This page includes, in addition to news about historians, news about political scientists, economists, law professors, and others who write about history. For a comprehensive list of historians' obituaries, go here.
SOURCE: Zaman.com (8-6-06)
Q Though Israeli officials claim that the ongoing operation started because of the kidnapped soldiers and aim to free them and disarm Hezbollah, the world media, including the Israeli one, reflect some ideas that claim ‘Israel actually moved to design the Middle East with the backing off of USA and all this was planned before hand.’ Do you agree with this view? What do you think Israel is trying to do?
A I agree that the reason for the war was not the kidnapping of the soldiers. It was a pretext to implement a pre-planned attack, coordinated with the US. Forty minutes after the soldiers were taken captive, Israeli jets were bombarding Lebanon with the full and immediate support of the US, not the Hezbollah. Secondly, the unprecedented support of the US to Israel, including shipping of bombs and petrol, instead of working for peace, as a superpower should, indicated how closely the coordination was and how well the Israeli operations serves the so called American war against terror - a euphemism for imposing American control in the areas of natural resources and energies.
Q And again we hear-read some people saying ‘Israel’s main target is actually Iran and Syria in the long run but before eliminating them, it needs to eliminate Hezbollah in order to move freely’ what would you say for this? Do you think there is such a possibility that Israel may attack Iran and Syria? What could happen then?
A I agree with this assertion as well. Israel has its own plan for imposing its will and this is in Palestine. It wishes unilaterally to annex large parts of the areas it occupied in 1967 and to imprison the Palestinians in small Bantustans and by that destroy the Palestine will and aspirations. Only two movements, Hezbollah and Hamas, and only two states, Syria and Iran, oppose this scheme. Israel sees the present American administration and mood as providing a rare window of opportunity to uses its military might for destroying the only forces willing to resist its policies in Palestine.
Israel’s bombardment in Lebanon and civilian casualties caused uproar both in Islamic world and the western one. Anti-Israeli feelings and tendencies are on the rise. Is this not a contradiction for Israel that seems ready to do anything to secure itself and its citizens? What it does is just increasing the numbers of Israel? Can you see any logic in all this happening?
This is a special logic which is called in Israel: deterrence. The Israeli orientalist establishment, the intelligence community and politicians convinced successive governments that the ‘Arabs understand only the language of force’ and therefore a particular savage and brutal Israeli attack will terrify any potential enemies in the Arab and Muslim world. History of course taught us that exactly the opposite happened. Oppressive and aggressive Israeli policies generated more animosity in the Muslim world and hostility in the Arab world and refusal to accept Israel as a legitimate political entity. Furthermore, the personal security of Israelis is not enhanced by these policies but rather deteriorates but this is exploited manipulatively by the government to nourish anti-Arab and anti-Islamic phobias.
Q All these developments blur the line between Zionism and ‘just being an Jewish.’ Do you find this overlapping dangerous for the good of Israeli people in the long run? Because we know that there are many segments in Israeli society who are really upset with all this happening and actually against the hard liners. When will they be able to direct the country to a more moderate, pro-negotiation-concession way?
A Unfortunately, the number of Israelis, as opposed to Jews, who dare to oppose their government's policies is very small. The danger of this policy is indeed first for the Jewish people who live in Israel, a state that refuses to recognize that it is within the Arab world and the Muslim world and continues to alienate not only the Arab world, but the Muslim world at large. It is also a very dangerous situation for Jews around the world, who seem to allow their leaders to be ambassadors of Israel and their synagogues embassies of Israel. Especially in the US, once American policy will change as a result of the inevitable failure of the present policy, it is possible that the Jewish Zionist support for Israel would be blamed for this disastrous policy and they, the Jews, would become a scapegoat for the debacle.
Q Some circles say what the Nazi regime had done to Jews decades ago is now being done to Palestinians by Israeli government. Does this comparison make you sorry? How do you feel? Can you see a piece of reality in that?
A Although what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is horrible and terrible, it is still not genocide. The unfortunate fate of the Palestinians was well described by a late Israeli journalist. As long as Israel is not doing to the Palestinians, he said, exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews, everything else is permissible. This includes ethnic cleansing, mass killings, dispossession and occupation. It is bad enough and it is shameful that a state that pretends to represent the victims of the holocaust behaves in such a way.
Q You said in an interview with Dutch daily, Volkskrant, that Israel should stop acting like a ‘Westerner’ in the Middle East (referring to the fighting against terrorism) and adapt to its environment to be safe and secure. Could you elaborate?
A Israel, with a large number of Palestinians, 20 percent of the population, and a large number of Arab Jews, almost half of the Jewish population, can be a very important and constructive element in building a better middle east. But it can not do it by choosing to be a fortress for American interests in the area and by denying the connection of so many of its people to Islam and Arab tradition. It has to abandon the mentality of a colonialist and settler state, as did eventually South Africa. It will have be part of the Middle East’s problems and solutions, it can not survive as the Middle East's principal enemy- even if the price is for its small elite of European Jews giving up their dream of building a purely western society....
SOURCE: NYT (9-1-06)
SOURCE: Cavalier Daily (9-7-06)
"One of the things I do find within many faiths, particularly in American religious life, [is that] people sing what they believe," Warren said. "I think music is very powerful in that way."
Having spent most of her youth in Nashville, Tenn. as the daughter of a pastor and college professor, religion has always been a prominent part of Warren's life. Growing up, she never thought she would go into the ministry.
Warren graduated from Cornell University in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in literary and religious studies. She went on to The Candler School of Theology at Emory University, a seminary school in preparation for the ministry. After only one year there, Warren received a Rhodes Scholarship, which led to a two-year leave of absence to earn a bachelor's in theology at Oxford University.
Warren returned to Emory and received her Master's of Divinity and then served as a pastor in southern Maryland for two years. While pursuing her doctorate in history at Johns Hopkins University, she ultimately developed a desire to pursue teaching.
Teaching "was actually a lot easier than preaching," Warren said. "You have a much more captive audience."
Coming to the University in 1992, Warren said she was excited to be joining the highly reputable department of religious studies. Here, Warren has crafted her own 400-level seminar course entitled "American Religious Autobiography," in which her students write their own religious autobiography.
In Warren's courses, she said the focus is on ways to make connections, understand where something fits and acknowledge that there is a bit of mystery in life.
"But that doesn't mean that you don't seek to probe the mystery," said Warren....
SOURCE: Press Release--Rutgers (Newark) (8-28-06)
“The issue of race has been at the heart of the American dilemma from the very beginning,” Gordon-Reed notes. “How do you develop a multicultural society when you have the paradox of slavery and freedom existing together in the United States? We’re still trying to get out from under the fallout from all that.”
Gordon-Reed will begin teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses in American History and American Studies at Rutgers-Newark in the spring 2007 semester. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth in 1981 and her law degree from Harvard in 1984. She has been a professor at New York Law School since 1992 and will continue in that role after she assumes her position at Rutgers-Newark. Gordon-Reed spent the early part of her career as an associate at Cahill, Gordon and Reindel and as counsel to the New York City Board of Corrections. She speaks or moderates at numerous conferences across the country on history and law-related topics. Gordon-Reed is currently finishing her book, “The Hemings Family of Monticello: A Story of American Slavery,” which will be published by W.W. Norton next year.
Her first book, the critically acclaimed, “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy,” sparked a great amount of interest from fellow scholars. Nearly one year after her book was published; DNA analysis corroborated the link between Jefferson and Hemings.
“Annette Gordon-Reed is a superb historian and a great addition to a very strong department at Rutgers-Newark,” notes Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Professor of History at the University of Virginia. “Her path-breaking book on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings has forced historians to take a fresh look at the Sage of Monticello and his times. Annette Gordon-Reed is now emerging as one of our leading historians on the history of race and slavery in the new nation; she has already established a formidable reputation as a premier Jeffersonian scholar.”
SOURCE: Press Release--University of West Ontario (8-31-06)
Sir Martin Gilbert is a leading authority on Jewish history and the official biographer of Winston Churchill. He previously lived in London, England.
"It's very exciting," says Gilbert. "I've been coming to London on and off for a number of years. I like the atmosphere very much indeed.
"Its going to be a wonderful opportunity to have contact with students. I taught students at Oxford from 1960 to 1970 and since then I've almost been a hermit. I'm emerging from the ivory tower."
Ben Forster, chair of Western's History Department, praised Gilbert saying, "We're absolutely delighted to have Sir Martin Gilbert, one of the leading historians of the 20th century affiliated with our department. It's going to be terrific to have him deliver a variety of talks on the subjects that he knows exceedingly well and for which he's highly respected - Sir Winston Churchill, the Second World War, the Holocaust and the world of the Jewish peoples in the twentieth century. I know he's going to be a significant figure here at Western."
SOURCE: The Elm, Wash College Student Newspaper (9-8-06)
Goodheart said he is "helping to turn Washington College into a kind of 'magnet school' for students interested in American history, politics, and culture, archaeology, historic preservation and similar fields."
The Center, constantly striving to connect American history to the Eastern Shore community and to support various academic opportunities that will garner the college national prominence, will quickly become an epicenter of new and explorative ideas for students of varying interests.
Goodheart is a Philadelphia native and 1992 graduate of Harvard who has received accolades ranging from the Henry Lawson Award for Travel Writing in 2005 to having works published in the prestigious Norton Reader. Working with publications such as the Washington Post, the New York Times and GQ, among others, Goodheart has been a travel essayist, a critic and a historian.
Dovetailing all of these passions, he found himself at the C.V. Starr Center as a visiting fellow. He was hired as a professor and was able to help "launch the Starr Center as a place with a growing national reputation for its innovative approaches to the past," said Goodheart.
His students find Goodheart to be an obvious choice to head the Center. Erin Koster, a senior who had Goodheart in the spring 2005 semester for "Chestertown's America" said, "He really cares for the college and the Center and has some great ideas."
SOURCE: Chris Lehmann interview with Michael Kazin for NPR (9-1-06)
Certainly, Hobsbawm is too sympathetic to what used to be called "the Soviet experiment" -- the decidedly unscientific order that had a mostly deleterious impact on the history of the 20th century, particularly the history of those nations ruled by a party which modeled itself on the Leninist model. The tone as well as the brevity of his description of the millions of people whom the Soviet government exterminated suggests his psychological distance from their suffering: "the number of direct and indirect victims must be measured in eight rather than seven digits."
Yet at the same time, he does a masterful job of explaining why the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917. This was, after all, a time when no other political faction was able or even willing to take power and seek a solution to the chaos left by the collapse of the Czarist regime amid the slaughter on the Eastern Front. And Hobsbawm also evokes and explains what about Soviet Communism appealed so strongly to so many people for so long. Towards the end of the book, he provides a sober analysis of why the whole edifice of the USSR and its satellites crumbled so rapidly and thoroughly. These are vital questions for an historian to answer, and Hobsbawm's long but usually critical affiliation with the British Communist Party allows him to answer them quite brilliantly.
I do wish he had written a more censorious history of "existing socialism." But his reticence to describe its human costs is not due to his partisanship. Rarely does he dwell on the bloody details of this bloodiest of all centuries. For example, he devotes only one passing phrase to the Holocaust, which is remarkable for a Jewish historian of any political persuasion. So, for me, the insights yielded by his acute analytical sangfroid outweigh the absence of a truly empathetic temperament.
Q: On a related note, it seems that Hobsbawm is much too glib in dismissing the political theologies of the Muslim world as a dalliance with a "simpler and stable and more comprehensible age of an imagined past." Hasn't it been evident for some time, even before the Sept. 11 attacks, that Islamic fundamentalism, like its Christian counterpart, is an anti-modern movement entirely at ease in its use of modern technologies and recruitment techniques?
In his defense, Hobsbawm drafted this book before the rise of militant Islam became as apparent as it has over the past decade. But understanding religion has never been his strongest suit. He does make the Marxist -- and, for that matter, secular liberal -- error of reducing religious enthusiasm to its socio-economic components. Ironically, he often compares his allegiance and that of his contemporaries to Marxism and Communism to a religious faith -- and attributes the relatively bloodless fall of the USSR to a patent loss of this faith, even among the high priests of the Politburo.
Q: How much of Hobsbawm's revolutionary Marxism persists in this account? Does he have anything in mind to replace it?
Hobsbawm long ago replaced his revolutionary politics with a version of social-democracy. One can see this in his high regard for the Italian Communist Party, the first major CP in the West to jettison its Bolshevik heritage, as well as its successor which waves the banner of "democratic socialism" and takes positions similar to those of any center-left party in Europe or, for that matter, in North America. In Britain, Hobsbawm was a notable defender of Tony Blair's successful attempt to wean Labour away from its identity as a party rooted mostly among the unionized working class in declining industries and to become, instead, a mass "party of the people." Hobsbawm has also written in praise of the American reform tradition. In Interesting Times, the only politician about whom he writes unambivalently and unironically is that "traitor to his class," Franklin D. Roosevelt.
So Hobsbawm probably has scant, if any, hope for a millennial revival. In fact, he may have lost that hope as early as the late 1940s when the great expectation of a global lurch leftward, described in Age of Extremes, essentially came to naught. His sensibility is nearly always cool and distanced. Perhaps, as Tony Judt commented in a review of the book, it reflects the loss of faith in the potential for human emancipation that flowered during the long 19th century (from 1789 to 1914) and were compromised, at best, by the end of the short 20th.
Q: How has Hobsbawm's work influenced your own thinking -- and writing -- about the past?
On one hand, my own work is much narrower in scope and quite distinct in sensibility from Hobsbawm's. I write mostly about the politics and ideology of my own nation and view empathy with both historical subjects and contemporary readers as vital. I have neither the abililty nor the ambition to craft the kind of multi-topic, heavily structural, global narratives that are Hobsbawm's greatest achievement (although he has also written brilliantly about such narrower topics as the meaning of the workman's cloth cap and the history of jazz). Among the school of British historians who were once comrades in the British CP, I've always felt closer in spirit to the late E.P. Thompson, whose masterpiece was The Making of the English Working Class. I admired Thompson's decision to put aside his scholarly writing during the 1980s to become a leader in the international campaign against nuclear weapons, criticizing the United States and the USSR with equal passion.
Yet we need to understand the larger history of our planet and to do so with a certain coolness that views the barricades -- cultural, intellectual, as well as political -- from some distance apart and above. No historian writing in English does this with the lucidity and wit and eye for the telling detail and summarizing judgment that Hobsbawm has brought to the task since writing the first volume of this tetralogy almost five decades ago.
One example will suffice. In his chapter on the quarter-century after the end of World War II -- "the golden age" -- he writes not just about the diffusion of such technological marvels as TV, refrigerators, and automobiles to nearly every corner of the globe or the astounding rise in incomes that brought a cosmopolitan flavor to such poor nations as Jamaica and Algeria as well as to rich ones like Japan and Finland. He makes clear that behind this change of life lay a "sudden and seismic" shift in consciousness: "For 80 percent of humanity the Middle Ages ended suddenly in the 1950s; or, better still, they were felt to end in the 1960s."
Some scholars would object that "the Middle Ages" is not a meaningful concept to apply to the history of any country outside West and Central Europe. But that would miss the beauty of Hobsbawm's formulation. In fewer than 25 words, Hobsbawm manages to illuminate the revolutionary character of the unparalleled growth of industry and a global consumer economy -- with politicians and social movements of different stripes trying to understand and exploit this development, of course. And his habit of amending himself, within the same sentence, demonstrates the balance between material reality and consciousness that is perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the Marxist approach to history.
I expect that historians and, I hope, ordinary readers of history will continue to learn from Hobsbawm at the end of the 21st century as they do at its beginning. He is not my model, but he is my teacher.
SOURCE: Advance-Titan (9-11-06)
“I’ve always been compelled by how artists use humor and comedy to criticize social patterns and issues of the day such as the bomb, race and the military,” he said.
Kercher, who received a doctorate from the University of Indiana, is an associate professor in the history department at UW-Oshkosh. He teaches a variety of 20th century history courses dealing with World War II and the 1960s.
Kercher believed that a book needed to be written on the satire of the post war period because he felt comics like Lenny Bruce, and others of the era, have not been taken seriously as writers and weren’t taken as seriously as the news media at the time.
“People like Lenny Bruce then, or Jon Stewart today, take the news stories of the day and put a humorous twist on them, but there’s still a serious moral purpose behind it,” Kercher said.
The book took shape in 1995, when Kercher was a grad student at the University of Indiana. The book began as Kercher’s dissertation, and he continued to edit it until two years ago, when he began looking for a publisher.
“I was blissfully naïve to think that I could pitch the book idea to publishers and someone would publish it. I know now that it usually doesn’t happen that way. Luckily, I got immediate interest from a few publishers, and I decided on University of Chicago Press,” Kercher said.
While working on the book, Kercher got the opportunity to interview famous comedy writers and satirists. He interviewed Gloria Steinem who, prior to becoming a feminist writer, worked with comedic material; Buck Henry, a famous satirist; Calvin Trillin of the New Yorker; and Del Close, the guru of American improv, who coached at Second City in Chicago. ...
SOURCE: NEH (9-15-06)
A scholar on the history of Islam, Lewis has written more than twenty books, among them What Went Wrong: The Clash between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East and The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror.
Bruce Cole: Members of one culture are sometimes reluctant to understand enough about another culture, or even learn the other's language. What causes this?
Bernard Lewis: There have been many civilizations in the world, and the normal practice of civilizations has been to dismiss with contempt those outside. The world is divided into civilized people--that means us--and barbarians.
Cole: Us and them.
Lewis: Them. "Them" usually are regarded as barbarians. The Greeks and the Romans ruled the Middle East but did not bother to learn any of the languages.
Cole: I understood that the word "citizen" doesn't exist in Arabic. Is that correct?
Lewis: Yes, I'm afraid it is. The word which we use in English, "citizen," which has its equivalence in the other languages of Christendom, citoyen and so forth, has a connotation going back to the ancient Greeks. A citizen is a member of the city-state. He takes part in the governance of the city. This is a notion which is absent from most other civilizations.
The word that is used in modern Arabic for citizen is the word muwatin. But muwatin has the literal meaning of compatriot. The very notion of the city is not there.
Cole: The fact that there isn't a word for citizenship and presumably not a concept for it, does that pose obstacles to the kind of changes that we are hoping for in that part of the world?
Lewis: We talk about democracy. It's a word which is used in many different senses. Remember that when Germany was divided, it was the Communist dictatorship that was called "The People's Democracy." The term democracy was used by General Franco in Spain to describe his regime. It was used by the Greek colonels and all sorts of other people. So let's be careful when we talk about democracy. We should avoid going to the opposite extreme and assuming that democracy means our type of government; that anything that differs from our type of government is not democracy and that all things that are not democracy are equally bad and evil. These are self-flattering delusions.
Democracy comes in many different forms. I think we should also shed the illusion that democracy is the natural, normal human condition and that any deviation from it is either a disease to be cured or a crime to be punished. It isn't. For most of human history, most of the world could get along without democracy. Even where democracy does come, it doesn't have to be our kind.
Cole: In writing about the present-day Arab world, you characterize Turkey as a successful democracy. What's the makeup of a successful democracy as you see it? How do you define it?
Lewis: Well, I like Sam Huntington's definition of that. He said, "You can call a country a democracy where it has changed its government twice by elections." Once isn't enough. There are a number of cases where a government, either on principle or through inadvertence, has allowed itself to be voted out of power, and where then the new lot that came in made damn sure they would not leave by the same route they came.
Cole: So you've got to have it two times?
Lewis: Yes. When you have a country where the government has been changed twice--well, in Turkey the government has been changed many times by elections, three times also by other methods. But Turkey is the only Muslim country which has really developed a functioning democracy, and that democracy is now in danger from the present government of Turkey....
SOURCE: Network of Concerned Historians (NCH) #45a (Annual Report 2006) (9-17-06)
The Network of Concerned Historians (NCH) forwards to its
participants news about the domain where history and human rights
intersect, as reported by:
**the American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS,
**Amnesty International [AI, London];
**Article 19 [A19, London];
**Human Rights Watch [HRW, Washington/New York];
**Index on Censorship [IOC, London];
**the Network of Education and Academic Rights [NEAR, London];
**International PEN Writers in Prison Committee [PEN, London];
**Scholars at Risk [SAR, New York];
**and other sources.
The fact that NCH presents this news does not imply that it shares
the views and beliefs of the historians and others mentioned in it.
Please send NCH a message if:
**you have more information on the cases below.
**you have a new e-mail address.
**you wish to receive previous NCH reports.
**you wish colleagues to receive NCH reports.
**you do not wish to receive NCH circulars anymore.
**This is the twelfth Annual Report of the Network of Concerned
Historians (NCH). It covers 79 countries and is sent to more than 600
historians and others interested in the past all over the world.
**Previous reports cover the years 1995 to 2005. All can be consulted
on NCH's website.
**Please visit and bookmark the NCH website:
http://www.let.rug.nl/nch/ or its mirror: http://dit.is/nch.
**For the current status of cases on whose behalf NCH campaigned, see
the NCH website section "Results".
**NCH is a founding member of the Network of Education and Academic
Rights (NEAR), a global watchdog for academic freedom. Please visit
and bookmark the NEAR website (http://www.nearinternational.org), and
support NEAR's work.
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**In January 2005, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights
Commission published the results of its consultation with the Afghan
people about human rights violations during armed conflicts since
1979-80. In December 2005, the government passed the Transitional
Justice Action Plan, which calls for the commemoration of victims,
vetting of state employees to exclude human rights violators, the
creation of a truth-seeking mechanism, the promotion of national
reconciliation and the establishment of mechanisms to bring
perpetrators of past crimes to justice. Some regional officials and
commanders -- often called warlords -- continued to maintain links
with armed groups that were active in the conflicts.
[Sources: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 51; HRW, World Report 2006 (2006),
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #5 (1996).
**In April 2005, the Cold War International History Project reported
continued problems with access to files from the communist era,
including access to Communist Party records.
[Source: D. Banisar, Freedom of Information Around the World 2006: A
Global Survey of Access to Government Records Laws (2006) 5.]
**See also Serbia and Montenegro.
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**In March 2005, the authorities ordered a ban on import sales of
Afrique Magazine after they discovered that the March issue carried a
report on political disappearances in Algeria in the 1990s. In the
internal conflict (1992-2000), thousands of persons disappeared.
[Source: IOC 2/05: 86.]
**At the end of March 2005, the mandate of an official commission on
disappearances, set up with a narrow mandate in 2004, expired. The
head of the commission publicly excluded criminal prosecution of
those responsible for the disappearances and proposed compensation
payments to the families. He declared that the commission had
concluded that 6,146 individuals had disappeared at the hands of
security officers between 1992 and 1998. However, media reports later
quoted him contradicting this by saying that half of these were
"terrorists", rather than victims of state abuses. The commission's
confidential report to the President had not been made public by the
end of 2005. In September 2005, the government held a national
referendum to win support for its Charter for Peace and National
Reconciliation which would extend an amnesty to perpetrators of human
rights violations (security forces, state-armed militias and armed
groups) committed during the internal conflict (1992-2000). President
Abdelaziz Bouteflika officially stated that some 200,000 people were
believed to have been killed since 1992, but there was no commitment
to establishing the truth about these killings and other gross human
rights abuses. Regarding the amnesty, although perpetrators of
certain serious abuses were not to be exempt from prosecution, no
details were provided concerning the process of determining who would
be eligible. Similar measures introduced in 1999 were applied
arbitrarily and resulted de facto in wide-ranging impunity for abuses
committed by armed groups.
[Source: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 44, 54-56.]
**See also France.
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #32 (2003).
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**On 14 June 2005, the Supreme Court of Justice declared the Full
Stop (1986) and Due Obedience (1987) laws unconstitutional, by a 7-1
majority, with one abstention, upholding an earlier decision by
Congress from August 2003. The laws attempted to institutionalize
impunity in cases of human rights violations committed during the
military governments (1976-83). The ruling allowed the reopening of
dozens of trial proceedings in Argentina.
[Sources: AI, "Argentina: Historical Ruling Opens the Way for Justice
in the Country" (Press Release; 15 June 2005); AI, Report 2006
(2006), 32, 59; HRW, World Report 2006 (2006), 162, 164-66.]
**On 18 November 2005, Mariano Saravia, journalist of the Córdoba
daily newspaper La Voz del Interior and author of a book on police
brutality during the military dictatorship (1976-83), complained of
death threats. He also said to be a victim of "judicial persecution"
because he was sued by former members of the military.
[Source: IOC 1/06: 104.]
**See also Chile, Cuba, Uruguay.
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**In January 2002, Turkish born Armenian journalist Murad Bojolyan
(1950-) was arrested and charged with espionage. A historian and
oriental specialist graduated at the Department of Oriental Studies
of Yerevan State University (1972) and author of a book about the
Ottoman Empire (published in Russian), he worked at the Institute of
Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences (1972-91) and
for the public radio as an announcer and translator into Turkish
(1980-91). In 1991-98, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
the National Assembly and in the administration of President Levon
Ter-Petrossian as chief translator for the President (1991-98). He
was dismissed due to a staff reduction shortly after Robert Kocharyan
became President in 1998. Since 1998, he had been working as a
journalist, reporting for a number of Armenian and Turkish mass
media. He was charged with spying for the Turkish National
Intelligence Organization MIT and communicating to them information
in exchange for payment concerning Armenia's and Nagorno Karabakh's
military, economic and political affairs, particularly about the
Russian troops based in Armenia. Retracting an earlier confession,
Bojolyan said that any information he had, were public press reports.
In December 2002, a court in Yerevan found Bojolyan guilty of treason
and sentenced him to ten years' imprisonment with confiscation of all
property. His various appeals were dismissed. In October 2005, the
European Court of Human Rights rejected most of Bojolyan's complaints
but wanted to look into the charge that his freedom of expression had
[Source: European Court of Human Rights, Partial Decision as to the
Admissibility of Application no. 23693/03 by Murad Bojolyan against
Armenia (Strasbourg, 6 October 2005).]
**On 17 June 2005, Yektan Turkyilmaz (?1972-), a Turkish citizen of
Kurdish origin, a doctoral student of cultural anthropology and a
fellow at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke
University, Durham (North Carolina, United States), was arrested at
Yerevan airport and imprisoned for attempting to smuggle culturally
valuable antique books out of Armenia. On his fourth research trip to
Armenia, Turkyilmaz had conducted research on the history of Eastern
Anatolia during the interwar period. He had acquired around 88 books
dating from the 17th to the 20th century from Armenian second-hand
bookstores, an open-air market, and as gifts, in order to build up a
research collection and a library of Armenian books that would
otherwise be lost. However, he was apparently unaware that he was
required to declare seven of the 88 books, which were over fifty
years old, at customs. Turkyilmaz was questioned on his archival work
and political beliefs, and digital copies of his archival research
were confiscated. His official request to be released on bail until
his trial date (9 August 2005) was rejected. He faced up to eight
years' imprisonment. On 16 August 2005, Turkyilmaz, was released but
given a suspended sentence of two years' imprisonment. The judge
upheld the confiscation of all 88 books, though ordered the return of
his electronic research materials. The court had convicted Turkyilmaz
on charges of smuggling, but commuted the sentence, as he was
cooperative during investigations and partially admitted his guilt.
Turkyilmaz was the first Turkish scholar to ask for and receive
access to the Armenian National Archives, where he did research in
May and June 2005. He was one of the few Turkish scholars who had
critically examined the events of 1915 and Armenian claims of
genocide, and other instances of political violence in Anatolia and
the South Caucasus. He received several foreign scholarships. His
dissertation "Imagining 'Turkey', Creating a Nation: the Politics of
Geography and State Formation in Eastern Anatolia, 1908-1938" won him
several awards. Turkyilmaz also studied in the Masters Program at the
Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History at Bogazici University,
Istanbul. (See NCH #39.)
[Sources: AAAS Case, ar0510-tur (5 & 18 August 2005); HRW, World
Report (2006) 327; PEN, Rapid Action Network 31/05 (4 & 5 & 22 August
2005); Social Science Research Council, "Yektan Turkyilmaz" (2005).]
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #32 (2003).
**See also Japan.
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**On 21 February 2006, British writer David Irving (1938-) was
sentenced to three years' imprisonment after pleading guilty to
charges of Holocaust denial. The charges stemmed from two lectures he
delivered in Austria in 1989. In Austria Holocaust denial is
punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. While in custody, Irving
reportedly found a copy of his Hitler's War (1977), banned for
defending the thesis that Hitler had no knowledge of the Holocaust,
in the prison of Graz.
[Sources: IOC 1/06: 104; IOC 2/06: 178.]
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #10 (1998).
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #37 (2004).
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**In August 2005, the High Court declared the Fifth Amendment to the
Constitution unlawful. The amendment had legitimized the imposition
of martial law in 1975-79. Following an appeal by the government, the
Supreme Court suspended the High Court ruling.
[Source: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 65.]
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**In April 2005, special forces of the police beat and detained
peaceful demonstrators who had gathered on the 19th anniversary of
the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
[Source: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 67.]
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #37 (2004).
**Although the law on universal jurisdiction was amended in 2003 so
that victims could lodge complaints directly with an investigating
magistrate only if the case had a direct connection with Belgium, a
limited number of cases were pursued. One of these was the case of
former President of Chad, Hissène Habré (see under Chad).
[Source: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 69.]
**See also Chad.
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #27 (2002).
**See United States.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**Under a "completion strategy" laid down by the United Nations (UN)
Security Council, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia (ICTY) was expected to conclude all cases, including
appeals, by 2010. Between February and April 2005, the last
indictments before the closing down of ICTY were confirmed and
unsealed. Impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity during
the 1992-95 war was widespread. Thousands of disappearances were
still unresolved. According to estimates of the International
Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), between 15,000 and 20,000
people who went missing during the war were still unaccounted for. In
August, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina became the
co-founder, with the ICMP, of a federal Missing Persons Institute.
Lack of full cooperation with ICTY, particularly by the Republika
Srpska (RS), remained an obstacle to justice. Efforts to tackle
impunity in proceedings before domestic courts remained largely
insufficient, although some war crime trials were conducted. The
first convictions for war crimes committed by Bosnian Serbs were
passed by RS courts.
[Sources: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 14, 71-73; HRW, World Report 2006
**In July 2005, the tenth anniversary of the massacre of around 8,000
Bosnian Muslims after the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica fell to the
Bosnian Serb Army in 1995 took place. While crimes committed in
Srebrenica have been recognized as amounting to genocide by the ICTY,
the women of Srebrenica whose husbands and sons were killed were
still waiting for most of the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
During an anniversary ceremony, the remains of 610 victims were
buried at the Potocari Memorial. At the end of 2005 the remains of
approximately 5,000 victims had been recovered and over 2,800 victims
had been identified. In January 2005, implementing a decision by the
High Representative, the RS had appointed a working group to study
documentation produced by the Srebrenica Commission (established by
the RS authorities to investigate the massacre), with a view to
identifying those implicated. In its first report in March 2005, the
working group had presented a list of 892 suspects reportedly still
employed in RS and national institutions. The High Representative,
however, expressed concern at the failure to provide specific data on
individuals deployed in Srebrenica in July 1995, and urged the
ministries involved to provide all information necessary to complete
the list so that it could be forwarded to ICTY and the Prosecutor of
Bosnia and Herzegovina. A further report and list were presented by
the working group in September 2005, by which, according to the High
Representative, the obligations of the RS were met.
[Source: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 14, 72-73.]
**See also Greece, Serbia and Montenegro.
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**The federal government made efforts to open files from the military
archives and opened a reference center on political repression during
Brazil's military government (1964-85), which would contain
documents, films, and victims' statements from the period. Human
rights groups protested against the fact that only selected archives
relating to disappearances and killings of political prisoners would
[Sources: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 76; HRW, World Report 2006 (2006),
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #27 (2002).
**In 2005, an Italian parliamentary investigation into communist
Bulgaria's role in a 1981 attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II
claimed that the Bulgarian authorities had censored 75 percent of the
information on the case held in the former secret police's files.
Declassified East German files suggested that the Bulgarian secret
police indeed recruited the assassin, the Turkish right-wing gunman
Mehmet Ali Agca.
[Source: IOC 3/05: 99-100.]
**In January 2005, the government proposed to amend the Law for the
Protection of Classified Information to make it easier to destroy
documents including the files of the former secret police without
declassifying or releasing them. The provisions were withdrawn
following public criticism that the amendment would allow the mass
destruction of important files about Bulgarian history.
[Source: D. Banisar, Freedom of Information Around the World 2006: A
Global Survey of Access to Government Records Laws (2006) 24-25.]
**In five different rulings (October 2001, October 2005, January
[twice] and February 2006), the European Court of Human Rights ruled
that the ban on the commemorative meetings of the Obedinena
Makedonska Organizatsiya "Ilinden" (United Macedonian Organization
Ilinden) was not necessary in a democratic society and, hence, that
the authorities had violated Ilinden's right of peaceful assembly and
association. (See also NCH #5, #27.)
[Sources: European Court of Human Rights, Case of Stankov and the
United Macedonian Organisation Ilinden versus Bulgaria: Judgment
(Strasbourg, 2 October 2001); Case of the United Macedonian
Organisation Ilinden and Ivanov versus Bulgaria: Judgment
(Strasbourg, 20 October 2005); Case of the United Macedonian
Organisation Ilinden and Others versus Bulgaria: Judgment
(Strasbourg, 19 January 2006); Case of the United Macedonian
Organisation Ilinden-Pirin and Others versus Bulgaria: Judgment
(Strasbourg, 20 January 2006); Case of Ivanov and Others versus
Bulgaria: Judgment (Strasbourg, 24 February 2006).]
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**Last Annual Report entry: see NCH #38 (2005).
**Legislation establishing a National Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (NTRC), passed in December 2004, mandated the NTRC to
establish the truth about acts of violence committed in the course of
the conflict since 1962 (including those which occurred in 1972 and
1988 and in the violence following the 1993 assassination of former
President Melchior Ndadaye), specify which crimes had been committed,
other than genocide, and identify both perpetrators and victims of
such crimes. In a report published in March 2005, the United Nations
(UN) Secretary-General raised doubts about the credibility and
impartiality of the NTRC and addressed the feasibility of
establishing an international judicial commission of inquiry. It
recommended amending the composition of the NTRC by including an
international component (originally it was to comprise 25 members,
all Burundians) and setting up a special chamber within the court
system of Burundi. This chamber would be competent to prosecute those
bearing the greatest responsibility for genocide, crimes against
humanity, and war crimes, and would be composed of national and
international judges. In November 2005, the new government designated
a delegation of eight members to establish an NTRC in collaboration
with the UN.
[Sources: AI, Report 2006 (2006), 80; HRW, World Report 2006 (2006),
SOURCE: Eric Alterman in the Nation (9-18-06)
Take as a case in point the accusations that have floated around for more than a decade against the late left-wing journalist (and Washington editor of this magazine) I.F. "Izzy" Stone. In her new biography, All Governments Lie!, journalist Myra MacPherson compares two sets of KGB memos by a Russian secret agent code-named "Sergei," written in the summer and autumn of 1944, as the American and Russian armies were racing each other toward Berlin. One set described a series of conversations with a journalist code-named "I." It contained all manner of detailed discussion about US strategy and speculations about how it would affect the USSR. Tempted as one might be to imagine that "I" stood for "I.F.," alas, it stood for "Imperialism," and the FBI concluded that it was none other than that well-known commie spy Walter Lippmann. Next, MacPherson examines a second set of memos by Sergei--a k a TASS reporter Vladimir Pravdin--in which he tries and eventually succeeds in lunching with a journalist code-named "Blin/Pancake." The FBI decided in 1952 that the latter "appears" to be Stone.
The brouhaha around Stone's alleged activities as a Soviet spy arose in 1992 and was based almost entirely on a misstatement by a former Soviet agent named Oleg Kalugin, terming Stone "an agent," which was then reported in an extremely confused fashion by the London Independent. My colleague Don Guttenplan and I spoke, separately, to Kalugin afterward and clarified the fact that Stone was not "an agent" but rather a journalist who, like Lippmann--and any number of journalists--met with the local TASS reporter and swapped opinions. No classified information was ever broached. No money was ever passed. Izzy would not even let the guy pay for lunch. As MacPherson writes, "First, Stone never had access to classified secrets to barter. Second, journalists naturally sought information about Russia from a TASS correspondent, Pravdin's official role. And as files reveal, Lippmann told far more than Stone ever did in meetings with Pravdin." Despite continuous FBI surveillance of Stone's daily activities and a dogged desire by J. Edgar Hoover to nail him for something, not a single shred of evidence ever emerged to support any spy allegations against him.
Stone died in 1989 at age 81, but the smear never has. The leaders of this campaign have been the professionally paranoid red-hunter Herbert Romerstein, the comically misnamed "Accuracy in Media," wind-up shrieking doll Ann Coulter and, most tellingly, Robert Novak. The last is, of course, both a respected member of the Washington journalistic establishment and, as everyone who has followed the Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame case is well aware, a man who will give away national security secrets to America's enemies when it suits his own ideological purposes.
Novak has been peddling the phony Stone story for more than a decade now. When I appeared on CNN's Crossfire with him fourteen years ago, he raised it in order to smear my work and my reputation (Stone was my friend and journalistic mentor during his last decade). Following the show, I wrote a letter to then-CNN president Tom Johnson asking for the record to be corrected but received no response. I've tried a few more times to force the issue with Novak, but he has run away from every appearance. And the slander continues. When John Edwards spoke of Stone's Trial of Socrates during the 2004 presidential campaign, Novak fulminated on CNN that this was an outrage, as "Stone received secret payments from the Kremlin." Again, CNN did not bother with a rebuttal, much less a correction.
Since we now know that Novak is willing to blow the cover of a CIA agent and potentially endanger the lives and operations of those she was involved with, the smear campaign against Stone is thick with irony. This is, after all, exactly the crime of which Communist spies--both real and alleged--were accused. But not even Novak's undeniable guilt in the matter has affected his status as an insider in good standing.
A few voices--mostly on the liberal margins--called on CNN and the Washington Post to fire or at least rebuke Novak. Both refused, with CNN allowing him to decamp to Fox only after he lost his cool, saying "Bullshit" on the air and storming off. Speaking of bullshit, this is the same Robert Novak CNN star anchor Wolf Blitzer praised as "one of the best reporters in the business" after Novak's Wilson/Plame role was revealed.
One could say much the same about Ann Coulter, who has been exposed as a fabulist and fabricator so many times she deserves to have a wing named after her in the Liars and Lunatics' Hall of Fame (as soon as one is built). She somehow claims that Stone's career as "a paid Soviet agent" is not only "overwhelmingly documented" but also "confirmed" in "declassified Soviet cables." For such pathetic performances, she is praised by MSNBC's Chris Matthews as "brilliant" and invited to lie without challenge as frequently as she likes on his show. Remember, this is not Fox--it's CNN and MSNBC.
It may be true, as Stone said, that "all governments lie," but democracy cannot function if journalists do too. This is why the success of liars like Novak and Coulter at the center of our political culture is a greater danger to America than a truck full of terrorists bent on doing us harm.
Reprinted with permission from the Nation. For subscription information call 1-800-333-8536. Portions of each week's Nation magazine can be accessed at http://www.thenation.com.
SOURCE: Euston Manifesto (9-12-06)
Marion Deshmukh, History, George Mason University
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Harvard University
Alonzo Hamby, History, Ohio University, Athens
K.C. Johnson, History, Brooklyn College
Walter Laqueur, Historian, Author and Co-founder of The Journal of Contemporary History
Keith Olson, History, University of Maryland, College Park
Stanley Payne, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ronald Radosh, History, Emeritus, CUNY Graduate Center
Gerhard Weinberg, History, Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
SOURCE: Max Holland, writing in the American Spectator (9-15-06)
Since February 2005, Zelikow has been counselor to now Secretary of State Rice. It's a textbook case of what Ralph Nader calls Washington's "deferred bribe syndrome." (Disclosure: From 1999 to 2003, this author worked at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs while Zelikow was its director.)
Lichtman was one of 18 candidates for the Democratic nomination for Senator in Maryland. According to election results posted at Wikipedia, he came in sixth with just over 6,000 votes. Congressman Benjamin Cardin won the nomination with 235,000 votes, beating out Kweisi Mfume, who received 215,000 votes.
On his campaign website Mr. Lichtman called on Maryland Public Television to drop charges against him:
U.S. Senate candidate Allan Lichtman asks Maryland Public Television (MPT) to drop all charges after his arrest from protesting the only statewide televised debate.
Facing charges of “trespassing on public property after hours,” Lichtman says he “exhausted every avenue to persuade the league and MPT to follow past practice and include all serious democratic candidates in the statewide debate. I called the President of MPT and filed petitions with the Maryland League of Women Voters, the National League of Women Voters, and the FCC. I held two press conferences with candidates Josh Rales and Dennis Rasmussen. It was only after exhausting all of these avenues of redress that I peacefully protested our exclusion from the debate in the foyer of MPT outside the lobby.”
Although Lichtman has encountered some scrutiny from the press, he has also garnered support across Maryland from voters of all parties, who believe it’s time someone stood up for their rights. One voter wrote: “I’m outraged at the way the paths to political office are restricted to the two big party’s chosen candidates. I appreciate your dedication, mission, and courage.”
Lichtman said, “Even if MPT does not drop the charges against me, they should surely drop the charges against my wife and our volunteer-a 40 year-old homemaker who was merely holding a sign that read: ‘Give Democracy a Chance.’”
SOURCE: New York Sun (9-14-06)
The British-born professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton said Monday that he was "more optimistic about the future of our struggle" in the early 1940s — when the French had capitulated to the Germans, when Stalin was Hitler's ally, and when America was still neutral — than he is today.
"Hitler would have won under these conditions," Mr. Lewis said, citing America's inability to clearly define the war on terror and exactly who its enemy is. The professor, whose vision of the future of the Middle East and knowledge of Islam has guided President Bush's foreign policy, also cited as challenges the multilateralism that hamstrings America's ability to fight the war and the strong political opposition to policies designed to defeat the enemy, such as detaining terrorists without trial.
During the darkest days of the fight against Nazism, Mr. Lewis said, he "had no doubt that in the end we would triumph." He does not "have that certitude now," he said.
Mr. Lewis told the center-right think tank's conference on the United Nations that he agrees with a former communist dissident and current Israeli parliamentarian, Natan Sharansky, that the only real solution to defeating radical Islam is to bring freedom to the Middle East. Either "we free them or they destroy us," Mr. Lewis said.
The contention, especially popular in diplomatic circles, that Arabs aren't suited to democracy and that the West's best hope lies with friendly tyrants shows an ignorance of the Arabs' past and contempt for their present and future, and is "demonstrably absurd in historical terms," Mr. Lewis said.
Mr. Lewis said a great deal of material exists — from Arabs, from Persians, and from Turks — that can form the basis for democracies in the region. He quoted from a 1786 letter to the king's court in France from the French ambassador to Istanbul explaining why the Ottoman Empire was slow in making decisions. The ambassador reported that unlike in France, where the king made a decision and that was it, "here the sultan has to consult" and so it "takes time to get things done."
Mr. Lewis said he places no hope in the United Nations being part of the solution. He "first realized the U.N. was hopeless" after the partition of Palestine, he said. Palestine was a "triviality" compared to the partition of India that took place a year earlier, in 1947, he added. Millions of refugees were created and yet India and Pakistan formed a working relationship and sorted out the problems.
The key difference, Mr. Lewis said, was that "in the partition of India, the U.N. was not involved. "The United Nations failed to act after the Arab states invaded Palestine, and then treated Jewish and Arab refugees differently, leaving problems that remain today, he said.
SOURCE: NYT (9-14-06)
The cause was a cerebral hemorrhage, his publisher, Éditions la Découverte, told the French newspaper Le Monde on July 30. Mr. Vidal-Naquet’s death has not been widely reported outside of Europe.
A leading scholar of Greek antiquity, Mr. Vidal-Naquet became known to a broad general readership as an outspoken opponent of Holocaust deniers. He was also one of the first people to document the systematic use of torture by the French during the Algerian war for independence in the 1950’s and early 60’s.
Reviewing Mr. Vidal-Naquet’s book “Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust” in The New York Times Book Review, Walter Reich wrote:
“Mr. Vidal-Naquet — a Jew whose parents were deported from France during the German occupation and whose mother died in Auschwitz — is a subtle writer whose passion about the subject is expressed by means of a gracefully piercing irony. His reader, though dragged through the mire of intellectual dishonesty that characterizes the writings of Holocaust deniers, is nevertheless elevated by the energy and nobility of Mr. Vidal-Naquet’s intellectual and moral power and achieves, in the end, a deep appreciation of the absolute centrality of truth to the twin tasks of writing history and preserving memory.”
Pierre Emmanuel Vidal-Naquet was born in Paris on July 23, 1930. His father, a lawyer, was an early member of the French Resistance in World War II; after Paris fell to the Nazis in 1940, the family fled to Marseille.
SOURCE: Press Release -- Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (9-13-06)
In addition to Scott, the other two finalists for the prize were Steven Deyle for Carry Me Back: The Domestic Slave Trade in American Life (Oxford University Press); Richard Follett for The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana’s Cane World, 1820-1860 (Louisiana State University Press).
The $25,000 annual award is the most generous history prize in the field. The prize will be presented to Scott at a dinner in New York City in February 2007.
This year’s three finalists were selected from a field of nearly 80 entries by a jury of scholars that included Mia Bay (Rutgers University), Larry E. Hudson, Jr. (University of Rochester), and Jane Landers (Vanderbilt University). The winner was selected by a review committee of representatives from the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Yale University.
“Rebecca Scott’s Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba after Slavery is a worthy recipient of the Frederick Douglass Prize,” said Hudson, Associate Professor of History at the University of Rochester. “Its examination of the political obstacles to black freedom in post-emancipation Cuba and Louisiana provides an innovative and exciting approach to comparative history that will influence the study of the black experience for decades to come.”
The Frederick Douglass Book Prize was established in 1999 to stimulate scholarship in the field of slavery and abolition by honoring outstanding books. Previous winners were Ira Berlin and Philip D. Morgan in 1999; David Eltis, 2000; David Blight, 2001; Robert Harms and John Stauffer, 2002; James F. Brooks and Seymour Drescher, 2003; Jean Fagan Yellin, 2004; and Laurent Dubois, 2005.
The award is named for Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the slave who escaped bondage to emerge as one of the great American abolitionists, reformers, writers, and orators of the 19th century.
The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, a part of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, was launched at Yale in November 1998 through a generous donation by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Its mission is to promote the study of all aspects of slavery, in particular the chattel slave system, including African and African-American resistance to enslavement, abolitionist movements and the ways in which chattel slavery finally became outlawed.
In addition to encouraging the highest standards of new scholarship, the GLC is dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge through publications, conferences, educational outreach and other activities. For further information on events and programming, contact the center by phone (203) 432-3339, fax (203) 432-6943, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (9-12-06)
HNN Editor This is from the NYT obituary (9-13-06):
Joachim Fest, a German journalist and author known internationally for his biographies and interpretations of Hitler, Albert Speer and the regime they embodied, died Monday in Kronberg-im-Taunus, his hometown, near Frankfurt-am-Main. He was 79.
His death was announced by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the conservative national daily newspaper, from which he retired in 1993 as co-publisher and director of its culture pages. The paper did not give a cause of death.
Regarded as politically conservative, Mr. Fest refused to be pigeon-holed. What was clear was his stature as an authoritative writer and one of Germany’s most respected and trenchant analysts of its Nazi period.
He left an indelible mark in 1973 with his comprehensive life of Hitler, which came out in the United States the following year, titled “Hitler: A Biography” (Harcourt). It has been reprinted, most recently in 2000, and remains a valued reference work as well as a solid introduction for general readers.
The first major Hitler biography by a German, it devoted less space to detailing the crimes of the Nazi regime in its latter years of destruction and self-destruction than to explaining the phenomenon of Hitler and his improbable ascent to power.
“Fest,” wrote Walter Clemons in The New York Times Book Review, “draws a convincing picture of the visionary and theatrical appeal of this figure to the German people and the tactical cunning with which he played off his adversaries during the decade between 1929 and 1939.
“That World War II occupies a scant 150 pages at the end of Fest’s long book arouses suspicion in an American reader,” he went on. “But no questions are dodged.”
In Mr. Fest’s perspective, Mr. Clemons wrote, “Hitler had long been a defeated man when he appeared to have reached his zenith.”...
SOURCE: Editor & Publisher (9-11-06)
"P.S., I’m Fired," he heads an email to others in the media.
His blog, Altercation, however, will be picked up by the liberal site Media Matters. He will also become a senior fellow there. Alterman has also been a longtime columnist at The Nation magazine. He teaches at City University of New York.
"I was hired before the 1996 launch by both the website and the cable station, and while the latter association ended in 1998, I have been here at MSNBC.com for ten straight years, writing a column until 2002 and Altercation every day, ever since," he writes. "Permit me to point out that with the help of my contributors and co-Altercators, I’ve probably contributed more words to this site than any other person, including full-time staff. Well, ten years is a good run at anything."
Alterman noted that when he started, others, such as Mickey Kaus and Andrew Sullivan, already had popular blogs but they had not yet been adopted by larger news organizations.
"As for MSNBC.com, I want to say that my experience working with my editors, past and present, has been an unbroken and unblemished blessing," he concludes. "It may sound amazing in the context of the online world but until I learned of my dismissal a few weeks ago, I had no idea whatever how many hits this site received. Nobody ever asked me to deal with a topic on Altercation, much less to stay away from one. And of course, all mistakes were my own....
Thomas S. Kidd, an expert on evangelical history at Baylor University, gave a Gordon College audience a rare glimpse of this subject (which can be found, condensed and under the title "Islam in American Protestant Thought," in the September/October issue of Books and Culture). His footnotes merit follow-up, since they point to mainly wild and extravagant visions. His own voice is authoritative, judicious, and, in the end, mournful in tone. He gets right to the point about the "uses" Protestants made of Muslims. First, they used Islam to define themselves and acquire bragging rights about Protestant theological and political superiority. Next, they observed Muslims, with the dream of converting many. Third, they fit Muslims into "end of the world" and, later, "left behind" scenarios in which God sends Jesus to clean up the world and devastate the Muslim opposition.
Plaintively, at the end, Kidd asks Christians -- he's focusing on evangelicals -- to take Muslims seriously, "refusing to traffic in sound bites, stereotypes, and 'gotcha' stories about Islam and the Prophet." The next one is harder, perhaps, for all believers and all non-Muslim citizens: "Be exceedingly careful not to conflate [your] faith with contemporary political agendas, parties, and wars .... There are courteous and understanding ways to witness for the truth of one's faith." Then comes the mournful line after a condensed but sophisticated review of the trends in the project: "The history of American Protestant thought about Islam, sadly, has revealed precious little courtesy or understanding."
Reading Kidd and the people he quotes helps make one thing clear: The American Christians who most nearly replicate the Islamic extremists' call for jihad are those who most vehemently rally the troops against all forms of Islam and start aping their enemy. Most of the noticing of Muslims was done by those whose ideologies, prophecies, tactics, and dreams are most like those of jihadists on the Muslim right in form and tone, not in substance. Like finds like, and like nurtures like. Hold it: I am not speaking of "equivalency" among those who have a problem with this scene, but of just plain "courtesy and understanding" as Kidd describes them. There we look at each other in each other's mirrors, and then engage in self-criticism of our own comments on "the other's" ministry.
Kidd does not call for an end to proselytism, missions, or evangelism, but he shows how, on religious and political grounds, it is wise, fair, and -- yes -- Christian to be honest about the self and the other: courteous and understanding.
The stereotyping shouters and rousers of rabble would then stand less chance than they do now, in present circumstances. Kidd is not totally pessimistic, but he does find little about which to brag or on which to build -- so far.
SOURCE: Howard Zinn interviewed by Dennis Prager at frontpagemag.com (9-12-06)
Every so often, one hears the argument that "Left and Right" are outdated terms, or that there really aren't enormous differences in the ways the Left and Right view America, the world, men and women, and just about every other important aspect of life. I wish this were true. But the gaps between the Left and Right on almost every issue that matters -- including and especially issues of good and evil -- are in fact unbridgeable.
That is why, for many years, I have invited leading representatives of the intellectual Left onto my radio show. Not in order to debate them (though I would be happy to do so at any college), but in order to clarify for listeners exactly what the Left believes.
I recently dialogued with an icon of the Left, Howard Zinn, professor emeritus of political science at Boston University, author of A People's History of the United States, lauded by The New York Times as "required reading" for all American students. And, as Wikipedia notes, it "has been adopted as required reading in high schools and colleges throughout the United States."
Dennis Prager: I think a good part of your view is summarized when you say, "If people knew history, they would scoff at that, they would laugh at that" -- the idea that the United States is a force for the betterment of humanity. I believe that we are the country that has done more good for humanity than any other in history. What would you say...we have done more bad than good, we're in the middle, or what?
Howard Zinn: Probably more bad than good. We've done some good, of course; there's no doubt about that. But we have done too many bad things in the world. You know, if you look at the way we have used our armed forces throughout our history: first destroying the Indian communities of this continent and annihilating Indian tribes, then going into the Caribbean in the Spanish-American War, going to the Philippines, taking over other countries, not establishing democracy but in many cases establishing dictatorship, holding up dictatorships in Latin America and giving them arms, and you know, Vietnam, killing several million people for no good reason at all, certainly not for democracy or liberty, and continuing down to the present day with the war in Iraq....
DP: There is evil in the way we treated the Indians, there is no question about it. But there's also no question that the great majority died of disease and not deliberately inflicted disease.
HZ: That's true that the great majority of Indians died of disease in the 17th century when the Europeans first came here. But after that -- after the American Revolution -- when the colonists expanded from the thin band of colonies along the Atlantic and expanded westward, at that point we began to annihilate the Indian tribes. We committed massacres all over the country....
DP: What percentage of the Indians do you believe we massacred, as opposed to diseases ravaged?
HZ: Oh, well it might have been 10 percent.
DP: But 10 percent is very different from the generalization of "we annihilated the Indians."
HZ: Oh, well 10 percent is a huge number of Indians, that is. So it's pointless I think to argue about whether disease ...or deliberate attacks killed more Indians....
DP: No, but 10 percent is very different from what the general statement of "annihilate" tends to indicate. That's all I am saying.
DP: If, let's say, Europeans never came to North America and it was left in the hands of the American indigenous Indians, do you think the world would be a better place?
HZ: I'd have no way of knowing.
HZ: Absolutely. We have no way of knowing what would have happened.
DP: Well, we do have a way of knowing. If the Indians had never been intervened with, they would have continued in the life and the values of the societies that the American Indians made.
HZ: Well, I suppose we could presume that. And many of their societies were very peaceful and benign, and some of their societies were ferocious and warlike. But the point is that we very often sort of justify
barging into other peoples' territories by the fact that we are sort of bringing civilization. But in the course of it, if in the course of bringing civilization we kill large numbers of people -- which we did in that case and which we have done in other cases -- then you're led to question whether what we did deserves to be praised or condemned.
DP: Well, you can do both. You can condemn the massacres and you can praise the civilization that we made here.
In Part II, Professor Zinn and I discuss the morality of fighting World War II, the moral differences between George W. Bush and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and more.
SOURCE: Ella Powers at Inside Higher Ed (9-12-06)
Jaclyn LaPlaca taught history at Marywood University, in Pennsylvania, for the last academic year, and Rod Carveth — a colleague who began last fall at the same time as LaPlaca — said she had already distinguished herself.
“Looking at new faculty who made a mark, it was her,” said Carveth, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication Arts. “She was a very nice person. She always struck me as someone who played things close to her vest, and now I understand why.”
LaPlaca’s problems began during the 2002-3 academic year, while she was doing work for an Oxford graduate degree. Oxford revoked LaPlaca’s master’s degree and booted her from a doctoral program for plagiarism, according to Ronald Daniel, an Oxford official. (LaPlaca could not be reached for comment, but she has said previously that she earned her Oxford degrees.)
A short period later, she began work as a faculty member at Kent State University’s Stark campus. LaPlaca provided Kent State officials with a certificate from Oxford stating that she was on her way to receiving a Ph.D., said Gayle Ormiston, associate provost for faculty affairs and curriculum at Kent State. Daniel, of Oxford, said that the university had asked LaPlaca to return the certificate after expelling her.
According to the Daily Kent Stater, the Kent State student newspaper that broke the story this summer, LaPlaca told the college that she had defended her dissertation and was waiting for faculty approval.
According to Carveth, after she left Kent State abruptly for Marywood, someone at Kent State called Oxford to inquire about LaPlaca’s credentials. Oxford then explained the situation to Kent State. By this time, LaPlaca was no longer employed there. Ormiston said the college considered the matter closed and, on the advice of its legal counsel, did not share the information with outside parties, including Marywood. But the student paper eventually found out.
This summer, officials at Marywood learned of the story through the newspaper article, Carveth said. Barbara R. Sadowski, interim vice president for academic affairs at Marywood, said only that LaPlaca resigned in July for personal reasons. Carveth said that none of LaPlaca’s associates had expected her to leave....
SOURCE: Sage Ross at Wikipedia (8-31-06)
SOURCE: Howard LaFranchi in the Christian Science Monitor (9-6-06)
Such comparisons can help Americans understand the foe the US is up against, analysts agree, and can help put the challenge ahead into perspective. For example, the cold war was an ideological battle spanning more than four decades, and the fight against terrorism is not likely to reach a decisive denouement anytime soon, experts say.
But such analogies go only so far and can actually hinder understanding if they obscure the differences in the current situation or act to cover up missteps in current policy.
"The cold war is a good template to begin to think about how to deal with the challenge of radical Islam," says Andrew Bacevich, a former Army colonel and now professor of international relations at Boston University. "The problem is that whatever the president is saying now, his administration's policies have not mirrored the policies of the cold war - starting with the fact that US strategy in the cold war was not primarily oriented towards an aggressive use of force."
Mr. Bush himself has said that the war on terror is not just a military battle, but the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are nevertheless seen as the signature acts of the president's war on terror.
At the same time, Bush continues to draw comparisons between this war and 20th-century conflicts. "Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them," he said in Washington Tuesday in a speech to the Military Officers Association of America.
Such references are both useful and problematic, some experts say. "It's helpful to have things to point to that people can understand. But it's also true that historical analogies are rarely 100 percent accurate, and that can lead to misunderstandings," says Thomas Henriksen, a historian focusing on US foreign policy at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, Calif. "It's true that this will be a long conflict, and when the president says this is more than a military conflict, that's also true."...
SOURCE: Stephen Balch in the National Review Online (9-7-06)
could find much to their liking in the college's fawning treatment of radical icons or its fervent multiculturalism. It was Hamilton that sought to bring former weather underground member and convicted terrorist, Susan Rosenberg, to campus as an instructor and "artist-in-residence", as it was Hamilton that launched Ward Churchill into world class notoriety by inviting him to speak.
But it's good to discover that Hamilton is capable of learning something from its repeated embarrassments. Like those of a growing number of universities and colleges, its administration has decided that a move in the direction of intellectual diversity might prove helpful.
Yesterday, the college announced the inauguration of its new Alexander Hamilton Center under the leadership of Professor Robert Paquette, a distinguished American historian of conservative outlook. According to the college's press release, the Center's purpose will be "to promote excellence in scholarship through the study of freedom, democracy and capitalism as these ideas were developed and institutionalized in the United States and within the larger tradition of Western culture." Toward this most-welcome end, it will sponsor lectures, organize conferences, promote scholarship on Hamilton, and, most important for the long run, "design programming for the education of Hamilton College undergraduates."
The success of the Center will, of course, depend on its ability to mobilize financial backing from Hamilton alumni who would like something better for today's students.
Since many vociferously communicated their displeasure following the Rosenberg and Churchill fiascoes, with some even joining in a strong but unsuccessful effort to place
insurgents on the Hamilton board, support for the Center is likely to be substantial.
The Hamilton Center now joins an as-yet-small but expanding number of new academic programs that are bringing "diverse perspectives" to colleges and universities around our land. Somewhere out there Publius must be smiling.
SOURCE: Patrick Garrity in the WSJ (9-6-06)
In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, a Yale University student asked one of her instructors, "Would it be OK now for us to be patriotic?" The professor, John Lewis Gaddis, widely regarded as the dean of American Cold War historians, replied: "Yes, I think it would."
Even allowing for the emotions of the moment, such a response from a prestigious Ivy League academic might seem a bit surprising in these politically correct times. Yale University was once home to Samuel Flagg Bemis, the pre-eminent U.S. diplomatic historian before World War II. Bemis is now widely ridiculed in the academy as "U.S. Flagg Bemis" for treating America as something other than a rapacious, racist, retrograde regime. Gaddis runs the same risk of professional ostracism. He told the story of his student in a controversial 2004 book, "Surprise, Security, and the American Experience," in which he concluded that the Bush administration's policy of strategic pre-emption, whatever its merits in the particular circumstances, did not depart radically from the American foreign policy tradition. Gaddis's latest work, "The Cold War: A New History," intended for popular audiences, offers a conclusion that is equally guaranteed to set his colleagues' teeth on edge. "The world, I am quite sure, is a better place for that conflict being fought in the way that it was and won by the side that won it. . . . For all its dangers, atrocities, costs, distractions, and moral compromises, the Cold War--like the American Civil War--was a necessary contest that settled fundamental issues once and for all."
Gaddis, to be sure, is no political conservative, much less a cheerleader for the Bush administration. He gained his professional reputation as the leading expositor of an interpretation of the Cold War known as post-revisionism, which emerged during the 1970s and 1980s. The traditional or orthodox school--always more of a popular or political viewpoint than an academically respectable one--had held that the Cold War was the result of unprovoked Soviet aggression, which left the Free World no choice but to organize in defense of civilization. The contrary view, revisionism, emerged during the Vietnam era as a variant of New Left history. The revisionists placed the blame squarely on the United States, which pressed relentlessly to take advantage of Soviet weakness after World War II in order to stave off what was perceived as the imminent collapse of capitalism.
Gaddis offered a nuanced alternative to both orthodoxy and revisionism, beginning with "The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947," published in 1972. He drew heavily, if not explicitly, on the modern international relations theory of structural realism. From this perspective, neither Washington nor Moscow was immediately responsible for the emergence of a security competition in the aftermath of World War II. The two new superpowers were driven naturally into opposition by the forces of international politics. Both sought security and the prevention of a new war, not ideological or economic dominance. Their views of security differed greatly, however, based on their distinct geographical situations and historical experiences, and as a result they found themselves caught up in a classic "security dilemma." Steps that one side took to increase its security, such as the formation of a defensive military alliance, were interpreted by the other side as threatening. The second side responded with its own defensively-intended measures, which in turn were interpreted as threatening by the first side; and so on. The security dilemma was intensified by the atomic bomb. Each side feared that the other would find a way to use that revolutionary weapon to gain a decisive strategic advantage....