Op-ed: Leftist professors’ concept of ‘freedom’ similar to Saddam Hussein’s vision
18 August '10
Saddam Hussein won 100% of the vote in the elections held in Iraq in 2002. This accomplishment made him very happy, as it proved that popular support for him grew since the 1995 elections, where he only own 99.96% of the vote. Indeed, freedom and democracy were flourishing in Saddam’s Iraq, and every seven years citizens were offered the opportunity to vote any way they wished, as long as they elected the man with the moustache.
I would not be referring to Saddam had it not been for Dr. Nitza Berkovitch’s article, McCarthyism in Tel Aviv, where she bemoaned the assault on what she dubbed “academic freedom” and various elements’ desire to politicize academia. As I discovered, Dr. Berkovitch and myself apparently hold different definitions for the term “freedom”; however, to properly explain this, I must put Saddam Hussein aside for a moment and turn to Edward Said.
Every sociology student is familiar with Said’s name, and with his book, Orientalism. For the benefit of those unfamiliar with this work, I shall briefly sum it up: Said managed to blame the imperialist, wicked West for all the East’s maladies. Every problem in the “Orient,” according to Said, stems from the manner in which the West portrayed and treated Middle Eastern nations.
As result of Said’s immense influence, to this day we see Western intellectuals and almost every Middle Eastern citizen blaming the West for everything, while minimizing the influence of religious fundamentalism, totalitarianism, undeveloped education, technological backwardness, or discrimination against women and minorities.
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