Academics against the war

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Mar 12 07:11:13 MST 2003

Chronicle of Higher Education
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

14,000 Academics and Writers Sign Statement Opposing Threatened U.S.
Invasion of Iraq

Fourteen thousand intellectuals -- most of them academics -- have signed
a statement that appeared as an advertisement in The New York Times on
Tuesday condemning a possible U.S. war with Iraq.

The ad says: "On the eve of battle, 14,000 U.S. writers, academics and
other intellectuals say NO TO WAR." It calls waging war at this time
"morally unacceptable," and says: "No compelling evidence has been
offered of an imminent threat to our security that would justify the use
of military force."

Joshua Cohen, chairman of the political-science department at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coordinated the ad campaign and
collected the signatures via a Web site.

Mr. Cohen, who is co-editor of Boston Review, a political and literary
magazine, said that 90 to 95 percent of those who signed the document
are professors. They include Eric Chivian, an assistant clinical
professor of psychiatry at Harvard University who won the 1985 Nobel
Peace Prize, Edward W. Said, a university professor at Columbia
University, and Elaine Scarry, a professor of English at Harvard.
Writers, medical doctors, pastors, and peace activists also signed,
including the writers Nora Ephron and Susanna Kaysen and the activist
Gloria Steinem.

Although the advertisement does not list all 14,000 names, they are
available online at the magazine's Web site.


Mr. Cohen said professors had donated the $50,000 it cost to place the
ad. He decided to start an online petition last month when a foreign
academic e-mailed him about the possible war and asked: "Where are the
American intellectuals on this?" Said Mr. Cohen: "I knew there were a
lot of people opposed to the war and doing stuff about it. But there
wasn't a sufficiently strong presence [among intellectuals] on the issue."


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