Just when America most needs cogent, intelligent, forward-looking insights into the Middle East--when our nation and many of our allies are engaged in a war against radical Islam--what do the Mandarins who make up the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) offer? Precious little beyond post-modern nihilism, post-colonial discourse, and other faddish, intellectually vacuous career-building studies, according to classicist Bruce Thornton.
Writing in a piece commissioned by Campus Watch that appears in today's the Daily Standard, the online version of the Weekly Standard, Thornton says that what's left out of the MESA's upcoming annual conference is more important than what's included:
"Of the 100-plus talks spread over three-and-a-half days, many are concerned with the status of women in the Middle East, but only two discuss the revolutionary political liberation of Muslim women in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unprecedented event in Middle Eastern history--albeit one inconveniently triggered by the intervention of the United States. We can look forward, however, learning all we need to know about 'The Turkish Women's Union and the Politics of Women's Rights in Turkey, 1929-1935.'"
Other omissions include, of all subjects, the roots of terrorism and the oppression of Muslim women in traditional Muslim societies.
No surprises there, as MESA has studiously avoided being useful on such matters for years, lest they be accused of supporting America's imperialist designs. It's as if, as Thornton's title puts it, they're engaged in a highly organized effort to ensure their own "Planned Obsolescence."