:: 2.18.2004 ::
The right hand cuts the left hand off
Yesterday's USAToday ran an article about Congress' heavy-handed "oversight" of federally funded Middle Eastern studies programs at universities across the US:
In response to complaints that some professors are spreading anti-American or anti-Israel ideas, Jewish groups and conservatives have called for a government-mandated panel to oversee the programs and ensure students are exposed to balanced views on the Middle East. Michigan and other involved schools now warn that such intrusion into their academic affairs could force them to sever ties to the programs.
If oversight is dictated by the whims of pro-Israel and conservative groups, this program is not going to have the results we need.
While Congress has every right to make certain it is getting the services it pays for, its overreaction to a legitimate discussion of ideas undercuts academic independence and risks leaving the government with a critical shortage of Arabic speakers, which prompted the programs in the first place.
:: Deb 2:22 PM :: permalink ::
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