[Marxism] Another imperialist academic asset bites the dust

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jun 26 07:09:34 MDT 2008


Today's News

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Doctoral Student in Controversial Army Program Dies in Baghdad Blast


Nicole Suveges, a doctoral student in political science at the Johns 
Hopkins University, was killed on Tuesday in a bombing in the Sadr City 
district of Baghdad.

It was the second fatal attack in less than two months for the U.S. 
Army's Human Terrain System, a program that embeds social scientists 
within military units. Ms. Suveges was serving as a civilian employee of 
the program, assisting the Army's Third Brigade Combat Team.

Six Iraqi civilians, two U.S. soldiers, and a U.S. State Department 
official also died in Tuesday's attack, which took place at Sadr City's 
District Council office.

"She had an innate curiosity about the way things work and about why 
things work so differently in place and time X than they do in place and 
time Y," said her adviser at Johns Hopkins, Mark M. Blyth, in an 
interview on Wednesday.

"It's very tragic," said Mr. Blyth, who is an associate professor of 
political science. "She was just beginning to get re-engaged with her 
academic work. I always had high hopes for her. She was an extremely 
bright person."

Before joining the human-terrain program in April, Ms. Suveges had 
worked for a civilian contractor in Iraq for a year. During that time, 
Mr. Blyth said, she gathered material for a dissertation on Iraqi 
citizens' beliefs about democracy and the rule of law.

"She was interested in what these concepts mean to Iraqis," Mr. Blyth 
said, "and how that plays into American understandings of an effective 
transition there, versus what's happening on the ground. So she was very 
much involved in making this project work, and making it work from the 
ground up."

Ms. Suveges graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1992 
and earned a master's degree in political science from George Washington 
University in 1998. In the late 1990s, she served as an Army reservist 
in Bosnia.

The human-terrain program suffered its first fatality last month. 
Michael V. Bhatia, a graduate student at the University of Oxford, was 
killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on May 7 (The Chronicle, June 24).

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