Princeton University Speech by Mark Bruzonsky
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Delivered at a forum at Princeton University on 7 February 2006 by Mark Bruzonsky -

Forum Participants:
Anne-Marie Slaughter - Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton
Professor Cornell West - Professor, Princeton University
Mark Bruzonsky - Journalist, Woodrow Wilson School MPA, NYU Law School JD

For articles and comments about speech                                                        PUStudents

Good Evening E/span>

Nearly all of you will remain here at Princeton in the days to come. But though I have interesting memories of Princeton I will be here with you only for a few hours tonight before going back to imperial Washington tomorrow.

So I ask you in the few moments we have together to please allow me to give you my perspective in a clear and admittedly pointed way. In a sense I’ll also be summarizing what I have learned in about 200 trips abroad since my own student days. I realize many of you may not agree with or even accept what I have concluded. But I thank you in advance for the opportunity to be here tonight to join these two distinguished persons who play such important roles at this exceptional university and in our country.

Though what happened a few years ago on 9/11 was certainly not the start of the conflict that now dominates our lives, the impact it has had on our society, including events here at Princeton, is overreaching.

I say it was not the start because one can trace what happened on 9/11 back to many other critical historical events from which it was spawned. And since he was the President of this University before he came to Washington as President of the country I’ll start by recalling the famous Paris ‘Peace ConferenceEof Woodrow Wilson’s time.

Though called a ‘Peace ConferenceEthe result was anything but. Back then the victorious Western powers essentially divided the defeated Ottoman Empire into many artificial nation-states and sheikdoms that still remain today. Then the legitimizing theme was ‘self-determinationEwhich was not really to be of courseEmuch as today the ad-nauseum but disingenuous themes are ‘democracyEand ‘freedom.E/span>

It’s crucial to remember that at the time the people of what we Westerners named the Middle East had been promised Independence as an Arab Nation Eonly to find themselves sold out by the secret British-French Sykes-Picot Agreement and then confined in neo-colonialism termed Mandates and legitimized by Wilson’s own League of Nations.

That 1918 ‘Peace ConferenceEturned out to be ‘The Peace To End All PeaceE the subtitle in fact of Professor David Fromkin’s remarkable book about that crucial period which is the precursor to our own.

Or in view of current issues today we could skip forward and start with the largely democratic and secular attempt to reform Iran in 1953 Eone which the CIA then undid putting the Shah back on the throne until 25 years later a traumatized country threw him out. We then took him in, Iranian students then responded by sacking the U.S. Embassy and taking hostages, and in a sense their revolution then led to our Reagan RevolutionEnd to today’s Iran.

Or we could start with the region-shaking 1967 War, or for that matter the U.S.-sponsored birth of Israel twenty years earlier, or with Jimmy Carter’s Peace Conference of 1978, which then became another Peace to End All Peace Ethe assassination of Anwar Sadat, the Lebanese Civil War, the Iran-Iraq War, the Afghanistan war, the invasion/occupation of Lebanon which midwifed Hezbollah, the anti-occupation Intifada which midwifed Hamas and the rise of suicide bombersEll precursors to 9/11 and what has followed since.

The crucial point is 9/11 didn’t come out of the blue and did have causes and, for many, reasons and even justifications -- as much as American politicians and commentators refuse to discuss this backdrop and how the stage was set. Huge numbers of people, in total millions of Arabs and Muslims, had already been maimed and killed in this ongoing convoluted conflict laced with superpower proxie wars, oil and petrodollars, Zionist and Muslim ideologies, corrupt repressive Arab ‘client regimesE and the never-ending Israeli/US military occupation of the Palestinians.

And let’s be clear about this -- among the main reasons most American politicians and commentators don’t talk about any of this and don’t connect the vital dots that could lead to both understanding and conflict resolution is because most of those who are allowed center stage are either in the pay of special interest groups or have little experience with the peoples of the region and little serious knowledge of the culture and history about which they are so incessantly chattering.

One of your own current History Professors, one whom I just happened to grow up with in Duluth Minnesota a long time ago, has this to say in the interview that accompanies his bio information on the Princeton website:
"There are rules of the game in every society. We have to get inside a foreign culture and understand internally how it works. In 1940 we were confronting what we thought was fanatical emperor worship from the Japanese. They seemed to have had no contact with Western civilization; they were inscrutable, incomprehensible. Today we’re describing our current enemy, Islamic fundamentalists, in much the same way. Whether it’s good or bad, there are ways that Islamic fundamentalists see the world. To call them terrorists and fanatics is simply to say they’re different from us and we don’t understand them. But clearly we’ve got to delve more deeply.Ebr>
And so in the few remaining moments I have please allow me to try to delve more deeply with you and to summarize my perspective about what has happened here at Princeton that has led to this forumEll in the afterglow of 9/11.

Some may still think of this as just a speakers controversy here at Princeton, one which the recent 75th Wilson School anniversary highlighted. But actually it is far more than that.

What has happened here at Princeton I believe is in the end the result of the serious and growing financial, political and social pressures educational institutions now face in our country -- pressures which in turn largely determine what kind of people are put in positions of authority and what kinds of decisions they are encouraged if not forced by circumstances to make.

What has happened here at Princeton, all the more so since 9/11 it seems to me, is not by accident but rather by careful design. Beyond the general pressures facing all major universities you have today a Woodrow Wilson School fearful of losing a major part of its endowment and as a result courting power and money more than ever.

And yes, in my view, with all respect to Dean Slaughter for the positive things she may have done here of which I may not be aware, WoodyWilson and Princeton are now playing big time the big money and big power game Eand it all comes at the expense of the rigorously independent intellectual and educational pursuits that should be foremost in mind but are not.

Furthermore the person most responsible for choosing speakers, handing out awards, and selecting faculty in the past few years here appears to me to be using the University as a stepping stone to future personal and political power in Washington should that opportunity strike. Others have done this in recent years from academic dean positions -- Paul Wolfowitz from SAIS and of course Condi Rice from Stanford come first to mind.

The major problem though is that when universities Ethe very places that are supposed to reflect independence of thought and analysis and true expertise -- become so dependent on corporate, government, and lobby-connected largess then one of the major centers of honest education and knowledge in our society becomes severely compromised.

That, in short, is what I think has happened here at Princeton and most of all at the Woodrow Wilson School.

This situation cannot be remedied by a single forum or by inviting an occasional “dissidentEintellectual like Noam Chomsky to give a talk.

If you really want to remedy this situation there are ways you can E but very frankly I am sure the powers that be will not let this really come about.

You could for instance establish, and separately fund, a special maybe student-run program specifically designed to bring the very best independent academics, social critics, and expert journalists to Princeton from around the world. And you could and should make a point of bringing such people together at the same time as those who hold power. Doing so would make good use of the unique university environment to bring about provocative and insightful debate and challenge about the crucial issues of our time among those most knowledgeable and most informed. That would be truly educational.

I stress the word ‘independentEfor the notion that the span of major guests should range from senior government officials to top personalities in the other mirror party competing for senior government positions is really quite ludicrous.

Such a notion plays well in corrupted and lobby-infested Washington; but it shouldn’t be allowed at a world-class university especially with regard to major international issues. Because when it is allowed not only are all of you short-changed as students at a very special and formative time in your lives, but all of us as a society are dangerously short-changed for our collective future.

For we don’t need world-class universities to invite the very same power and money speakers and faculty that the government-and-lobby think-tanks and departments invite. There’s already far too much of that.

We do need universities to invite speakers and to engage faculty based on their demonstrated serious knowledge, expertise, independence, and critical thinking. It use to be much more that way. It doesn’t seem it is that way any longer, certainly not here at Princeton.

I also stress ‘from around the worldEErather than nearly always turning to those sponsored by or acceptable to the powers that be. For to really understand what is happening in our world you have to both hear from and engage others who see things very differently and who are outside your own blinders and restraintsEpeople who are not subjected to or controlled by the pressures for political correctness and advancement that now so dominate our own society.

Just from my own contacts I can quickly think of people who could have brilliantly engaged and educated all in attendance at the 75th celebration. You may not know some of these personalities but I assure you they are all very much valued, respected and in great demand throughout the world, though not here at Princeton:
· Robert Fisk
· Harold Pinter Erecent winner of the Nobel Prize
· Mohammed Heikal
· Arundhati Roy
· Mohammed Mahathir
· Amira Hass
· Dan Almagor
· Haider Abdul Shafi
· John Pilger
· Boutros Ghali

Indeed, for the 75th anniversary where everyone was force-fed a nonstop diet of self-serving top government officials without even one single major independent academic or journalist or political analysis, any of these persons would have made an immensely needed contribution and in fact changed the proceedings.
For there is a reason our current Secretary of State even now says she was so surprised by the Hamas electoral victory a few days ago Enot to mention her insistence before Congress that no one had imagined that anyone would use airplanes as they did on 9/11.

The reality is quite otherwise in fact. Many independent experts knew, predicted, and explained what has now come to pass. And when it comes to 9/11 no less a flag-waver than Tom Clancy had written a novel that opens with an airplane diving into the Capitol during a State of the Union address. So just what kind of a self-isolating, apologist, and unaware world is Ms. Rice, even now, living in?

And there is a reason why Rice’s predecessor Ealso recently honored here at Princeton even after he perpetrated such a great historic hoax on us allEthe third anniversary of which was just two days ago.

And by the way this term hoax is not mine
"I participated in a hoax on the American people,
the international community and the
United Nations Security Council."
That’s what Colin Powell’s own Chief of Staff at the State Department finally confessed in public just last Friday in fact.

The result of this and many other cruel hoaxes coming from our government is the dangerous polarization, dumbing down, militarization, and in some very troubling ways the neo-fascist developments in our own society. This on top of the disastrous Iraq invasion/occupation which has caused so much death and suffering, now cost nearly a half-trillion dollars, squandered so much American credibility, created so much more hatred around the world, and badly weakened and tarnished our military forces as well once again.

All of these issues should be seriously, vigorously and continually discussed, debated, dissected and analyzed at this world-class center of higher education. But instead there has been a parade of Cabinet Secretaries, Ambassadors and Generals, one after the other Eall part of the same team, and all offered nearly a free ride.

This is not in my view in ‘the nation’s serviceEit is in the government’s service.

This is surely not ‘in the service of all nationsE-- it is a very limiting and nationalistic approach which just further cuts off Princetonians from our world as it really is.

And this parade of the powerful, financed by the special interests, simply does not reflect the real world we all must live in and in which our country must now desperately find its way anew before it is too late.

February 2006


World War III?
(February 28, 2006)
“The threat from the White House is to go in anyway... I see the possibility if we do that of really setting forth World War III.” - Walter Cronkite, 27 Oct 2002.

Huge Death Toll in Iraq In Week - Equivalent to Five 9/11s
(February 27, 2006)
As usual the information coming from the Pentagon and State Department, and from the many who work for them either overtly and covertly, is again unreliable and deceptive, off by an order of magnitude in fact. After independent investigations it appears the Americans, and their associated regime in Baghdad, tremendously downplayed the actual death and destruction toll in the last week in Iraq since the bombing of the Golden Dome. Indeed, adjusting for population size, it is as if in just the past week alone Iraq has suffered deaths amounting to five 9/11s!

Palestine Articles - 26 Feb
(February 26, 2006)
Palestine Articles - 26 Feb

(February 26, 2006)

Who really bombed the Golden Dome is in much doubt
(February 26, 2006)
Just who really bombed the Golden Dome in Samarra a few days ago? Just who really benefits the most from this historic act that may have reshuffled the political geostrategic deck in Iraq and in the region? There's a long history now in the Middle East of covert operations blamed on others in order to justify actions the powers that be are determined to pursue.

From the "PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES" the Jewish Territories of Oscars Hollywood
(February 25, 2006)
PARADISE NOW: "The nomination probably won't be rescinded, but with 70 being the median academy voter age, and Judaism the predominant religion, it is something of a surprise, even to insiders, that the film has been nominated at all, let alone that it is a strong prospect to win."

(February 25, 2006)
"U.S. lawmakers took 163 privately funded trips to Israel; more than one in five current members of Congress have traveled there. That compares with 139 to Mexico, the next most popular foreign destination, 97 to Italy and 87 to Germany... Israel has been the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid since World War II."

Jewish Lobby Enters Arab World - Ariel Sharon's 'Dear Personal Friend' Seduces Qatar
(February 23, 2006)
This appears to be the first time such an Israeli-connected 'think tank' operation is formally setting up shop in an Arab country, however thinly masked as 'The Brookings Institution'. Much more background follows in the MER FlashBack article titled "ISRAELI Influence-Peddling - ON TOP OF ALL THE SPYING AND LOBBYING."

Today at 12pm noon sharp (Washington DC time) join in at MER CHAT -
(February 22, 2006)

World Council of Churches Vents Angry
(February 20, 2006)
A coalition of American churches sharply denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq on Saturday, accusing Washington of "raining down terror" and apologizing to other nations for "the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown." The statement, issued at the largest gathering of Christian churches in nearly a decade, also warned the United States was pushing the world toward environmental catastrophe with a "culture of consumption" and its refusal to back international accords seeking to battle global warming.

(February 19, 2006)
Though the church-based 'divestment campaign' still remains very hesitant, embryonic and unlikely to 'catch on' and be 'sustained' as would be required for it to have a serious chance of seriously impacting, the debate is at least underway in limited forums... Meanwhile Israel's barriers, walls, fences, prisons, confuscations, checkpoints, and settlements are all still expanding in a worse than Apartheid every was way.

(February 18, 2006)
The event was the 5th annual Palestine Solidarity Movement Conference -- no well-known speakers and certainly no one who is use to having any serious security. "I saved these two days to be at the conference" the reporter insisted before declaring in obvious frustration that she was going to have a weekend vaction instead and left in a huff.

(February 17, 2006)
The crisis with Iran is far more than a confrontation over production of a few nuclear weapons in the years ahead. The crisis with Iran, and indirectly with the growing forces of Arab nationalism and Muslim assertiveness, as well as with the growing counter-U.S. superpower reach of China and to a lesser extent Russia, is about nothing less than world domination.

Iran Articles - 16 Feb
(February 16, 2006)

Sharon The War Criminal - FlashBack to 2001 and BBC 'Accused'
(February 15, 2006)
"I think there is no doubt in my mind that he (Sharon) is indictable (as a war criminal) for the kind of knowledge that he either had, or should have had." - Professor Richard Falk, Princeton University

ISRAEL Articles on 14 Feb
(February 14, 2006)

Articles with keyword PALESTINE
(February 14, 2006)
Articles with keyword PALESTINE

Valentine's Day Plot To Discredit, Destroy Hamas
(February 14, 2006)
Remember it for its day of publication as the Valentine's Day Plot to discredit and destroy Hamas. And if this is what makes it to the pages of the New York Times just imagine what the Americans, the Israelis, and their European allies are really doing (and have already done) behind-the-scenes with all the agents and money not to mention all the bugging, killing, and scheming they are so capable of bringing to bear. But it all comes at a historic cost, and so much the Americans and Israelis do comes back as unexpected forms of blowback even worse for them than what they tried to destroy before.

TARGET IRAN - Preparations By All
(February 13, 2006)
WAR these days is far more than military attack. With the Americans there is first of all a tremendous technological side involving high-tech spying, covert ops, assassinations, internal upheavals, economic punishments, and regime change attempts. In addition war preparations for the Americans in this modern-day interconnected world involve massive propaganda campaigns designed to manipulate public opinion; and this in turn includes everything from planting information and stories to twisting journalists and publications to 'report' in ways that suit the needs of the war planners.

(February 12, 2006)
As MER repeatedly predicted in past years, the international situation is proceeding to one of the most dangerous times ever. The mistakes, the lies, the hypocrisy, and all the killing and 'Shock and Awe' of the past is catching up with all of us now. It's not that Iran can seriously withstand a U.S./Israeli attack. Clearly the American Empire has the firepower to destroy and prevail in the short run. But the political, economic, and psychological forces that may be unleashed by what the combined forces of the Neocons, the Evangelicals, and the Zionists are more and more loudly threatening and planning has serious people in Washington and beyond quivering and fearing about the future big time now. This today from the Sunday Telegraph in London:

Princeton University Speech by Mark Bruzonsky
(February 11, 2006)
This speech was given by the publisher of MiddleEast.Org at a forum at Princeton University on 7 February 2006. The other persons on the forum were Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Professor Cornell West.

The Mother of all Hoaxes - And the Disastrous Aftermath
(February 6, 2006)
Yesterday was the third Colin Powell 'Anniversary' of what we have termed 'The Mother of all Hoaxes'. Three years ago he gave what is now one of modern history's most infamous speeches quite literally to the world. What happened that day was a great historic 'haox' perpetrated ' on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council', i.e., the entire world. Yesterday MER republished a FlashBack article calling for the resignation of both Colin Powell and George Tenet -- we did so two long years ago now when it was relevant, timely, necessary, and difficult to do. Remember though, the actual perpertrators responsible for this horrendous hoax and the disastrous consequences which have followed are the President and the Vice-President of the United States.

Colin Powell and The Mother of All Hoaxes
(February 5, 2006)
Last Friday evening Colin Powell's Chief of Staff in the State Department at the time Powell gave his historic speech at the U.N. Security Council came clean. It was that much-heralded speech of course that prepared the way for the launching of the disastrous Iraqi invasion/occupation. Now, Friday evening on the NOW! program on Public Broadcasting, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who was right there helping prepare Powell's every move, damns it all as a 'historic hoax'.

HAMAS Taking Center Stage
(February 4, 2006)
Now it's not from Moscow with love...but it is at times at least from Moscow with more realism and insight... Meanwhile it is the same old game in Washington -- politically correct persons associated with the Israeli/Jewish lobby and kosherized persons of Arab background are the only persons given the floor at the numerous forums popping up to speak about the Hamas few of them actually know much about and all of them proclaim their disdain for.

Hamas Speaks
(February 3, 2006)
Tuesday this week, the day the American President gave his State of the Union speech in the evening, the resistance and liberation movement known as Hamas presented its view in the morning... Back in 1996, when MER had a weekly TV program, by special arrangement MER extensively interviewed Moussa Abu Marzook -- today the #2 official in Hamas -- in the federal detention center near Chinatown in New York about Hamas and the 'peace process'. We encourage news media organizations to get in touch with MER if interested in that lengthy multi-hour interview full of insights into how the Hamas victory was carefully orchestrated over the past decade. MER@MiddleEast.Org. 202 362-5266.

MER at Princeton University Next Tuesday 7 February
(February 2, 2006)
MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky will be speaking on a Panel at Princeton Universty next Tuesday with the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School and Professor Cornell West on "Intellectuals and the Institution: What's in the Service of the Nation?"

The 9/11 Imbroglio
(February 1, 2006)
According to the academic organizer of these scholars, Professor Jim Fetzer of the University of Minnesota in Duluth, it was because of a meeting in Washington with MER Publisher Mark Bruzonsky last week that a major revision was made in their public statement a few days ago. The new aim, as MER had advocated in a June 2005 editorial, is to call on major media organizations around the world to form a unique international coalition to fully investigate 9/11 and to report what really happened and what is in legitimate controversy and doubt.

Drop Principles Now or Drop Dead Soon!
(February 1, 2006)
Israel's notoriously powerfuly Lobby on Capitol Hill is wasting no time trying to lay down the law of money and power to Hamas. But this time it's probably too little, too late, with insufficient understand of or leverage on the now Hamas-led "Palestinian Authority"... And when the Israelis and Americans try to crush the new PA., as now seems all but inevitable sooner or later, probably after more attempts to foment a Palestinian Civil War which are likely to continue to fail, the political and geostrategic price may prove greater than the Americans will be willing to suffer upon themselves.

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