Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Madison Morningside Maghreb Messianic Axis


Eli Lake tweeted a link to an old editorial in the NY SUN, "Columbia Partner in Gadhafi Parley has Grim History."

It being a very small world his noting that Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs has lent it's name to the Libyan tyrant reminded me over other links to the world's problems. Under the leadership of John Coatsworth SIPA has become a bastion for those advancing an organized revolutionary effort. Not only has he given a forum to Gadhafi, he whose name has a plenitude of transliterations, but also to the Iranian maniac Ahmadinejad. In addition a quick look at SIPA's web site and the Dean's introduction makes clear that they are heavily invested in pushing the Left wing's Energy Agenda.
Among the recent changes is a new specialization (or minor) in international conflict resolution, to be directed by Professor Jean-Marie GuĂ©henno, former head of global peacekeeping operations at the United Nations. Also, in response to students’ growing interest, SIPA's Energy and Environment Concentration has launched a new, third track in Sustainable Energy Policy, to be overseen by popular Adjunct Professor Ellen Morris.

We are delighted to begin the new academic year with four new full-time faculty and two new visiting professors:

* Political scientist Yuen Ang is expert in political development and economic decision-making in China.
* Political economist Olof Folke is an expert on the comparative politics of environmental policymaking.
* Economist Suresh Naidu focuses on the economic dimensions of human rights and social conflict.
* Anthropologist Ben Orlove is widely recognized as a pioneer in the study of environmental anthropology whose work focuses how societies respond to climate change.
* Visiting professor and former Portuguese economy minister Manuel Pinho was just credited by the New York Times for “largely masterminding Portugal’s transition to renewable energy.”
* And, Visiting Professor Akbar Zaidi is an internationally recognized expert on the political economy of development and democratization in Pakistan and other countries in South Asia.
An examination of where they recruit their students from
The previous employer of the largest number of entering students is the U.S. Peace Corps. Also represented are firms and organizations such as McKinsey and Company and the World Bank, Hewlett-Packard and the Clinton Foundation, the International Rescue Committee and Goldman Sachs, Dow Jones and the United Nations.
and where they get placed after graduation is also interesting.

It being a very very small world it just so happens to be that a few decades ago I knew Professor Coatsworth. He taught me Latin American Civilization at The University of Chicago. He was an excellent teacher, supportive scholarly and easy to talk to. He was open about his communism and never gave any indication that he allowed that, or any other irrelevant criteria such as religion, to affect his treatment of a student. This is important for me to remember as the instances of open anti-Semitism on the Columbia campus have become a cause of concern in recent years.

Some decades ago in Chicago there was a demonstration against Robert McNamara at the corner of 59th street and University Ave outside of Mitchell Tower and Mandel Hall where the Trustees were meeting to give him an award. Professor Coatsworth and I both inspected a draft card that a student burned and then we chatted amiably about our differing reasons for objecting to honoring the former Secretary of Defense. My concern was that Mcnamara's cost cutting Whiz Kid initiatives had resulted in wasteful and less than combat ready systems like the Navy's FFG. We departed at the same time and heard a noise behind us that later I learned was the moment when a member of the Spartacist Youth League (SYL) or children of Jewish accountants induced a member of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCYB) or children of Jewish school teachers to throw a rock at a Chicago cop. That induced the police to arrest a member of the New American Movement (NAM) or children of Protestant school teachers, who was sitting in the street.

There is a link between these ancient theatrics and current problems both in the Middle-East and Middle West. His bio states in part, "Dean Coatsworth received his BA in History from Wesleyan University, and his MA and PhD in Economic History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison." His confident assumption that there is an inevitability to achieving revolutionary goals, shared with the demonstrators, is something that Coatsworth brought with him from Wisconsin to his work on Latin America. He knew Chicago School economic theory but once said something to the effect that the important thing was to change the society so that goals and preferences, the Utilities that Classical Liberalism assumes as a priori, are changed so that what would not work can become possible. That is the revolutionary goal of worldly academic men like Coatsworth or Obama, and was the goal of Mao and Pol Pot. Gadhafi and Amadinjehad are murderous mountebanks in that pantheon.

More to the point are the expectations of the government unions in Madison, like those in Greece they simply want to keep their benefits and refuse to believe that the gravy train is now empty. Their tactics however also show their linkage to the movements in the Islamic regions.

The Palestinians have learned to expect that there is little cost to obstructionism, rejecting negotiations, violating agreements, or walking away from the table. Any concession agreed to by the Israelis, even if the Palestinians do not honor their part of a bargain, is seen as irretrievable. Any concession extracted by the Israelis, including even a statement by the Palestinians in English that the Israelis have a right to exist, is seen as temporary and can be withdrawn or dismissed in Arabic. Any potential offer by the Israelis is seen as a binding commitment, even if the negotiation fails because the Palestinians refuse to respond positively. For example at some time in the past an Israeli (Ehud Barak) offers the Palestinians over 90% of what they want in return for peace. The Palestinians reject that offer and their position weakens subsequently as more Jewish construction that they could have forestalled continues and other conditions change in the region such as the collapse of their patron Saddam Hussein. When new negotiations begin they assume the last position that they rejected will be a minimum offer and that they cannot receive less. They are supported in this irrational belief by outside supporters.

The government unions in the United States, and other Left wing unions in the US and abroad, operate with similar expectations. They simply refuse to believe that when conditions change their negotiating position should change. They believe that they can violate the process, process being sacred only when it is a means to incrementally extract concessions without reaching results as in the Middle-East "Peace Process," by having their legislators violate their oaths and the state constitution in fleeing the state and having supporters physically invade the State Capitol in Madison to prevent the operation of the democratically elected government. They believe that they can then return and without any consequences resume negotiations with the prior best offer of their opponents as a minimum they can improve on.

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