Brown University News Bureau

Op-Eds distributed during the 2001-02 academic year

Herschel I. Grossman
Op-Ed: World Cup heralds a new Korea
The Dutch football coach Guus Hiddink, hired two years ago to coach Korea’s national team, brought with him a different set of values, including meritocracy and individual accountability. The success of those values has not gone unnoticed off the field. Whatever the outcome of the World Cup, changes to Korean society are not likely to fade with the euphoria of soccer fans. 01-158 (distributed June 24, 2002)

Beth Taylor
Op-Ed: Fighting pacifism
Decades ago, the Cold War and Vietnam came equipped with terms like “red” and “commie,” words which drained enemies of their human complexity. Might the term “axis of evil” serve a similar purpose now? The author can’t shake the feeling that we have passed this way before. This article was written originally for publication in the Friends Journal. 01-154 (distributed June 17, 2002)

Calvin Goldscheider
Op-Ed: Where there is no vision, the people perish
The children of Abraham have shed too much blood. Neither has had a vision of the future which makes room for the other. It is time for Israelis and Palestinians alike to develop a new vision of the future – and it must be a moral vision, since the politicians have shown themselves to be disreputable and untrustworthy. 01-132 (distributed May 1, 2002)

Ross E. Cheit
Op-Ed: PBS Frontline embraces a child molester
PBS Frontline’s “Did Daddy Do It?” purports to be a documentary about an unjustly convicted child molester. Frontline, however, appears to have dismissed important evidence and credible arguments on its way to embracing a man convicted of horrendous sex crimes against numerous children, including his own son. 01-119 (distributed April 25, 2002)

Hilary Silver
Op-Ed: French insecurity and the presidential elections
The Far Right’s first-round success in French presidential elections and a recent conservative victory in Germany are indications of rising insecurity in Europe. Given the weakness of the European Parliament, national elections serve as the main outlets for sentiments of malaise, mistrust or misery. 01-126 (distributed April 24, 2002)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Bush must overcome hesitations, commit troops to Middle East
The only hope of breaking the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock lies in outside intervention. Whereas many nations may influence Palestinian actions, the United States is the only nation with any leverage over Israel. This makes some form of American intervention in the Palestinian conflict inevitable, despite substantial domestic political risk. 01-118 (distributed April 12, 2002)

Elliott Colla
Op-Ed: Atrocious reports and reporting atrocities
As long as the Israeli military closes off its military operations to news coverage, we have the moral duty to take seriously reports of atrocities that arrive via other media each day. 01-112 (distributed April 5, 2002)

Eleanor Abdella Doumato
Op-Ed: Sex segregation is a Saudi national obsession
The tragic deaths of at least 14 girls in a fire in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, presents an opportunity for the royal family to chip away at the country’s obsession over sex-segregation. The girls died when the morals police prevented them from leaving the burning building because they weren’t covered in the traditional abaye and when civil defense workers were denied access to the building. 01-110 (distributed March 28, 2002)

Elliott Colla
Op-Ed: Censorship and violence in the Middle East
A hard look at what Israeli military censors cut from news articles before their publication reveals a pattern: The censors sought to stifle the notion that the death of Palestinians might have a pattern. Incidents of violence against Palestinians could only be reported as isolated occurrences. 01-101 (distributed March 19, 2002)

Lewis P. Lipsitt
Op-Ed: Minds don’t snap
When tragic, unbelievable behaviors seem to emerge suddenly from nowhere, they are invariably preceded by a process that was under way for years. If we could learn how human experiences work to erode an individual’s stability, we could become sensitive to imminent disasters and intervene to prevent them. But if we go on believing that “crazy behaviors” are happenstances, we will never get to their roots. 01-100 (distributed March 19, 2002)

William O. Beeman
Bush’s targeting of Iran is an inept foreign policy move
Iran’s strategic location and economic importance make it both inevitable and imperative that the United States reestablish relations with the Iranians, rather than lob intemperate and ill-considered invective at them. It is a sad commentary on American political life that the State of the Union address should be used for cheap political shots. 01-082 (distributed February 5, 2002)

Alexander Thier and Jarat Chopra
Op-Ed: Rebuild the government and Afghans will rebuild their country
The way to support Afghanistan’s evolution to peaceful representative government is to bind the Afghan people to the government and the government to the people. Money and experts can help, but the majority of the work cannot be done without the people’s support and cooperation. 01-077 (distributed January 18, 2002)

Calvin Goldscheider
Op-Ed: Terrorism, Israel and America
The sense of national unity that followed the World Trade Center attacks has allowed the United States to undertake a strong response to terrorism. But enemies also develop unity when they, in turn, are attacked. We should not let our sense of national unity erode the natural strength of our diversity. Listening to the voices of dissent is the best insurance for our continuing democratic values. 01-067 (distributed December 13, 2001)

Brent Stuart Goodwin
Op-Ed: A successful war against terrorism cannot end with amnesty
History teaches us that extra-national terrorist organizations – pirates, terrorists, barbarians – must not be allowed to walk away from conflict once they lose the upper hand. Granting amnesty to such belligerents will only allow them to reappear and will embolden other groups which may share their ideology or methodology. 01-066 (distributed December 7, 2001)

Robert Scholes
Op-Ed: Harry Potter and whose stone?
A small change in the American edition of the first Harry Potter book – from philosopher’s stone to sorcerer’s stone – robs the British original of an important connection to the history of human thought. The magic of Harry Potter was designed by author J.K. Rowling to exist alongside “muggle” science. 01-060 (distributed November 28, 2001)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: ‘The Great Game’ continues
“The Great Game” – Kipling’s term for great-power rivalry in Central Asia – is ongoing, with the United States, Russia, Pakistan, oil companies and other external forces competing to shape the Afghani future. The losers are likely to be the Afghani people. 01-057 (distributed November 15, 2001)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: German, Japanese help in Afghanistan breaks pattern
The addition of German and Japanese military resources to the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan raises Middle East suspicions and hatreds more than a century old and may create some domestic problems for those two countries. But German and Japanese support is also proof that even the worst of enemies can eventually become friends. 01-055 (distributed November 12, 2001)

P. Terrence Hopmann and Nina Tannenwald
Op-Ed: An act of war or a crime against humanity?
The way we interpret events, especially traumatic events like the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, will have an impact on the options we consider for responding. Rather than interpreting this tragedy as an “attack on America” – a war – it would be better to frame it as “a crime against humanity.” 01-033 (distributed September 28, 2001)

Neta Crawford
Op-Ed: The pernicious effects of fear: Why we need more deliberation
None of us will ever feel calmly about what happened on September 11, 2001, and what may happen in the future. We cannot expect a young administration to form a coherent policy to meet an enormous challenge in just a few days or weeks. But we must demand greater deliberation. And for that we need time. 01-032 (distributed September 24, 2001)

Kevin Lourie
Op-Ed: Terror War against the superpower
We must come to terms with the reality that we cannot utterly control the powers of all peoples and we must begin to imagine a world without superpowers. 01-031 (distributed September 25, 2001)

Neta Crawford
Op-Ed: Fear itself: Why retaliation doesn’t work
In Northern Ireland and Israel, history shows a pattern of escalation – that violence has only bred more violence. Similarly, previous U.S. retaliation against suspected terrorists has not brought an end to terrorism. 01-030 (distributed September 24, 2001)

Kenneth R. Miller
Op-Ed: Is Charles Darwin the most dangerous man in America?
To dedicated opponents of evolution, the battle against Darwin is never-ending. Well-funded critics of evolution will fulminate against this week’s NOVA series on evolution, but their charges of “false” statements about the genetic code show only the emptiness of their so-called “evidence” against Darwin. 01-028 (distributed September 24, 2001)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Bush’s plan is excellent in principle, but falters on the details
In the Middle East, South and Central Asia, where the administration hopes to achieve the greatest cooperation, most governments sit very uneasily. If they don’t cooperate, they risk military retribution by the U.S. If they do cooperate, they risk being overthrown, removed from office, or even assassinated by extreme elements in their own societies. 01-027 (distributed Septemter 20, 2001)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Why Middle Eastern terrorists hate the United States
Middle Eastern opposition to the West is far from being a phenomenon invented by Osama bin Laden, or the Taliban, or for that matter Iran, Iraq or the Palestinians. It has waxed and waned as an effective oppositional force in confrontation to secular political systems for more than a century. 01-025 (distributed September 19, 2001)

Brent Stuart Goodwin
Op-Ed: On war in the 21st century
Piracy on the high seas, as terrorism today, plagued the international system with raids, hostages and slavery and in general dealt in the currency of fear. In the early 19th century as now, the United States faced important choices of war and peace in securing freedom from fear. 01-023 (distributed September 17, 2001)

Herschel I. Grossman
Op-Ed: Why could it happen? The costs and benefits of security
Economists are used to thinking about policy choices as involving a comparison of perceived costs and benefits. Can this perspective help us to understand why we protected ourselves so poorly that suicidal terrorists were easily able to hijack four airplanes in one morning? 01-022 (distributed September 17, 2001)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Understanding Osama bin Laden
A despicable act of mayhem such as those committed in New York and Washington is a measure of the revulsion that others feel at U.S. actions. If we perpetuate a cycle of hate and revenge, this conflict will escalate into a war that our great-grandchildren will be fighting. 01-020 (distributed September 13, 2001)

John Mustard
Op-Ed: Gathering evidence toward the possibility of life on Mars
There have been many extraordinary claims of life on Mars, yet none has proffered extraordinary evidence. During the next 20 years the continued exploration will bring us closer to answering that question. 01-010 (distributed August 10, 2001)

Janet Gunter
Op-Ed: A new president for Indonesia, continued abuses for citizens
The ascension of Megawati Sukarnoputri was supported by one of the most brutal and unaccountable militaries in the world. Now, the United States and others must press her to become a force for change, reform and true, sustainable peace. 01-007 (distributed July 27, 2001)