Friday, November 07, 2003

Another step down the slippery slope

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring university international studies departments to show more support for US foreign policy or risk having their funding cut. The main targets are Middle Eastern Studies departments, whose inhabitants tend to be less than enthusiastic about US policy for the region (perhaps because they actually know something about the place...)

This is about as gross an attack on academic freedom as you can get short of locking people up, but that's the way the United States is going nowdays. Academic inquiry must be patriotic and conform to the whims of the administration; if it refuses, it must be crushed. Joe McCarthy would be proud...