Friday, May 16, 2003

I have already mentioned the refusal of physicist Dr. Daniel Amit to review a paper submitted to him by the American Physical Society, representing a boycott by him of American institutions in protest against recent American actions (the original e-mail correspondence is here). Dr Amit was interviewed (or here or here) by the Arab News, and here are some exerpts:

"One of the central problems of modern global society is that the culture that publicizes itself as the example of democracy, enlightenment, modernity, culture, and freedom, is the one that puts global survival in danger. It does that by robbing the environment, and the war indicates that it can put such destruction into open military practice, with no internal (American) corrective forces."

and

"We must confront the dominant idea that American culture is the source of all good and wisdom, in all fields of culture. I chose the field of science for this particular personal revolt because the American domination in this field is especially apparent and effective (both materially and spiritually); because the war has exposed, in a double way, the horror in which science participates on both sides of the aggression: First, to expose and destroy Iraqi weapons (inspections), and then to develop technology which renders an entire people a hunting ground for raving technological cowboys (in the style they hunted the Native American Indians); because my colleagues in the scientific universe must open their eyes to the implications of their 'pure' activity, which produces such weapons, allows the development of biological weapons, bigger and more devastating bombs (and this is done in universities)."

and

"The crime is not over: Iraq is occupied and its people and its resources are treated like the Wild West, with total impunity. What is going on in Iraq (and in Afghanistan and Palestine for that matter) is against every international convention, and exceeds the horrors imagined when such conventions were formulated."

and, on the problem in the Palestine:

"The requirement that cessation of violence must be a precondition for political progress is a sure formula for no progress. So many of us, including hundreds of military officers and expert journalists, have come to the conclusion that it is an intended policy of the Israeli government to provoke Palestinian violence, whenever it senses a political process that may threaten the continuation of the occupation and the settlements."

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