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When Will Harvard Shake Its Neocon Migraine?

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Need to get all these big names right: The Olin Institute at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Middle East Studies at Harvard have announced a symposium next week called "After Bush: America's Agenda in the Middle East"

"This is an opportunity for the Harvard community to sample current
thinking from leading foreign policy think tanks, as represented by a
selection of active MESH members."

Current thinking? You will see from what follows that it is almost all neocons and neolibs.

Martin Kramer, an intolerant spirit who maligns Palestinians at every turn and who pushed the Iraq war, is in it. So is Stephen Peter Rosen, a former adviser to Rudy Giuliani and a signatory to the neocon declaration that led to invading Iraq. Obviously a forward-thinking spirit! There is Adam Garfinkle, a seer who concludes here that the only problem with the Iraq war was "contracting fiascos." There is CFR's Stephen Cook, who supports the now-standard but deluded view that the U.S. can proceed with democratizing the Arab world as a project that has no relation to the treatment of Palestinians on the West Bank and who describes Palestinian grievances as "perceived historic injustice." Ken Pollack said the same thing in The Threatening Storm, proposing that we invade Iraq, and now.

And here is participant Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Saban Center, who also talks all about bringing democracy to the Arab world, and not a word about occupation. Happy talk! There is also Hillel Fradkin of the Hudson Institute, an expert in Jewish thought and foreign policy who is concerned that "Islamism" is allergic to "liberal values," while he too overlooks the apartheid conditions on the West Bank that have damaged the American reputation in the Arab world for some reason. Islamism, Islamism. I agree. And what about Zionism? How is it doing with liberal values. Joshua Muravchik will be there too.

I.e., there is no diversity of thought. Neoconservatism is enthroned at Harvard. I imagine there is a financial motive. But the people who gave us the last disaster are busy covering their behinds and rationalizing a policy of indifference to Arab views, and Harvard lends its imprimatur. And you wonder why Obama is unable to bash the neocons? Harvard is in bed with them, the Democratic establishment. I know that some of this happened at Harvard after Vietnam, too, the school was too enmeshed in the power structure. Eliot Richardson spoke at my graduation, we hissed. And now: rolling around in the mud with the neocons. Harvard is embarrassing itself.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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