Tag Archives: academics

Does Anyone Care About Darfur?

Mention the word, “Israel” to a group of college professors and students, and one is met with anger and passion concerning that nation’s policies in the Middle East, mention the word, “Darfur,” and a muted response indicates there is no passion, but concern. A few years ago, Darfur was in the news, but although killings go on and rape of women is frequent, the left wing has moved onto more passionate concerns. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, blasted the UK for failing to assert leadership in dealing with Sudan President Omar al-Bashir. A number of African and Arab countries who are ready to condemn the Israel criminal invasion of Gaza, although they have nothing but anger at the ICC decision to charge a man, not with killing 1,200, but with the death of 300,000 and the rape of thousands of women.

“Bashir must be stopped,” said Ocampo, “If China, the US, the UK and Europe acted together, we could stop him.” But, the plate of major powers is filled with economic concerns and the need for Middle East peace. So, people drop a coin or a few dollars into a Darfur drive, it eases one’s conscience and allows focus on other areas where passion flows quite readily. Cry the beloved people of Darfur, you are simply not on the passion list of left wingers.

Iranian University Heads Denouce Columbia University

Six presidents of universities in iran issued a harsh condemnation of President Lee Bollinger’s words and behavior toward President Ahmadinejad of Iran. “Your insult to president of a country,” they said, “with a population of 70 million and 7000 years of civilization and culture is an academic milieu is shameful.” Professor Kazem Jelai, who is also a member of Iran’s parliament, bluntly stated: “The rhetoric he used was not becoming an academic and a host.” The six presidents posed several questions to America including the following:

1. Why did the United States overthrow the government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953?
2. Why did the United States support Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran even though he had used chemical warfare against his own people?
3. Why doesn’t the United States recognize Hamas which won a democratic election?
4. What about the long term friendship between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family?

President Lee Bollinger won accolades from the American media, but it is doubtful if the world’s media had the same feeling. Bollinger invited a president of a nation and then proceeded to insult the person he invited. Many people in the world regard his behavior as in poor taste. It is doubtful if any American official will respond to questions posed by Iranian academics. That is a sad commentary.