Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lots about Saakashvili and Bush, Finkelstein's new book Hooray!

I was shocked when I began reading the latest FAIR action alert that came in my mailbox because it referred to an "inaccurate Newsweek report." As I read down the page, I realized that FAIR was cleverly pointing out the inaccurate Newsweek reporting done on the eve of US bombardment of Iraq.
I was surprised to read the NYT report that George Bush had been greeted "rapturously" by a crowd of 100,000+ in Tbilsi. What I know about Georgia and its major problems with energy all come from a movie called Power Trip that I saw a year ago, but it seems to me that the public there wouldn't be (or shouldn't be) wildly supportive of an apostle of privatization such as our prez, the Oiligarch, Shrub. According to AP report from almost a year ago, "Russia has strategic interests in Georgia, including two Soviet holdover military bases, one of them in Adzharia. The United States also sees Georgia as strategically important because of its location and role as host of a pipeline that is to bring Caspian Sea oil westward." If we start from that point of view, then this article by William Pfaff in the International Herald Tribune, which suggests that the whole event is a major provocation to Russia, makes a lot of sense.
I'm guessing that it's because the US played such a prominent rolein what's called the "revolution of roses" that took the hated and corrupt Shevardnazde out and brough the popular, American educated, NATO member-wanna-be, Saakashvili in that people in Georgia greeted the Prez. with such fervor (if indeed they did.)
Last item: I just got an announcement in my mailbox about Norman Finkelstein's new book Beyond Chutzpah. This book, which takes on Alan Dershowitz, is the product of a long controversy. I googled Dershowitz and Finkelstein and found a debate on Democracy Now Two and 1/2 years ago. Dershowitz has argued that the only people who read Finkelstein (whose parents were holocaust survivors) are "neo-nazis" and "fanatics" - in case you're inclined to be persuaded, he puts Noam Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn into these categories.
I cannot stand Alan Dershowitz, so I look forward to this new book with glee. I saw Finkelstein present his work on what he calls the extortion racket of Holocaust reparations cases at the Socialist Scholars Conference back in 2000. He's totally brilliant, but his politics are such that he's had great difficulty in getting and keeping an academic job, from what I hear. Now it looks as if he's nailed something at DePaul, which is good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Academic freedom, in the news again:

"David Graeber, the Yale anthropologist recently fired for his anarchist activism... Although there was some opposition to his work, the real tipping point was his involvement with campus politics. By defending one of the organizers of a graduate student unionizing drive, Graeber took his ideology out of the classroom, violating one of the central, if rarely stated, tenets of academic leftism."