Hanson talks, Washington’s conservative elite listens. A brilliant classical scholar, a prolific military historian, and a hands-on, tractor-driving, fifth-generation California farmer, Professor Hanson has lectured the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dined at the Vice President’s home, and advised the President of the United States.

    In his latest book, Mexifornia: A State Of Becoming, Hanson dissects America’s mass immigration/anti-assimilation status quo and details how it undermines our national interests.

    He bluntly lays out the problem:

    "The really perilous course lies in preserving the status quo and institutionalizing our past failed policies: open borders, unlimited immigration, dependence on cheap and illegal labor, obsequious deference to Mexico City, erosion of legal statutes, multiculturalism in our schools, and a general breakdown in the old assimilationist model."

    And he presents a clear solution:

    If we are serious people, we will "adopt sweeping restrictions on immigration;" end "separatist ideology;" promote a "stronger mandate for assimilation;" (meaning real civic education in our schools, emphasizing American culture and values); and end "the two-tier legal system for illegal aliens." By this he means ending practices such as allowing illegal aliens in California to get into state universities for reduced tuition rates while American citizens from neighboring Arizona and Nevada pay the full price.

    As a leading military historian, Hanson is undoubtedly familiar with the crucial insight of Karl von Clausewitz, that the best way to defeat an adversary is to strike at what the great Prussian strategist called the opponent’s "center of gravity," a "hub of movement and power on which everything depends." This "center of gravity" could be an enemy’s main military forces, capital city, national morale, or alliance system. In any case, Clausewitz states, that if the enemy’s "center of gravity" collapses, the enemy will be defeated.

    Left-Right Alliance

    Hanson targets the "center of gravity" of the mass immigration/weak assimilation regime as the product of a de facto alliance of the Corporate/Libertarian Right and the Multicultural Left that protects and promotes this system. He states, "Both parties, after all, did their part to get us into this predicament and have so far escaped accountability for the harm they have done." Illegal immigration "continues on unabated" because "it unites the power and influence of employers with the rhetoric and threats of the race industry." Who, after all, "wants to be called an isolationist or a nativist by the corporate Right and a racist or bigot by the multicultural Left?"

    But Hanson, a man with Mexican-American nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law, and prospective sons-in-law, who has labored in the fields alongside his workers, faced down illegal alien intruders on his property, and been the target of academic smear campaigns, is not a man to be intimidated. In Mexifornia he charges ahead and details the damage that the Right-Left open-borders coalition has wrought.

    One of the major premises on which the pro-mass immigration Right’s worldview rests is the assertion that the assimilation of immigrants into the American mainstream is proceeding today successfully much as it has in the past. Thus, Michael Barone, a leading spokesman for this view, insists that "we have been here before." There is nothing to be concerned about because the history of American immigration will essentially repeat itself—Ellis Island redux—with today’s Latinos playing the role of yesterday’s Italians, assimilating, joining the middle class, and—as a bonus for political conservatives—even voting Republican.

    After the publication of his influential book The New Americans, in 2001, the affable and well-connected Barone, was everywhere in the pre-9/11 world of the establishment center-right: the K Street business luncheons, the think-tanks, the Republican side of the Hill, spreading the word—let mass immigration continue; throw in an amnesty for good measure; and it will all work out fine, just like in did in the past. Hanson never mentions Barone, but Mexifornia is a root and branch repudiation of the vision of The New Americans and of the entire business/libertarian pro-mass immigration worldview.

    Hanson begins by explaining that Mexican immigration is different. In contrast to immigrants from "the Philippines, China, Japan, Basque Spain, Armenia, and the Punjab," for the Mexican arrival in California there is little physical separation from the homeland; after all, "the Rio Grande is no ocean." This makes assimilation more difficult. Add to this the "enormous numbers" (Mexicans are the largest single immigrant group) and "the constant stream of new arrivals" which "means for each assimilated Mexican, there are several more who are not."

    Also, Hanson notes, in the past, Italian, Jewish, and Polish immigrants knew that if they did not learn English they would be failures in America. Today, "A Mexican in California senses that if he fails to integrate into mainstream American society, there will always be thousands of more newcomers like himself who will . . . join him in a viable expatriate culture." Moreover, American leaders "lack confidence in the melting pot" and make little, if any, attempt to assimilate immigrants into their language or their culture.

    While American elites of the both the left and right tend to pander to the Mexican governing class, Hanson is highly critical of this group, "which both deliberately exports its unwanted and, once they safely reach American soil, suddenly becomes their champion and absent parent, as much out of resentment toward the United States, as in real concern for people whom they apparently are so gladly free of."

    Massive immigration to and financial bailouts from their northern neighbor are, in fact, what allows the Mexican elite to avoid real reform. Hanson insists that "Market capitalism, constitutional democracy, the creation of a middle-class ethic . . .will never fully come to Mexico as long its potential critics go north" instead of marching on Mexico City.

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    Daniel Pipes, Hero (posted 8-18-03)

    Charles Krauthammer, writing in the Washington Post (August 18, 2003):

    The president has nominated Islamic scholar Daniel Pipes to the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace. This has resulted in a nasty eruption of McCarthyism. Pipes's nomination has been greeted by charges of Islamophobia, bigotry and extremism. Three Democratic senators (Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd and Tom Harkin) have shamefully signed on to this campaign, with quasi-Democrat Jim Jeffords tagging along.

    Who is Daniel Pipes? Pipes is a former professor at the U.S. Naval War College. He has taught history and Islamic studies at Harvard and the University of Chicago. He is a scholar and the author of 12 books, four of which are on Islam. Unlike most of the complacent and clueless Middle East academic establishment, which specializes in the brotherhood of man and the perfidy of the United States, Pipes has for years been warning that the radical element within Islam posed a serious and growing threat to the United States.

    During the decades when America slept, Pipes was among the very first to understand the dangers of Islamic radicalism. In his many writings he identified it, explained its roots -- including, most notably, Wahhabism as practiced and promoted by Saudi Arabia -- and warned of its plans to infiltrate and make war on the United States itself.

    Sept. 11, 2001, demonstrated his prescience. Like most prophets, he is now being punished for being right. The main charge is that he is anti-Muslim. This is false. Pipes is scrupulous in making the distinction between radical Islam and moderate Islam. Indeed, he says, "Militant Islam is the problem, and moderate Islam is the solution."

    The dilemma for a free society is that radical Islam lives within the bosom of moderate Islam. The general Islamic community is the place radicals can best disguise themselves and hide. Mosques are institutions that they can exploit to advance the cause. These are obvious truths.

    But when Pipes states them, he is accused of bigotry. For example, critics thunder against Pipes's assertion that "mosques require a scrutiny beyond that applied to churches and temples."

    This is bigoted? How is this even controversial? Wahhabists and other radical Islamists have established mosques and other religious institutions in dozens of countries. Some of these -- most notoriously in Pakistan -- had become the locus of not just radical but terrorist activity. Where do you think Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, was radicalized and recruited? In a Buddhist monastery? He was hatched in the now notorious Finsbury Park mosque in London....

    Pipes's nomination has been endorsed by, among others, Fouad Ajami, Walter Berns, Donald Kagan, Sir John Keegan, Paul Kennedy, Harvey Mansfield and James Q. Wilson.

    Who are you going to believe? Such unimpeachable and independent scholars? Or a quartet of craven senators?

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    George Chauncey: The Historian Who Wrote the Brief in Defense of Gay Rights (posted 8-9-03)

    Rick Perlstein, writing in the University of Chicago Magazine (August 2003):

    [George] Chauncey was born the year of another landmark Supreme Court civil-rights case, 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. As a historian he makes devastating arguments about how closely the racial prejudices of that era resemble the sexual prejudices of our own. He argues from personal experience as well. His father was a Presbyterian minister in the South who was loved—initially—by every congregation he led. “Then,” Chauncey recalls, “he would do these things that shocked them.” The thing he did in his first pulpit in Brownsville, Tennessee (pop. 5,000), was to express his support for Brown v. Board of Ed. The young family was politely told to leave town. At his next post he helped escort the children who integrated Little Rock Central High in 1957. “That night we had death threats,” Chauncey recalls.

    It was only in Richmond, working for the national staff of the Southern Presbyterian Church, that George Chauncey Sr. could first agitate in relative security—against, by then, the Vietnam War. George Jr. was his father’s son. In high school he organized a failed movement to desegregate the cafeteria, a citywide high- school student antiwar group, and an underground newspaper. (For this last he was called into the principal’s office, recited his constitutional rights, and allowed to continue. The local ACLU took note.) In the process he was beaten by the tough white kids, anointed with the monikers “nigger lover,” “egghead,” and “peace freak.” By his junior year, when things were so bad he would instinctively flinch when he saw the bullies walking down the hall, he was marked further as “queer” and “faggot.” It had nothing to do with whom he was attracted to sexually—he would only recognize himself as gay in college—but with a sin eggheads of all orientations will find familiar: “I didn’t play sports well.” In an inchoate way, it had something to do with his future vocation.

    Decades later scholars of sexuality would arrive at a rule of thumb: how a society organizes its sex and gender norms is often complexly codetermined with the manner in which it organizes its other major axes of social classification—in America, race and class. It becomes second nature for high-school bullies to further stigmatize someone who fraternizes too easily with blacks by questioning his manhood; in that way what constitutes “normal” is produced and reproduced. This insight has launched a thousand cultural-studies papers. But Chauncey arrived at it without benefit of theory, foreshadowing how he would later make a living. Unlike those cultural-studies scholars, Chauncey always grounds broad insights about processes of social and identity formation in the experiences of real people as recorded in the documents they left behind.

    The written history of gays and lesbians began more than a century ago on a less promising intellectual footing: filiopietistic tracts celebrating all the gay (or presumed-gay) greats through the ages. The field’s scholarly legitimacy was established by the late Yale professor John Boswell, who in his 1980 tour de force Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality mobilized sources in a dozen languages to demonstrate that sex between men had been a tolerated facet of life for the Christian West’s first millennium. Boswell was an important mentor for Chauncey. “I was thinking about doing history,” he recalls, “and I wanted to know what it would be like as a gay man”—just as a gay man, not as a scholar of gays. At that point he was launching a senior thesis on Rhodesian copper miners. “That was still back in the time when you might have these sort of conversations in hushed tones.” Boswell was encouraging, for Chauncey was a promising student whose senior thesis earned him a fellowship to Zambia.

    After that came graduate school at Yale. There Chauncey encountered his second great mentor, in Nancy Cott’s first-semester seminar in U.S. history. “About the only thing I take credit for with regard to George,” Cott laughs, “was that my course was interesting enough that he decided to change to U.S. history.” He says it was “the way she approached historical problems” that intrigued him.

    Cott’s 1978 classic The Bonds of Womanhood: “Woman’s Sphere” in New England, 1780–1835, published just before Chauncey began his Ph.D., examined the history of two ideologies, one so apparently entrenched it’s been hard to see as an ideology at all—the notion of complementary “separate spheres” for women and men. The other was a construct of apparently more modern vintage: feminism. Cott discovered that their emergence was simultaneous, one helping to constitute the other; both accompanied the 19th-century revolution in market capitalism and the concomitant breakdown in the system of household production. This most productive insult to intuition can be seen, in retrospect, as an early masterpiece in an emerging historical methodology: studying the formation of entire categories of identity—in this case the “true” woman—as a historical process, through close analysis of historical documents. Chauncey would go on to apply this emerging method to the sexual categories of “gay” and “straight.”

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    Daniel Pipes: Quoted Out of Context (posted 8-9-03)

    Lou Marano, writing for UPI (August 8, 2003):

    Senators opposing President Bush's nomination of Daniel Pipes' nomination to the U.S. Institute of Peace have cited a quote that, taken out of context, does not accurately represent Pipes' published views.

    On April 4 Bush named Pipes, head of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, to the USIP. Congress established the institute in 1984 "to promote the prevention, management, and peaceful resolution of international conflicts." Its 15 board members, Democrats and Republicans, serve without pay.

    The forum describes itself as a think thank that works to define and promote American interests in the Middle East. "In particular, it believes in strong ties with Israel, Turkey, and other democracies as they emerge," according to its Web site.

    The nomination has sparked opposition. The Washington Post, for example, called it "sort of a cruel joke." On April 19 the Post editorialized that Pipes "has long been regarded by Muslims" as a destroyer of bridges between Islam and the West, and that his nomination is "salt in the wound" of Muslims who are "anxious that they are being singularly scrutinized" by the Department of Justice.

    Pipes' often-stated position is that militant Islam is the problem, and moderate Islam is the solution. He believes authoritarian Muslim societies must modernize by embracing democratic institutions and the rule of law.

    On Nov. 19, 1990, Pipes argued in the National Review that an unwarranted fear of Islam should not be used to fill an emotional vacuum that the end of the Cold War might create. He wrote that nothing justifies seeing Muslims as the paramount enemy.

    Pipes revised and updated the article as the second chapter of his 2002 book "Militant Islam Reaches America." The chapter is titled "The Imaginary Green Peril." In it he dismissed fears of an Islamic military threat but stated that immigration now concerns him more than in 1990, when he wrote that Muslim immigrants to Western countries had shown themselves to be more resistant to assimilation than their predecessors.

    Nevertheless, Pipes wrote, "if handled properly, the immigrants can ... bring much of value, including new energy, to their host societies."

    At a July 23 meeting of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.,speaking against the nomination, read a quote from the chapter that Pipes has said characterizes European views and not his own:

    "Western European societies are unprepared or unwilling to deal with the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples whom they perceive as cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene."

    Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, objected to Pipes' nomination on many grounds, including the extracted quote. He recalled his mother, a Slovenian immigrant, who "talked funny" and would on certain feast days wear the clothes of her native land to church.

    "She wanted to bring some of her customs with her to this country," Harkin said. "But anyone who knew my mother could never deny that she was American to the core."

    However, these objections are not supported by a full reading of the chapter.

    Pipes wrote that the last time Muslims physically threatened the West was the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683 and that nothing justifies seeing Muslims as the paramount enemy.

    He said Muslims are not fanatical by nature, that radical Islamists are no more than 15 percent of the Muslim population in most places, and that Islam is not a political unit. "More Muslim governments cooperate with the West than threaten it," Pipes wrote. For all these reasons, jihad remains outside the realm of serious U.S. policy discussion.

    Shifting to issues of culture, Pipes wrote that all immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but those of Muslims are more troublesome than most. Most troublesome, he wrote, is the stated goal of taking political power to build an Islamic society.

    But Pipes'conclusion is that the challenges created by Muslim immigration to the West, although painful, are also finite. Alarmist predictions of a cataclysmic battle of civilizations are wrong.

    Pipes wrote that communities of even fundamentalist Muslims who choose to live outside the American mainstream could be accommodated, along the lines of the Pennsylvania Amish and the Hassidic Jews of New York City.

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    Shelby Foote: What Makes Him Tick? (posted 8-7-03)

    Scott Morris, writing in the Wall Street Journal (August 7, 2003):

    In 1974, Shelby Foote completed "The Civil War," a three-volume work of narrative history that took 20 years to write and ended up longer than Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Speaking for many scholars and readers, the historian Louis Rubin lauded its "range and mastery of detail," suggesting that "in beauty of language and feeling for the people involved," it "surpasses anything else on the subject." The novelist Walker Percy, Mr. Foote's friend, called it "an unparalleled achievement, an American Iliad." High praise indeed, but to read this epic masterpiece is to find such statements just. Mr. Foote believed he was writing about the defining event of American history, and he dared to write for the ages.

    Given such an achievement, one logically welcomes a biography of Mr. Foote, if only to know more about the trilogy and its creator: the discipline that went into writing it; the obstacles to its completion; the research behind it, too, especially since Mr. Foote shunned endnotes in favor of readability. Mr. Foote is credited as the first historian to give the western theater of the Civil War its due. A biographer might ask -- Mr. Foote is still alive, after all -- what led him to such an emphasis. And then there is his friendship with Walker Percy, which inspired a lively correspondence over many years and an extraordinary intellectual give-and-take. Surely that would be worth exploring. More mundanely, Mr. Foote took on Disney a few years ago to prevent it from building a theme park on battlefields in Virginia. It might be interesting to have a close account of this latter-day Civil War battle (which Mr. Foote won).

    But no such luck. Yes, we have a biography, "Shelby Foote: A Writer's Life" (Mississippi, 317 pages, $30) but C. Stuart Chapman leaves these questions unanswered, and many others. Instead he asserts, again and again, that Shelby Foote, a native of Greenville, Miss., and a life-long Southerner, wrote "The Civil War" as a way of escaping the conflicts of the 1960s civil-rights movement. It is all too evident that Mr. Chapman, who currently serves as the press secretary to Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), would prefer a historian thick in the fray of politics to one devoting his time to research and writing.

    One is left with a badly developed Polaroid, not a nuanced portrait.

    "Not unlike one of his literary heroes," writes Mr. Chapman, " . . . Marcel Proust, who retired to his cork-lined room, Foote wanted to push the world away and just work." This is absurd on its face, since Proust wrote perceptively of the great controversy of his day, the Dreyfus Affair, and was part of the effort to overturn Dreyfus's conviction. What is more, he retired to his cork-lined room because of his debilitating asthma.

    But the point is clear enough: Whatever the confused comparisons, Mr. Foote was not sufficiently engage. Thus, on page 165 of Mr. Chapman's biography: "The Civil War, in other words, became his escape from a new civil war." On page 175: "[His] only escape was to descend back a century to the Civil War." On page 211: "As always, his escape from these issues involved sinking back into his work." And on and on, without a shred of evidence.

    Nor is that all. Though Mr. Chapman nicely documents Mr. Foote's Virginia and Mississippi ancestry, his childhood and the perambulations of his adult life, in the end one is left with a badly developed Polaroid, not a nuanced portrait. And the author of six novels and "The Civil War" is often made to appear unenlightened. After Mr. Foote's first meeting with William Faulkner, who taught him to look upon his native soil with a loving but critical eye, we are informed that, "however epiphanic it was [encountering Faulkner's complex views of the South], those lessons came slowly." Why? Because hours later Mr. Foote and Walker Percy committed the sin of seeing D.W. Griffith's 1915 film, "Birth of a Nation."

    Even Mr. Chapman's scant praise is suspect. He suggests that Mr. Foote's novel "Love in a Dry Season" "succeeded because it dared to question whether Southern aristocracy was rooted in fictions about class, race, and gender." When turning to Mr. Foote's appearance in Ken Burns's 1990 PBS documentary, "The Civil War," Mr. Chapman duly notes Mr. Burns's praise of Mr. Foote. Out of two-dozen consultants hired for the project, Mr. Burns stated, Mr. Foote was the only one who "knew everything cold." Mr. Chapman's conclusion? "Being a media-created Southern gentleman enabled Foote to enjoy the status that his grandfathers had without being freighted with the injustices."

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    Newt Gingrich's Co-Author Reveals Their Approach to History (posted 8-6-03)

    Bob Williams, writing in (August 6, 2003):

    When Montreat author Bill Forstchen was asked to write a second book with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, he decided to explore how America would have changed had the south defeated the north at Gettysburg.

    In the newest novel by this Forstchen/Gingrich team, "Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War," the authors offer a historical alternative simply by answering the ‘what if’ scenario.

    "Gettysburg has always been the great ‘what if’ for folks interested in the Civil War," said Forstchen, who has written 35 novels of historical fiction and teaches history at Montreat College. "It’s the crucial, pivotal, battle for the war. One of my literary inspirations was Faulkner. To paraphrase, he said ‘In every Southern boy’s heart, there is still the dream….all things are still possible.’"

    Ever since the age of 11, Forstchen says he’s visited the site of Gettysburg innumerable times—a battle that claimed the lives of 15,000 men, and killed 7,500 in a matter of 30 minutes during Pickett’s Charge.

    "In terms of relative population, if the population of the south was equal to what it is today, it would be the equivalent of the south losing a quarter of a million men in 30 minutes," he said. "The American public and most historians as well really don’t quite understand the sheer carnage and brutality of the Civil War."

    Forstchen studied journals of other soldiers to capture the brutal realism of a Civil War battle scene and to ensure believability—one of the most challenging aspects in writing the novel.

    "People who are interested in the Civil War are very knowledgeable and I spent four years of research for the book," he said.

    While writing the book, Forstchen said he had a 9-foot by 12-foot topical map of the entire area laid out on his basement floor, photographs, computerized maps, and a few maps original to the period.

    In working with Gingrich, Forstchen said he learned a great deal about the history of Washington politics.

    "He’s had his extensive experience in Congress, so he had good political insight," Forstchen said.

    Forstchen said there’s no comparison between this new book and the previous effort from Gingrich/Forstchen titled, "1945," a book neither of the authors was fully satisfied with.

    "We had major problems with our publisher on that one and we weren’t satisfied with the book at all," Forstchen said. "This book was far more complex and extensive a lot more of the time. I spent close to a year in the writing process exclusively."

    In handling the alternative to history approach, Forstchen tried to make the story seem as realistic as possible.

    "Too many books in this genre are acts of God books where somebody gets shot in the opening. I tried to make it a lot more subtle and realistic," he said.

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    Juan Cole: Neo-Cons Should Go to Iraq (posted 8-1-03)

    Juan Cole, writing on his blog (August 4, 2003):

    What I don't understand is why Patrick Clawson, Daniel Pipes, Martin Kramer, David Satloff, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol and all those other Neocons who kept pushing this war aren't in Baghdad helping with the reconstruction. They have wealthy Likudnik backers who would pay their salaries to be over there. Some know Arabic. It is not as if they can't travel abroad. A lot of these guys have dual Israeli citizenship and/or have lived in Israel for extended periods of time, so why not Iraq? They keep mouthing off about how much more wonderful their supposed services (i.e. purveying Likud propaganda) are to the US than the academic Middle East experts. But in fact, Bremer, Abizaid and others actually accomplishing something in Iraq are products of American Middle East Studies (Bremer is a State Department Persianist, Abizaid has a Middle East Center MA from Harvard). In fact, the relative failures of the US administration of Iraq under Garner and Bremer, with continued lack of good security, and slowness in establishing new administrative procedures, should be blamed on the failure of the Conservative intellectuals to put their money where their (very big) mouths are and get over there to help ORHA instead of schmoozing with Bill O'Reilly on t.v. (Maybe Iraqi journalism needs some help, too, and big Bill could do an internship in Baghdad. This would have the double benefit that he wouldn't be polluting the US airwaves with his toxic bullyism while he was doing clerical work for Bremer). Anticipating that they will ask why I don't go myself, I would reply that I didn't push for this war in the first place; they did.

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    Is Daniel Pipes a Victim of Political Correctness? (posted 8-1-03)

    Diana West, writing in the Washington Times (August 1, 2003):

    It may be not be harmonic convergence exactly, but the coincidence is still worth flagging: Last week, just about the time a Senate committee was failing to muster the quorum necessary to vote on Islamic terrorism expert Daniel Pipes' nomination to the U.S. Institute of Peace —thrilling the Islamic groups that apologize for such terrorism — the Pew Research Center was releasing a new poll finding that 44 percent of Americans now believe that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. This number is up sharply from the 22 percent who in March 2002 had begun to notice jihadis in Sudan and Nigeria and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the Philippines and the Palestinian Authority and Malaysia (and ? Italy, France and Lackawanna) poking out from behind the smoother ranks of the "Islam is peace" PR professionals.

    What does kicking the Pipes nomination under a Senate rug have to do with an eye-opening Pew poll? Mr. Pipes, a scholar and prolific author steeped in the history and languages of Islam, is a knowledgeable and trenchant voice on Middle Eastern affairs — one of a handful of experts, incidentally, who, long before September 11, identified the grave threat that militant Islam, or "Islamism," posed to the United States. An advocate of Islamic reform and modernization, Mr. Pipes is nothing like the "Islamaphobe," bigot, or bogeyman his most virulent detractors, led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), like to depict. In fact, when Mr. Pipes tells us "militant Islam is the problem, and moderate Islam is the solution," I'd say he's being not only reasonable, but also more than generous with the old benefit of the doubt, considering the absence to date of religious movements of moderation within Islam worth writing home about.

    But back to the Pew poll, which indicates that more Americans are maybe now wondering why it is that flags flying over Islamic nations carry those wicked-looking scimitars. (And, if they're really paying attention, maybe also why CAIR tries to pass itself off as a mainstream group with, as Daniel Pipes has noted, a chairman, Omar M. Ahmad, who says suicide bombers are not terrorists, an executive director, Nihad Awad, who supports Hamas, and a spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, who is not at all averse to an Islamic government in the United States.) Just as more Americans are starting to understand that unreformed Islam and, by extension, the law (sharia) that flows from it, are indeed more likely to encourage violence than other religions, a serious scholar who has long applied himself to devising ways to defuse such deadly fanaticism is slowly being undermined and even marginalized in the U.S. Senate.

    Based on what? The CAIR-led anti-Pipes blitz would seem to have scored some direct hits. With the words "provocative" "highly controversial" and "decidedly one-sided," Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, dismissed Mr. Pipes, careful scholarship and reasoned analysis, in the end belying the senator's own ignorance of, let's say, the provocative, highly controversial and decidedly one-sided centuries of jihad Mr. Pipes has studied. Sen. Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, denounced the nominee because of a 1990 phrase Mr. Pipes has said he wrote about European attitudes toward the massive influx of Muslim immigrants onto the continent—"brown-skinned people cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene." Whether this is or was a European attitude, it is objectionable to political correctionists not because it isn't true, but because it is indicative of difference, of foreignness—which, in today's world, is about the only thing left that dares not speak its name.

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    Is Daniel Pipes's Nomination in Trouble? (posted 7-28-03)

    Al Kamen, writing in the Washington Post (July 25, 2003):

    The nomination of Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes to be on the board of the federally funded United States Institute of Peace seems to be sparking a mini-war on the Hill. A Senate committee that took up the nomination Wednesday ended with no action after Democrats denounced Pipes for his writings disparaging the value of diplomacy -- including a piece last year on the Middle East titled, "The Only Solution is Military" -- and denigrating Muslims.

    Committee Democrats complained about the tone of a 1990 National Review piece in which Pipes wrote: "Muslim customs are more troublesome than most [and] Muslims appear most resistant to assimilation." Further on, he worries about "the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene." Muslim groups were deeply offended.

    Not introduced in the committee meeting was a thoughtful piece Pipes and foreign policy expert Laurie Mylroie wrote in 1987 saying it was time for a "tilt toward Iraq" in the Iran-Iraq war.

    After Washington kissed up to Iran for help in freeing U.S. hostages -- who can forget that brilliant present to Iran of a cake shaped like a key? -- Pipes argued that helping Iraq with arms, aircraft and radar was much more in the U.S. interest.

    Some say "a victorious Baghdad" might then turn on "pro-American states in the region," such as Kuwait and the weak Persian Gulf states, he wrote. But "seven years of bloody and inconclusive warfare have changed Iraq's view" of its neighbors, Washington, "and even Israel." Iraq has become more moderate, the article said.

    Yeah, Saddam Hussein would never invade Kuwait.

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    The New Columbia University Historian Who Called on Palestinians to Attack Israeli Soldiers (posted 7-28-03)

    Adam Daifallah, writing in the NY Sun (July 28, 2003):

    A professor coming to Columbia University this fall to head up a Middle East studies institute has said that killing armed Israelis is legitimate Palestinian “resistance” to occupation.

    The money Columbia is using to pay the professor comes in part from Rita Hauser, a high-profile New York philanthropist whose former law firm was a registered agent of the Palestinian Authority. Also contributing was a foundation with close ties to Saudi Arabia.

    Rashid Khalidi, a professor of history and Near Eastern languages and civilizations and director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago, is set to move to Columbia University this fall, where he will teach as the Edward Said professor of Middle Eastern studies, a new — and supposedly anonymously funded — position at the school. He will also direct the school’s Middle East Institute.

    The New York Sun has obtained an audio recording of a speech Mr. Khalidi gave on June 7, 2002, at a conference of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

    While condemning violence against innocent civilians, which Mr. Khalidi said “means condemning Israel,”he appeared to condone the killing of armed Israelis in the next breath.

    “…Killing civilians is a war crime. It’s a violation of international law.They are not soldiers. They’re civilians, they’re unarmed. The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that’s different.That’s resistance,” Mr. Khalidi said.

    The text of Mr. Khalidi’s speech is posted on the Web site of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee with the above remarks omitted.

    Reached for comment in Chicago, Mr. Khalidi first said that he did not recall making the remark. Then he defended the position and acknowledged that he may have said it. “Killing civilians is a war crime, whoever does it. But resistance to occupation is legitimate in international law.” Mr. Khalidi said.

    Asked if it is okay to kill soldiers, Mr. Khalidi replied,“Resistance to occupation is legitimate,” but said that he would not say the same thing today, one year later.

    “Things change and there are differences …. There’s no such thing as a blanket statement. I was describing a specific occupation at a specific time. At the time I said it, I think that, saying resistance to occupation, is legitimate.”

    As for the current situation in Israel, “I would say it would be wise to show restraint because there is a political process under way,” he said.

    A terrorism expert who heads The Investigative Project, which tracks militant Islamic activities, Steven Emerson, said Mr. Khalidi’s comment “raises serious questions about his attitudes on violence.”

    “It’s constitutionally protected speech, but the question is whether he should be teaching this stuff to young students,” Mr. Emerson said.

    Columbia University is refusing to disclose publicly the list of donors to the Edward Said chair, but The New York Sun has been able to independently confirm three of them after they were provided by the Investigative Project.

    The funding of Middle East-related activities on campus has come under increasing scrutiny since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Harvard University’s divinity school, for example, has recently come under fire for a $2.5 million donation it accepted from the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.

    “Donors’ names are confidential, we don’t disclose them without their permission,” said a spokeswoman for Columbia, Katie Moore, adding that Columbia has “the same policy that every school would have.”

    The Hauser Foundation, headed by New York philanthropist Rita Hauser, is one of the donors to the fund.

    “I made a contribution,” Ms. Hauser said, describing the chair’s namesake, Professor Edward Said, as “a friend of mine. I admire him.”

    As for the appointment of Mr. Khalidi to the position, Ms. Hauser said she was happy with his selection.

    “I like him very much. He’s a splendid guy, a Palestinian intellectual, a first-class choice, and I think everybody’s pleased,” she said.

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    Response to Ronald Radosh (posted 7-23-03)

    Editorial Note: Mr. Raimondo wanted the following article to be published on HNN's homepage. We declined. He argues in a note appended to his article that our decision reflects a policy of censorship. Indeed, we chose not to publish his article on the homepage to signal our discomfort with the inflammatory rhetoric he regularly employs.

    Justin Raimondo, writing on his website, (July 23, 2003):

    Ronald Radosh's essay, "Isolationism Strikes Again," which seeks to make a parallel between the "isolationism" of the 1930s and the antiwar movement of today, fails to account for several differences, the first and most obvious being that the America First Committee (AFC), the leading anti-interventionist organization opposing U.S. entry into World War II, voted to disband immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Secondly, Radosh fails to take into account the balance of forces: the idea that a fourth-rate military power such as Iraq under Saddam Hussein constituted the equivalent of Hitler's Germany is simply not supported by any evidence. Hitler had overrun most of Europe and was venturing into Asia by the time the U.S. entered the fray: Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, had been driven out of Kuwait, subjected to a crippling embargo for over a decade, and represented a threat to nothing and no one but his own people – and, even in that case, had lost control of the northern part of his domain, where a virtually independent Kurdish state had taken root.

    Saddam another Hitler? The comparison is overblown, to say the least.

    Radosh writes:

    "The enemies of liberation in Iraq, speaking from U.S. soil, warned that rather than victory, the U.S. would once again be blindly sucked into a useless and unwinnable war turning the rest of the world against our nation."

    But this is precisely what is happening in Iraq, as the U.S. gets bogged down in a guerrilla war against an enemy that is everywhere and nowhere in particular. The headlines refuted Radosh, even as his essay was posted.

    Radosh then goes on to attack Pat Buchanan:

    "The U.S., as Pat Buchanan so plainly put it, is acting in a 'triumphalist' fashion leading to 'an imperial war on Iraq.' And, of course, Buchanan argued that the U.S. is fundamentally manipulated by the Israeli government, which hopes that war with Iraq will give Israel an excuse to return to Lebanon and 'settle scores with Hizbollah.' The Jews, now as in the past, are projected as the driving force pushing the U.S. to accept their agenda and endanger the peace of the world."

    Why does Radosh conflate Israel and "the Jews"? What Buchanan calls Israel's "amen corner" in the U.S. is hardly synonymous with people of the Jewish faith: Christian fundamentalists, who hold a key position of influence within the GOP, are Israel's best (and most numerous) friends, and are especially supportive of the present radical right-wing Likud government. So it isn't "the Jews" who are the objects of Buchanan's ire, but an organized lobby, the main component of which is non-Jewish.

    Radosh cites Charles Beard and Charles A. Lindbergh, but nowhere refutes them. Beard held that sanctions against Japan would lead to war – and that is precisely what happened. Lindbergh said we would occupy Europe in peacetime if we intervened in the European war – and we are still in Europe, last time I checked.

    Radosh writes:

    "One difference between then and now, however, was that a large portion of the intellectual community then formed committees in favor of intervention against the Nazi menace. These groups countered large and influential anti-war lobbies exemplified by the American First Committee."

    What Radosh fails to mention, however, is that these interventionist committees and groups of intellectuals were motivated by their sympathy for the Soviet Union, which had been attacked by the Axis powers. The campaign to drag us into war became a crusade to open up a "second front" and save the "workers' fatherland," and was directed, in large part, by the Communists. Radosh says it is different in the case of the war on Iraq, but this is simply not true: the War Party of today has its little bands of intellectuals who favored a U.S. invasion. Instead of the "workers' fatherland," however, the chief interest of these intellectuals seems to have been furthering the strategic interests of Israel.

    One hardly knows what to make of Radosh's assault on the Old Right, the so-called "isolationists" whose cause he so ably presented in his 1976 book Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism. Radosh's wonderful book contradicts the crude characterization in his essay to such an extent that the innocent reader may wonder if, perhaps, a Radosh doppelganger exists, somewhere, and is trying to confuse us. In his essay, Radosh accuses the Old Right of being part of an "anti-Semitic" "conspiracy" that sought to aid the Axis powers. In his earlier book, however, he says of the Old Right:

    "Their criticisms were ignored as Americans centered their attention on whether to enter the war against Nazi Germany, and they were soon branded as apologists for the Axis powers. Their voices stilled by patriotic fervor, they hoped to be heard once again in saner times. But such a time did not come….

    "It would be left to a later generation to raise them again. If we listen carefully to these individuals, omitting our well-worn ideologies and political biases, we will learn much from their journeys and courage. Whether we agree with all, some, or few of their particular judgments, we may be inspired to act more thoughtfully to reach viable alternatives to foreign adventure and interventionism."

    Yes, they did indeed hope to be heard once again, "in saner times." Those times, I fear, have yet to come. In any case, Radosh – once a real historian, now reduced to jargonized sloganeering – is no longer capable of listening.

    Finally, I regretfully must answer Radosh's accusations directed at me, to wit:

    "Today, Old Right descendants and imitators gather around Pat Buchanan and his journal, the American Conservative, which joins the Left in the fight against so-called U.S. 'global hegemony.' Their anti-Americanism has become so visceral and extreme that one of the journal's contributors, Dennis 'Justin' Raimondo, actually wrote, in the Russian newspaper Pravda, that the claim that 'America is a civilized country' is false, and, referring to World War II, he argued 'the wrong side won the war in the Pacific.' And like the conspiratorial anti-Semitic Arab newspapers, Raimondo also writes that 'Israel had foreknowledge of 9/11, a claim that puts him in league with the most extremist anti-Semites in the Arab world."

    Radosh can't seem to get even the most basic facts right: my legal name is Justin Raimondo. I changed it years ago, when I was barely out of my teens. So what, exactly, is the point of putting my name in ironic quotes?

    Furthermore, I have never written for any Russian newspaper. Radosh lifts the fragment of a phrase out of a column I wrote for, in which I refuted a piece in the New York Post that tried to justify the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and attempts to somehow prove that I favored a Japanese victory in World War II. But putting the sentence fragment he cites in its original context makes it clear that I advocated no such thing. Here is the full quote in context:

    "The great horror is that this heinous deed was committed against Japan, a civilization as far removed from our own as the streets of New York are from the African savannas. It's at times like these that I tend to believe the wrong side won the war in the Pacific. Just think: if we all woke up one day living in some alternate history, as in Phillip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, our cultural malaise would disappear overnight. Instead of listening to the latest loutish lyrics of Eminem, American teenagers would be contemplating the subtle beauty of the Japanese tea ceremony. If contemporary Japan is any clue, the crime rate would be cut by 95 percent, and the literacy rate would skyrocket. Certainly everyone's manners would improve. All in all, life would be far more civilized, imbued with a gentility that would make the New York Post an impossibility."

    I guess it's too much to expect, in the feverish "gotcha" atmosphere of today, that irony is going to be appreciated. That this quote is now being exhumed – in fractured form – and lifted out of context to prove my alleged "sympathy" for Japanese militarism would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

    Radosh contends that my series of articles averring that Israel had some foreknowledge of 9/11 put me "in league with the most extremist anti-Semites in the Arab world."

    Is Fox News reporter Carl Cameron also part of the vast anti-Semitic conspiracy? In December 2001, he reported:

    "There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are – quote – 'tie-ins.' But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, – quote – 'evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified.'"

    Salon, Le Monde, Jane's Intelligence, the wire services, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, the BBC – all have reported on various aspects of this story. Are they also in on the Vast Anti-Semitic Conspiracy?

    Numerous stories emanating from the Arab world have contended that Israel actually executed the 9/11 attacks. That is not what I have written or believe. The reporting done by Fox News, Salon, other mainstream news sources indicates that Israeli intelligence agents were watching the hijackers very closely in the weeks and months prior to 9/11. In my writing I have been careful to say only that the Israelis must have known something about the 9/11 plot, and – for some reason – failed to inform the U.S.

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    Daniel Pipes: On CAIR's Hit List (posted 7-23-03)

    Robert Spencer, author of Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith, writing in (July 23, 2003):

    As a Senate committee prepares to meet today to discuss the nomination of Dr. Pipes to the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its allies are working to turn the hearings into a lynching party of Borkian proportions.

    But why? You would think that CAIR would count a man who maintains, as Pipes does, that “militant Islam is the problem, and moderate Islam is the solution” as a friend and ally. After all, isn’t CAIR a moderate Muslim group, a civil rights advocacy group in the grand American tradition? Hasn’t CAIR run full-page ads in the Times proclaiming the patriotism of American Muslims and the dubious Islamic bona fides of Muslim terrorists?

    Why then is CAIR out to destroy Pipes, who for years has devoted his considerable energy and intellect to the exposure and discrediting of the radical Islam that CAIR professes to abhor?

    Could it be because of the disturbing indications that CAIR isn’t as moderate, straight-laced and patriotic as it presents itself to be? Former CAIR communications specialist Ismail Royer was recently arrested for his role in a terrorist “Virginia jihad network.” Royer’s indictment charges that he stockpiled arms and planned “to prepare for and engage in violent jihad on behalf of Muslims in Kashmir, Chechnya, the Philippines and other countries and territories, against countries, governments, military forces and peoples that the defendants and their conspirators believed to be enemies of Islam.”

    Nor is Royer the first CAIR associate to be arrested on suspicions of aiding terrorism. CAIR’s former community affairs director, Bassem K. Khafagi, was apprehended in January on suspicion of aiding terrorist groups.

    But the response of CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper to these and other blots on CAIR’s moderate image is the classic tactic of the intellectually bankrupt: instead of explaining how these men and others advanced in CAIR despite their extremist views, and assuring non-Muslim Americans that CAIR is not a terrorist hotbed, Hooper simply heaps abuse on those who dare to question the depth of CAIR’s commitment to moderate Islam. In that spirit, CAIR is now trying to lynch Daniel Pipes.

    The lynching this week takes the form of a full-force media blitz, exhorting CAIR’s supporters to inundate the Senate with anti-Pipes messages. The press release that contained this exhortation is a masterpiece of half-truth and distortion. For anyone (especially Senators) who may be still on the fence regarding Pipes, it is useful to examine these half-truths in detail.

    Pipes, according to CAIR:

    • “Supports the unrestricted profiling of Muslims and Arabs.”

    CAIR would evidently have us ignore the fact that the 9/11 terrorists were all Muslims, motivated by Islamic concepts. Says Pipes: “Had religious and ethnic profiling been in place on September 11, it is very unlikely that 19 Arabic-speaking Muslims would have made it on board with their box-cutters. More broadly, as a passenger on an airplane, don’t you want law enforcement to use whatever statistical methods it has to figure out who is most likely to make trouble aboard? If last-minute ticket purchasers who use cash fit the category, should they not be scrutinized more than others? The same logic applies to 20-year-olds and men; regrettably, it also applies to Middle Easterners and to Muslims.”

    • “Refuses to condemn the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.”

    When asked on a radio show about the internment of Japanese Americans, Pipes responded: “It’s not a subject I know enough about to talk about.” Excoriated for this by Hooper, Pipes stood his ground. “That is true, I am a historian. I just don’t generally give opinions on things I haven’t studied. I’m not in a position to give an opinion. I’m not a politician.” To conclude from this that Pipes supports that internment, or, presumably, the internment of Muslims today, is argument by cheap shot.

    • “Suggested that Israel ‘raze’ Palestinian villages.”

    Pipes’s exact words? “Raze the PA’s illegal offices in Jerusalem, its security infrastructure and villages from which attacks are launched.” This is not a call to victimize innocent civilians, but to stop those who use civilian areas as launching sites for terrorist activity.

    • “Claims 10 to 15 percent of all Muslims are ‘potential killers.’”

    This is extrapolated from Pipes’ observations that all Islamists are potential killers, and that 10 to 15 percent of all Muslims are Islamists. In view of Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani’s contention that 80 percent of American mosques are controlled by extremists, Pipes’s may be a conservative estimate. In any case, once again CAIR, instead of joining Pipes in combating these radical elements, which undeniably exist within Islam, shoots the messenger.

    • “Opposes President Bush’s repeated statements that Islam is a religion of peace.”

    Said the Ayatollah Khomeini: “Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

    I suppose he was an “Islamophobe” too, along with the multitudes in Islamic terrorist groups around the globe today.

    • “Opposes the president’s “road map” to peace in the Middle East.”

    The jury is still out on the “road map,” although there are numerous indications already that it is, like its predecessors, an abysmal failure. What accord can succeed in that unhappy region when significant forces are committed to a jihad ideology that will accept nothing less than the utter annihilation of their foe? To equate Pipes’s opposition to the “road map,” if indeed he really opposes it, with opposition to peace in the Middle East, is nakedly dishonest.

    • “Espouses a theory of conflict resolution that rests on the assumption that peace is achieved only by one side defeating the other with military force, and only rarely through reconciliation or negotiation.”

    In a February 2003 piece in Commentary, Pipes also says that although the Oslo accord failed, “in principle, something along the lines of the Oslo agreement could turn out to be workable.”

    • “Fails to meet the USIP requirement that board members ‘have appropriate practical or academic experience in peace and conflict resolution.’”

    If “peace and conflict resolution” equal appeasement and surrender, then this one is right on the money.

    • “Decries any positive portrayal of Islamic history and beliefs in public schools.”

    Pipes has indeed spoken out against multiculturalist whitewashes of Islam that prevail in our schools today. But is he against “any positive portrayal” of Islam? “Learning about Islam,” Pipes wrote in 2002, “is a wonderful thing; I personally have spent more than thirty years studying this rich subject. But students, especially in public schools, should approach Islam in a critical fashion — learning the bad as well as the good, the archaic as well as the modern. They should approach it from the outside, not as believers, precisely as they do with every other religion.” For this CAIR calls him an Islamophobe?

    • “Termed the PBS documentary ‘Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet’ an ‘outrage.’”

    Well, it was an outrage. CAIR seems to think that endorsing Islamic religious propaganda should be a prerequisite for office. Here’s Pipes on the main problem with the documentary: “The U.S. government should never fund a documentary whose obvious intent is to glorify a religion and proselytize for it. Doing so flies in the face of American tradition and law.”

    • “Stated: ‘I worry very much from the Jewish point of view that the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims...will present true dangers to American Jews.’ Pipes defended criticism of that quote by saying: ‘I make the same point respectively to audiences of women, gays, civil libertarians, Hindus, Evangelical Christians, atheists, and scholars of Islam, among others, all of whom face “true dangers” as the number of Muslims increases.’”

    In this, Pipes was actually referring to Muslim radicals and the Nation of Islam. But anyway, why worry? Since 9/11 over twenty suspected al-Qaeda cell members have been arrested around the nation; more than 100 other Muslims have confessed to or been found guilty of various terrorist activities. Muslim preachers around the Middle East continue to spew bloody invective against Jews in particular. Nihad Awad of CAIR has declared his support for Hamas, which has been terrorizing Israeli civilians with suicide bombers for some time. CAIR doesn’t explain why all this is nothing to be concerned about: we’re supposed to accept on blind faith that each case of terrorism is isolated, condemned by the vast majority of Muslims. But what is CAIR doing to eradicate the seeds of terrorism from the American Muslim community?

    • “Launched Campus Watch, a web site that included ‘dossiers’ on professors and academic institutions thought to be too critical of Israel or too sympathetic to Islam and Muslims.”

    One of Campus Watch’s chief contributions is its documentation of American academics who portray “militant Islam as a benign movement and suggesting that anyone who thought otherwise is either ignorant or prejudiced.” Shouldn’t CAIR be fighting against any tendencies to portray militant Islam as benign?

    • “Said: ‘Mosques require a scrutiny beyond that applied to churches, synagogues and temples.’”

    It is an unpleasant fact that terrorist cells have been uncovered in mosques, not in churches or synagogues, and that there is a widespread movement within Islam, but not in contemporary Judaism or Christianity, that justifies violence in the name of the religion. Such monitoring is also important in order to protect Muslim moderates. If the members of al-Farooq mosque, a source of funding for al-Qaeda, were shocked when they discovered that their money was going to Osama bin Laden, isn’t it important to enforce existing law to ensure that their money doesn’t go to al-Qaeda again? And if they were not shocked, shouldn’t American law enforcement know that, as the New York Post put it, “a jihad grows in Brooklyn”? Monitoring mosques will establish that most American Muslims are law-abiding citizens — something that CAIR and Muslim advocacy groups have failed to establish by their own questionable rhetoric. As such, monitoring mosques is in the best interests of American Muslims themselves.

    • “Said: ‘The Palestinians are a miserable people...and they deserve to be.’”

    Pipes: “I never said anything along the lines of ‘The Palestinians are a miserable people …and they deserve to be.’ That’s not how I think, speak, or write. . . . In brief, far from thinking the Palestinians a miserable people, I call attention to their dignity and talent, then propose how to liberate them from their demons so they can build a civil society and decent lives.”

    • “Claims Muslims have no real religious attachments to the city of Jerusalem.”

    Pipes wrote in the New Republic in 1997: “Jerusalem is not the place to which Muslims pray. It is not directly connected to any events in Muhammad’s life. And it is not even mentioned by name in the Koran. The city never became a cultural center or served as capital of a sovereign Muslim state. Jerusalem has mattered to Muslims only intermittently over the past thirteen centuries, and when it has mattered, as it does today, it has been because of politics.”

    All this is undeniably true. Does pointing it out disqualify one for a place in the Institute of Peace?

    • “Claims to have a special mental ‘filter’ with which he can detect those who want to ‘create a Muslim state in America.’”

    Now the lynch mob lights its torches. A mental filter, eh? So Pipes is not only evil, but crazy, too? Not quite. In an interview with, Pipes said: “Look, I have a filter. I’ve studied Islam and Islamism for 30 years. I have a sense of how they proceed and what their agenda is like. And I see it. You don’t. You haven’t spent the time. Most Americans haven’t. So what I think I can do that’s of value is say, 'Look, I recognize this pattern, I've seen it before in Indonesia, in Iran. And now I see it here.’” To suggest that this appeal to his expertise is equivalent to saying he hears little voices in his head is a flagrant smear.

    • Compares American Muslim voter registration drives to those of the Communist Party USA.

    Once again, Pipes was speaking of radicals: “I fail to see how conducting voter registration drives implies the Islamists are not ‘bad.’ The CPUSA [Communist Party USA] also staged registration drives, and for similar reasons” (MSANEWS, 8/18/99). He stands by the analogy, and certainly both Muslim radicals and Communists have amply established that they participate in democratic processes in the spirit of “one man, one vote, one time.”

    • Said: ‘As the population of Muslims in the United States grows, so does anti-Semitism,’ and ‘black converts [to Islam] tend to hold vehemently anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic attitudes.’”

    Pipes: “Some proof is needed? Louis Farrakhan, perhaps the leading anti-Semite in the United States, has called Judaism a ‘gutter religion’ (The New York Times, June 29, 1984) and described Adolf Hitler as a ‘very great man’ (radio broadcast, March 11, 1984). In an infamous speech at Kean College in November 1993, Farrakhan's deputy spewed out a mind-boggling series of statements about Jews. The Nation of Islam sells the Protocols of the Elders of Zion at its events. And the organization has even done original ‘scholarship’ of its own, putting together a volume in 1991 called The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews that purports to show that Jews were primarily responsible for the enslavement of blacks and their transport to America. And so on and on.”

    • “Recommend that ‘vigilant application of social and political pressure to ensure that Islam is not accorded special status of any kind in this country.’”

    CAIR seems unaware that no religion enjoys special status of any kind in this country.

    • “Said: ‘What we need to do is snarl, not be nice. What we need to do is inspire fear, not affection.”

    This was a post-9/11 statement referring to the war on terror. Maybe CAIR could explain how to fight terrorism while being nice.

    • “Supports Mujahedeen-e Khalq, a group designated as terrorist by the State Department.”

    Ah, so on top of everything else, the wicked Pipes also supports terrorism, eh? Wrong again. He wrote in the New York Post in May: “Is the MEK a terrorist group? No. It used terrorism decades ago, when its members attacked Americans. For the last 15 years, however, the MEK has been organized as an army, and its only violent actions have been directed against the Iranian regime. Unlike Hezbollah (which targets Jewish community centers and shoots rockets into civilian areas), the MEK attacks specific regime targets. Unlike the PLO (whose leaders were terrorists more recently and arguably still are), the MEK really has foresworn this barbaric tactic.”

    Several weeks ago I wrote an article about CAIR’s attack on Pipes called “Dr. Daniel Pipes and His Critics.” But this kind of distortion and misrepresentation isn’t worthy to be called criticism. It’s a lynch mob. God help us if it prevails in the Senate. Before it’s too late, call your Senator now.

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    James F. Brooks: Rewriting the History of Slavery (posted 7-22-03)

    Scott McLemee, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education about James F. Brooks's new book, Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (University of North Carolina Press) (May 16, 2003):

    This spring, Captives and Cousins made an unprecedented sweep of the history profession's top prizes. Mr. Brooks received the Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians, honoring the work of a first-time author writing on an important aspect of American history. He shared the Bancroft Award, given by Columbia University each year to two authors of distinguished works in American history and diplomacy. (See "Verbatim" for the other.) His book also received the Francis Parkman Prize, given by the Society of American Historians "to promote literary distinction in historical writing."

    Winning the Parkman automatically makes Captives and Cousins a selection of the History Book Club. "I guess that means my book will sell two more copies," says the author in a sardonic moment, "since it's not about the Civil War or the Nazis." Indeed, his topic has almost completely disappeared from America's historical consciousness, not to mention its coffee tables. Captives and Cousins reconstructs more than four centuries of the slave economy taking shape in the deserts and flatlands of what is now the Southwestern United States.

    Accounts of slavery in America tend to begin in 1619, with the first shipload of Africans sold in Virginia. "People think of it as something that mostly existed in the Black Belt," says Mr. Brooks, referring to the region of the Deep South where African slaves worked the land. "And people assume that it ended in 1865." But a different form of bondage emerged in the 1500s, when Spanish invaders encountered the indigenous people of North America. A "distinct slave system," as Mr. Brooks calls it -- similar to chattel slavery in some ways, but distinct in others -- grew out of ethnic conflicts and commercial exchanges in the region that came under Spanish influence. And it existed until well after the Civil War.

    Captives and Cousins is so recent that only a few reviews -- overwhelmingly favorable -- have appeared in scholarly journals. But something of the enthusiasm it generates among readers may be discerned from the comments of Catherine Clinton, a scholar at the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University, who says her policy nowadays is to ignore every new publication she possibly can while finishing her own book on Harriet Tubman. While staying at a friend's place, Ms. Clinton noticed a copy of Captives and Cousins and started to glance through it.

    "Because I'm under deadline," she says, "I don't read anything unless it is directly related to my research. But I opened up this book and could not put it down. I was just knocked out by the fact that someone could be writing about slavery in such a new and totally fresh way that expands our horizons geographically and chronologically. It's so rare that you get bowled over by a work in your own field."

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    How John Esposito Mangled a Quotation from Bernard Lewis (posted 7-16-03)

    HNN News Bulletin (updated July 17, 2003):

    Oxford University Press has determined that a number of citations and at least one quotation from Bernard Lewis were mangled in John L. Esposito's controversial book, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992, 1995, and 1999). Esposito is one of Lewis's harshest critics. In the book Esposito takes Lewis to task for allegedly reinforcing stereotypes of Muslims as violent and irrational.

    In his book Esposito cites a statement Lewis allegedly wrote in an influential article published by the Atlantic Monthly in 1990, "The Roots of Muslim Rage." The statement attributed to Lewis does not appear in the article. The statement, slightly altered, appears as a blurb for the article in the front of the magazine.

    The discrepancies were discovered by HNN contributor Irfan Khawaja, an adjunct Instructor in Philosophy at the College of New Jersey and a Lecturer in Politics at Princeton University. Khawaja told HNN that the blurb oversimplifies Lewis's argument, giving Esposito an opportunity to throw an easy punch at Lewis.

    Khawaja notified Lewis, who in turn notified Oxford. Cynthia Read, Esposito's editor at Oxford, acknowledged the error in a letter to Lewis. She blamed the mistake on sloppy copyediting for the second edition. (The error is confined to the second and third editions.) She noted that several other errors had been uncovered, including a quotation about Ayatollah Khomeini attributed to a 1919 edition of the New York Times. Corrections will appear in the next printing.

    This is the quotation Esposito attributed to Lewis:

    The struggle between Islam and the West has now lasted fourteen centuries. It has consisted of a long series of attacks and counterattacks, jihads and crusades, conquests and reconquests. Today much of the Muslim world is again seized by an intense-and violent-resentment of the West. Suddenly, America had become the archenemy, the incarnation of evil, the diabolic opponent of all that is good, and specifically, for Muslims, of Islam. Why?

    This is the blurb:

    The struggle between Islam and the West has now lasted for fourteen centuries. It has consisted of a long series of attacks and counterattacks, jihads and crusades, conquests and reconquests. Today much of the Muslim world is again seized by an intense-and violent-resentment of Islam. "Suddenly," a distinguished historian of Islam writes, "America had become the archenemy, the incarnation of evil, the diabolic opponent of all that is good, and specifically, for Muslims, of Islam. Why?"

    HNN asked Esposito for a response. He replied by attacking the credentials of Irfan Khawaja. Esposito said that he had put Khawaja's name in the Google search engine and discovered that "Irfan's new website is that of a woman." Esposito also indicated that a "search of College of NJ indicates no adjnct [sic] by name of Irfan." The website Esposito directed us to belongs to a graduate student at the University of Colorado/Boulder. As Khawaja explained to us, "She apparently collected some old papers of mine and put them on her website to elicit comments, etc." And HNN confirmed that Khawaja is an adjunct at the College of New Jersey and is also a lecturer at Princeton.

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    Niall Ferguson: The Historian as Media Star (posted 7-7-03)

    Patrick Healy, writing in the Boston Globe (June 29, 2003):

    Professor Niall Ferguson is one of the best young British historians of his generation, a red-hot talent who weaves Keynesian economics and World War I politics in such silky language that even students who skipped the homework can understand him. Ferguson is a bright rising star in academia's firmament, and Harvard, Oxford, and New York University all want him.

    Yet being a star isn't just about great teaching anymore. One evening this spring, Ferguson hustles into an NYU classroom six minutes late, puts down his Coke, and promptly announces to his students that he has something to confess: He hasn't prepared a lecture. All his free time, you see, has gone into promoting his new book on Britain's colonial past, Empire, a tempered apologia for the empire's effect on the civilizations it subsumed. There's the author tour, the speaking engagements, the media interviews, and the essays for The New York Times that create a buzz around his name. Ferguson may be a wonderful classroom presence, but he's only teaching on Tuesdays and Thursdays; his activities the other five days of the week have been essential to his zoom to the top.

    "I'm woefully underprepared," Ferguson tells the 60 business school students, stretching out each syllable with his Scottish lilt in a way that's at once chagrined and charming – Hugh Grant as the absent-minded professor.

    "I woke up at 6 a.m. and panicked that I had nothing to say."

    Some students begin to twitter.

    "I decided to confess this in hopes of winning your sympathy."

    He grins a bit – the impish, telegenic face that helped make him a favorite commentator on British TV news.

    "Some of you may feel it's right to leave."

    The future MBAs are laughing now. No one gets up to exit. And for the next hour, Ferguson runs a fast-paced seminar about far-right politics in Europe that – while a bit light on substance – completely energizes the room.

    Students love Ferguson. After only one semester at NYU's Stern School of Business, he has just been voted Most Popular Professor. And like a Major League MVP or an Oscar-winning heartthrob, this trophy professor bears a value in his industry that is hard to overstate.

    The celebrification of academia has been underway for some years, as wealthy universities increasingly strive for prestige, and faculty like Ferguson are now a commodity to fight over. NYU is rising in the college rankings – and moving toward its goal of becoming an edgier, downtown Columbia University, minus the ivy – in large part because it aggressively woos and wins stars who enhance its reputation.

    NYU stole Ferguson from Oxford by raising his salary by tens of thousands of dollars; making him the Herzog Professor of Financial History, an endowed chair; providing a cozy Greenwich Village flat; and helping pay for trans-Atlantic plane tickets so Ferguson can see his wife and three children back in England. (His wife, Susan Douglas, a publishing executive with Conde Nast in London, is reluctant to relocate to the States.) And now Harvard is calling: Ferguson has been approved for a tenure appointment there, and university officials say they are plotting ways to poach him. Ferguson is just the sort of star that Harvard president Lawrence H. Summers craves – an energetic, prolific 39-year-old who just published his sixth book and whose best work is likely still to come.

    "One couldn't imagine all of this happening in Oxford, where there's a kind of gentleman's agreement that we're all equally brilliant," Ferguson says in an interview. "It's extremely bad form to suggest that one person is as vulgar as to be a star. But it's rather sweet and flattering to be told you're good. And it's positively disorienting to be told you're a star."

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    John Esposito: Why There's So Much Controversy About Him (posted 7-7-03)

    Omayma Abdel-Latif, writing in Al-Ahram (July 3-9, 2003):

    John Esposito acknowledges the fact that in the US he is "a controversial figure". One of America's foremost authorities and interpreters of Islam, as the Wall Street Journal once described him, Esposito is also considered to be one of the few voices of dissent within American academia. His opponents charge that he is an "apologist for Islam and soft on Muslims" and that he and his colleagues have misinformed the US administration about the true dangers of Islamist groups, contending that they underestimated the so-called Islamic threat.

    Esposito dismisses such charges as "ideologically-inspired". He defines himself as simply "a scholar of Islam". For him it is almost an article of faith that there is a war being fought by some ideologues to win "the hearts and minds" of the American people. "In the old days, being controversial was fine because we had a more open society. Now we don't, so we get nailed," said 63- year-old Esposito in an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly during a brief stop in Cairo last week.

    Over the past three decades, and long before the "green menace" replaced the red one, Esposito has been carving a niche for himself as an authority on matters Islamic. He is founding director of the reputable Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, a centre established in 1993 to address the issue of dialogue between Islam and the West. Esposito, once chair of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESNA), has written numerous articles, books and essays about Muslim politics, beliefs and cultures. His books are usually described as jargon-free and provide "a lucid introduction to truths on Islam which must become common knowledge", as Karen Armstrong, the famous theologian once said of his latest book Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam.

    Dressed in a simple T-shirt and shorts, Esposito spoke to the Weekly of another United States, "an America which promises freedom of speech, equality and multiple positions of thought". He acknowledges that both the Arab world and the United States have been experiencing tense times since 9/11. Almost two years after the tragic events, Esposito and other like-minded scholars both in the US and the Arab world are still reeling from the fall-out of those events. "We still bounce between a feeling of being confused and depressed," said Esposito. "It -- 9/11 -- was not just a passing war or some small situation. This was -- in some ways -- a major moment in modern history which was global in its proportions."

    That fateful day in September 2001 has indeed become the yardstick by which relations between the United States and the Arab and Muslim world are being measured. Esposito, however, is more alarmed by the forces that were unleashed as a result of the events. In particular, he is concerned about what he refers to as "an unholy alliance" between the extremist trend of the Christian right and a group of neo-conservatives that is exercising influence on the policies of the administration of US President George W Bush. Though he believes that those forces represent a minority that is even shunned within the ranks of conservative Republicans, they retain considerable sway over the administration simply because they are vocal, organised and have a propaganda machine of the highest order. "They use very positive notions like supporting democracy to promote their views, but I am often suspicious of what their ultimate agenda is. The endgame is to redraw the map of the Middle East, but the question is: to whose benefit and what would it look like?"

    Such questioning of the real intentions and motivations of the neo-con cabal has made Esposito a target of a smear campaign led by such academics as Martin Kramer, Daniel Pipes and Stanley Kurtz. In an article called "Exposing Esposito", Kurtz who is a fellow at the Hudson Institute, accused Esposito of misleading Bill Clinton's administration as to the real dangers posed by Osama Bin Laden. He argued that "Esposito's bad advice may have had a great deal to do with the state department's foolish refusal to look at critical intelligence on Osama Bin Laden's activities." In response, Esposito dismissed the very notion that he had exercised such influence over the Clinton administration and ridiculed charges of misleading the administration on the hard-core fringe Islamist groups. He noted that his advice had indeed been sought by Washington, but during the administration of the senior George Bush and during President Clinton's first term when the US administration was trying to develop a policy on Islam. "There was an acknowledgment then among some administration members that the US is not only biased in its approach towards the Middle East but that it had a real problem with Islam." Some of Esposito's ideas about the need to address the root causes of 9/ 11 found their way into the administration's thinking. This raised the ire of his opponents and the battle erupted.

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    The Jewish Historian Who Disses Jewish Organizations (posted 7-1-03)

    Paul Cullen, writing in the Irish Times (July 1, 2003):

    Norman Finkelstein is the nearest you can get to a Jewish heretic. He is a Jew but an anti-Zionist; the son of Holocaust survivors but a ceaseless critic of what he terms "the Holocaust industry"; a left-wing historian whose views are often praised by revisionist right-wingers such as David Irving.

    He is a pugilist by inclination, never missing an opportunity to fire insults at his enemies among Jewish organisations in the US and Israel.

    They, it must be said, are not slow to respond in kind. Insults flew within minutes when Finkelstein appeared recently with an Israeli government spokesman on RTE Radio 1's Morning Ireland, and Cathal Mac Coille, the presenter, had to call the two off each other and beg for calm. "You're supposed to lie down and take the insults, and I'm not going to do it," Finkelstein says. "The level of arrogance of these people just boggles the mind." He believes Jewish organisations are "huckstering" the Holocaust by extracting huge sums in compensation that never get to the survivors. "What they have done, by turning the central tragedy of Jews in the 20th century into a weapon for shaking down people for money is pretty disgusting; it's wretched." He denounces some of the campaigns for reparations against Swiss banks and claims that more than $ 20 billion (E17.5 billion) has been collected in compensation claims arising from the Holocaust.

    Because he is Jewish, Finkelstein gets away with the kind of language others would never be allowed to use. He accuses Jewish organisations, for example, of conducting themselves "like a caricature from Der Sturmer", the notorious Jew-baiting magazine of the Nazis. He repeatedly refers to the organisations as "crooks" and has even called Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the "resident clown" of the Holocaust circus.

    The roots of his anger lie in his parents' experience. Finkelstein's father survived the Warsaw ghetto and Auschwitz concentration camp; his mother lived in the ghetto and ended up in Majdanek camp. He describes both as confirmed atheists.

    His father received compensation from the German government. "I still remember the blue envelopes that came in every month. At the end of his life he was getting $ 600 a month, or a grand total of about $ 250,000. Even though there was no love lost between my father and the Germans - he hated them all - there was never any complaint about the money. The Germans were always very competent and efficient."

    In contrast, his mother's compensation was channelled through American Jewish organisations. "Even though they went through the same experiences, she got a grand total of $ 3,000 and no pension. That's what you get from Jewish organisations."

    The line he takes on the Israel-Palestine conflict is similarly controversial, at least within his community. "A colossal wrong has been inflicted on the Palestinians, and no amount of rationalisation can justify that. There are possibilities for peace, but the Israeli elite won't allow them to happen."

    Finkelstein's latest book, a second edition of Image And Reality Of The Israel-Palestine Conflict, is a scholarly attempt to undermine the popular image of Israel and its dispute with the Palestinians. He situates the creation of Israel firmly in the colonial tradition and seeks to debunk writers who claim the Palestinians never existed historically.

    He compares Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to apartheid South Africa's attitude to its blacks or US settlers' view of native Americans. "All these settlers used the same language. What was left out of the picture was that there were people living there before they arrived. We were told there was a wilderness, that it was virgin land and that every once in a while there were these savages, slightly above the level of the fauna, who would attack the settlers."...

    Although Finkelstein enjoys the security of being a US citizen, he has paid a price for his views. His four books have been popular successes in Europe - The Holocaust Industry sold 130,000 copies in Germany in three weeks - but in the US he has been shunned and his books have been savaged.

    The New York Times, he once commented, gave a more hostile review to The Holocaust Industry than it did to Hitler's Mein Kampf. This clearly rankled, and he returns to the it. "I don't want to play the martyr, but if you look at my history I didn't make out so well. I didn't get the headlines. I'm in exile in (DePaul University in) Chicago because I was thrown out of every (university) school in New York.

    "I'm not happy to be in Chicago. I want to be at home. That's why I keep an apartment there. I'm still praying for a miracle. I've had a hard time."

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    Historians Need to Travel Abroad (posted 6-20-03)

    Richard Pells, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education (June 20, 2003):

    In 1956, the great intellectual historian Perry Miller published Errand Into the Wilderness, a collection of dazzling essays about colonial and early-19th-century American thought. In his preface, Miller recalled his youthful "epiphany" while watching an apparently inexhaustible supply of American oil drums being unloaded in Africa. At that moment, struck by the "uniqueness of the American experience," he felt a "pressing necessity for expounding my America to the 20th century." That revelation led Miller to undertake a "massive narrative of the movement of European culture into the vacant wilderness of America," an endeavor to which he devoted his entire career.

    It is nearly impossible today to conceive of a historian of the United States aspiring so audaciously to make America's special story comprehensible to audiences at home and abroad. What distinguished Miller's generation in the 1940s and 1950s, in their work and their lives, was the breadth of their ambition and their cosmopolitanism. What has characterized American historians and American-studies scholars over the past 30 years, intellectually as well as personally, is the narrowness of their focus and their parochialism.

    Many members of the World War II generation of American historians and literary critics served in the U.S. military, the Office of Strategic Services, or the Office of War Information. In contemplating, from those vantage points, the horrors of 20th-century totalitarianism, in its Nazi and its Stalinist incarnations, they came to believe not only that there was something idiosyncratic about the "American experience," but also that such national distinctiveness could best be explained by contrasting America's economic, social, political, and cultural development to what had gone on in the rest of the world. They were, in effect, not just Americanists but -- out of intellectual necessity -- comparativists, interested as much in the social and political life of Britain, China, France, Germany, or Japan as in the history and culture of the United States.

    Hence, their search for the quintessential America depended on their knowledge of foreign (especially European) institutions and ideas. Perry Miller's two-volume The New England Mind (1939 and 1953) was an epic study of what happened to Calvinist theology when it encountered the New World. Henry Nash Smith's Virgin Land (1950) and Leo Marx's The Machine in the Garden (1964) were shaped by a recognition of how dissimilar the American landscape was -- environmentally and metaphorically -- from Europe's urban civilization....

    ... from 1945 until the mid-1960s, American academics participated in a well-orchestrated campaign, financed largely by the State Department, the Fulbright Program, and the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations (as well as, covertly, by the CIA) to expand foreigners' awareness and appreciation of America's history, literature, painting, and music -- and thereby encourage support for Washington's foreign policy.

    While a later generation criticized those activities, the issue here is not whether scholars should have been involved in America's cold-war diplomacy. Rather, I believe, it was precisely their involvement that helped to enlarge their knowledge of foreign cultures, and to make their work more cosmopolitan.

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    Keith Windschuttle and the War Among Historians in Australia (posted 6-19-03)

    Andrew Bolt, writing in the Herald Sun (Australia) about the"war of historians" (June 9, 2003):

    KEITH Windschuttle's problem is that it's now more moral to seem good than be right. Even when you write about our history.

    Ask Windschuttle, who has been savaged by our leading historians for six months since he pointed out they had told falsehoods about the "genocide" of Tasmania's Aborigines.
    His book, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, challenges the claims of a generation of modish historians that Tasmanian Aborigines were deliberately wiped out by racist whites, or were at least victims of a slaughter.

    What makes Windschuttle's rebuttal so explosive is that he's checked their claims against their sources, and found that historians as admired as Professor Henry Why Weren't We Told Reynolds had misquoted some of them, and in a way that exaggerated the tragedy, or made it seem deliberate. Reynolds, to his credit, admits to an honest error.

    But no historian was so devastatingly analysed as Professor Lyndall Ryan, a university dean and author of The Aboriginal Tasmanians, the most influential book on what she calls Tasmania's "genocide".

    Ryan claims, for instance, that police roving parties killed 60 Tasmanian Aborigines from 1828 to 1830.

    In fact, the sources she cites mention no such figure and Windschuttle says the real death toll was just two.

    Ryan claims settlers killed 10 Aborigines at Moulting Lagoon. In fact, none of the sources she cites mention any killings there.

    Ryan says between 1827 and 1830, shootings by whites and other conflict cut the number of "North people" from 200 to 60.

    In fact, says Windschuttle, there was no census or any other way of knowing how many Aborigines were in this area around this time.

    Ryan claims Aborigines were offered poisoned flour.

    But Windschuttle says Ryan's only source for this does not say anyone actually gave Aborigines the flour, but only that one boss worried his stockmen might.

    RYAN lists the diary of the colonial chaplain, Robert Knopwood, as her source for saying 100 Aborigines were killed by whites from 1804 to 1808. In fact, his diary lists just four killed.

    Ryan claims 280 Tasmanian Aborigines were "recorded shot" in various records. In fact, Windschuttle says, the records list only 119 Aborigines shot by whites, in murder or self-defence. And on and on.

    I have asked Ryan three times to respond to Windschuttle's allegations that she got these things wrong, exaggerated facts or worse.

    Months ago she promised me an answer, which never came, and then told me to wait until the University of Tasmania published a paper she recently gave in which she said she'd found sources to support some of her claims -- although not the ones I've listed here.

    Others haven't had much luck, either, in getting her to explain her scholarship, which seems to me incredibly unprofessional. Ryan has admitted only that some of her footnotes are missing, but the errors are "minor" and "easily rectified". She denies lying and says, "I can't believe I would have made it up". She has asked: "Is only one 'truth' correct?"

    But on Channel 9's Sunday program, reporter Helen Dalley asked her to explain why she'd said Knopwood was her source for claiming 100 Aborigines had been murdered, when he'd actually recorded only four such deaths.

    Ryan: Right. I certainly agree that the Knopwood diaries say that, but I also had another reference referring to a report by John Oxley who was a surveyor who'd been sent down to Tasmania in 1809. He said too many Aborigines were being killed.

    Dalley: OK, but how did you extrapolate from his words saying "too many Aborigines had been killed", to "about 100 lost their lives"? Is that just made up?

    Ryan: Well, I think by the way in which Oxley wrote that he seemed to think there had been a great loss of life from the Aborigines.

    Dalley: So, in a sense, is it fair enough for (Windschuttle) to say that you did make up figures? You're telling me you made an estimated guess.

    Ryan: Historians are always making up figures.

    LET me now tell you how our historians have responded to all this. The person they've attacked for bad scholarship, inventing things and making facts fit an ideological prejudice is ... Keith Windschuttle.

    See also: Erin O'Connor's blog (June 19, 2003).

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