Anthropologists in the Public Sphere: Speaking Out on War, by Roberto J. Gonzalez

By Roberto J. Gonzalez

Anthropologists have a protracted culture of prescient diagnoses of global occasions. owning an information of tradition, society, and heritage no longer continuously shared through the media's speaking heads, anthropologists have performed an important function in instructing the final reader at the public debates from global conflict I to the second one Gulf War.

This anthology collects over fifty commentaries through famous anthropologists resembling Margaret Mead, Franz Boas, and Marshall Sahlins who search to appreciate and clarify the profound repercussions of U.S. involvement within the heart East, Asia, Africa, and Latin the USA. often drawing all alone fieldwork, the anthropologists transcend the headlines to attract connections among indigenous cultures, company globalization, and modern political and financial crises. Venues variety from the op-ed pages of across the world popular newspapers comparable to the New York Times and the Washington Post to journal articles and tv interviews. certain sections entitled "Prelude to September eleven" and "Anthropological Interpretations of September eleven" contain articles that supplied many americans with their first giant advent to the heritage of Islam, important Asia, and the center East. every one article encompasses a short creation contextualizing the commentary.

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Additional info for Anthropologists in the Public Sphere: Speaking Out on War, Peace, and American Power

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The person who’s torturing? MR. X: To most of the Americans, to most of the simple-minded Americans who get involved in Vietnam—that’s all the Boobus americanus that H. L. Mencken spoke about—undoubtedly they think that the mental and emotional torture we’re talking about is the least objectionable, because they’ve never really paused to seriously reflect about it themselves; or perhaps they did not go through the experience of being a POW in the Korean Conflict themselves. And they can probably tell you, ‘‘Oh, Jesus, I’d try and stop that physical torture, because I know it’s just wrong’’— you know.

Consequently, the ‘‘war on terror’’ poses a threat to native peoples and ethnic minorities throughout the world. In separate commentaries, John Burdick and Roberto J. S. bombing raids over Afghanistan—and the resulting civilian casualties—are making future terrorist attacks on the United States more, not less, likely to occur. Dale F. Eickelman’s contribution makes a critical point: that new media technologies including video and satellite images, computers, and advanced telecommunications are a part of daily life in the Arab-speaking world.

The treatment seems a compressed and abbreviated version of the procedures used on American POWs during the Korean War. The interrogator has at most four or five days before he must send the prisoner on. Physical torture is precluded. A special type of ‘‘mental torture’’ (their term) is instead inflicted. 24 07:06 MARSHALL SAHLINS 37 military information. The prisoner’s disclosures are at the same time a betrayal of his cause and a confession of his errors, a renunciation of belief. If the technique really is effective, and the Americans claim it is, I think it must be because of some rather special qualities of revolutionary warfare and warriors.

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