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The New Warfront


By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


They want to create ignorant followers, but they will end up having a misinformed and frenzied mob


In 1964 a coalition of student groups at the University of California, Berkeley claimed the right to conduct political activities on campus; the coalition became known as the Free Speech Movement. Political activism and protests spread to other campuses in the 1960s.  The youth movement's demonstrations soon merged with the protests of students who opposed the Vietnam War.  By the spring of 1968, student protests had reached hundreds of campuses. At the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, antiwar demonstrators clashed with the police, and the images of police beating students shocked television audiences. Violence peaked at an antiwar protest at Ohio's Kent State University in May 1970 when National Guard troops gunned down four student protesters. 

In a “New Yorker” blog titled “Guns and Brains” and penned by George Packer, the sentiments of the intellectuals towards war in the Vietnam era is captured in one line: “I grew up during the Vietnam era and belong to a generation of educated liberals who came of age with a visceral dislike of the military.”  [i]  However, he goes on to make the point that after 9/11 the ‘guns’ and the ‘brains’ have come together -  Engineers and humanitarians  go to Iraq to fight.   Indeed, General Petraeus’  degree in humanity, in his view, proves that the intellect and the warrior have reconciled.  

Judging by the recent events in our country, he has a point.  The government wants to recruit the ‘brains’ not to fight its wars on various battlefields,  but in order to avoid another Ohio Kent State incident.  For every General Petraeus in Iraq there now seems to be a Lee Bollinger type fighting for influence over the intellect.   Petraeus and Bollinger are not the only ones with glowing report cards for Mr. Bush and an implied “mission accomplished” sign for the media reflecting their treachery of  the values of the American people. 

Other places of higher learning have been tainted by ‘academic generals’ who are marching students towards ignorance, bigotry, and a lust for blood.   In line with the likes of Bollinger, public diplomacy programs are indoctrinating the Bush policies and lecturing that only moderate Moslems can overcome terrorism, inferring that all terrorists are Moslems.  In these courses designed to open the way for dialogue, the basis for conflict resolution, they  also teach that Iran is the biggest threat America is facing and that it should be stopped from acquiring nuclear weapon.  Public diplomacy?  What happened to IAEA’s report? (Oddly, once again they are losing sight of bin Laden.   They are not no doubt inciting the  leader of al-Qeade into taking serious action against the U.S. by dismissing him as a serious threat – unless, they know something we don’t). 

Other ‘academic generals’ keep us on our toes and towards the administration’s goal of genocide.  Let us give them credit for their part in propagating misinformation and hatred, especially since it comes from such reputable source, WAIS (World Association of International Studies:  One posting in particular insists on calling Iranians terrorists and assassins, going as far as defaming an international icon, [Aly] Aga Khan who was named  Knight Commander in the Order of the British Empire, awarded the Commander of the legion d’Honneur, and numerous other titles including and always addressed ‘Your Highness” by Queen Elizabeth II[ii];,   Aga Khan must surely be disturbed to find himself in a smear campaign by the ‘brain generals’ who want to push the cause of Mr. Bush’s bloody campaign.   But all in a day’s work to tie Ahmadinejad to Osama bin Laden to terrorism.  The last time OBL was tied to a country, it was invaded, cost more than one million lives, displaced 2 million, the resources of  occupied Iraq was stolen by Mr. Bushs’ friend, Messrs. Hunt, &Cheney, and of course, we left them with cholera.

In the meanwhile, the voice of peace and sanity such as that of  Rev. George F. Regas is muzzled.  The pastor of a church in Pasadena, California was told that his anti-war ideas placed the church outside the confines of what is allowable for a tax-exempt religious organization under the tax code[iii].  Yet the same government zealously approves of the Evangelicals who promote war and hope that George W. Bush will deliver Armageddon. 

Under colonial rule, many countries were being stripped of their identity and culture, including language.  Loathe to renounce what was most important to them, oral history and education became vital.  Culture and values were preserved.  It is important that in these testing times we educate and learn from those who have true humanitarian values.   Universities are becoming the new battleground for Mr. Bush.   It would seem that some need to be re-educated.  Please use your resources, your knowledge, and your passion for humanity to reach out to those who are losing their way in this war against America by Americans.

About the author: Soraya has lived and studied in Iran, UK, France, and has obtained her degree in International Relations from USC, Los Angeles.  She is an independent researcher, public speaker, radio commentator, political columnist, and peace activist. 

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