Monday, August 23, 2004

Are college & university professors too liberal?

I would have not been involved in progressive politics if it had not been for my professors, but I guess that's what happens when you are a Liberal Arts student at a state college or university in Minnesota. This topic is very much debated: I have always believed that the more an individual is educated in history, politics & other social sciences, he/she tends to be liberal because he/she is not ignorant anymore. When one looks at revolutions & other social movements, professors, educators & students are usually in the forefront. Many right-wingers, such as David Horowitz, find this a problem & believe that conservative voices in educational institutes are drowned out. Read this article about the importance of retaining academic freedom - after all the media is already censored!

The latest reports are suggesting that the US is going to turn a blind eye to the expansion of settlements in the West Bank. This is in complete violation of the US backed so called "road map" to peace in the region. The settlements are part of a larger political strategy by Israel so that a two-state solution is not viable.

In other news, a Palestinian singer, Ammar Hasan, was one of the finalists for the widely watched singing contest, Superstar. It is akin to the American Idol in the US. When I was in Jordan last year, Jordanian singer, Diana Karazon had won & she was rewarded generously.

Is Darfur the new Rwanda? I sure think so. When we commemorated the 10th year of the genocide, leaders all over the world promised to be more vigilant about crimes against humanity. Yet, Sudan is taking the backseat in world affairs. As in the case of other genocides, politicians are debating whether it is genocide, what thew word means, etc. After all, if it is not genocide, does it really matter that thousands have suffered due to the conflict?!

The violence in Najaf has yet not been assuaged & I have a gut feeling that we won't know the details of the situation until much later. Juan Cole of Informed Comment did a great entry on Monday, Aug 23, on George Bush's youth & problems with drugs and anger. In fact, Newsweek reported that during the siege of Fallujah, his command was, "Let heads roll!" I sure don't want a president with that kind of attitude...!