Political correctness which has been invading academia with a vengeance has a new target- Anthropology.
An ad-hoc group calling themselves the Network of Concerned Anthropologists is now circulating a petition on the internet called the Pledge of Non-Participation in Counterinsurgency whose central theme says that “Anthropologists should not engage in research and other activities that contribute to counterinsurgency operations in Iraq or in related theaters in the ‘war on terror.'”In other words it’s an anti-war declaration for anthropologists.
The organizers, two of whom are at George Mason University, feel that anthropologists who cooperate with the military damage the relationship of openness and trust anthropologists have throughout the world and that the U.S. military’s presence in Iraq is illegitimate. Sounds like something from a MoveOn.org brochure.
This action was spurred by an upcoming meeting on an ad-hoc group of the American Anthropological Association that will be proposing ethical guidelines for working with the military and intelligence agencies.
One person who disagrees with the new group is Marcus B. Griffin, a professor of anthropology at Christopher Newport University. Mr. Griffin is currently in Iraq supporting a military “Human Terrain System” project. If the AAA adopts a position closer to that of the dissident group then the military will be deprived of an expert in an area where it needs help and one that could help save lives.
Apparently any previous cooperation with the military is irrelevant because it is the vehement opposition to the current Iraq war that supersedes any gain in scientific knowledge.
Scientists often claim that they are only interested in the science and not politics. The NCA has mixed both into a dangerous brew.
Don Irvine is the chairman of Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.