Phi Beta Cons

John Agresto Gets It Right

Candace recently called our attention to an op-ed by John Agresto that explained how both right and left have been wrong on Iraq, the former especially after the fall of Hussein. Agresto went to Iraq to help re-build its system of higher education, and, especially, to add a component of liberal arts to its largely professional and vocational aims (medicine engineering, etc.). Liberal arts can be key in forming a populace capable of reflection and self-government. (Leave aside what has happened to liberal studies here. John, former president of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, was thinking of the real thing.) Here is the situation in Iraq’s universities produced by the looting that our then starry-eyed Secretary of Defense described as an offshoot of ”freedom.” This is from an interview Agresto did with Academic Questions for the Summer 2006 issue:

 

Except for the three universities in the Kurdish region and a very few others, the universities were fundamentally stripped bare–no desks, chairs, equipment, computers, typewriters, copiers, lecterns, paper, pencils, blackboards, fans, wiring, plumbing, or books.  And what couldn’t be stolen, like libraries, was generally burned.

Most Popular

Media

The Unseemly Urge to Excuse Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, was suspended from his jobs and subjected to a round of public mockery for visibly exposing himself while masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues. The call was designed to role-play post-election scenarios for a contested election; Toobin ... Read More
Media

The Unseemly Urge to Excuse Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, was suspended from his jobs and subjected to a round of public mockery for visibly exposing himself while masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues. The call was designed to role-play post-election scenarios for a contested election; Toobin ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More