Shouldn't Columbia Identify the Donors Who Paid for the New "Edward Said Chair of Arab Studies"?





Mr. Kramer, the former director of the Dayan Center for Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University, is author of Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle East Studies in America.

"An outrageous Israeli, Martin Kramer, uses his website to attack everybody who says anything he doesn't like." That's Edward Said speaking, in an interview in a new collection entitled (predictably) Culture and Resistance. I would take it as a compliment, if I didn't already know how easily Professor Said is outraged. But it's a valuable testimonial nonetheless, and one worth quoting as Sandstorm marks its first anniversary.

Said offers this sample of my outrageous conduct:
For example, [Kramer] has described Columbia as"the Bir Zeit (university) on the Hudson," because there are two Palestinians teaching here. Two Palestinians teaching in a faculty of 8,000 people! If you have two Palestinians, it makes you a kind of terrorist hideout. This is part of the atmosphere of intimidation that is McCarthyite.
I'm delighted to learn from this passage (and other sources) that my"Bir Zeit-on-Hudson" label has stuck to Columbia. Columbia warrants it not because Palestinians dominate the teaching of the modern Middle East there (they do), but because of the total absence of other perspectives, and Columbia's apparent lack of interest in promoting a diversity of approaches. I never called Columbia a terrorist hideout, nor have I described any of its faculty as apologists for terrorism. I do accuse them of creating, on their campus and especially in the Middle East department, an atmosphere of intimidation that really is McCarthyite.

Said's interview also jogged my memory: his reference to me includes a footnote harking back to a Sandstormentry from last November. It was then that newspapers first reported that Rashid Khalidi, a University of Chicago historian, had been invited to Columbia to occupy the newly-established Edward Said Chair of Arab Studies. It was also reported that Columbia would protect the anonymity of the chair's donor(s). In my entry, I insisted that the university had an obligation to reveal the identity of the donor (or donors).

Here we are, ten months later, and there has been no disclosure. A couple of donors, approached by a journalist, have acknowledged making contributions. But the vast majority of donors--and there are apparently almost twenty--have remained anonymous, and Columbia has not published any names.

As it happens, I have seen what purports to be a list of the donors. I'm not at liberty to publish it, and in any case I see no reason to relieve Columbia of its responsibility. But I don't think it would violate a trust if I were to characterize the list. It includes individuals and foundations, Arab and non-Arab, known as supporters of the Palestinian cause--no surprise there. There is a corporate presence, which is a bit of a surprise. And on the list that I have seen, there is a foreign government, which I find positively alarming. 

Why alarming? Rashid Khalidi, the new incumbent of the Said Chair, has also been named the director of Columbia's Middle East Institute, which will receive about $1 million in federal subsidies over the next three years. Under any circumstances, a university's concealment of a gift from a foreign source strikes me as unethical. Under these circumstances, Columbia's failure to disclose is unconscionable. It's also worth noting that if a foreign gift is large enough ($250,000), it must be disclosed to the U.S. Department of Education in a timely manner, according to Section 1011f. of the Higher Education Act ("Disclosure of Foreign Gifts"). In New York State, there is a similar disclosure law that kicks in at $100,000, although according to a recent account,"there is little, if any, compliance with existing law." Ah, universities.

All of which leads me back to my original demand. Now that the incumbent of the Said Chair is administering a federally-funded National Resource Center, with control over taxpayers' funds, his own funding is a matter of the public interest. Columbia must make known the donors, or at the very least identify any foreign government, entity or person that contributed to the endowment of the Edward Said Chair. If Columbia continues to refuse to make such information public, the Department of Education should initiate action to secure it, and then make it available to the rest of us.

I also urge the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), at its annual conference in November, to pass a general resolution calling upon all universities to reveal the sources of endowments in our field. The remaining credibility of Middle Eastern studies is at stake. If Columbia's practices spread throughout the field, it is only a matter of time before a major scandal erupts, linking scholars to tainted money. MESA should stand unequivocally on the side of public disclosure--even if Khalidi is a former MESA president, and even if the current MESA president is a Columbia dean.


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Steve Brody - 9/29/2003

Don, I get it now. Any one who doesn’t agree with your preposterous conspiracy theories must be “intentionally stupid”. It can’t be that your theories are simply wrong, or totally unsupported.

You claim to have provided much evidence linking the 9/11 attacks to the June, 2001 F16 sale. You’ve provided none. You certainly documented that the sale occurred (not that anyone ever denied it). You provided some links to pro-Arab web sites demonstrating that some Arabs resented the sale. What is absent is any link between the sale and 9/11.

And why is this link important? Because your central claim is that this sale, occurring during the Bush Administration, led to the 9/11 attacks. And further, that Bush lied about having done nothing to deserve 9/11, because he failed to disclose this sale as the cause of UBL’s 9/11 attacks.

You cite as your “primary piece of evidence” for the link between 9/11 and the F16 sale a November, 2001 interview of UBL in a Pakistani newspaper. Thoughtfully, you even provided a link to the interview. I read the interview. NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE F16 SALE. NOTHING. ZILCH. NADA. Yet you claim this as your, and I quote, “primary piece of evidence” for the link.

If, as you opine, the F16 sale was the central provocation for the 9/11 attacks, why in all the interviews that UBL has given does he never, ever mention it? Not once. Do you have any evidence, any evidence at all, for your theory?

And how did you arrive at your conclusion that Bush lied? You quote a statement that Bush made post 9/11: “We (his Administration) did nothing to deserve this”. You then build your case that Bush lied based on your opinion that his Administration did something to deserve the 9/11 attacks—the F16 sale.

But, Don, you altered the quote. You added the parenthetical “his administration” to dishonestly change the plain meaning of Bush’s quote. Bush clearly meant America” did nothing to deserve this “

So you alter the quote, then point to your alteration and accuse Bush of lying. And you suggest I’m not engaging in “honest discourse”. What do you know of honest discourse?

Don, you seem to have a great deal of trouble with your facts. First you claim, and I quote you now, “Clinton’s attempt to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians was disrupted when Monica Lewinski exposed her affair with him”. When I expose this as a lie (Clinton publicly admitted the affair in August, 1998; Arafat rejected Clinton’s peace plan in July, 2000), you change your story. Now you claim, and I quote you again, “ Clinton’s pressure on Israel was suspended by the MonicaGate impeachment.” But, Don, Clinton’s impeachment trial ended in February, 1999, 17 months before Arafat turned down the Clinton peace plan. If you are going to continue to lie, Don, you need to lie about things that are harder to check. Honest discourse indeed.

Don, it was widely reported that Barak offered Arafat 95% of the West Bank, all of Gaza and most of the settlements out. You claim otherwise and as proof you offer a link to an opinion piece on a pro Arab web site. Now you’re offering second hand opinion as evidence.

Clinton brokered that deal and publicly blamed Arafat for the breakdown of the peace talks. Is Clinton part of a conspiracy to “place the Palestinians in perpetual bondage”?

You continue to insist that Al Qaeda uses short wave radios, one time cipher pads, “dead drops”, etc. This is all Soviet espionage tradecraft. What evidence do you have that Al Qaeda uses these techniques?

I have offered an example, Omar Rahman, of an Arab terrorist using public statements to the media to communicate with his followers. Can you offer even one example, carried in the mainstream media, of Al Qaeda using the techniques you describe to communicate with, as you claim, “thousands of agents” worldwide?

Don, you continue to present your and other’s opinions as MAJOR FACTS. You even make the absurd claim that your “judgments… are not mere opinion. “ I beg to differ with you. That is exactly what your judgments are.

Maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe no one has ever explained to you difference between MAJOR FACTS and MAJOR OPINIONS (or for that matter MAJOR FACTUAL ERRORS).

You claim that MAJOR FACTS (read your opinion) have been withheld from the American people. You claim that this is evidence that a few Likud supporters control the mainstream press—a variation on the old “Jewish controlled media” theme. When called on it, you claim to like the Jewish people. So what. That misses the point. You haven’t presented any evidence that the mainstream press is controlled by Likud supporters. Maybe the reason the mainstream press doesn’t print your theories is that your theories are silly and unsupported.

I looked at most of the links you sprinkled in your post. Links you claim prove your theories. Most of them are links to opinion pieces in pro Arab media sources. Some of them document facts that are not at issue, not disputed, or not relevant.

In summary, Don,

1) You claim that a June, 2001 F16 sale was the cause of UBL’s attack on 9/11. You even suggest that UBL might not have attacked if Bush had scotched the sale. Despite numerous UBL quotes included in your post and links to the complete interview, which you describe as your “primary piece of evidence” of the link, UBL never mentions the F16 sale. Not once. Surely UBL would have referred to it at least once if it were the provocation for the attack.

2) You claim that Bush lied to the American people when he said, “ we did nothing to deserve this” But, Don, you altered the quote, then pointed to your own alteration as Bush’s lie.

3) You claimed that Clinton’s attempt to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians was disrupted by Monica Lewinsky’s revelations. When this was exposed as a lie, you changed your story. Now you claim that it was the impeachment that disrupted his attempts to pressure Israel. But, Don, this is another lie. Whenever you are caught lying, you simply dismiss it as “nitpicking”.

4) You continue to insist, in the absence of any evidence, that UBL communicates with his thousands of followers with short wave radios, one time cipher pads, and “dead drops”. Can you provide any example, described in the mainstream press, of UBL using this technique? If not, what evidence do you have?

I contend that Rice’s concerns were well founded; that UBL’s statement was telecast unedited and verbatim. US news outlets may have been forced to agree to broadcast them unedited as a condition of access to them. I also provided the example of Omar Rahman, who is closely allied with UBL. Rahman used press releases through his attorney to communicate with his followers.

5) You have failed to identify one MAJOR FACT withheld from the American people. You have certainly expressed your MAJOR OPINIONS and tried to claim them as facts. But remember, Don, your crackpot theories are not facts, no matter how fervently you believe them.

6) You observe that people do not kill themselves flying into skyscrapers for no reason. Don, you have a genius for the obvious. No one ever claimed that 9/11 happened for no reason. I believe that UBL would like to do to the entire Middle East what he tried to do in Afghanistan—create an Islamo-fascist state. We stand in his way. He is trying to chase us out of the Middle East. Obviously you hope he succeeds.

What you haven’t established is that 9/11 had anything to do with the sale of F16’s in June of 2001.

Sure, a lot of Arabs resent our military aid to Israel. They don’t accept Israel’s right to exist. But you can’t blame this country’s support of Israel on the Republicans. Every administration, Democrat and Republican, since 1948 have supplied military assistance to Israel—with the overwhelming support of the American public.


Finally, Don, you allow that you might be a fool. I won’t dispute that.




NYGuy - 9/28/2003

John,

This is America. It is the land of free speech. I believe most Americans on this board would disagree with your efforts at CENSORSHIP, and the removal of the record of history portrait on this post, and no matter how noble your own believes may be on the subject of Prof. Said. As Jonathan said, he "he was, intellectually independent and able to speak their minds." Why can't others who disagree with him be heard?

Is free speech a priviledge only for Professors? No wonder their is the cry of hypocrisy in academia. Where are the silent ones who now refuse to defend this right of "Americans."


Jonathan Dresner - 9/28/2003

Mr. Horse,

Edward Said was an intellectual warrior of the first order: a widely read, intelligent person who talked to and listened to a wide variety of viewpoints, who distilled complex problems to simple essences and complicated our simplistic views of issues, and who refused to accept a simple division between intellectual and political life.

He deserved to be honored, but he deserves to be honored with chairs that are, as he was, intellectually independent and able to speak their minds. The question here is whether that is in fact the case, and while I support the anonymous donation in theory it is only with the caveat that the anonymous donor have no continuing sway over the institution or scholar.


john horse - 9/27/2003

Edward Said died Thursday. Could we show a little respect, and take this article off the HNN website. In retrospect, these issues now seem so petty.


Don Williams - 9/26/2003

I did not cite any history books on the 1953 Iranian coup --even though they support my points --because I assumed that you would
dismiss them as "lies from leftist academia". Plus I prefer to cite primary sources (eyewitness accounts) vice secondary sources
(historians views of what might have happened. ) The case of Michael Bellesiles and "Arming America" show the dangers of using the latter.

I therefore gave you two sources --ones most likely to be hostile to my views. One was the account written by Kermit Roosevelt. The other was the CIA's secret history of the Iranian Coup --written by the Middle East expert who helped Roosevelt plan the details of the coup. Both support my statement that Mossadegh won a referendum --based on the popular vote -- in August 1953.
In the decade prior to that , Mossadegh has won repeated election--by popular vote -- to Iran's Parliament. The Shah supported Mossadegh 's appointment as Prime Minister because of Mossadegh's popular support.

Again, your divisionary tactics do not contradict the primary points: a) Britain had no valid claim to control over Iran's oil b)Britain and the US overthrew Mossadegh --in spite of his popular support -- by intense pressure/threats on the Shah to issue an order removing Mossadegh and by bribing Iranian Army officiers to use that order as a pretext to remove Mossadegh.
c) The UK and CIA used several dirty tricks -- disseminating
material forged to link Mossadegh with the Communists, attacking
religious groups with thugs falsely claiming the attacks were ordered by Mossadegh, plunging Iran's economy into depression by blocking any sale of oil by Iran for the years 1951-53, freezing
Iranian assets in UK banks,etc.
d) The 1953 coup was deeply unjust to the Iranian people and put them under the Shah's dictatorship for the next 27 years. Iranians have valid cause to hate the US government.


Contrary to Mr Heuisler statement, the US had no oil concession or claims in Iran prior to the 1953 coup --although that obviously changed after 1953 overthrow of Mossadegh and creation of the US puppet government . Several Houston corporations got shares in the Syndicate set up to loot Iran.

PS General Norman Schwartzkopf was commander of 1991 Desert Storm. Maybe Mr Heuisler would like to tell us what General Schwartzkopf's FATHER did for a living in the 1940s-1950s??


Don Williams - 9/26/2003

Mr Brody appears to me to be ducking the facts I present via
"intentional stupidity" -- by pretending he does not understand them. Again, a casual look at his post shows this, IMO. As previously, I will list Mr Brody's comment in parentheses and then
show what he is doing in my Comment.

1) Brody: [Don, you go on for paragraph after paragraph about Israeli F16’s and then make the outlandish claim that it was sale of some of these F16’s in June of 2001 that precipitated the 9/11 attacks by UBL. The evidence you offer: a statement from the mass- murderer himself that could not possibly relate to the sale of said F16’s as it was made three years before. Do you have any evidence at all for this theory? ]

COMMENT: In my post above, I provided much more evidence than Bin Ladin's 1998 interviews with US TV networks. The primary piece of evidence was the Bin Ladin interview in NOVEMBER 2001, published in the Pakistani newspaper DAWN -- as I EXPLICITLY stated in my
post above: See http://hnn.us/comments/18765.html .
You can read Bin Ladin's comments here: http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/10/top1.htm

In that same post, I provided other evidence of how that F16 sales --coming as it did after Sharon's F16 attacks on Palestinian civilians -- aroused deep anger in the Middle East.

Mr Brody's mischaracterization of my evidence --his refusal to
address my MAJOR FACTS -- shows a lack of sincerity on his part in this discussion. Maybe I am a fool for expecting a rightwing
supporter of Bush to engage in honest discourse.

2) Brody: [When confronted with the fact that the 9/11 attacks were planned years before the F16 sale, you posit the preposterous notion that UBL would not have carried out the attacks, if only Bush had cancelled the sale. Do you have any evidence for this assertion? ]

COMMENT: Again, a deliberate distortion. What I said was: "both Israel's supporters and Bush were desperately lying to the American people -- to prevent them from noticing that Bush's pandering to Sharon had triggered the death of 3000+ citizens, $100 Billion in direct costs, and $1 Trillion in indirect costs."

My statement was based on NOVEMBER 2001 comments by Bin Ladin --the man that Bush claims organized the Sept 11 attack. As I
EXPLICITLY noted earlier, Bin Ladin stated

"The Sept 11 attacks were not targeted at women and children. The real targets were America's icons of military and economic power. .....The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government, they elect their president, their government manufactures arms and gives them to Israel and Israel uses them to massacre Palestinians. "

If Bush had not approved the sale to Israel , would Bin Ladin have went forward with the Sept 11 attack? Maybe. Maybe not.

The other two reasons Bin Ladin gave in 1998 were that the US economic war against Iraq had caused the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis, many of them children (due to lack of food, medicine, purification of water heavily contaminated as a result of the 1991 Desert Storm attacks,etc.) and the US stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia to protect the Saud dictatorship/kleptocracy.

But it's also likely that US intelligence would have received warnings of the attack from people in the Middle East who did not want the effects that an attack on the US would bring. US intelligence received at least one warning from a Taliban official , but discounted it.

3) Brody: [Don, most of what you insist are MAJOR facts are really nothing more than your vitriolic personal opinions. “Bush and the Republicans constantly betray 98% (not 97% or 99%) of the US population…”—your opinion. The “massive Republican propaganda machine”..”lies, misleads and deceives the American people”—your opinion again. Your entire post is larded with your political opinions. Opinions you call “MAJOR facts”.

I quote from your original post, Don: “ In his speech after Sept 11, Bush told America that ‘we (his Administration) did nothing to deserve this’ “. You added the parenthetical “his Administration” to the quote and then accused Bush of lying. But it’s clear that his “we “ referred to America as a whole, not his Administration. ]

COMMENT: I have presented MAJOR facts relevent to Sept 11 which have been withheld from Americans in the storm of propaganda pushed in the US news media after Sept 11. I provided the sources for those facts. Mr Brody and Mr Heuisler, by contrast, have presented few facts and , to the best of my memory, no citations to sources. Brody has not attempted to refute the facts I presented.

My judgment that Bush has betrayed 98% of the US population is not merely an opinion --it is backed by a lot of evidence.

4) Brody: ["If anyone is lying, Don, it’s you.

You say the American people have a right to know why we were attacked. At last, we agree on something. Why don’t you tell them that UBL is a Wahabist? That his vision for the Middle East is as Taliban controlled Afghanistan. Where women can expect a bullet or a beating if they are caught reading. Where women will be murdered if they go out without their burkas."]

Blah blah blah. The dictatorships established in the Middle East --including the Wahabism of the Saudi royal family --have been established by the US government, many times via force of arms (and arms sales) , other times via covert ops and bribery. Read the CIA History I provided to Mr Heuisler above.

The history and ongoing news of vicious Republican actions against the people of the Middle East on behalf of campaign donor agendas --Israel, oil, defense arms sales -- makes Republican
appeals to human rights hilarious -- and shows their reflexive
deceit and hypocrisy.

If the manipulations of the US superpower are halted--if the US government ceases its massive military support for corrupt puppets, the people of the Middle East --NOT Bin Ladin -- will chose the manner in which they are governed. As well they should. After all, IT'S THEIR GODDAMM COUNTRY!! --it does not belong to the Republicans. But then the people of the Middle East might object to Cheney's Houston pals stealing them blind. Which is why the Republicans have never really supported democratic governments and human rights in the Middle East.

5) Brody: ["Tell them that the reason he attacked the US is because we stand in the way of that vision. Tell them that he believed that if he attacked us that he could chase us out of the Mid-East. That the reason he believed that we would cut and run is that for eight years the Clinton Administration did exactly that. Tell them that Clinton failed to answer UBL’s numerous attacks in any credible way and that UBL misjudged the resolve of the Bush Administration. "]

COMMENT: In June of 2001, a few months before the Sept 11 attack, Richard Shelby --Republican Chairman of the Senate's Intelligence Committee and with access to all secrets of the Bush Administration -- stated that the Bush Administration had Bin
Ladin "On the Run" and that Bin Ladin was too busy hiding to launch an attack against US entities. See
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45532-2001Jun25.html
So much for Republican competence and for Bush getting tough.

6)Brody: ["You ask why “the Palestinians would reject any deal that gave them a halfway chance of survival?” Ask Arafat. The terms of the deal were widely reported in the mainstream press as 95% of the West Bank, most of the settlements out, and all of Gaza. By the way, Clinton brokered that deal and he expressed shock and consternation when Arafat rejected it. I guess Clinton must have been part of the conspiracy, Don.

Your theory that, as you put it, “ Clinton’s attempt to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians was disrupted when Monica Lewinsky exposed her affair with him” is ridiculous. Clinton finally admitted his affair with Lewinski on national television in August of 1998. Arafat turned down the Clinton peace plan in July of 2000—two years later."]

Clinton's pressure on Israel was suspended by the MonicaGate impeachment -- although I seem to recall that a Clinton-Arafat
meeting started late because Clinton was watching Monica play
Hide-the-Cigar. Hopefully, that wasn't the cigar Clinton
offered Arafat when the meeting finally started. [Arafat:
Interesting aroma. Is it Cuban? ]

Contrary to Mr Brody's statement, my understanding is that Israeli West Bank settlements were not out. For a description of this so-called "generous offer" see http://www.aaiusa.org/news/must_read04_22_02.htm . The Palestinians want a state, not an Indian reservation in perpetual bondage to a colonial power. In addition to more West Bank land, Israel wants the water which falls on the hills of the West Bank.
None of this information shows up in rightwing propaganda re
"generous offer".

7) Brody: ["Don, I quote you again: "The fact that this information has been hidden from the American people –that it never appeared in the mainstream US news media –shows the lengths to which Likud supporters here in the US will go to mislead Americans”. You can try to spin your statement anyway you like, but your clear meaning is that the Likud has control over the mainstream media. Just a rehash of the old “Jewish Influence” conspiracy theory, as I said. "]

COMMENT: As Mr Brody well knows, I make a strong distinction between the Jewish People and a few Likud wealthy supporters here in the US. There are Jews even more critical of Sharon and the Likud than I.

I have given numerous examples in which the US news media has presented a false, one-sided,and misleading picture of Sept 11.
Another example: The US news media was well aware of the Bin Ladin interview in DAWN --they reported and made much of his statement that Al Qaeda might have nuclear material.

Yet the US news made no attempt to report or to investigate his statement that Sept 11 occurred due to US government support for Israeli killing of Muslims. They concealed this from the US people. Why?? Because the most casual investigation would have shown the F16 sales and other items I cited above?

8) Brody: [Don, you go on and on about car batteries and $300.00 transmitters and “one time pads” despite the fact that this method of communication has absolutely no application to a terrorist leader attempting to communicate with thousands of followers, spread through out the World. Do you really imagine thousands of Al Qaeda supporters, sitting next to their car batteries and receivers, “one time pads” poised, just waiting for UBL to begin transmitting? How would they know what frequency? How would they know what time to listen? What would they do after they used their “one time pads”? Get real.

What Rice objected to was the networks playing UBL’s broadcasts verbatim, uninterrupted and without any editing. Anyway, if your “Likud influenced mainstream media “ conspiracy held any water, Rice wouldn’t have had to pressure the media to suppress UBL’s message.

For that matter, Don, if you found UBL’s message, how suppressed could it have been?

And as I have already pointed out, public statements, carried by the mass media, is a tried and true method of communication used by terrorists. ]

COMMENT: First, the point about shortwave TRANSMITTERS running of car batteries was to make the point that such transmitters are highly mobile and can be moved all around the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Africa, even Europe), making them difficult to locate and interdict unless one has strong military control of the transmitters area.

Mr Brody evidently doesn't realize that shortwave RECEIVERS can easily be bought for $50-100 dollars in most parts of the world and can be bought without revealing the buyers identity. Go into Radio Shack , for example.

No resistence movement will send covert agents into a hostile area without training them in detailed plans for sending warnings,instructions, and other operational information via secure, undetectable, and
robust covert communications --including fallback plans. Agents
always have schedules for receiving transmissions from HQ -- dates, times, and frequencies on which they should listen.
Such comm channels are always established well in advance of operations.

Shortwave provides a secure means for transmitting information, (encrypted with the provably unbreakable one-time-pad) worldwide to thousands of agents.

An Example of such operational data: An alert to some members of Al Qaeda cells that their identities have been revealed to the US by capture of an Al Qaeda leader, instructions to reconstitute new cells by meeting with new, undiscovered leaders and recognition protocols/authenication codes for the meetings,
directions to caches with money and identity papers for new identities/cover, orders to attack targets in the US, directions to hidden buried caches ("Dead drops") in the US containing money, explosives, weapons, and intel information needed to carry out the directed attack, , etc. People who conduct operations/attacks are always separated from/kept ignorant of the even more carefully hidden support group in the Hostile Area (USA) that provides them with necessary materials.

The advantage of shortwave numbers stations is that the content of the messages can't be decrypted by the NSA and agents can receive the broadcasts without revealing their location (transmission is one way --agents do not send shortwave broadcasts within the US because such broadcast locations can be easily located and surrounded by US security forces.

Again, Condi Rice's suggestion that Al Qaeda would handle such communications via US TV broadcasts --the content over which they have no control -- is misleading claptrap.

PS I don't receive Bin Ladin's covert messages to Al Qaeda -- I cited an interview with him published in a Pakistani newspaper.

9) Mr Brody's posts attempts to divert the discussion from my primary points:
1) The US public has never received an explanation for why the attacks occurred.
2) Bush intentionally misled the US public with a vague,evasive, essentially meaningless explanation.
3) Bush's adviser Condoleeza Rice pressured the US TV networks to keep Bin Ladin's explanations from the US public -- and used a
deceitful excuse to justify her action.
4) MAJOR facts about the causes of Sept 11 have been withheld from the US public.
5) People do not kill themselves flying into skyscrapers for no reason. People do not spend large sums of money to attack
the world's greatest power --and suffer the resulting massive retaliation -- for no reason. Al Qaeda had rational reasons for the attack -- the intense hatred felt toward the US within the Middle East has been caused by years of malicious actions by certain officials in the US government, acting to advance the financial and political interests of their campaign donors.
6) The actions taken by the US government -- unjustified military support for Israeli aggression, support of kleptocracies who put the people into deep poverty, huge US arms sells to Israel and dictators,-- have NOT been for the benefit of the American people.

Indeed, they have caused and will cause enormous grief to US citizens -- the deaths and $1 Trillion damage of Sept 11, the loss of our civil rights under the US Patriot Act, the expenditure of hundreds of $billions in unnecessary wars overseas vice helping the many poor, sick, and needy people in the USA,etc.

It's ironic that greedy interests causing so much damage to the national interest --so much misery to the American people --should attack their critics by questioning the patriotism of
the critics.


Steve Brody - 9/26/2003

Don, you go on for paragraph after paragraph about Israeli F16’s and then make the outlandish claim that it was sale of some of these F16’s in June of 2001 that precipitated the 9/11 attacks by UBL. The evidence you offer: a statement from the mass- murderer himself that could not possibly relate to the sale of said F16’s as it was made three years before. Do you have any evidence at all for this theory?

When confronted with the fact that the 9/11 attacks were planned years before the F16 sale, you posit the preposterous notion that UBL would not have carried out the attacks, if only Bush had cancelled the sale. Do you have any evidence for this assertion?

Don, most of what you insist are MAJOR facts are really nothing more than your vitriolic personal opinions. “Bush and the Republicans constantly betray 98% (not 97% or 99%) of the US population…”—your opinion. The “massive Republican propaganda machine”..”lies, misleads and deceives the American people”—your opinion again. Your entire post is larded with your political opinions. Opinions you call “MAJOR facts”.

I quote from your original post, Don: “ In his speech after Sept 11, Bush told America that ‘we (his Administration) did nothing to deserve this’ “. You added the parenthetical “his Administration” to the quote and then accused Bush of lying. But it’s clear that his “we “ referred to America as a whole, not his Administration.

If anyone is lying, Don, it’s you.

You say the American people have a right to know why we were attacked. At last, we agree on something. Why don’t you tell them that UBL is a Wahabist? That his vision for the Middle East is as Taliban controlled Afghanistan. Where women can expect a bullet or a beating if they are caught reading. Where women will be murdered if they go out without their burkas.

Tell them that the reason he attacked the US is because we stand in the way of that vision. Tell them that he believed that if he attacked us that he could chase us out of the Mid-East. That the reason he believed that we would cut and run is that for eight years the Clinton Administration did exactly that. Tell them that Clinton failed to answer UBL’s numerous attacks in any credible way and that UBL misjudged the resolve of the Bush Administration.

You ask why “the Palestinians would reject any deal that gave them a halfway chance of survival?” Ask Arafat. The terms of the deal were widely reported in the mainstream press as 95% of the West Bank, most of the settlements out, and all of Gaza. By the way, Clinton brokered that deal and he expressed shock and consternation when Arafat rejected it. I guess Clinton must have been part of the conspiracy, Don.

Your theory that, as you put it, “ Clinton’s attempt to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians was disrupted when Monica Lewinsky exposed her affair with him” is ridiculous. Clinton finally admitted his affair with Lewinski on national television in August of 1998. Arafat turned down the Clinton peace plan in July of 2000—two years later.

Don, I quote you again: "The fact that this information has been hidden from the American people –that it never appeared in the mainstream US news media –shows the lengths to which Likud supporters here in the US will go to mislead Americans”. You can try to spin your statement anyway you like, but your clear meaning is that the Likud has control over the mainstream media. Just a rehash of the old “Jewish Influence” conspiracy theory, as I said.

Don, you go on and on about car batteries and $300.00 transmitters and “one time pads” despite the fact that this method of communication has absolutely no application to a terrorist leader attempting to communicate with thousands of followers, spread through out the World. Do you really imagine thousands of Al Qaeda supporters, sitting next to their car batteries and receivers, “one time pads” poised, just waiting for UBL to begin transmitting? How would they know what frequency? How would they know what time to listen? What would they do after they used their “one time pads”? Get real.

What Rice objected to was the networks playing UBL’s broadcasts verbatim, uninterrupted and without any editing. Anyway, if your “Likud influenced mainstream media “ conspiracy held any water, Rice wouldn’t have had to pressure the media to suppress UBL’s message.

For that matter, Don, if you found UBL’s message, how suppressed could it have been?

And as I have already pointed out, public statements, carried by the mass media, is a tried and true method of communication used by terrorists.

It’s interesting, Don that you devote your last paragraphs to a screed against Saudi wealth not trickling down to the Saudi common man. Strangely absent is any acknowledgement that UBL is among the richest of the Saudi’s, with personal wealth of hundreds of millions of dollars. What has UBL done for the Saudi common man?

You know, Don, you started your latest post with a reference to “emotional, irrational Rush Limbaugh rants” and my “right wing propaganda”, as though the mere invocation of these phrases could absolve you of the necessity of presenting any evidence for your various theories. It was not surprising, though, because I noticed straight away your tendency to make personal attacks on those who question your “MAJOR facts” and point out your fallacies. You also implied that I called you a traitor. I did no such thing. What I did and still do is accuse you of misrepresenting facts and torturing logic.


Bill Heuisler - 9/25/2003

Mr. Williams,
Majlis are elected by the people. During the time in question Mossadegh was elected by the Majlis not the people. Also during that time (post war Iraq) the political systems of the northern half of Iraq were rigidly controlled by the National Front (Tudeh) Party which in turn was funded and controlled by the Soviet Union. To say Mossadegh was elected by a majority vote of the people was false in fact and in practical application.

One book of one man's impressions is poor bedrock for a thesis. History books detail the post-war process well and a very pro Mossadegh web site (under Mossadegh - one of the few in English on Google) gives the electoral situation when the Shah was contending with Mossadegh and they both were plotting to steal our oil concessions. They called it nationalization, but I'm sure Columbia's Edward Said Chair would teach it as justice.
Bill Heuisler


Don Williams - 9/25/2003

1) To date, I had assumed that your hilarious errors were the result of careless mistakes or ignorance. It now seems to me, however, that you are engaging in falsehoods, since the most casual checks on your part would show that I am right and you are wrong.
2) I have given repeated citations throughout this discussion. You, on the other hand, have repeatedly shot off your mouth without , to the best of my recollection, providing evidence to support your claims.
3) My sources are the book "Countercoup" by CIA officer Kermit Roosevelt (in charge of the 1953 Iranian Coup) and the CIA Clandestine Service's secret history of the Iranian Coup, leaked to the New York Times a few years backed and available online at George Washington's National Security Archive --see
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/index.html .
4) Both of these sources attest to Mossadagh holding and winning a popular vote in late July 1953 on whether he or the existing Majlis should go. (See p 152 of Countercoup and Section V (Mounting Pressure Against the Shah) , p. 31) Kermit and the CIA argue that Mossadagh pressured the voters -- a hilarious criticism since they were in the process of installing a dictator who would rule for the next 27 years. Mossadagh's referendum was probably the last free election held in Iran until the Shah's overthrow circa 1979.

5) The CIA's view of the Shah -- and the rights of the Iranians to their own country -- is shown rather clearly in the CIA's Secret History. Some excerpts:
-----------
"Such basic assumptions as these: ...that the Shah must be brought into the operation; that the Shah would act only with great reluctance but that he could be forced to do so..." (page 8)
----------
"From the very beginning it had been recognized that the Shah must be forced to play a specific role,
however reluctant he might prove to be. Therefore, the plan presented a series of measures designed
to rid him once and for all of his pathological fear of the "hidden hand" of the British , and to assure
him that the United States and the United Kingdom would firmly support him and had both resolved
that Mossadeq must go. The measures were also intended to produce such pressure on the Shah that it
would be easier for him to sign the papers required of him than it would be to refuse." (Section V, page 22)
----------
"This plan is based on the assumption that the cooperation of the Shah will be obtained. Such cooperation will
give the military coup the best chance of success. However, it also envisages the same type of operation through
the involuntary involvement of the Shah in this plan.
To play his role the Shah requires special preparation. By nature a creature of indecision, beset by formless doubts
and fears, he must be induced to play his role , and this role must require a minimum of affirmative action and
cover as brief a period as possible." (Appendix B, TPAJAX Operational Plan, London Draft, page 3)
---------
"However, should the Shah fail to go along with the US representative or fail to produce the documents for
General Zahedi, Zahedi would be informed that the United States and United Kingdom would be ready to go
ahead without the Shah's active cooperation if Zahedi agrees. We would continue to make every effort to
associate the Shah with the undertaking involuntarily and so hope to achieve the same result as if he had
actively participated." (App. B, p 10)
-------------
The material designed to discredit Mossadeq will hammer the following themes: (a) Mossadeq favors the Tudah
Party and the USSR (This will be supported by black documents.) [Don W Note: Black documents =forged]
App B, p. 16
-------------
"To prepare for the change of government, a number of the deputies [in Majlis. Don W] will be approached and purchased. It is yet to be decided whether the purchases are to be made by the British group or directly by Zahedi himself who, as long
as he enjoys the sanctuary of the Majlis building, is in an excellent position to achieve such an air. Following the
receipt from one or both of the above elements of a list of deputies with the amounts required for the purchase of each one,
a special funding operation will be established... (App B, p. 19)
----------
Page 21 explains how the CIA will use a "terrorist group"
----------
Page 23 explains how staged attacks on religious leaders will be framed as coming from Mossadaq
----------
Page 24 explains how US forged documents will [falsely ]frame Mossadaq as forming a
secret alliance with pro-Communist Tudeh party
-------
Page 25 explains how unrest and demonstrations will be staged so as to provide coup leader General
Zehadi with an excuse to call out the troops
------
Page 26 explains that UK/US Plan may be disrupted by Iranians, noting that "Given the recognized
incapacity of Iranians to plan or act in a thoroughly logical manner, we would never expect such a plan
to be restudied and execution in the local atmosphere like a Western staff operation."
---------
Page 26 also notes "Recent coups in other Near Eastern countries were far easier to carry out since they were not complicated by a large pro-Communist opposition or hampered by the presence of a head of government having powerful
popular following" [DonW --thus CIA itself acknowledged Mossadaq's popular support ]


Bill Heuisler - 9/24/2003

Mr. Williams,
Popular referendum in 1953?
You've done it again. You got caught in one lie and now you're trying another. There was no popular referendum held in 1953 in Iraq. On January 8 1953 Premier Mossadegh asked the Majlis to extend his special dictatorial powers for one year. Despite strong opposition, the request was granted on January 19th, 1953. No referendum. Mossadegh was an appointed dictator.

Where do you get your information? I suggest you find a better source than some lefty web site. Try an actual history book. And, Mr. Williams, it's not nitpicking to expose a completely false argument that's used to support an asinine thesis.
Bill Heuisler


Don Williams - 9/24/2003


The emotional, irrational Rush Limbaugh rants. The attacks on those who question Bush's actions as traitors
to the country --even though Bush's deceitful and self serving agenda has inflicted enormous damage on the America.
The refusal to address MAJOR facts -- and the attempt to cover up this refusal by endless nitpicking on minor
issues.

The nature of right wing propaganda becomes obvious if we examine Mr Brody's statements in detail.
In the following, I will first list a Brody statement in brackets and will then show it's fallacy.

1) Brody: [ Don, your attempt to justify the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda because of the sale of F16's to Israel is grotesque and ill informed. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the 9/11 timeline (apparently not you) knows that these attacks were in the planning stages for years before the aforementioned sale was approved. Your suggestion that the two events are linked is ludicrous. You then blame Bush’s “pandering to Sharon” for the 9/11 attacks. The planning for these attacks started when Clinton was in office, Don, not Bush ]

Brody ignores the fact that Bin Ladin cited US support of Israeli aggression as one of the three reasons for Jihad in several interviews with TV networks as far back as 1998. Israel has the largest collections of F16s outside the US Air Force --and
many are the most advanced versions. The F16s sales to Israel has been going on for at least a decade. What was different occurred on Bush's watch-- Sharon's sabotage of the peace talks, Sharon's deliberate provocation of the infildata, Sharon's use of the F16s to attack the Palestinians in Spring 2001, Bush's suppression of any punishment of Sharon for that abuse, and Bush's hypocritical posturing -- making mild protests about Sharon's behavior and then turning around and selling him 52 more F16s in June 2001. Plus there's Bush's attempt to intimidate the Taliban in Spring 2001 re the Unocal pipeline to carry
Caspian Sea oil -- something also suppressed in the US news media.

There is a difference between developing the capability to attack an enemy and actually pulling the trigger --witness the development of US nuclear arsenal. There's an even bigger difference between "planning" and actually beginning to develop an operation. The execute signal for the Sept 11 attack occurred after June 2001. Bin Ladin gave clear warning to the US government several years prior to that.

As I noted, the F16 sale --following Sharon's use of the F16s against the Palestinians in Spring 2001 -- enraged the Arab
world -- although the Likud-controlled news media here in the US suppressed that information. US intelligence might have gotten warnings of the attack if Bush had not alienated much of the Islamic world with his hypocrisy and fawning support of Sharon's aggression. A member of the Taliban did warn the US Embassy shortly before the attack but his warning was discounted.

Mr Brody ignores several major facts. One, the Arab world holds us responsible for Israel's behavior because the US government created Israel -- with $91 billion in past aid, $3 billion/year in ongoing aid, massive arms sales, and the protection of the US military. Two, there was no need to sell the 52 F16s to Israel --except to rub the Arabs nose in dung with a wink to the Israeli Likud. Israel, especially with US protection, has not been seriously threatened since the Soviet Union fell.
Third, there is no reason WHY the US should support Israel's aggression in the strong and unjust manner that it does. Israel give NOTHING of consequence to the US -- we don't even have a significant military base there. Critics of Bush's prostitution to Likud's supporters are libeled as traitors by right wing propagandists --but the real traitors are those who caused 3000+ US deaths and the loss of $1 Trillion of American wealth in the course of fanatical service to a country not their own.

2) Brody: [. And the motive for Bush’s “pandering to Sharon”? More silliness. To entice Democratic campaign contributors over to the Republican side. As if Republicans needed Democratic campaign contributors. What bunk.]

Bush and the Republicans have constantly betrayed 98% of the US population --the people who fight this country's wars and whose hard work produces this countries wealth. There is no way the Republicans could retain power if the massive Republican propaganda machine did not continually lie to , mislead, and deceive the American people. Surely you don't think
Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh earn millions by telling us the truth? If FOX really gives US voters
a "fair and balanced" depiction of what's happening in this world, why have they consistently failed to inform viewers of
the MAJOR facts I present here? Policy disagreements are one thing --suppression of facts to create a one-sided false view of reality is something different.

To maintain a false view of reality in the minds of Americans, That right wing propaganda machine requires an ongoing massive injection of money --which people like Haim Saban, Walter Shorenstein, Daniel Abraham, and AIPAC could certainly help supply. Plus recruitment of such donors cuts off the Democrats air supply -- preventing Democrats from revealing the truth to more than a small number of the people. At minimum, making common cause with Israel's supporters greatly helps advance the oil and defense contractor agendas --ensuring that even powerful Democrats will only make muffled, incoherent
strangled noises over some of Bush's antics for fear of alienating some Democratic donors. Senator Diane Feinstein admitted that her service on the Intelligence Committee had shown no secret info indicating an imminent threat from Hussein. If you want to understand why she still backed Bush's attack on Iraq, look at how much money her political career has received from Walter Shorenstein.

If the corruption of Big Money becomes well enough established, it won't matter what the voters think --just look at the political machines of the Republican Gilded Age after the Civil War and the way they enslaved the US population at that time. It doesn't matter what happens in reality so long as you control what's shown on TV. My posts here, for example, reach no more than maybe 10-15 people. The same is true of many Internet Blogs.

3) Brody: [ You then accuse Bush of lying because he said “we did nothing to deserve 9/11”. Well I got news for you, Don; I don’t think we did anything to deserve 9/11, either. You on the other hand apparently think we had 9/11 coming. However, Bush’s believe, along with hundreds of millions of other people, that we didn’t deserve 9/11 doesn’t make him a liar.

It may show you to be warped and twisted, Don, but it doesn’t make him a liar.]

A deliberate distortion by Mr Brody. What I said was that Bush was lying to the country when he indicated that his Administration had done nothing to provoke Sept 11. Obviously, he had --and he covered that fact up.

Obviously, the 3000+ dead in Sept 11 did not deserve to die -- and I do not object to going after those who planned those murders. But one must understand an enemy to defeat him --or to remove him as a danger.

We have NEVER had an honest explanation from the Bush Administration on why Sept 11 occurred. And we did not get an
explanation from Bin Ladin because Condoleeza Rice twisted the arms of the TV network CEOs to block the truth Bin Ladin's explanation from reaching us.
The people of America have a right to know why they were attacked -- why so much of their blood and wealthy has been spent in a vague "war on terror". What provoked it. And they have been repeatedly misled and diverted from that question.
What Bin Ladin truthful said was that the US government's games in the Middle East had killed a lot of Muslims and harmed many more. Bin Ladin acknowledged that most Americans are good people --but that we are responsible for the actions of our elected government.

I do not object to going after Bin Ladin. But those Americans who provoked his attack --by pushing their own selfish agendas -- and who then covered up their guilt are enemies of the American people as well -- and deserve our anger just as much.



4) Brody: [Your misrepresentations concerning Clinton’s attempts to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are stunning. You allege that Clinton’s attempts to pressure Israel were disrupted “when Monica Lewinski exposed her affair “ with Clinton. Alas, another Zionist plot. What rubbish. That’s not what happened at all. In fact, Clinton was successful in pressuring Ehud Barak into offering the Palestinians the best deal they could hope for: 95% of the West Bank, all of Gaza and most of the settlements out of Palestinian territory. But Arafat turned it down. It was Arafat who scuttled the deal and Clinton expressed shock and dismay that Arafat turned it down.]

Bullpucky. Why would the Palestinians, after decades of misery, reject any deal that gave them a halfway chance at survival? Arafat rejected the deal because it was crafted to ensure that the Palestinians would remain enslaved to Israel for all eternity -- by breaking Palestine up into multiple small chunks and giving Israel a stranglehold over the corridors of communication/transportation connecting those chunks.

Like Republican corporate CEOs , Likudites never screw someone 100% -- they always make some token gesture which they can exaggerate. Just as CEOs laying off thousands of long time employees shed crocodile tears and offer worthless Outplacement assistance, so Likud disguises its implacable hostility behind a screen of token gestures.


5) Brody: [You insist that UBL attacked this country because of our support for Israel and you cite as your support the statements of a confessed mass-murderer. Is that the best you can do? The fact of the matter, Don, is that Al Qaeda has never provided the Palestinians with much support. If UBL is so incensed by our support of Israel, why haven’t they struck in Israel? The fact is, Don, UBL blames 9/11 on our support of Israel because he knows that plays well in Arab countries.]

Al Qaeda struck the US instead of Israel because they know that all power and decision-making is done here in the US.
Israel would collapse if the US government withheld it's $billions of yearly financial aid and military protection.
We have a moral responsibility to the Palestinian people because our past actions/aid has created Israel. In any rational
world, the US President would not be kowtowing to Sharon, pleading with him, and making hypocritical excuses for Sharon.
Instead, given Sept 11, we would fairly draw the line, tell Israel and Palestinians what the peace settlement would be, and kick the mortal crap out of anyone --Israeli or Palestinian --who didn't go alone. Instead, Sharon twists the US government around his finger because our national leaders are prostitutes who sell out their country's security and interests for money --even after the 3000+ dead in New York.

6) Brody: [You quote a few anti-semetic and left wing wacko web sites, pronounce it the truth, and then claim that the main stream news outlets are withholding this truth because of a Likud conspiracy. Isn’t this just a rehash of the same old “Jewish influence “ conspiracy theory? ]

Another distortion. I explicitly noted that American Jews as a group are not responsible for this situation -- it is rather some
greedy, egotistical power brokers. The much vaunted neocon Richard Perle, for example, is in my opinion little more than
a lapdog for Conrad Black -- world's third largest media magnate and strong Likud supporter. (One of Mr Perle's sinecures,
for example, is editor of Mr Black's Jerusalem Post newspaper. A year or so ago, a British Lord publicly blasted Mr Black for turning the once- respected Post into a contemptible propaganda organ.) Canadian Conrad Black is non-Jewish --so why the
strong support for Sharon? I don't know. Why does Australian Murdoch so forceably support the US right wing
via FOX News? Either high ,noble moral principles are involved or base business deals with hidden interests. I'll let you guess.

I did not cite wacko web sites --I cited opensecrets.com (or look at trey.com) --which print data reported to the Federal Election Commission(FEC) -- to show that certain American millionaire (or billionaire)
supporters of Israel dump enormous amounts of money into US politics. Maybe they do that out of love for good government and deep respect for the US Constitution. Maybe they do it to buy political power. To paraphase Fox, I report --you decide.

7) Brody: [You ridicule the notion that UBL would use public broadcasts to communicate with his followers. You then give us a lesson (thanks, Don) on how UBL could use a car battery and $300 transmitter to contact his thousands of far flung followers. You don’t tell us how these followers would know what frequency to tune, when to tune it, or how these thousands of followers are supposed to obtain their receivers. But apparently that is sufficient in your conspiracy theory to accuse Condoleeza Rice of being “deceitful”.

But there’s a problem with your theory, Don. Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the “blind sheik” used exactly the method that you ridiculed to communicate with his followers. A press release by his attorney to American news outlets.]

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of intelligence techniques knows that what I said is true. If Mr Brody had the wit
to Google on "Numbers Stations" or "One Time Pad" , he would see plenty of colloboration. Since at least World War II, it has been possible to securely transmit secret information from a Controlled Area to agents in a Hostile Area. What is very difficult is for agents in a Hostile Area to securely send information back to Home headquarters--although this depends on the relative technical sophistication of Hostile security forces. (Some of the techniques the US government uses for transfer of information from agents, by the way, depend on Embassy diplomatic immunity and would be stupid for resistance movements to imitate).

With the unbreakable one time pad encryption method, HQ adds a string of random numbers to a text message to encrypt the message. An agent in the field must subtract that same string to decrypt the message. The string can only be used once --i.e., a separate key must be used for each message. A page of random numbers --sufficient to encrypt a page of text --can be
stored on a 8mm X 11 mm piece of Minox film . Along with the random number pad, one includes a schedule of shortwave
transmissions --e.g, listen to frequency 11199 Hz on Tuesday nights at time 0306 UDT.

Condoleeza Rice, with her expertise, surely knows this. She surely knew that her story of Bin Ladin trying to send
covert messages in noisy, snowy , TV frames subject to unpredictable cut-paste by the TV editors was utter claptrap. So why
did she bullshit the naive American public to justify her censorship?

Re Sheik Rahman using his lawyer, the fact he had to resort to hasty, improvised unsecure methods out of desperation does not mean Al Qaeda was forced to -- the flaw in Brody's logic is obvious. The fact that Rahman is in jail suggests that his tradecraft was not very good.


8) Brody: [But Don, your PS is priceless: that we “ started it” when we provided “major military support” for the Saudi regime. You must mean when we stopped Saddam Hussein from invading Saudi Arabia. As if the Saudi common man would be better under Hussein.]

What the Saudi common man knows is that oil is the only wealth his desert wasteland has with which to buy a future for the Saudi people. What he knows is that the US government --with the aid of the Bushes -- has propped up the Saudi dictatorship for decades in exchange for being allowed to loot that oil birthright. The American company hit in the recent Saudi bombing attack , for example, has supplied mercenary trainers to the Saudi National Guard (internal security) for years. Plus the US government has sold the royal family many F16s –useful for quelling internal dissent , as shown by Sharon. The US forces in Arabia are there to protect the Royal family from internal revolts, if necessary, as much as to restrain Hussein.

What the Saudi common man also knows is that very little of the oil wealth trickles down – and that the
Royal family will retire to the casinos and prostitutes on Monaco when the oil runs out. As I noted before,
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE are among the very few nations who will not provide information on income distribution to the World Bank statistical agency. By contrast, World Bank data indicates that Iraq income distribution up until 1990 was far more equitable than that within the United States – and did not approach the US level of inequity until in recent years.

What the Saudi common man also probably remembers is the picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein back in the 1980s --when most of his atrocities occurred but did not bother the Reagan administration. Check to see who gave Hussein anthrax samples.


Steve Brody - 9/24/2003

I don’t usually respond to posts that extol conspiracy theories that rely on the rantings UBL for evidence, but your misstatements of fact and leaps of logic are breathtaking.

Don, your attempt to justify the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda because of the sale of F16's to Israel is grotesque and ill informed. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the 9/11 timeline (apparently not you) knows that these attacks were in the planning stages for years before the aforementioned sale was approved. Your suggestion that the two events are linked is ludicrous.

You then blame Bush’s “pandering to Sharon” for the 9/11 attacks. The planning for these attacks started when Clinton was in office, Don, not Bush. And the motive for Bush’s “pandering to Sharon”? More silliness. To entice Democratic campaign contributors over to the Republican side. As if Republicans needed Democratic campaign contributors. What bunk.

You then accuse Bush of lying because he said “we did nothing to deserve 9/11”. Well I got news for you, Don; I don’t think we did anything to deserve 9/11, either. You on the other hand apparently think we had 9/11 coming. However, Bush’s believe, along with hundreds of millions of other people, that we didn’t deserve 9/11 doesn’t make him a liar.

It may show you to be warped and twisted, Don, but it doesn’t make him a liar.

Your misrepresentations concerning Clinton’s attempts to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are stunning. You allege that Clinton’s attempts to pressure Israel were disrupted “when Monica Lewinski exposed her affair “ with Clinton. Alas, another Zionist plot. What rubbish. That’s not what happened at all. In fact, Clinton was successful in pressuring Ehud Barak into offering the Palestinians the best deal they could hope for: 95% of the West Bank, all of Gaza and most of the settlements out of Palestinian territory. But Arafat turned it down. It was Arafat who scuttled the deal and Clinton expressed shock and dismay that Arafat turned it down.

You insist that UBL attacked this country because of our support for Israel and you cite as your support the statements of a confessed mass-murderer. Is that the best you can do? The fact of the matter, Don, is that Al Qaeda has never provided the Palestinians with much support. If UBL is so incensed by our support of Israel, why haven’t they struck in Israel? The fact is, Don, UBL blames 9/11 on our support of Israel because he knows that plays well in Arab countries.

You quote a few anti-semetic and left wing wacko web sites, pronounce it the truth, and then claim that the main stream news outlets are withholding this truth because of a Likud conspiracy. Isn’t this just a rehash of the same old “Jewish influence “ conspiracy theory?

You ridicule the notion that UBL would use public broadcasts to communicate with his followers. You then give us a lesson (thanks, Don) on how UBL could use a car battery and $300 transmitter to contact his thousands of far flung followers. You don’t tell us how these followers would know what frequency to tune, when to tune it, or how these thousands of followers are supposed to obtain their receivers. But apparently that is sufficient in your conspiracy theory to accuse Condoleeza Rice of being “deceitful”.

But there’s a problem with your theory, Don. Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the “blind sheik” used exactly the method that you ridiculed to communicate with his followers. A press release by his attorney to American news outlets.

But Don, your PS is priceless: that we “ started it” when we provided “major military support” for the Saudi regime. You must mean when we stopped Saddam Hussein from invading Saudi Arabia. As if the Saudi common man would be better under Hussein.


Don Williams - 9/24/2003

-- a favorite tactic of the right wing seems to be to duck major facts/issues by seizing on some trival point and beating it to death -- as a way to run logical discussion off into the weeds.

I stand by my previous comment -- Mossadegh had the support of the majority of the Iranian people in 1951 and won overwhelming in the popular referendum held in 1953. How many Iranian votes did Kermit Roosevelt ever bother to count while mounting his coup using some Iranian Generals?

My depiction of the situation in Iran is far more accurate than yours. Plus I have been citing Kermit Roosevelt's self-serving account as source because I assumed he would be acceptable to you -- I haven't even bothered to bring in all the American experts on Iran who condemmed the CIA's actions.

My family has been here in America since 1785. I have deep loyalty to this country and its people. Some Bush supporters have manipulated Sept 11 (and covered up their responsibility for causing it ) in order to serve their own selfish business interests while hiding behind the flag.

I bitterly resent the inputation that anyone who doesn't kiss the butt of Bush's wealthy campaign donors --who doesn't get with Bush's disastous agenda -- is disloyal to this country. It seems to me that the real traitors are in the right wing and in the White House, not on the left.


NYGuy - 9/23/2003



With Mid-east operatives working against the U. S., both in the universities and in the military, I believe we should wake up to the fact that terrorists still want to destroy us. Being vigilant is not a violation of our rights, it is just being smart. Columbia, tear down your wall of secrecy.

WASHINGTON - An Air Force translator at the U.S. prison camp for suspected terrorists has been charged with espionage and aiding the enemy — counts that could carry the death penalty, a military spokesman said Tuesday.


AP Photo


AFP
Slideshow: Guantanamo Naval Base




Senior Airman Ahmad I. al-Halabi is being held at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, facing 32 criminal charges, spokesman Maj. Michael Shavers said.


Al-Halabi worked as an Arabic language translator at the prison camp for al-Qaida and Taliban suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Shavers said. The Air Force enlisted man knew the Muslim chaplain at the prison who was arrested earlier this month, but it is unclear whether the two arrests are linked, Shavers said.


The translator was arrested more than six weeks before the chaplain, he said.


Al-Halabi is charged with eight counts related to espionage, three counts of aiding the enemy, 11 counts of disobeying a lawful order, nine counts of making a false official statement and one count of bank fraud.


NYGUY - 9/23/2003

With Mid-east operatives working against the U. S., both in the universities and in the military, I believe we should wake up to the fact that terrorists still want to destroy us. Being vigilant is not a violation of our rights, it is just being smart. Columbia, tear down your wall of secrecy.

WASHINGTON - An Air Force translator at the U.S. prison camp for suspected terrorists has been charged with espionage and aiding the enemy — counts that could carry the death penalty, a military spokesman said Tuesday.


AP Photo


AFP
Slideshow: Guantanamo Naval Base




Senior Airman Ahmad I. al-Halabi is being held at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, facing 32 criminal charges, spokesman Maj. Michael Shavers said.


Al-Halabi worked as an Arabic language translator at the prison camp for al-Qaida and Taliban suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Shavers said. The Air Force enlisted man knew the Muslim chaplain at the prison who was arrested earlier this month, but it is unclear whether the two arrests are linked, Shavers said.


The translator was arrested more than six weeks before the chaplain, he said.


Al-Halabi is charged with eight counts related to espionage, three counts of aiding the enemy, 11 counts of disobeying a lawful order, nine counts of making a false official statement and one count of bank fraud.


Bill Heuisler - 9/23/2003

Mr. Williams,
This is a history site. Your history is fatally corroded by leftist, anti-American ideology. Read your own stuff and do a little self-examination before you embarrass yourself further.
We all know this must be difficult for you. Your printed words are there for all to see.

Posted By: Don Williams
Date Posted: September 22, 2003, 8:57 PM
"Mossadagh was ELECTED by majority vote of the people of Iran."
The claim is false - the capitalization merely pathetic.
You admitted the falsity in your blizzard of words 9/23. The fact you insist you are correct leads me to believe you are either very young, very foolish or very indoctrinated.

That takes us back to the Columbia question. If the Edward Said Chair at Columbia promotes such myth in the guise of history, then we all must recognize that money donated to Arab Studies is being donated to anti-American propaganda, not history.
Bill Heuisler


Don Williams - 9/23/2003

Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA officer who overthrew Mossadagh, is hardly a favorable source. Yet he notes on page 56 of his book
"Countercoup" that Mossadegh had served thrity years in the Iranian Parliament --the Majlis. Service in the Majlis was by popular elections.

On page 84, Roosevelt notes the background to Mossadegh's appointment as Prime Minister in 1951 --two years prior to the CIA coup in 1953:
"Seven [Iranian] governments had fallen between 1946 and 1951; a dramatic move was necessary. Much as H.I.M [the Shah] might distrust Mossadegh, the old man was gaining ever more popular backing. A "popular" Premier had become a practical necessary. "
On page 85, Roosevelt continues:
" So now Mossadegh was summoned to the palace. The Shah promised support if he would carry out nationalization [of the oil industry] and raise the standard of living. Mossadegh accepted and became Prime Minister on the day that nationalization was approved. Nine days later the Majlis voted confidence in his government by the impressive majority of 99 to 3. "

As noted later by Roosevelt, the British mounted an embargo on export of oil from Iran -- tankers from other countries left the Persian Gulf after a British cruiser arrived. The British pushed America to join with them against Mossadegh , even though the International Court refused to support their claims.

In the next two years, Mossadegh did become more authoritarian under the economic pressure of the British Embargo and covert actions. He did dissolve the Majlis but was heavily supported by a popular referendum. As an Iranian nationalist , he tried to play the Russians off against the Americans-- selling oil to the Russians as a way to raise money under the British embargo.

Roosevelt notes on page 115 that Truman and Dean Acheson had been charmed by Mossadegh on his visit to Washington in 1951 and that it was necessary for a Democratic administration to be replaced by a Republican one before the CIA-oil companies coup could get the go-ahead (p.95.) As he notes on p. 115, "Allen Dulles and I might well be in sympathy with our [British] cousins, as indeed we were. However, we had to wait for the US elections--which had just taken place --to produce the actual changes in office before we could move."

Roosevelt shows the typical arrogance and stupidity of an Eastern WASP, smug over being the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt. His descriptions of travel through the Middle East and Iran are replete with descriptions of grand scenery and palaces --but has little discussion of the people , their desires, and needs. He obviously felt confident that he knew what was better for the Iranian people than they could decide for themselves. On page 9, he notes how Israel joined with the CIA in creating the Iranian SAVAK.

From later developments, it appears that the Israeli service and CIA inculated SAVAK with their customary values and morality --which is to say , none.

Even Kermit never indicts Mossadegh for more than being a potential unwitting tool of the Soviets -- and that more in terms of future possibilities than tangible reality.

A few years ago, the New York Times finally ran a series confessing that it and other US newspapers had been duped by
CIA spin into presenting a false picture of the coup in 1953--the
story should be in their online archive


Bill Heuisler - 9/23/2003

Mr. Williams,
Your strident anti-Americanism must have been learned at Columbia or some other foul nest of Leftist hatred. The malice in your posts is only exceeded by their abject ignorance.

Mossadegh was not elected by the Iranian people. He was the leader of the Soviet-backed National Front after the Tudeh was outlawed. He was appointed Premier by the Senate and the Iranian Majlis on April 29, 1951. On July 17, 1952 Massadegh resigned, but a month later the Iranian Parliament and Majlis made him dictator. He was never elected to anything by the people.

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor without a declaration of war. Their Emperor and ministers refused to surrender or to engage in talks with the US in 1945. They're quite lucky we didn't kill more of them and annex their damned country.

You continue the benightedness with one of the dumbest statements I've ever heard.
You wrote: "The Muslims realize that honor and truth is the first thing the US government discards."

Honor? Truth? The Muslims? They stone homosexuals, circumcize women and kill women caught in adultry while ignoring the male. They are bombers of discos and men who whore and debauch the night before slicing stwewardess' throats and flying passenger planes into civilian buildings full of working men and women. Honor? You obviously don't know the meaning of honor.

Your dislike for your country is understandable, I guess, in light of your incomprehension of basic history. Do everyone a favor, Mr. Williams, before you make another ersatz statement (and then emphasize the stupidity in capital letters) read a history book or check your idiotic leftist propaganda on google.
Bill Heuisler


Don Williams - 9/23/2003

Mossadagh was ELECTED by majority vote of the people of Iran --something certainly not true of the puppet Shah installed by the US --that's why the Shah's SAVAK had to kill someone every other day or so --to keep the lid on.

Besides, its not like the US government is in a position to lecture anyone on morals or terrorism. It is the only government on the planet to ever burn 100,000 civilians (many of them helpless women and children) alive in two nuclear fireballs. Prior to that, Curtis LeMay burned another estimated 100,000 civilians alive by dropping jellied gasoline on Japansese cities. Lemay himself noted that he would probably have been tried as a war criminal if the US had lost the war.

The Muslims realize that honor and truth is the first thing the US government discards when it's rich patrons are on a money hunt. Throughout US history, Washington massacred whole tribes of Indians --including women and children -- whenever they stood in the way of politically connected land speculators.

Hell, one of the first US military operations after the Revolution was an expedition to Ohio to cleanse it of the Indian inhabitants so that several million acre tracts of land could be developed by large, wealthy and politically
connected land speculators (Ohio Land Company, Scioto Land Company, Symmes Associates,etc. --plus "Honest" George Washington also claimed roughly 30,000 acres on the south bank of the Ohio.)
In Early America, Land speculation was one of the quickest ways for corrupt politicians to make a fortune.

This proud tradition is continuing today in Central Asia. In the early 1990s Halliburton , the "oil services" firm, hired a pudgy bureaucrat with no knowledge of the oil industry --or of corporate management -- to be CEO.

This strange event becomes more understandable when you realize that the "service" that the oil companies wanted was wirepulling in Washington to ensure that the US military would protect the $Billions in investments that Houston wanted to make in the Caspian -- site of huge oil reserves almost equal to those lying under Arabia.

(This oil is not necessarily for the US consumer, by the way. China is developing and one billion Chinese driving Fords will need a lot of gasoline in the coming decades. The potential profits --if things go well -- for the US oil and auto corporations are huge. The potential profits --if things go badly and Bush provokes war with Russia and China -- are also huge ,but will go to the US defense contractors. Some of you may recall that Lynne Cheney was one of the directors of Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor, from 1994 to 2001. Lockheed made the F16s sold to Israel in June 2001. During Lynne's term, Lockheed also moved satellite launches from the US to the Baikonur Spaceport in Kazakhstan.)

It's interesting that the Bush administration is using the "War on Terror" as a front for building several military bases in Central Asia (see http://www.inthesetimes.com/issue/26/11/feature2.shtml )

Those bases , paid for by the US taxpayer, will allow Bush and Dick Cheney to protect Houston's billion dollar investments in the Caspian Sea oil deposits. I don't think you will see either George Bush or Dick Cheney promoting democracy in the Caspian Sea -- unless, as they say, thieves fall out.


Bill Heuisler - 9/22/2003

Mr. Williams,
Thank you for the truncated history lesson. Funny how all the evil is the United States' fault and the miserable Arabs have always been victims. Your history education is sparse at best.

Perhaps your love for Moslem Dictators and Communist puppets like Mossedegh has made you forget where the oil came from in the first place. Your babble about oil ignores history. Of course you'd have to go back more than "past several decades".

The Brits and the Americans found the oil in the Middle East; they drilled for it, built pipelines and tanker fleets. Then they began exporting the oil and giving the Arabs a piece of the action. Each Middle Eastern oil country became wealthy because of Anglo-American geologists, engineers and businessmen.

Treaties were signed for percentages of oil profits, but each treaty was broken. Our oil concessions were stolen.

You obviously also weren't aware the Soviet Union kept troops in Iran for more than a year after WWII, created and funded the Tudeh (communist) Party, tried to assassinate Shah Palevi, finally made Mossadegh premier and set up nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. Ignoring our role in making those "victim" Arabs wealthy places ideological rants in perspective.
Bill Heuisler


NYGuy - 9/22/2003

Jonathan,

"As near as I can tell from a brief (all I have time for) survey of the web (I'd be happy to accept specific references, though), there is no disagreement that Prescott Bush was a director of Harriman, et al., and that the firm's assets were seized (I misspoke about "charges" but it amounts to much the same thing in a corporate sense) under the understanding that the firm did too much business with German Nazi-allied firms to be allowed to continue to operate freely."

NYGUY

As a New Yorker you probably know where Linden, NJ is. This is where a GAF plant was operated by Americans. Your argument is they too were trading with the enemy. Strange Roosevelt never did anything about that. Do you think he was protecting Harriman and the other democrats who were profiting off of Hitler’s build up of his war machine?

And what about those employees from GAF and BBH who went into the service and fought for their country, some of whom died for their country while Harriman, Roosevelt and the democrats, who were in it for profit more than ideology, sat at home in comfortable surroundings making profits off the backs of American deaths. Were these employees traitors to their country?

I know classes are in session and you don't have time to back up your assertions but could you answer a general question? When did the world stop trading with Hitler and stop building up his war machines? 1927? 1935? 1939? 1942?

Jonathan:

I've got better things to do with my time than protect the honor of the Bush family.

NYGuy

So much for scholarship when propanda is easier and takes less time.

Reading the following Islamic report on Bush, I feel even more convinced that there is no counter argument in support of anonymous contributions from the Mid-East, except for the propaganda by those who support Mid-Eastern countries, some of whose citizens achieved one of the greatest engineering feats in history, taking down two 110 story buildings in hours, when they attacked us. After reading the following Islamic post I am even more convinced that Columbia may be selling out by not making names of donors available.

http://www.islamicparty.com/commonsense/35power.htm

So much for those who only use facts, but as Clinton said, “It all depends on the meaning of the word, use.”


Don Williams - 9/22/2003

Unlike Mr Heuisler, I distinguish between what is in the interest of American citizens vs national leaders whoring for their corporate masters. I love my country and fellow citizens --I despise the plutocrats who would use our government to enslave us. I especially despise the buttkissing sycophants of the rich whose actions bought Sept 11 down upon us for no good reason.

Mr Heuisler seems to be ignorant of Middle Eastern history for the past several decades. Let me refresh his memory:

a) In the 1950s, the US government overthrew the legally elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mossadagh, and installed the puppet Shah on the throne. For the next several decades, they sold the Shah the military equipment necessary to keep the Shah in power while the Shah's Savak tortured and killed in order to terrorize the Iranian people and keep them cowed. The US oil companies got some nice concessions from the Shah -- in exchange for the US propping him up while his Savak police tortured and killed thousands. The US government evidently didn't care if the Shah kept the bulk of the oil royalties as long as he let Houston loot the birthright of the Iranian people.

The CIA official (Kermit Roosevelt) who mounted the coup against Mossadagh noted in his book, Countercoup, that the coup was first suggested by the oil companies who feared the Mossadagh government would interfere with their operations.

Mr Heuisler says that "the Iran Embassy attack was unprovoked".
In fact, the student takeover of the US embassy circa 1978?--the taking of hostages -- was done to deter the US government from mounting covert operations to restore the Shah's family to the throne -- i.e., to give the revolutionaries time to establish an Iranian government that was not a puppet of Houston.

b) The paradigm of the Houston oil boys has been more successful in Saudi Arabia. The US company hit in the recent bombing in Arabia has long supplied mercenaries to train the Saudi "National Guard " --the military unit that keeps the Saudi population in line (and in poverty) while a small royal family steals the bulk of the oil royalties. Plus the royal families of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates(UAE) can , like Sharon, always fall back on using those hundreds of F-16s sold to them by the US government.

Perhaps Mr Heuisler can explain why Saudi Arabia,Kuwait, and the UAE are among the very few countries who refuse to provide income distribution statistics to the United Nations agencies??
What do they have to hide?

Of course, Bush's campaign to promote "Democracy" in Iraq is laughable to anyone who has looked at the government restored in Kuwait -- or who has looked at the oil dictators in the Caspian Sea region that Dick Cheney has been sucking up to for the past decade.

The only reason I can think of for Bush to promote "Democracy" in Iraq is that Karl Rove can't rig an election if an election isn't held.

So the Bush Administration will go through a hypocritical ritual while Bush establishes a puppet government in Iraq that will screw the vast majority of Iraqi citizens in favor of Bush's campaign donors. Just as the support of the Northern Alliance warlords in Afghanistan was purchased by CIA officers carrying suitcases of US dollars.

c) None of this is in the interest of the average US citizen, who pays for the US empire in taxes -- and, as occurred on Sept 11, in blood. Roughly $50 billion of our tax dollars are used every year to support US military control of the Middle East so that Houston can import roughly $25 billion of oil. Plus, Bush's advanture in Iraq will waste at least $200 billion.

US citizens would be far better off if even a small fraction of the tax money wasted in the Middle East was spent on energy research. Greater use of coal supplies for electricity generation, for example, would lift the people of Appalachia out of their deep poverty. Practiable Fusion would create enormous wealth.

d) One of the more ignorant remarks by Bush supporters is the
cry "Why do they hate us?". If you look at some of the places where Al Qaeda cells have been reported --Indonesia and the Philipines-- the answer's obvious.

The US government not only put Indonesia's Suharto in power in 1966, they give him the lists of PKI members and supported Suharto's massacre of at least 100,000 PKI members. In the decades since, Suharto's family stole everything not nailed down -- accounting for the peoples' deep poverty today, a poverty which will last for decades. The US supported Suharto during most of his reign.

3) Similarly, the US supported Marcos in the Phillipines while he looted that small poor country of $billions.


Jonathan Dresner - 9/22/2003

Mr. Heuisler (and NYGuy),

As near as I can tell from a brief (all I have time for) survey of the web (I'd be happy to accept specific references, though), there is no disagreement that Prescott Bush was a director of Harriman, et al., and that the firm's assets were seized (I mispoke about "charges" but it amounts to much the same thing in a corporate sense) under the understanding that the firm did too much business with German Nazi-allied firms to be allowed to continue to operate freely.

I don't draw from that (at least not from that alone) any particular inferences regarding our current or past Bush presidencies (nor does my earlier post suggest that I do, I think; you're jumping to conclusions), and there were a lot of people who were doing business with and interested in the ideas of Hitler before he was widely revealed to be a genocidal megalomaniac.

I'm no fan of LaRouche (He's a dangerous nutcase, ok? I've known that for years) and his disciples are no better (being brainwashed, if energetic, drones). But facts, even inconvenient ones, are facts. Our job is to put them in context and make sense of them.

If it's irrelevant and overblown, fine. But don't make more of my question than it was and don't answer me with "smarmy" and "you can't be bothered." I did try to look it up before I asked, and I looked it up again before I wrote this. I've got better things to do with my time than protect the honor of the Bush family.


Bill Heuisler - 9/22/2003

Professor Dresner,
You disappoint me and lower yourself by indulging in Lyndon LaRouche's tabloid-style character assassination. We've covered this before and you can look it up, but you apparently can't be bothered with the truth. Here's a short synopsis:

A LaRouche disciple of twenty years named Tarpley wrote a smear of Prescott Bush that is obviously, and prima fascie, untrue.
It is a matter of public record that Prescott Bush was managing director at BBH and held one share. BBH was owned by Averill Harriman who held 3000 or 4000 shares and whose family had controlled the Banking firm completely since 1931. BBH was not charged under the Trading with the Enemies Act. No one was ever charged. Averill Harriman remained a close confidant of FDR and Truman. Make sense? Not unless you're smearing the Bushs.

Before the war, John Foster Dulles arranged debt relief for Nord Deutcher Lloyd Lines with Hitler. Was Dulles disloyal? Was Dulles ever charged or suspected? Of course not. But LaRouche had no grudge against Dulles. Why add life to such a ridiculous canard? Why repeat the smarmy lies of petty criminals?
Bill Heuisler


NYGuy - 9/22/2003

Jonathan,

Sorry you missed my correcting Kriz you would have been able to know all the facts about BBH and sound more intelligent on this subject.

You say:

That's my problem. Facts, especially facts about the Bush dynasty, don't seem to bother you as much as other people.

NYGuy

You may have got one fact right the rest of your statement was pure propaganda because of your bias and political views. But let me set you straight with the real facts. A leading democrat, Harriman was the largest partner in BBH and I can't remember off hand but believe he owned 95% of the stock. You may not know much about business, but the one who has the biggest stake in the company controls its directions. And as you no doubt know he was a good friend of Roosevelt. Do you think Roosevelt knew of this dealing with enemy but turned his back because it was a profitable deal for his friends and the Democrats? Sounds familiar. I guess history does repeat itself.

You say

"BBH was charged under the Trading with the Enemies Act for their close ties to and support of German businesses including war industries."

NYGuy

Could you cite your source for this statement? Did Harriman every get convicted of trading with the enemy and was he sentenced to jail. Sounds like a pretty serious charge to me, or did Harriman escape punishment because of his political connections in the democratic party.

As for your parents I am sure they probably were not in NY when the Twin Towers collapsed. I was and so was my family and we experienced the shock of that day and also many aftershocks.

Sorry you are still so upset about my name. But your concern about someone anonomyus proves what I have been saying about Columbia taking money from Mid-East donors without identifying them.

Anyway, "life is not fair."


Don Williams - 9/22/2003

As a rule, I would agree with Mr Umpiérrez. Jewish Americans
should be able to comment on public affairs without having to
wear the yellow star or to suffer ad hominem attacks /allegations
of hidden agendas.

However, the New York Times has made it Jewish ownership -- and the effect of that ownership on the objectivity of it's news coverage -- by it's advocacy. It's reporter Tom Friedman apparently has delusions of grandeur --he constantly injects himself into US diplomatic operations in the Middle East -- the most recent example being his talks with the Saudi Government.

The Zionism of Abe Rosenthal and Bill Safire has sometimes seemed
to the right of Sharon.

On the other hand , the Ochs/Sulzburger family has been accused by some Zionists of forgetting their Jewish roots -- of not being sufficiently pro-Israel. A sensitive topic given the large Jewish population in New York -- no paper does well if it alienates most of it's readership.

On the other hand, I would argue that the Times should try for objective news coverage, because it is a national paper and one of the major channels for national discourse. In part because the US government is lax on enforcing anti-trust laws when the news media is involved.

One problem is that rabid Zionists, like the non-Jewish neocon Conrad Black (Richard Perle's master), have moved to create the New York Sun --which has all the intelligence and objectivity of Conrad Black's Jerusalem Post. (Yes , I'm being sarcastic.) The idea seems to be to force the Times to become more of an advocate for Israel by threatening to co-opt part of the Times' subscriber base. ( I personally think Mr Black underestimates the intelligence,knowledge, and humanity of New York's Jewish community, but we will see.)

For all it's shortcomings, the Times is my favorite US newspaper. That is why I was disappointed by Serge Schmemann's column -- which seemed misleading and erronous given Bin Ladin's past interviews.


Bill Heuisler - 9/21/2003

Mr. Williams,
You have the gall to quote OBL saying he didn't want to kill civilians on 9/11 and then you call our President a liar? Do you remember the tape of OBL's smile - one hand, a plane flying into the other? And his words, "better than I expected..." since the steel girders melted and killed more civilians? Can't you reason out this kind of barbarism for yourself? The obvious mendacity?

The 1990 Intifada came on the heels of Israeli concessions; the Iran Embassy attack was unprovoked; the Marine barracks was blown up because we were supporting the Christian Government of Lebanon; the explosion of the civilian airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland was unprovoked except in Khadaffi's fevered brain.
The list of Muslim attacks on Americans is very long over the last quarter-century. Your use of selected quotes from selected people means little, other than you apparently can't think for yourself, except, of course, to hate the US and Jews everywhere.

In your anti-American world, should the United States beg the Muslim terrorists not to blow up our barracks and embassies?
By your piggyback thinking there was nothing the US could have done to mollify the killers except abandon the only Democracy in the Middle East for a bunch of bandits-without-a-country led by an expat Egyptian who can't even grow a beard. The US will stop terrorism by killing the Muslim terrorists and exposing their Fifth Columns here. Does that make you sad, Mr. Williams?

Well, go be a human shield for Arafat and take your borrowed anti-Jewish ravings to one of those conspiracy sites for Lyndon LaRouche and other cretins of the mouth-breathing Left.
Bill Heuisler


Jonathan Dresner - 9/21/2003

NYGuy wrote: "I was able to engage him in his false comments on GW’s father working at Brown, Brothers, Harriman and supporting Hitler."

Hmm. I was one of Kriz's most vocal critics, and I probably didn't read your exchange on that issue, but it's a matter of public record that Prescott Bush was a managing director at BBH and that BBH was charged under the Trading with the Enemies Act for their close ties to and support of German businesses including war industries.

That's my problem. Facts, especially facts about the Bush dynasty, don't seem to bother you as much as other people.

If you want to memorialize the twin tower victims, why don't you use a name less generic than "NYGuy"? New York means a great many things to a great many people. Both my parents are from New York, but I don't associate you with them in any way. You could take a lesson from Luis, who signs both name and point of origin.


NYGuy - 9/21/2003

Jonathan,

Those who say secret agreement for private organizations should study the Grasso and the NYSE affair. He hand picked the Board, he hand picked the compensation committe, he had complete control over the entire operation and put in place his own people. And since it was secret, no one knew.

Is this what Americans want when dealing with the Mid-East situation? If Columbia is wrong the consequences could be catastrophic, maybe not for you, but for a bunch of New Yorkers. Those who forget the past will relive again.


NYGuy - 9/21/2003

Jonathan,

First of all I was not calling you paranoid. Your comments in the past have been in support of anyone saying what they want, and I agree with you. If you read Derek's replies you will see someone who gets very upset about this topic. I also don't get upset if someone misspells since I can generally follow the argument. See for example luis from the Canary Islands. Every word that is printed on this site provides information and gives insight. I think Kriz was the worst in his posts and it soon became obvious where he was coming. I was able to engage him in his false comments on GW’s father working at Brown, Brothers, Harriman and supporting Hitler. For others you can tell the responses are robotic. I think you are correct with following your father’s advice, “There are no dumb questions.” I would modify that to say there are no dumb answers in the sense that they still give one information and different perspectives whether it is useful or not.

You disappoint me however with your answer:

I'm much more likely to take someone seriously if they are honest about what they think and who they are. You are pretty good about the first one, but fail terribly on the second. And you don't make your points well, your arguments don't stand up well, and you tend to assume things about your correspondents that are unfounded and ureasonable. Not to mention your willingness to distort and ignore inconvenient facts. Just my opinion, of course. I'm not afraid of you: I just don't find it helpful or interesting engaging with you on most issues.

NYGuy

With an answer like that I am unable to understand what your objections are. This then falls into the same category as Derek’s answer; they attack the messenger and feel they have won the day. As I said every response tells us something about the author.

I hope you accept my apology for this misunderstanding. I remember the Oklahoma City bombing and how my involvement and remembrances was not as great as the Twin Towers tragedy, which was more personal. I use NYGuy not to hide who I am but to make sure we never forget. Seems Columbia University has.

Cheers


Luis Umpiérrez. Canary Islands - 9/21/2003

Mr. Williams:

The problem is not American Jews. Thanks Mr. Williams, I just wanted to UNDERLINE this point, since I felt rather uneasy when reading first :"Jewish-owned NYT..." . (and it is not a matter of political correctness, it simply NOT argument, in fact not even a valuable clue)
On the other hand, I agree with the treatment you gave the point.

respectfully yours


Jonathan Dresner - 9/21/2003

NYGuy writes "Isn’t it odd that some feel it is ok to give money anonymously but when it comes to presenting ideas anonymously they get paranoid."

Isn't it odd that someone who feels it's a terrible risk to allow money to be donated anonymously thinks that their ideas should be taken seriously if they themselves won't reveal their identities?


Jonathan Dresner - 9/21/2003

NYGuy argues "Isn’t it odd that some feel it is ok to give money anonymously but when it comes to presenting ideas anonymously they get paranoid."

I'm not paranoid about pseudonymonous posters: I just find that, as a group, their views are more frequently shallow, ill-considered, offensive, poorly written and that engaging them in debate is usually much more trouble than it is worth. I am concerned that they won't take responsibility for their views under their own names.

I'm much more likely to take someone seriously if they are honest about what they think and who they are. You are pretty good about the first one, but fail terribly on the second. And you don't make your points well, your arguments don't stand up well, and you tend to assume things about your correspondents that are unfounded and ureasonable. Not to mention your willingness to distort and ignore inconvenient facts. Just my opinion, of course. I'm not afraid of you: I just don't find it helpful or interesting engaging with you on most issues.

You are welcome to continue to post under your pseudonym. And I am entirely within my rights to ignore most of what you say.


NYGuy - 9/21/2003

Professor Dresner:

Thank you for proving my point.

“It took hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to finance training, false documentation, years of moving around and staying out of sight.”

NYGuy

Indeed U. S. college professors were part of this fund raising operation and they and their followers were free to move around and stay out of sight. As you indicate secrecy plays an important role in terrorist activities. Thus activities that secretly supply colleges who support “hate America” professors with secret funds become suspect based on recent history.

You also say:

Obviously it took more than that, or there would be many more acts of terror against the US (or maybe we're not at as much risk as we've been led to believe).

Then you explain:

It took years of planning: flight training, immigration dodges, coordinating the movement of dozens of candidates until the final cut.

It took hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to finance training, false documentation, years of moving around and staying out of sight.

It took a sophisticated network: phone codes, internet sites, and a web of cells which don't communicate with anyone except themselves unless contacted, command structures and ideological indoctrination.

This was not just a couple of guys shooting up a stop sign or setting a lit poop bag on the porch.

NYGuy:

If there was this broad network of terrorists in the past, then what happened to it?

Could it be that we had a decisive leader that seriously degraded this terrorist operation and put into effect a system that has effectively protected Americans? Or has nothing been done to stop terrorist activities and we are indeed now in even greater danger of further terrorists attacks? You can’t have it both ways.

I agree that taking down two 110 towers does need a support system but that is true of all engineering efforts. But in the final stages of actually demolishing the target project it would have taken many more men, and days to have brought down the Twin Towers.

I agree with your admission that there were a great many secret deals needed to accomplish this task. That is why we should demand that funds coming from Mid-East countries be scrutinized and not be given anonymously. Seems pretty simple to me, particularly since we know academia has in the past harbored professors who hate America and not only welcomed the destruction of the Twin Towers but worked for their destruction.

Off-Topic:

Isn’t it odd that some feel it is ok to give money anonymously but when it comes to presenting ideas anonymously they get paranoid. As you have told us, we don’t have to submit our resume to post on this website. I agree with you.


Don Williams - 9/21/2003

1) The things the US government does on behalf of corporate interests and campaign donors refutes your comment that the United
States and Israel did not start this.

A few points, which I thought I had mentioned to you, but which you appear to have forgotten:
-------------------
1) After Sept 11, the Jewish-owned New York Times ran an article on Sept 23 2001 (by Serge Schmemann) telling us that the Sept 11 was not motivated by the US government's one-sided support of Israel. See http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40E1FFD3D5E0C708EDDA00894D9404482


Bill Kristol, the long time supporter of Israel and neocon editor of the Weekly Standard, went on NBC's This Week in October 2001 and told us much the same.

In my opinion, both Israel's supporters and Bush were desperately lying to the American people -- to prevent them from noticing that Bush's pandering to Sharon had triggered the death of 3000+ citizens, $100 Billion in direct costs, and $1 Trillion in indirect costs.

2) The most casual Internet search will show that Bin Ladin gave a series of interviews to US TV networks in 1998 and that he repeatedly cited US support for Israel's attacks on the Palestinians as one of three main reasons for an Islamic Jihad against the US. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/who/interview.html

3) In his speeches after Sept 11, Bush told America that that "we" (his administration) had "done nothing to deserve this". Bush's rather vague and evasive explanation for why the attack occurred was that "they hate our freedom". He also stated that he had been "secretly" working on a plan to create a Palestinian state in the weeks prior to Sept 11.

Again, the most casual research shows that President Bush was lying to the American people.

4)Bin Ladin indicated in a Nov 2001 interview, published in a Pakistani newspaper called DAWN, why the Sept 11 attack occurred:

"The Sept 11 attacks were not targeted at women and children. The real targets were America's icons of military and economic power. .....The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government, they elect their president, their government manufactures arms and gives them to Israel and Israel uses them to massacre Palestinians. " (See http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/10/top1.htm )

5) Recall that Clinton's attempt to pressure Israel into making peace with the Palestinians was disrupted when Monica Lewinsky exposed her affair with him. An Israeli legislator, Sharon, then sabotaged the talks by going into the third most holy Islamic mosque with several hundred policemen. Sharon used the ensuring riots that he triggered to win election as Prime Minister and then hit the Palestinians hard. In spring of 2001, he even used F16s fighters bought from the US to bomb Palestinians, arousing the anger and condemmation of the world.

6) Bush, however, halted State Department criticism and gave encouragement to Sharon by selling Sharon 52 more F16s in June 2001, several months before the Sept 11 attack. (See http://www.clw.org/cat/newswire/nw060601.html#State , http://www.clw.org/cat/newswire/nw061301.html#Rep,

7) For the June 20 , 2001 announcement of the F16 sale, go to here : http://www.defense-aerospace.com/ , click on "Archives", select June 2001 from the list, and then search the resulting page for "Israel" or simply page down to the June 20 entries. )

8) The final approval on the sale was announced a few days before the Sept 11 attack. One reason why our intelligence received no warning of the attack was the seething anger in the Arab world over the F16 sale. See http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/s300179.htm and

An excerpt from http://www.iansa.org/oldsite/news/2001/sep_01/deal_israel.htm dated September 8,2001:
" The timing the US chose to announce its decision to give Israel the dangerous F-16 jets is really strange. It seems as though the US is telling Israel "Go ahead Sharon! Carry on with the assassination of Palestinian children and the destruction of the houses of peaceful civilians! Proceed with the destruction of the Palestinian defenseless people's infrastructure and with desecrating Islamic sanctities in the holy land!"

9) The fact this information has been hidden from the American people-- that it has never appeared in the mainsteam US news media -- shows the lengths to which Likud's supporters here in the US will go to mislead Americans.

10) Bush was pandering to Sharon because some of the largest campaign financiers of the Democratic Party are Supporters of Israel. Haim Saban , for example, alone gave the Democrats over $10 million in the past two years. See http://www.opensecrets.org/news/pro-israel.pro-arab/index.asp , http://www.sptimes.com/2002/06/30/Columns/Jewish_voters_noticin.shtml

Bush is trying to seduce those financiers away from the Democrats and he is pandering to these donors at the expense of the national interest.

12) The problem is not American Jews as a group -- many of whom do not support Sharon and Likud's aggression against the Palestinians. The problem is a small group of arrogant wealthy men -- some of whom are not even Jewish --who let their egos,politics, and thirst for manipulation take priority over the loyalty they owe to the United States.

13) One of the reasons the American public never learned why the Sept 11 attack occurred was that Condoleeza Rice went to the network CEOs and pressured them to halt further broadcasts of Bin Ladin. The CEOs --their profits directly linked to FCC regulations and desiring relaxation of media ownership constraints that would let them increase their monopolistic control of the US news (thank you, Commissioner Powell) -- fell over themselves to comply.

14) Ms Rice's excuse -- that Bin Ladin might be sending "secret messages" -- was hilarious to anyone with the slightest knowledge of covert communications. Nations and resistance movements have had the ability to send unbreakable encrypted messages worldwide since at least WWII. The encryption method used is the one time pad. The messages are sent as numbers recited over the shortwave -- one can hear such sessions any night of the week. A shortwave transmitter costs about $300 and can be run off of an automobile battery--allowing for broadcasts from highly mobile base, constantly moving bases. Note that the US government has no way to know which of the numbers station broadcasts are Al Qaeda.

15) Ms Rice's suggestion that Bin Ladin would use an American TV broadcast -- the editing of which is beyond his control -- to send a covert message instead of using far better methods -- was deceitful given her expertise.

It convinced the ignorant, however, and was used to justify censoring major news from the American people in order to manipulate their opinion and to manufacture their consent for the wasteful expenditure of hundred of $Billions of tax dollars.

16) PS I think the US started it when it decided that it would provide major military support to the small clique which rules Saudi Arabia, which takes most of the oil royalties from selling Arabia's birthright, and which keeps many of the Saudi people in poverty. Some of you may realize that the recent bombing attack in Saudi Arabia hit the US company which supplies mercenaries to train the Saudi "National Guard" -- more accurately described as the Saudi Gestapo.


Bill Heuisler - 9/20/2003

Mr. Luis,
The moral equivalency argument doesn't hold because neither Israel nor the United States picked this fight. Both countries are in a war to the death and should behave accordingly.

In fact, Middle East Arabs have been lucky in their enemies until September 2001. Israel is gentle compared to the United States and Haaretz has no conception of the whirlwind unleashed by 9/11. Similar in some ways to December 7th, 1941, the Radical Muslim attack on the US has focused a huge majority of Americans on the fact we are under attack by fanatics who wish to destroy us. Tactically 9/11 was a success; strategically it was a far-reaching disaster for the Muslims behind it, and for many other Muslims as well who read our press and think we're peaceful.

A few generalizations: Americans are not like Israelis, for the most part we are far more warlike and far more acculturated to concepts like vengeance. We have no United States that funds us and stays our hand in victory. We have no love or reason for mercy. Terrorists have proven to a majority of Americans that none of us are safe until they all are dead or imprisoned. That will happen in a few years and it won't be pretty, but, contrary to much pacifist thought on this site, pretty doesn't impress an enemy and victory is the only road to lasting peace.

We learned the lesson in two wars with Britain, our bloody Civil War, WWII and VietNam. Israel is still learning the lesson.
Bill Heuisler


luis. Canary Islands - 9/20/2003

On morals equivalencies
Please Mr. Heuisler, read:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/341975.html

Yes sir, it is written in an israeli daily, and YES, Israel it´s a democracy (let´s be modest on the reach and meaning of it, otherway there would be far less democracies in the world that might be thought), I have been living there, and YES, the only democracy in the area. But, does it means the Terror can only be managed in the one and only hawkish way. Even more, is it Terror just a security problem ? Perhaps, what are trying to tell us those , "hate america" professors (in Mr NY Guy words) it tha there is a a backdrop of years and years, of human suffering, and yes, also of fanatism, even if nurtured by pushing people too much against misery .
New Yorkers are living through hard times: also may peoples in the world; if you are to ask them to search and to stick to true, whole, deep democratic values, first you shouldn´t leave yours in search of easy, less democratic solutions to false security. Franco gave the propietors classes in Spain security angainst extreme left terrorism, after becameing himself one, bringing dictatorship to the country and executing 100.000 people on the pit.
Respectfully yours


Jonathan Dresner - 9/20/2003

NYGuy says the Sept. 11 2001 attacks on "only took a handful of cunning men from the Mid-east."

Obviously it took more than that, or there would be many more acts of terror against the US (or maybe we're not at as much risk as we've been led to believe).

It took years of planning: flight training, immigration dodges, coordinating the movement of dozens of candidates until the final cut.

It took hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to finance training, false documentation, years of moving around and staying out of sight.

It took a sophisticated network: phone codes, internet sites, and a web of cells which don't communicate with anyone except themselves unless contacted, command structures and ideological indoctrination.

This was not just a couple of guys shooting up a stop sign or setting a lit poop bag on the porch.


Bill Heuisler - 9/20/2003

Mr. Williams,
Your myopic question makes me suspicious of your motives.
Why not expose AIPAC? The Jewish Lobby? Jewish millionaires giving money and buying influence? That's easy. Israel is an allied Democracy that allows Israeli Arabs to vote. Israel is surrounded by dictatorships and kingdoms that do not even allow Jews in their countries. Israel did not attack the US and, in my opinion, your attempt at moral equivalency calls into question your judgement, reasoning, intelligence or maybe your purpose.

Have you forgotten 9/11? Have all the Radical Muslim attacks on the US since Beirut in the 80s just slipped your mind?

Or do you think 9/11 was an AIPAC contrivance? Come on, you can tell me. It'll be our little secret...
Bill Heuisler


NYGuy - 9/20/2003

Derek,

Interesting your "it is only about sex" defense. But then you don't live in NYC which as you may know is where Columbia is located. And you many not be aware that there were terrorists in the area. So sitting in your comfy library reading about the past may pose no concerns for you. It does for those of us who pass a big hole in the ground on a regular basis where the greatest engineering feat in the history of the world has been accomplished, the taking down of two 110 towers in hours. And it only took a handful of cunning men from the "Mid-east. Terrorist acts continue. And of course your little town does not have subways, big buildings, Times Square, etc. Again it would only take a handful of men to cause great injury to New Yorkes. No one is saying that the funds will contribute to terrorists acts. But for a community that gets outraged with secrecy by others, one expects they would lived up to their own philosophy, particular when they already have so "hate america" professors on their staff.

This board is meant to exchange ideas but I see you are obsessed with those who use a pseudonym. That is fine and you are entitled to your view. But, I suggest you read the past post by someone who does use his name, your friend Ralph. He handled the problem like an adult. He does not read or reply to such posts. I suggest you do the same, it will get you off your meds.

Bye, bye.


Don Williams - 9/20/2003

When I referred to "Mr Miller and Daniel Pipes" above, I meant
to say "Martin Kramer and Daniel Pipes" -- sorry.


Don Williams - 9/20/2003

1) I think Arab or Islamic influence is a tiny fraction of the influence exerted by the Israeli lobby , which has apparently
bought large chunks of the US Congress and the Bush Administration-- what Pat Buchanan has called "Zionist Occupied Territory". This has had disastous results for US national security.
See, for example, http://www.hnn.us/comments/13865.html

2) Israeli billionaire Haim Saban, for another example, gave $12 million to the Democratic Party in the 2002 election cycle. (Mr Saban reportedly has acquired dual US citizenship) He recently gave $3 million to create a program at the Brookings Institute
advise US officials on Middle Eastern policy. As noted in the press release :

"One unique element of the Center's work will be the development of educational programs for mid-level government officials, congressional staffers, and corporate executives. Produced in conjunction with the Brookings Center for Public Policy Education, the courses will provide future policymakers with a better understanding of the complexities of the Middle East and the process of developing effective policies to deal with them."

See http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/islam/pr051302.htm

3) The wailings of Mr Miller and Daniel Pipes are hilarious to anyone who has ever taken the most cursory look at the maneuvers of AIPAC --the American Israeli Political Action Committee--
oops, excuse me, the "American Israeli Public Affairs Committee". Must remember to maintain the legal fiction that AIPAC is not a PAC even thought Fortune and others have said it is one of the most powerful PACs on Capital Hill.

4) Plus, lets not forget all those hundreds of pro-Israel "Stealth PACS" with
misleading names -- the Delaware Valley PAC here in Philadelphia, for example. See
http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1297/9712043.html


Derek Catsam - 9/19/2003

Taxpayers can resent what they want, and if we were discussing a state university here, this would not be an issue -- I believe in that circumstance there would be laws mandating disclosure. Columbia is a private institution, and so the situation there is different. In my mind it seems rather silly to keep it anonymopus, except that at my private undergraduate alma mater many people donate loads of money (almost always for purposes that cannot be seen as at all ideological) simply because they prefer the anonymity for a range of reasons -- humility, not to be known as a big donor and spent their lives being approached to give money, etc. Columbvia of course receives some federal monies, but those are miniscule compared to Columbia's endowment and operating funds. Keep in mind, Stanley Fish's recent article in the Chronicle pointing out that at even state supported institutions the amount of the operating budget that comes from the taxpayers is about 25%, so even there the resort to "I pay for this with my taxes" is not exactly accurate.
In any case, is there no one else here who finds irony in the fact that people would write in opposing the anonymity of the gift to Columbia under a pseudonym?


NYGuy - 9/19/2003

Thanks Jonathan,

Good points except the interpretation of what is currently involved. We already have pockets of suspected terrorists in our mist, particularly in NJ. I would prefer in the current "terrorist" situation, with its various levels of alerts, to have a better understanding of what Columbia is doing. And, on the other hand secretcy creates suspicions. I would like to eliminate that, know the facts and make my own determination about Columibia's activities and how it might effect the community. Is that political? Is that unreasonable to ask in these times? I am not saying the sky is falling but I am trying to be a good citizen. Why can't Columbia be one too?


Jonathan Dresner - 9/19/2003

NYGuy argues that "Columbia, the donors, the Alumni, the students and all New Yorkers would be better served to know what secret deals Columbia is making. Seems simple when most in the history profession would demand such actions from others."

Well, openness is a nice thing; I'm very much in favor of greater transparency in many areas of governance and public life. But that's not as an historian, but as a citizen.

What historians demand is not openness in the immediate present. What we insist upon is that the records be properly preserved and *eventually* made available. People don't listen usually, but that's what we really want as historians.

The issues get conflated because the most common disputes are about political documentation: transparency in the present is a political value; archival integrity is an historical value.


NYGuy - 9/19/2003

Gus,

If you believe secret deals are OK, that is fine. But, many of us believe that if government money is involved we should shed a little sunshine on what is happening, particularly when the Mid-East is involved and possibly countries from which terrorists come.

From the article, the author implies, but does not say, perhaps the donations could come from those who favor destruction of our country. Of course we should be vigilant that that does not happen, and expecially if there is terrorist money involved.


Now I don't say any such scheme is being hatched and at this point assume everything is on the up and up. But after 9/11, and as a New Yorker I want to know what is going on at Columbia since they are not far from Ground Zero.

I don't want to blow this out of proportion, but I believe, Columbia, the donors, the Alumni, the students and all New Yorkers would be better served to know what secret deals Columbia is making. Seems simple when most in the history profession would demand such actions from others.


luis.Canary Islands - 9/19/2003

Surely I´m growing annoyant, as well as reiterative, and it seems that I have miss the point, if I ever succed in grasping it at all, but following with the topics of "yes an issue" "not an issue" as really NOT BEING THE ISSUE, I would sugest the reading of
http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2003/07/BEININ/10251

and, also, but not strictly nescesary
http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2003/07/BEININ/10250

BUT,PLEASE, don´t leave without the proper counterbalance
http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/2002_12_30.htm

yours.

ps
of the respectable, ancient, true liberals, shouldn´t we read Mr. Thomas Paine again? (me, first time, for sure)


Bill Heuisler - 9/19/2003

Professor Dresner,
You wrote the history profession and academia are "pretty clean overall". Columbia isn't clean (in the sense you mean) and many taxpayers will resent having to subsidize an anti-American group of studies or an anti American group of professors. After 9/11 Khalidi said the media was "in hysteria about suicide bombers". Prior to 9/11 he called resistance to Saddam's Kuwait invasion an "idiot's consensus".

Columbia's Professor De Genova called on US soldiers to frag their officers; he called for "a million Mogadishus". Edward Said himself has made too many anti-American statements to quote here. George Saliba, Joseph Massad and Gary Sick - all involved in Arabic affairs at Columbia - have made many disgraceful anti-American statements also.

We are at war with radical Muslim terrorists. These men give aid and comfort to the enemy. They have the right to hate this country and say so, but donations to their cause should be scrutinized the way the German-American Bund was scrutinized in the 40s. Lastly, US taxpayers shouldn't be secretly forced to subsidize hatred of the US, particularly after 9/11.
Bill Heuisler


Gus Moner - 9/19/2003

Comparing us to manure elsewhere is unfavourable.

My ‘godlike’ knowledge has only been recognised by you- thanks.

I am not employed in academia. I am self-employed.

So, what is your argument on the merits of the case, then?



NYGuy - 9/18/2003

luis,

Thank you for your comments. You made your points which is all anyone can do on this board. It is important that we all hear other voices, it helps us in our education.

Yes there are issues of power and people and we can better make judgements if we have all the facts.

Let us see what happens


luis.Canary Islands - 9/18/2003

of course, "Mr Dayan" doesn´t care a damn about "Mr. said" funds origns, only matters that "Mr. Said " speaks and what he talks is voiced in US, -source of billions of US$ to Israel, from differents hands. Other point is if some traces of sheer racism can really be disentangled from the voices of this or that teacher , for which there are other ways to act, before the law.
Thanks for your cynicism :"think your comments apply to the world, not just the U. S. Have you ever gone to Mexico? Yes there is not integrity, except for thee and me."Once again the matter it is POWER, over people´s ideas and material resources that´s what we are talking about here.About Power, and Class interests too. Nonsense that this is an academic or taxethical issue; to believe that "Mr.Dayan" it worriyed for 1 million dollars and the virginity of american tax payer,it is to much even for a bad student of History. There is a way the world has to go to best suit some classes, the discourses that try to distort
the elite´s image shoul´d be tryed to show unworthy;some times they are rather unappealing anyhow.
Sorry,I´m a bad student of History,or something alike I have paided my duties for.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

Gus,

I think your comments apply to the world, not just the U. S. Have you ever gone to Mexico? Yes there is not integrity, except for thee and me.

As an academic your response is as I predicted. Your outrage on secrecy, the topic of this aricle, is subjective based upon your godlike knowledge. And your decision is that academia, your bread and butter is exempt because of its purity. Fair enough. Many may disagree with that.


Gus Moner - 9/17/2003

Well, I need to jump in and ask, what within the 50 states, does not get bought and sold for money? From judicial positions to ambassadorships, from oil rights to contracts, political office to decisions favouring one or another, it is all run by the cash purveyors.

The question is why the fuzz about this? What about the lobbyists and other the big contributors, who buy much more important decisions, policies and positions? Where is the hue and cry?

Legitimate? Perhaps not, but it has been this way for over 150 years.


Bill Henslee - 9/17/2003

There are donors and there are donors. Some donors make gifts for unspecified funding and have no axe to grind.

Then there are endowed chairs like physics which have no ideological basis or slant and donors to these chairs could be anonymous without any question.

However, some donors may well be pushing ideological positions by funding a chair with a professor who espouses a certain point of view. Money calls the tune, and I submit that it would be prudent for my alma mater to respond with transparency to avoid any suspicion.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

Jonathan,

As the ACLU has made us all aware, we do have to change our ideas at times. Believe me when I say I share your views about the right of people to donate anonymously, but you reflect the values of a different period.

Today if things are done that effect others, such as the Alumni, the students and other contributors, they have the right to know who those donors are.

As a New Yorker who regularly passes the hole in the ground where two 110 story building once stood, I care even more about who is donating to a Univerity in NYC, particularly since some of the donors could be part of the planning that took down those towers. Since we don't know the donors we are unable to determine if that is an issue.

Beside the need for "sunshine" is something that academics always demand of others. Why not of themselves. Any other position is just hypocrisy.

I don't believe we can be selective in our values base upon who we like and who we do not like. Demanding that the donors be named only helps to restore the high ideals you champion, and I agree with.


Jonathan Dresner - 9/17/2003

I'm not arguing that the History profession or academia generally is "pure" (though I think it's pretty clean overall) but that there is a meaningful distinction between donations to non-profit educational institutions and donations to political parties, PACs, etc.

Just because an issue is "politically sensitive" does not raise it to the level of necessary public disclosure.

Anonymous donations are a long-standing tradition, and not just in academia. Shall we bar all charities from accepting substantial anonyomous donations? You'll shrink charitable giving.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

Prof. Dresner,

You do acknowledge that large donors are a special group in the fund raisng area and the colleges have special relations with these large donors. They solicit and raise the funds not over the telephone but by private, often one on one meetings,and the initial contacts often come from those outside the Fund raising effort.

Seems the history profession is concerned about secret meetings until it comes to their own profession. Why should the colleges who raise funds in politically sensitive areas feel they have to keep the source secret from the other Alumni who also donate and the public in general. Are intellectuals more pure than other parties in the political system?


Jonathan Dresner - 9/17/2003

Luis,

You're certainly right that there is an ideological conflict involved. But it is out of specific cases that we build general principles.

The ultimate question here is the influence donors have over institutions and individuals and, ultimately, the legitimacy of anonymous donations.

As I argued before: if donors have no continuing connection or influence, then anonymity is harmless and worth protecting. If the donors do have some control or continuing relationship with the institution and the professor in question, then their identity is relevant and interesting.

I disagree with the author that Columbia U. has a prima facie duty to reveal the sources of its funds for this position, but I do think that they have a responsibility to clarify their position on academic independence and donor influence.


Luis .Canary Islands - 9/17/2003

Sirs.
This it what really matters to me : the cuestion is made by a former Director of "Dayan Center for Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University". against a "Edward Said Chair of Arab Studies"
Call it whatever you want, it is not a matter of funds by itself - of course, it might well came from the Little Sisters of Charity (o a Las Vegas lucky strike) and the problem be the same- it is a matter of cultural and ideological hegemony on public opinion. The money (big one) comes later. Now its a matter of shut some else mouth.


NYGuy - 9/16/2003

Prof. Dresner

"Wow. I didn't think anyone could misconstrue or misrepresent such a short and simple comment on my part. But then, there's only one NYGuy."

Yes, we do agree on something.

But of course my understanding or misunderstanding is that because it for Columbia it is likely those who give money expect nothing in return, either about the chair or who sits in it, even if they are Arafat, bin Laden, Hussein or Halliburton. Perhaps you are right I can now see there are those whose motives would be pure. As you say, however, than it really doesn't matter, especially if the recipient is just as pure as the donor.

But, the issue I believe that is being raised is should these gifts be given in secret? Until that question is answered I find it difficult to come to a conclusion about the question you posed, “Does it matter”.



Jonathan Dresner - 9/16/2003

Wow. I didn't think anyone could misconstrue or misrepresent such a short and simple comment on my part. But then, there's only one NYGuy.

Universities and colleges are intensely political environments in which a little money goes a long way. It is very common in academia for donors to give gifts with few or no strings attached, for the prestige and tax breaks involved. But my question still stands: is there any evidence that the Said Chair is in any way influenced or controlled by the donors?

If the answer is no, then this is largely a non-issue. Personally, I don't care if the money came from Yassir Arafat, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, as long as they don't have any connection with the Chair or its Professor after the checks are cashed. I don't care if the money came from Halliburton, BP-Amoco and Shell, if they have no influence over the selection or views of the Professor.

If they do, it's another matter. For example, if the Chair regularly met with donors regarding the content of his or her teaching and research, that would be highly irregular and objectionable. Much like a political figure accepting donations from corporations which it then consults on matters of regulation and policy.


NYGuy - 9/16/2003

Interesting comment. While many on this website complain about Halliburton, oil companies and the power of money, others say money doesn't matter.

Perhaps not being in the intellectual community I don't understand how that works. Oh, of course, Columbia is a non-political institution. Too bad their leaders are not politicians we would have a perfect Union and not have to face up to the problems of the world. We would let the UN would relieve us of our worries.


Jonathan Dresner - 9/15/2003

While I share some of Mr. Kramer's concern about the source of funds for any University function, I have to wonder to what extent it matters. If the donors have no continuing relationship with or power over the selection or conduct of the Said Chair Professor, then it is strictly a matter of accounting.

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