Middle East studies in the News
America's Elites and Saudi Money
by Lee Kaplan
On March 29th, 2006 the drive-by media failed to report the scuttling of a new bill in the House of Representatives. H.R. bill 609 would have amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 and required America's colleges and universities to report any donations received from Saudi Arabia as part of the Title VI international education bill. The new bill, dubbed the Burton Amendment to the College Access and Opportunity Act, was put before one chamber of Congress by Congressman Dan Burton [R-IN], and would have required US colleges and universities to report such donations through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a publicly available and searchable database.
According to an aide to Congressman Burton, the amending bill made it past committee and when presented on the House floor was about to be put to a voice vote where a simple "yea" or "nay" vote would have led to its passage. George Miller [D-CA], as leader of the Democratic caucus stated his side had no objections to the bill just before a vote was held. But when the voice vote was requested, someone from the floor said "no," thus requiring a roll call vote where each representative would be recognized on how he voted on the matter.
In what should have been a shoo-in, the amendment was voted down at the last minute on a roll call vote 306 to 120. Miller himself, who raised no objections to the amendment moments earlier, voted down the bill when his identity could be linked to its passage along with the rest of the House.
This illustrates the sway of Saudi money – even in our own Congress, the "voice of the people."
Our educational system is, if anything, worse. As we are working hard to secure our borders from terrorism and fighting terrorist movements overseas, the same people who are financing much of the world's terrorism are pouring money into American colleges and universities with the intent of undermining support for our government's efforts in the War on Terror.
American universities – those idealists who claim racism, misogyny, religious persecution and violations of human rights are antithetical to their mission – are more than willing to accept funding from the Wahhabist Saudi regime that practices such behaviors. The funds go to set up Middle East Studies centers that serve to indoctrinate future generations of American college students to support the goals of overseas terrorists and dictators. These centers also promote outreach programs in which teachers and professors in our local communities are trained and provided with curricula that preach a radical anti-democratic, anti-American, and frequently anti-Semitic agenda in our primary and secondary school classrooms. Our children are their targets.
Two years ago, I began writing about how pervasive Saudi funding at American colleges had become, only to see the problem escalate. Saudi expenditures in American colleges have far exceeded the funding spent on propaganda by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Yet for all the "educational assistance" sent abroad, Saudi Arabia's own illiteracy rate has remained at nearly 50% of its population. Rather than spending money to teach their own people to read, the Saudis are busy with a public relations campaign to export support for their despotic regime to the US.
Future generations of Americans are being indoctrinated because college administrators just want the money. Imagine if during the Cold War, Congress stood by and allowed the Soviet Union openly to pour millions of dollars into our nation's colleges and universities to promote anti-American textbooks endorsing communism in our classrooms, or if Hitler had staffed German Studies departments with Nazis to promote the glory of the Third Reich during the Second World War, and you can get the picture.
Most of the terrorists who are killing American soldiers in Iraq have been found to be Saudi nationals. The Saudis have always funded Hamas and have offered to fund the new Hamas government in the Palestinian Authority now that the US government, Canada and a few others have refused to do so.
The US State Department has just reissued 21,000 Saudi "student visas" under pressure from American universities who want the lucrative full price tuition revenue added to their coffers. It can be counted on that many of these students will also be sent with the goal of political activism for the Wahhabist regime and Islamist causes on our campuses. That's about the same number of Saudi students that were here on 9/11.
Meanwhile, Saudi propaganda, in their own television and print, still vilifies the West and Jews and continues to roil the conflict in the Middle East against Israel and our presence in Iraq.
Congressman Burton intends to reintroduce his bill in the near future. It is high time the public rises up and demands it be passed. Meanwhile, a bill exposing who gets campaign money from Saudi Arabia in Congress should be the next thing on the agenda.
Lee Kaplan is an investigative journalist and contributor to Front Page Magazine. He is currently working on a book: A New Kind of War: America's College Campuses as a Battleground in the War on Terror.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org