I was interviewed on Friday, March 2, 2007 for a documentary called “Voices from America.” About ten academicians, many of whom attended the International Studies conference at the Hilton Towers in Chicago, were interviewed. The great Richard Falk, one of the world’s leading experts on world politics, the nuclear age and human rights will appear on the broadcast as well.
It will be shown on Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. It may also be broadcast on an additional channel that is beamed to Iranian expatriates in third countries. The tape will leave the U.S., go to London and eventually end up in Tehran and then be subtitled in Farsi, or Persian, and then aired. I should receive advance notification when my segment will be shown. I was told the programme is shown sequentially with different professors appearing at different times. My hope is it will appear on satellite.
I was interviewed for about an hour and a half on issues ranging from the Iraq War, a discussion of several of my course offerings, Iran’s nuclear programme, why America frequently goes to war, assessing the state of academic freedom in the U.S., the applicability of Edward Said’s Orientalism, the Israel-Palestine question, the evolution of a pacifist viewpoint, what supporting the troops means in popular culture and the militarisation of American society. I was also asked about my e-mail event four years ago that led to a nationally publicised academic freedom case.
There were an interviewer and a cameraperson and the atmosphere was very professional, polite and collegial. No trick or loaded questions and the interviewer had clearly done his homework. I spoke my mind as I always do and we shall see what reverberations will ensue for exercising my right of academic freedom to express possibly controversial extramural utterances. We need as Americans to engage our adversaries in discourse, to recognise our common humanity and to advocate peace, reconciliation and conflct resolution.
NO to war, yes to international peace and justice!!!!!!!!