Generations: The Art of the Family Documentary, AMNESP's third annual nonfiction film festival, begins Friday, March 21, 7:30 p.m., SAR Auditorium

Week of 14 March 2003· Vol. VI, No. 24

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New York Times: Specter of Ottoman Empire haunts U.S.

In a March 9 article in the New York Times, David Fromkin, a CAS professor of international relations, director of BU’s Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer Range Future, and author of A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East writes that the ghost of the Ottoman Empire is with us today, “in the antagonism between Turkey and the Kurds in any war over Iraq. Today, the more ambitious spirits in the Bush administration propose not merely to invade Iraq, but to use it as a base for transforming the Arab Middle East. Once before in modern times, Western countries -- England and France -- set about remaking these Ottoman lands. After emerging victorious from World War I, they redrew the map of the Middle East. Iraq was one of the artificial states to emerge. . . . Looking back, it is clear that many characteristics of the Middle East, some of which President Bush would like to change, were shaped by the five centuries of Ottoman rule. The United States may preach and practice secular politics, but it would have difficulty imposing secularism on the Middle East.”

Philadelphia Enquirer: “Tarcrete” and military activity cause of Gulf War pollution

Not only did the Gulf War result in loss of life, but it also created severe environmental harm that still lingers, reports the March 10 Philadelphia Enquirer. When retreating Iraqi forces set ablaze more than 600 oil wells in 1991, the dense black smoke left more than just an air pollution disaster. Oil droplets from the fire fell on the desert, forming a layer of “tarcrete” that persists to this day in some areas, says Farouk El-Baz, a CAS research professor and the director of BU’s Center for Remote Sensing. The center used satellite images to study the environmental pollution issue on behalf of the Kuwaiti government. Too, the movement of military vehicles on both sides during the war as well as the building of trenches and berms “clobbered the vegetation” of the fragile desert ecosystem, says El-Baz.

Sarasota Herald Tribune (Fla.): Wiesel supports disarmament of Iraq

“I cannot hear myself say I’m for war,” Elie Wiesel (Hon.74), BU’s Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, a UNI professor of philosophy and religion, and a Nobel laureate, told an audience of 500 at Temple Beth Israel on Longboat Key, Fla., on March 9. Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author of over 40 books, who has lectured worldwide on issues of social justice, said that he is surprised by the depth of his own support for a possible war with Iraq, reports the Sarasota Herald Tribune. But unless Iraq is disarmed, he believes, Saddam Hussein will inevitably use his weapons of mass destruction “first against Israel probably, then against the American army, against neighbors. He should be disarmed. If we can, peacefully. If we can, with the world, and if not, I don’t know how. But we should do it because we must do it.”


13 March 2003
Boston University
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