Inaccurate reporting of teach-ins being perpetuated

To the Editor:

Typical of the neoconservative political approach of advancing their cause through misinformation and deception — an approach which was recently exhibited in its full glory by the Bush administration and its servile mouthpiece, the major TV media, and which was roundly and internationally repudiated by all peoples — is Eliana Johnson ’06 and Jamie Kirchick’s ’06 distorted report of the April 9 Yale teach-in in the April 17 issue of www.frontpagemag.com. They report inaccurately almost everything that I said during that teach-in. Specifically, my subject was the reception of the Iraq war in the Middle East. In that context, I mentioned the perception of many in the region that the foreign policy of the Bush administration is dictated by several Jewish neoconservatives in Washington, prominent among whom are Perle and Wolfowitz (who have also been making news lately). This is not my view; I mentioned it as the view widely held by Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, and indeed, by some Israelis. The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz carried an article by Ari Shavit on April 6, titled “White Man’s Burden,” in which this view, and many of the individuals mentioned, are widely discussed. So Johnson and Kirchick had better redirect their invective to Shavit.

Dimitri Gutas

April 24, 2003

The writer is a professor of Arabic and chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations.

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