Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [SACC-L] Mercenary Anthropology

Expand Messages
  • Monica Bellas
    While I do not practice applied anthropology, if I did, I (like Rebecca) would choose not to place myself in a situation where the knowledge that I have, and
    Message 1 of 29 , Oct 16, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      While I do not practice applied anthropology, if I did, I (like Rebecca)
      would choose not to place myself in a situation where the knowledge that I
      have, and the work that I do/have done, could be used in some fashion
      against the people that I have studied with. As I teach my students, our
      first responsibility lies with the people we learn from.
      So, while that's all well and good to have the personal opinion of not
      working "for" some type of institution, we as a discipline still have to
      deal with the ramifications of some of us engaging in work for an
      institution (be it the Pentagon, a corporation, a union, etc.). regardless
      of how ethical the particular anthropologist is.
      From my point of view, I think the basic problem still seems to be how our
      knowledge is being used. Is it used to benefit someone/something other than
      the people we study with? If so, is the knowledge going to be used by
      others responsibly and ethically?
      Hopefully smarter minds than mine will have an answer.
      Monica Bellas
      Cerritos College
      Norwalk, CA

      >From: Rebecca Cramer <missiontosonora@...>
      >Reply-To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      >To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology
      >Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 14:38:27 -0700 (PDT)
      >
      >BTW, Chief Whatsisname is history now. Most people I've read and talked to
      >agree that over time the public pressure from boycotts and protests and the
      >like did him in.
      >
      > On the other thing, I believe in advocacy anthropology and practice it
      >whenever I can. People like Harold Prinz and his work with the Micmac of
      >Maine have contributed immensely to the empowerment of folks around the
      >world. They themselves have taken the lead role in this, of course.
      > We all make choices in our personal and professional lives. I would not
      >choose to "embed" myself with any organization that seeks to impose its
      >will on other people through force, and especially through invsionary
      >force.
      > Just another voice,
      >
      > Rebecca
      >
      >
    • Lloyd Miller
      Brian, You are right. I agree with you and stand corrected. I was addressing applied anthropology in general and lumped military work in with the rest. As
      Message 2 of 29 , Oct 17, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Brian,

        You are right. I agree with you and stand corrected. I was
        addressing applied anthropology in general and lumped military work
        in with the rest. As you say, any attempts to educate warriors still
        makes the anthropologists part of the war effort. With Rebecca and
        Monica, I too would not wittingly participate in any endeavor that
        invaded others, forced them against their will or harmed them.

        Lloyd




        On Oct 16, 2007, at 5:08 PM, Lynch, Brian M wrote:

        > Lloyd,
        >
        > It puzzles me why you continue to put this issue in terms of
        > anthropologists and whether they are personally ethical. It isn't a
        > question of whether as individuals they are being ethical (or that
        > conversely, if we question whether anthropologists should be
        > working for the promotion of military operations, we are
        > questioning their personal integrity.) The fact is that they are
        > working for a side in a war. This makes them partisan without
        > question, however "ethically" or "conscientiously" they do their
        > jobs. They are working to help one side of the war be successful.
        > They aren't just generically working to reduce or eliminate
        > violence, but only to smooth the way a little bit so that "we" can
        > "win" with somewhat attenuated violence (anthropologists among them
        > in fact carrying weapons themselves). All of this is based on the
        > assumption, it seems, that this side is the one that SHOULD win the
        > war, however nicely or violently we do it. In essence, it implies a
        > judgement about which side is "right" in this war. It seems from
        > this that we are operating on the principle then, as
        > anthropologists, that as long as we are on the "right" side, we can
        > operate professionally as long as we are also doing so with some
        > sort of "ethical" principles.
        >
        > From that point on all bets are off about the trustworthiness off
        > ANY anthropologist, from the perspective of any people facing the
        > power of military, state, and police forces anywhere, at home or
        > abroad.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Deborah Shepherd
        I think at this point we should consult some of the Ethics documents created by the AAA. From the AAA web site in the document, Briefing Paper on
        Message 3 of 29 , Oct 17, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          I think at this point we should consult some of the Ethics documents created by the AAA. From the AAA web site in the document, "Briefing Paper on Consideration of the Potentially Negative Impact of the Publication of Factual Data about a Study Population on Such Population. (http://www.aaanet.org/committees/ethics/bp4.htm):

          'Finally, under III(C)(1), anthropologists are reminded "... they are not only responsible for the factual content of their statements but also must consider carefully the social and political implications of the information they disseminate. They must do everything in their power to insure that such information is well understood, properly contextualized, and responsibly utilized. ... At the same time, they must be alert to the possible harm their information may cause people with whom they work of colleagues." '

          and the summary:

          'Therefore, anthropological researchers should consider the potentially negative impact of the publication of factual data about a study population on such population prior to beginning a project by attempting to:
          Identify at the on-set of any project the possible personal, social, and political implications that the publication of factual data concerning a study population may have on that population;
          Involve the study population throughout the entire process of the project (from the formulation of the research design, the collection of the data, the synthesis of data, and the publication of data) in such a way that the cultural context of the population under study is represented within the project to as much an extent possible;
          Weigh the scientific and anthropological importance of the data against the possible harm to the study population;
          Integrate the data in such a way that its role within the cultural context is fully explained;
          Present the data in such a way that sensationalism is minimized while the contextual comprehension of the data is maximized;
          Report truthfully any scientific or cultural biases that may be inherent in the presentation of the data;
          Explain the importance of the data under discussion both to the scientific and local communities in language understandable by each community and disseminate the information in both communities as widely as possible;
          While advocacy is a personal choice that each researcher must make, it is imperative that the researcher acknowledge the scientific need for balance in anthropological reporting.'
          Although none of this commentary on ethics directly addresses the concerns of working for a national military, the AAA has made very clear that the anthropologist's first responsibility is to the subject population, not to the "client group," irrespective of the fact that the client (the military in this case) is paying the bills.

          Deborah Shepherd

          Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
          Anthropology
          Anoka-Ramsey Community College
          Coon Rapids Campus
          deborah.shepherd@...
          http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
          http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc
          phone number: 763-433-1195


          >>> "Monica Bellas" <lady13wind@...> 10/16/2007 11:42 PM >>>

          While I do not practice applied anthropology, if I did, I (like Rebecca)
          would choose not to place myself in a situation where the knowledge that I
          have, and the work that I do/have done, could be used in some fashion
          against the people that I have studied with. As I teach my students, our
          first responsibility lies with the people we learn from.
          So, while that's all well and good to have the personal opinion of not
          working "for" some type of institution, we as a discipline still have to
          deal with the ramifications of some of us engaging in work for an
          institution (be it the Pentagon, a corporation, a union, etc.). regardless
          of how ethical the particular anthropologist is.
          From my point of view, I think the basic problem still seems to be how our
          knowledge is being used. Is it used to benefit someone/something other than
          the people we study with? If so, is the knowledge going to be used by
          others responsibly and ethically?
          Hopefully smarter minds than mine will have an answer.
          Monica Bellas
          Cerritos College
          Norwalk, CA

          >From: Rebecca Cramer <missiontosonora@...>
          >Reply-To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          >To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology
          >Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 14:38:27 -0700 (PDT)
          >
          >BTW, Chief Whatsisname is history now. Most people I've read and talked to
          >agree that over time the public pressure from boycotts and protests and the
          >like did him in.
          >
          > On the other thing, I believe in advocacy anthropology and practice it
          >whenever I can. People like Harold Prinz and his work with the Micmac of
          >Maine have contributed immensely to the empowerment of folks around the
          >world. They themselves have taken the lead role in this, of course.
          > We all make choices in our personal and professional lives. I would not
          >choose to "embed" myself with any organization that seeks to impose its
          >will on other people through force, and especially through invsionary
          >force.
          > Just another voice,
          >
          > Rebecca
          >
          >




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Deborah Shepherd
          Sorry, but I see that yahoo has eliminated the formatting of my message. To avoid confusion, the last paragraph beginning with Although... is my commentary.
          Message 4 of 29 , Oct 17, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Sorry, but I see that yahoo has eliminated the formatting of my message. To avoid confusion, the last paragraph beginning with "Although..." is my commentary.
            DS

            >>> "Deborah Shepherd" <deborah.shepherd@...> 10/17/2007 1:48 PM >>>

            I think at this point we should consult some of the Ethics documents created by the AAA. From the AAA web site in the document, "Briefing Paper on Consideration of the Potentially Negative Impact of the Publication of Factual Data about a Study Population on Such Population. (http://www.aaanet.org/committees/ethics/bp4.htm):

            'Finally, under III(C)(1), anthropologists are reminded "... they are not only responsible for the factual content of their statements but also must consider carefully the social and political implications of the information they disseminate. They must do everything in their power to insure that such information is well understood, properly contextualized, and responsibly utilized. ... At the same time, they must be alert to the possible harm their information may cause people with whom they work of colleagues." '

            and the summary:

            'Therefore, anthropological researchers should consider the potentially negative impact of the publication of factual data about a study population on such population prior to beginning a project by attempting to:
            Identify at the on-set of any project the possible personal, social, and political implications that the publication of factual data concerning a study population may have on that population;
            Involve the study population throughout the entire process of the project (from the formulation of the research design, the collection of the data, the synthesis of data, and the publication of data) in such a way that the cultural context of the population under study is represented within the project to as much an extent possible;
            Weigh the scientific and anthropological importance of the data against the possible harm to the study population;
            Integrate the data in such a way that its role within the cultural context is fully explained;
            Present the data in such a way that sensationalism is minimized while the contextual comprehension of the data is maximized;
            Report truthfully any scientific or cultural biases that may be inherent in the presentation of the data;
            Explain the importance of the data under discussion both to the scientific and local communities in language understandable by each community and disseminate the information in both communities as widely as possible;
            While advocacy is a personal choice that each researcher must make, it is imperative that the researcher acknowledge the scientific need for balance in anthropological reporting.'
            Although none of this commentary on ethics directly addresses the concerns of working for a national military, the AAA has made very clear that the anthropologist's first responsibility is to the subject population, not to the "client group," irrespective of the fact that the client (the military in this case) is paying the bills.

            Deborah Shepherd

            Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
            Anthropology
            Anoka-Ramsey Community College
            Coon Rapids Campus
            deborah.shepherd@...
            http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
            http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc
            phone number: 763-433-1195


            >>> "Monica Bellas" <lady13wind@...> 10/16/2007 11:42 PM >>>

            While I do not practice applied anthropology, if I did, I (like Rebecca)
            would choose not to place myself in a situation where the knowledge that I
            have, and the work that I do/have done, could be used in some fashion
            against the people that I have studied with. As I teach my students, our
            first responsibility lies with the people we learn from.
            So, while that's all well and good to have the personal opinion of not
            working "for" some type of institution, we as a discipline still have to
            deal with the ramifications of some of us engaging in work for an
            institution (be it the Pentagon, a corporation, a union, etc.). regardless
            of how ethical the particular anthropologist is.
            From my point of view, I think the basic problem still seems to be how our
            knowledge is being used. Is it used to benefit someone/something other than
            the people we study with? If so, is the knowledge going to be used by
            others responsibly and ethically?
            Hopefully smarter minds than mine will have an answer.
            Monica Bellas
            Cerritos College
            Norwalk, CA

            >From: Rebecca Cramer <missiontosonora@...>
            >Reply-To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
            >To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology
            >Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 14:38:27 -0700 (PDT)
            >
            >BTW, Chief Whatsisname is history now. Most people I've read and talked to
            >agree that over time the public pressure from boycotts and protests and the
            >like did him in.
            >
            > On the other thing, I believe in advocacy anthropology and practice it
            >whenever I can. People like Harold Prinz and his work with the Micmac of
            >Maine have contributed immensely to the empowerment of folks around the
            >world. They themselves have taken the lead role in this, of course.
            > We all make choices in our personal and professional lives. I would not
            >choose to "embed" myself with any organization that seeks to impose its
            >will on other people through force, and especially through invsionary
            >force.
            > Just another voice,
            >
            > Rebecca
            >
            >




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Lewine, Mark
            I have supported this structural view about professional ethics in anthropology most of my life, but now try to be more critical in reviewing my perspectives
            Message 5 of 29 , Oct 17, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              I have supported this structural view about professional ethics in anthropology most of my life, but now try to be more critical in reviewing my perspectives and find that this view is too simplistic and aritificial. The view that we can be 'pure' professional cultural specialists without taking sides or using economic or political considerations for our work is simply too easy and at the very least blind to the realities of everyday anthropology in any form. Where are the lines drawn for being 'mercenary'? If our colleges and states are involved in promoting and investing in war and we get paid for our work by the state and by the college, are we not complicit and taking sides? I am done being a smug academic who pretends that I am above the fray in my community. As recruiters offer my poor and lower middle-class students bribes and forgiveness of college loans if they will be front men and women for my kids who can afford to stay out and pay off their loans because the state pays me to teach the poor, should I call this my participation in the class ridden program to sacrifice my students so that my own kids can survive and get good jobs? Should I return my pay because of this? These are real issues you bring up with mercenary anthropologists, but avoid stopping the analysis with others so that we remain comfortable.

              "Terrorists" have been telling us for years that participation through our taxes and elected officials and support for the corporations and government agencies that are hurting their people (say, Palestinians, or people on reservations) mean that they have to go to extremes to show us that we are involved in their pain.


              ________________________________

              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lynch, Brian M
              Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 6:08 PM
              To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology



              Lloyd,

              It puzzles me why you continue to put this issue in terms of anthropologists and whether they are personally ethical. It isn't a question of whether as individuals they are being ethical (or that conversely, if we question whether anthropologists should be working for the promotion of military operations, we are questioning their personal integrity.) The fact is that they are working for a side in a war. This makes them partisan without question, however "ethically" or "conscientiously" they do their jobs. They are working to help one side of the war be successful. They aren't just generically working to reduce or eliminate violence, but only to smooth the way a little bit so that "we" can "win" with somewhat attenuated violence (anthropologists among them in fact carrying weapons themselves). All of this is based on the assumption, it seems, that this side is the one that SHOULD win the war, however nicely or violently we do it. In essence, it implies a judgement about which side is "right" in this war. It seems from this that we are operating on the principle then, as anthropologists, that as long as we are on the "right" side, we can operate professionally as long as we are also doing so with some sort of "ethical" principles.

              From that point on all bets are off about the trustworthiness off ANY anthropologist, from the perspective of any people facing the power of military, state, and police forces anywhere, at home or abroad.





              ________________________________

              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Lloyd Miller
              Sent: Tue 10/16/2007 4:49 PM
              To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology

              Never having walked the proverbial mile in the moccasins of applied
              anthropologists, I've tried to "play anthropologist" (ha!) and
              imagine what it would be like to work as one in the military or for a
              business corporation. One conclusion: I cannot sit on the academic
              sidelines and presume to judge how they should do their jobs. My
              guess is that most of them at least accept their jobs with beliefs
              and values similar to those of their academic counterparts: that
              they'll make a positive contribution-to their informants/subjects/
              clients/employers/society, etc. Probably they're all too busy
              working to convene committees on ethics. LIke the rest of us, they
              play it on the fly and make their ethical choices individually as
              issues arise (perhaps why Briody and Baba chose not to talk about it
              with Mark).

              A most extreme case-possibly apocryphal so I won't name him-involved
              an anthropologist from a large Midwestern university doing
              ethnography in Guatemala in the 1950s during a period of intense
              government violence against indigenous peoples. Some CIA types
              approached him and asked questions about his village that in the
              wrong hands would have threatened its safety. He in essence told
              them to go to hell, packed his belongings and left that night, having
              burned his hut with all the notes, typewriter, everything, went home
              and returned what was left of his U.S. federal grant.

              As we've learned from the Vietnam experience in the 1960s, some
              anthropologists and other social scientists did not do this, but
              rather gave information to the CIA types who sought it (after all,
              we're both funded by the U.S. govt; we're on the same team, right)?
              Some of these instances had tragic results for Vietnamese civilians.
              Were these scholars unethical? Did many of them know what the
              consequences of their actions would be? Should we have expected them
              all to act as did the anthropologist in Guatemala? I'd like to
              believe I would have that kind of courage, but I don't know-I
              couldn't guarantee it.

              I'm shocked, as are others, to hear of the Blackwater Security fiasco
              in Iraq. Sometimes, however, I play anthropologist and try to
              imagine what it would be like working there as a mercenary.
              Dangerous to be sure, but six-figure salaries, premium benefits,
              protecting the lives of important people... Would I be too quick to
              fire at the perceived enemy? Certainly I wouldn't intend it, but
              again, I don't think I could guarantee anything.

              Now let me offer an academic ethical conundrum. Throughout my entire
              teaching career I maintained the belief that an essential part of
              teaching students was evaluating them. I remember the great care and
              concern we all used in proctoring exams, writing statements about
              cheating and plagiarism in our syllabi and discussing these matters
              in class. When students asked why all the concern, I would tell them
              that it was my sacred duty to assess their learning in the course and
              that the grade I assigned would be a part of their permanent record.
              Therefore, if they succeeded in cheating, they'd make me an unwitting
              accomplice to their crimes, and I didn't want that.

              In recent years, more and more faculty are teaching courses online.
              I have asked all I've met how they hold their students accountable
              for doing their own work, etc. So far, the responses have been
              unanimous: "I can't." When I ask, "does this bother you?" the most
              common response is something like, "Yeah, to a degree, but not enough
              to raise a stink and risk job security." (In the interest of full
              disclosure, my wife now teaches psychology online and we've had this
              discussion many times.) Her reasons for teaching online are that the
              administration is pushing it (oh, they love it-all that cool
              technology, it's so now, it's so corporate!), enrollments are higher
              than in classroom sections, she hopes to retire in a few years and is
              thus beefing up her load to increase her retirement pension. In
              contrast, my son has resisted teaching English online but
              consequently is suffering lower enrollments and knows that eventually
              he'll have to do it for job security.

              So far, I have not heard that any college committee anywhere is
              convening to discuss whether students are being held appropriately
              accountable for their own learning. Perhaps, as with the
              anthropologists working for the military, the best we can hope for is
              that MOST online students have integrity and will behave honestly.
              Both the academic and the applied scenarios are imperfect. Ethics
              codes alone won't help much. They'd be more effective if they were
              tied to a licensing board, but anthropology is a long way from that.
              "Boycotting" (who-the military? the embedded anthropologists? and
              how would it be done?), as suggested by some anthropologists, may
              make the boycotters feel good but would be ineffective (like AAA
              "boycotting" Chicago because of the Illinois Chief Illiniwick mascott
              by forbidding SACC to hold its meetings there).

              I'd recommend that we educate our students well and then support
              them when they do applied work just as we do when they become
              teachers. If we do our job well, maybe most of them will not shame
              us, at least in no greater proportion than their contemporaries in
              law and medicine.

              (A totally different aside if you've stayed with me this long). On
              the Oct 9 Diane Rehm NPR radio program Tom Stevenson forwarded to us,
              the commander in Baghdad announced that one of his Human Terrain team
              members is David Matsuda. David is a former SACC member some of you
              may remember. He published a paper in SACC Notes some years back.

              Lloyd Miller

              On Oct 16, 2007, at 11:12 AM, Lewine, Mark wrote:

              > It is clear that we have at least a two-sided problem: anthropology
              > continues to ignore and marginalize 'practioner' anthropology, even
              > though currently more than twice as many Ph.D.'s work in NAPA's
              > domain than the traditional fields, and those in the applied and
              > practioner fields have not constructed a specific code of ethics
              > that applies specifically to its domain. For example, when I
              > questioned both Elizabeth Briody and Meta Baba (two exceptional
              > scholars in practice and applied anthropology) about ethical
              > concerns related to the effect on workers of consulting contracts
              > in corporations when the consequence of the work includes lay-offs,
              > they both avoided the issue. Urban fieldwork, urban corporate
              > fieldwork based consulting, government agency work all need self-
              > conscious review of ethical issues and concerns. Does anyone know
              > who might be addressing these issues?
              >
              > ________________________________
              >
              > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> ] On
              > Behalf Of Deborah Shepherd
              > Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 5:53 PM
              > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
              > Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology
              >
              > One doesn't have to assume that persons in the military are
              > unintelligent, unethical, or any other negative quality to question
              > whether it is wise to enter into such a contract without knowing
              > where it could lead. And how can we know where it might lead? We
              > can't. I'd be much happier if the AAA at least had some specific
              > guidelines for spelling out such a working relationship. The same
              > should go for working with corporations (especially the
              > multinationals) or any other "applied anthropology" situation where
              > the anthropologists' research could impact a population directly
              > and in a way that is not within the anthropologists' control. Sure,
              > similar projects have worked out for the best plenty of times in
              > the past, but the world gets more complicated everyday.
              >
              > Deborah Shepherd
              >
              > >>> "Lewine, Mark" <mark.lewine@... <mailto:mark.lewine%40tri-c.edu> <mailto:mark.lewine%40tri-
              > c.edu> > 10/15/2007 3:01 PM >>>
              >
              > I completely agree with these sentiments as I found myself making
              > the same mistake early in my career. Shortly after attaining my
              > graduate degree in anthropology, we (my consultant group for
              > intercultural relations) were offered a contract by the Defense
              > Dept. after one of our workshops was attended by Admiral Zumwalt.
              > To make a long story short, I rejected the offer because I
              > stereotyped the military, started teaching at a community college
              > instead. My partners became very successful in producing what was
              > and is one of the best 'race' relations institute in the country.
              > What I learned after many years was that the military can be run by
              > very intelligent highly ethical leaders who insist on humanistic
              > values while community colleges can be run by highly unethical,
              > incompetent and mercenary power-hungry individuals. I made the
              > right choice for the wrong reasons.
              >
              > ________________________________
              >
              > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
              > [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> ]
              > On Behalf Of Hare II, William E
              > Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 10:01 AM
              > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
              > Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology
              >
              > Having worked with the CT National Guard for ten years (I taught
              > military history and held the rank of Captain in the state military
              > department) I have mixed feelings about this issue. I think Lloyd
              > is right when he advises that we hold our condemnations until we
              > have had time to think out the issue. I am often amazed how a
              > professional organization such as ours, that prides itself on the
              > use of cultural relativism, can quickly bunch all military
              > personnel and operations into some form of conspiracy. I think the
              > real dilemma is that any anthropologist attempted to build enough
              > rapport with the local populous to do any good will find themselves
              > in an untenable relationship between the natives and the military.
              >
              > I have often told my students from the very beginning of this Iraq
              > disaster that if the Bush administration had bothered to consult
              > (and listen to) any anthropologist worth their salt, then we
              > wouldn't have troops over there to begin with.
              >
              > Will
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
              > <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-
              > L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%
              > 40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of Lloyd Miller
              > Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 2:05 PM
              > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
              > <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
              > Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology
              >
              > As I read this article I was reminded of the oft-quoted saying, "Be
              > careful what you wish for...(it just might come true"). I have long
              > believed that anthropology ought to contribute more than it has done
              > traditionally toward the solution of real-life problems. Of course,
              > this means that more anthropologists must work in applied areas
              > outside of academe. Well, here we have it-anthropologists helping
              > the Army increase its cultural understanding of the so-called enemy
              > in order to---what? "improve [their] security, health care and
              > education," bring governance "down to them" or to kill them more
              > effectively?
              >
              > My first reaction is to disbelieve any spin the military might put on
              > their descriptions. We've already had too many lies from this
              > administration. I'm also reminded of the Project Camelot and social
              > scientists' involvement with the CIA during the Nam war. These
              > activities drew much criticism and soul-searching from the
              > anthropological community and inspired discussions-still ongoing-
              > about our professional ethics.
              >
              > However, maybe we shouldn't be too quick to condemn the entire
              > endeavor. I mean, anthropologists are capable of both ethical and
              > unethical behavior like any other group of people. Without them, our
              > military (and political) leadership will continue to bumble along in
              > their characteristic ethnocentric fog. I guess I need to believe
              > that at least some anthropologists who work for government (or
              > private corporations, etc.) will make valuable contributions without
              > compromising their integrity. And perhaps in the real world, some
              > has just gotta be better than none.
              >
              > If instead we offer only the kind of sanctimonious outrage so often
              > associated with academics, we may drive our colleagues back into the
              > ivory tower and the "real world" won't hear from us for another
              > decade.
              >
              > Lloyd
              >
              > On Oct 5, 2007, at 10:38 AM, Lori Barkley wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > The New York Times
              > > http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html? <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html?>
              > <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html? <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html?> >
              > <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html? <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html?> <http://
              > www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html?> >
              > > pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp
              > >
              > > October 5, 2007
              > > Army Enlists Anthropology in War Zones
              > > By DAVID ROHDE
              > >
              > > SHABAK VALLEY, Afghanistan * In this isolated Taliban stronghold in
              > > eastern Afghanistan, American paratroopers are fielding what they
              > > consider a crucial new weapon in counterinsurgency operations
              > here: a
              > > soft-spoken civilian anthropologist named Tracy.
              > >
              > > Tracy, who asked that her surname not be used for security
              > reasons, is
              > > a member of the first Human Terrain Team, an experimental Pentagon
              > > program that assigns anthropologists and other social scientists to
              > > American combat units in Afghanistan and Iraq. Her team's ability to
              > > understand subtle points of tribal relations * in one case
              > spotting a
              > > land dispute that allowed the Taliban to bully parts of a major
              > > tribe *
              > > has won the praise of officers who say they are seeing concrete
              > > results.
              > >
              > > Col. Martin Schweitzer, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division unit
              > > working with the anthropologists here, said that the unit's combat
              > > operations had been reduced by 60 percent since the scientists
              > arrived
              > > in February, and that the soldiers were now able to focus more on
              > > improving security, health care and education for the population.
              > >
              > > "We're looking at this from a human perspective, from a social
              > > scientist's perspective," he said. "We're not focused on the enemy.
              > > We're focused on bringing governance down to the people."
              > >
              > > In September, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates authorized a $40
              > > million expansion of the program, which will assign teams of
              > > anthropologists and social scientists to each of the 26 American
              > > combat
              > > brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since early September, five new
              > > teams
              > > have been deployed in the Baghdad area, bringing the total to six.
              > >
              > > Yet criticism is emerging in academia. Citing the past misuse of
              > > social
              > > sciences in counterinsurgency campaigns, including in Vietnam and
              > > Latin
              > > America, some denounce the program as "mercenary anthropology" that
              > > exploits social science for political gain. Opponents fear that,
              > > whatever their intention, the scholars who work with the military
              > > could
              > > inadvertently cause all anthropologists to be viewed as intelligence
              > > gatherers for the American military.
              > >
              > > Hugh Gusterson, an anthropology professor at George Mason
              > University,
              > > and 10 other anthropologists are circulating an online pledge
              > calling
              > > for anthropologists to boycott the teams, particularly in Iraq.
              > >
              > > "While often presented by its proponents as work that builds a more
              > > secure world," the pledge says, "at base, it contributes instead
              > to a
              > > brutal war of occupation which has entailed massive casualties."
              > >
              > > In Afghanistan, the anthropologists arrived along with 6,000 troops,
              > > which doubled the American military's strength in the area it
              > patrols,
              > > the country's east.
              > >
              > > A smaller version of the Bush administration's troop increase in
              > Iraq,
              > > the buildup in Afghanistan has allowed American units to carry
              > out the
              > > counterinsurgency strategy here, where American forces generally
              > face
              > > less resistance and are better able to take risks.
              > >
              > > A New Mantra
              > >
              > > Since Gen. David H. Petraeus, now the overall American commander in
              > > Iraq, oversaw the drafting of the Army's new counterinsurgency
              > manual
              > > last year, the strategy has become the new mantra of the military. A
              > > recent American military operation here offered a window into how
              > > efforts to apply the new approach are playing out on the ground in
              > > counterintuitive ways.
              > >
              > > In interviews, American officers lavishly praised the anthropology
              > > program, saying that the scientists' advice has proved to be
              > > "brilliant," helping them see the situation from an Afghan
              > perspective
              > > and allowing them to cut back on combat operations.
              > >
              > > The aim, they say, is to improve the performance of local government
              > > officials, persuade tribesmen to join the police, ease poverty and
              > > protect villagers from the Taliban and criminals.
              > >
              > > Afghans and Western civilian officials, too, praised the
              > > anthropologists and the new American military approach but were
              > > cautious about predicting long-term success. Many of the economic
              > and
              > > political problems fueling instability can be solved only by large
              > > numbers of Afghan and American civilian experts.
              > >
              > > "My feeling is that the military are going through an enormous
              > change
              > > right now where they recognize they won't succeed militarily," said
              > > Tom
              > > Gregg, the chief United Nations official in southeastern
              > Afghanistan.
              > > "But they don't yet have the skill sets to implement" a coherent
              > > nonmilitary strategy, he added.
              > >
              > > Deploying small groups of soldiers into remote areas, Colonel
              > > Schweitzer's paratroopers organized jirgas, or local councils, to
              > > resolve tribal disputes that have simmered for decades. Officers
              > > shrugged off questions about whether the military was comfortable
              > with
              > > what David Kilcullen, an Australian anthropologist and an
              > architect of
              > > the new strategy, calls "armed social work."
              > >
              > > "Who else is going to do it?" asked Lt. Col. David Woods,
              > commander of
              > > the Fourth Squadron, 73rd Cavalry. "You have to evolve. Otherwise
              > > you're useless."
              > >
              > > The anthropology team here also played a major role in what the
              > > military called Operation Khyber. That was a 15-day drive late this
              > > summer in which 500 Afghan and 500 American soldiers tried to
              > clear an
              > > estimated 200 to 250 Taliban insurgents out of much of Paktia
              > > Province,
              > > secure southeastern Afghanistan's most important road and halt a
              > > string
              > > of suicide attacks on American troops and local governors.
              > >
              > > In one of the first districts the team entered, Tracy identified an
              > > unusually high concentration of widows in one village, Colonel Woods
              > > said. Their lack of income created financial pressure on their
              > sons to
              > > provide for their families, she determined, a burden that could
              > drive
              > > the young men to join well-paid insurgents. Citing Tracy's advice,
              > > American officers developed a job training program for the widows.
              > >
              > > In another district, the anthropologist interpreted the beheading
              > of a
              > > local tribal elder as more than a random act of intimidation: the
              > > Taliban's goal, she said, was to divide and weaken the Zadran,
              > one of
              > > southeastern Afghanistan's most powerful tribes. If Afghan and
              > > American
              > > officials could unite the Zadran, she said, the tribe could block
              > the
              > > Taliban from operating in the area.
              > >
              > > "Call it what you want, it works," said Colonel Woods, a native of
              > > Denbo, Pa. "It works in helping you define the problems, not just
              > the
              > > symptoms."
              > >
              > > Embedding Scholars
              > >
              > > The process that led to the creation of the teams began in late
              > 2003,
              > > when American officers in Iraq complained that they had little to no
              > > information about the local population. Pentagon officials contacted
              > > Montgomery McFate, a Yale-educated cultural anthropologist
              > working for
              > > the Navy who advocated using social science to improve military
              > > operations and strategy.
              > >
              > > Ms. McFate helped develop a database in 2005 that provided officers
              > > with detailed information on the local population. The next year,
              > > Steve
              > > Fondacaro, a retired Special Operations colonel, joined the program
              > > and
              > > advocated embedding social scientists with American combat units.
              > >
              > > Ms. McFate, the program's senior social science adviser and an
              > author
              > > of the new counterinsurgency manual, dismissed criticism of scholars
              > > working with the military. "I'm frequently accused of militarizing
              > > anthropology," she said. "But we're really anthropologizing the
              > > military."
              > >
              > > Roberto J. González, an anthropology professor at San Jose State
              > > University, called participants in the program naïve and
              > unethical. He
              > > said that the military and the Central Intelligence Agency had
              > > consistently misused anthropology in counterinsurgency and
              > propaganda
              > > campaigns and that military contractors were now hiring
              > > anthropologists
              > > for their local expertise as well.
              > >
              > > "Those serving the short-term interests of military and intelligence
              > > agencies and contractors," he wrote in the June issue of
              > Anthropology
              > > Today, an academic journal, "will end up harming the entire
              > discipline
              > > in the long run."
              > >
              > > Arguing that her critics misunderstand the program and the military,
              > > Ms. McFate said other anthropologists were joining the teams. She
              > said
              > > their goal was to help the military decrease conflict instead of
              > > provoking it, and she vehemently denied that the anthropologists
              > > collected intelligence for the military.
              > >
              > > In eastern Afghanistan, Tracy said wanted to reduce the use of
              > > heavy-handed military operations focused solely on killing
              > insurgents,
              > > which she said alienated the population and created more
              > > insurgents. "I
              > > can go back and enhance the military's understanding," she said, "so
              > > that we don't make the same mistakes we did in Iraq."
              > >
              > > Along with offering advice to commanders, she said, the five-member
              > > team creates a database of local leaders and tribes, as well as
              > social
              > > problems, economic issues and political disputes.
              > >
              > > Clinics and Mediation
              > >
              > > During the recent operation, as soldiers watched for suicide
              > bombers,
              > > Tracy and Army medics held a free medical clinic. They said they
              > hoped
              > > that providing medical care would show villagers that the Afghan
              > > government was improving their lives.
              > >
              > > Civil affairs soldiers then tried to mediate between factions of the
              > > Zadran tribe about where to build a school. The Americans said they
              > > hoped that the school, which would serve children from both groups,
              > > might end a 70-year dispute between the groups over control of a
              > > mountain covered with lucrative timber.
              > >
              > > Though they praised the new program, Afghan and Western officials
              > said
              > > it remained to be seen whether the weak Afghan government could
              > > maintain the gains. "That's going to be the challenge, to fill the
              > > vacuum," said Mr. Gregg, the United Nations official. "There's a
              > > question mark over whether the government has the ability to take
              > > advantage of the gains."
              > >
              > > Others also question whether the overstretched American military and
              > > its NATO allies can keep up the pace of operations.
              > >
              > > American officers expressed optimism. Many of those who had
              > served in
              > > both Afghanistan and Iraq said they had more hope for
              > Afghanistan. One
              > > officer said that the Iraqis had the tools to stabilize their
              > country,
              > > like a potentially strong economy, but that they lacked the will. He
              > > said Afghans had the will, but lacked the tools.
              > >
              > > After six years of American promises, Afghans, too, appear to be
              > > waiting to see whether the Americans or the Taliban will win a
              > > protracted test of wills here. They said this summer was just one
              > > chapter in a potentially lengthy struggle.
              > >
              > > At a "super jirga" set up by Afghan and American commanders here, a
              > > member of the Afghan Parliament, Nader Khan Katawazai, laid out the
              > > challenge ahead to dozens of tribal elders.
              > >
              > > "Operation Khyber was just for a few days," he said. "The Taliban
              > will
              > > emerge again."
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/>
              > <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/> > <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/>
              > sacc/<http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/> > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              > Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/>
              > <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/> > <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/>
              > sacc/<http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/> > >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              > ----------------------------------------------------------
              > NOTE: The sender of this email is different from the email address
              > shown in the headers. The real sender of this message is:
              > sentto-126016-4082-1192212313-
              > whare=trcc.commnet.edu@... <mailto:whare%3Dtrcc.commnet.edu%40returns.groups.yahoo.com> <mailto:sentto-126016-4
              > 082-1192212313-whare%3Dtrcc.commnet.edu%40returns.groups.yahoo.com>
              > <mailto:sentto-126016-4082-1192212313-whare%3Dtrcc.commnet.edu%
              > 40returns.groups.yahoo.com>
              >
              > If you want to permanently block the sender of this email, you
              > would need to addsentto-126016-4082-1192212313-
              > whare=trcc.commnet.edu@... <mailto:whare%3Dtrcc.commnet.edu%40returns.groups.yahoo.com> <mailto:sentto-126016-4
              > 082-1192212313-whare%3Dtrcc.commnet.edu%40returns.groups.yahoo.com>
              > <mailto:sentto-126016-4082-1192212313-whare%3Dtrcc.commnet.edu%
              > 40returns.groups.yahoo.com> to your Anti-Spam Blocked Senders List.
              > For more information see the Anti-Spam FAQ item: http:// <http:///>
              > www.commnet.edu/it/security/anti-spam-
              > faq.asp#BlockRealSender<http://www.commnet.edu/it/security/anti- <http://www.commnet.edu/it/security/anti->
              > spam-faq.asp#BlockRealSender> <http://www.commnet.edu/it/security/ <http://www.commnet.edu/it/security/>
              > anti-spam-faq.asp#BlockRealSender<http://www.commnet.edu/it/ <http://www.commnet.edu/it/>
              > security/anti-spam-faq.asp#BlockRealSender> >
              > ----------------------------------------------------------
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

              Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/ <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/>
              Yahoo! Groups Links

              ----------------------------------------------------------
              NOTE: The sender of this email is different from the email address shown in the headers. The real sender of this message is: sentto-126016-4100-1192567810-blynch=qvcc.commnet.edu@... <mailto:sentto-126016-4100-1192567810-blynch%3Dqvcc.commnet.edu%40returns.groups.yahoo.com>

              If you want to permanently block the sender of this email, you would need to add sentto-126016-4100-1192567810-blynch=qvcc.commnet.edu@... <mailto:sentto-126016-4100-1192567810-blynch%3Dqvcc.commnet.edu%40returns.groups.yahoo.com> to your Anti-Spam Blocked Senders List. For more information see the Anti-Spam FAQ item: http://www.commnet.edu/it/security/anti-spam-faq.asp#BlockRealSender <http://www.commnet.edu/it/security/anti-spam-faq.asp#BlockRealSender>
              ----------------------------------------------------------

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Kip Waldo
              I have hesitated to enter this discussion, as it is really more a matter of one s view of the world we occupy. The discussion thus far exists on a number of
              Message 6 of 29 , Oct 18, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                I have hesitated to enter this discussion, as it is really more a matter of one's view of the world we occupy. The discussion thus far exists on a number of levels: the U.S. military, the war in/on Iraq, "taking sides", ethics and objectivity, among others.

                Maybe the Iraq War provides a good opportunity to consider some of these questions, given that the war is being carried out in our names, regardless of our current location. This war and its aftermath are going to be central to events the region and the world for some time to come.

                I don't think we can dictate, to others in our field what they do with their skills. If they choose to work with the occupation forces, it is their choice. Maybe the AAA could censure them as a political gesture, if someone wished to initiate such a response. But to discuss whether there is a "value" in this sort of research, other than a further subjugation of the Iraqi population, is wishful thinking at best. What could anthropologists have contributed, had they been consulted prior to the invasion? There were many warnings by anthropologists and others, months ahead, about the dangers to the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad. They were ignored, not because they weren't heard. They were and are irrelevant to the purpose of the war. And the response to the massive looting? Basically "s____ happens." Of course now there is an effort to recover some looted objects, but that's like closing the barn door after.....

                What could anthropologists have contributed then or contribute now to the invasion and occupation of Iraq? To find cultural pathways to promote a different approach to the occupation and extraction of the oil wealth from the region?

                This is certainly not a new discussion. Operation Phoenix, at MSU, during the Viet Nam war was one of the most notorious. These topics were also discussed to some degree at the last AAA meetings. Laura Nader was one of the people on one of the panels. There were 3 linked sessions, as I remember, and possibly others.

                As the world is today, there are very few neutral acts, especially when one is engaged in social science research. This can mean "taking sides" and maybe this means passing up lucrative offers and standing for a certain perspective on the world and our place in it.

                kip waldo
                Chabot College - Hayward, CA


                >>> Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...> 10/17/07 7:31 AM >>>
                Brian,

                You are right. I agree with you and stand corrected. I was
                addressing applied anthropology in general and lumped military work
                in with the rest. As you say, any attempts to educate warriors still
                makes the anthropologists part of the war effort. With Rebecca and
                Monica, I too would not wittingly participate in any endeavor that
                invaded others, forced them against their will or harmed them.

                Lloyd




                On Oct 16, 2007, at 5:08 PM, Lynch, Brian M wrote:

                > Lloyd,
                >
                > It puzzles me why you continue to put this issue in terms of
                > anthropologists and whether they are personally ethical. It isn't a
                > question of whether as individuals they are being ethical (or that
                > conversely, if we question whether anthropologists should be
                > working for the promotion of military operations, we are
                > questioning their personal integrity.) The fact is that they are
                > working for a side in a war. This makes them partisan without
                > question, however "ethically" or "conscientiously" they do their
                > jobs. They are working to help one side of the war be successful.
                > They aren't just generically working to reduce or eliminate
                > violence, but only to smooth the way a little bit so that "we" can
                > "win" with somewhat attenuated violence (anthropologists among them
                > in fact carrying weapons themselves). All of this is based on the
                > assumption, it seems, that this side is the one that SHOULD win the
                > war, however nicely or violently we do it. In essence, it implies a
                > judgement about which side is "right" in this war. It seems from
                > this that we are operating on the principle then, as
                > anthropologists, that as long as we are on the "right" side, we can
                > operate professionally as long as we are also doing so with some
                > sort of "ethical" principles.
                >
                > From that point on all bets are off about the trustworthiness off
                > ANY anthropologist, from the perspective of any people facing the
                > power of military, state, and police forces anywhere, at home or
                > abroad.



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Lynch, Brian M
                As anthropologists, our profession has something particular in its reliance on trust and trustworthiness that isn t necessarily at the heart of other
                Message 7 of 29 , Oct 18, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  As anthropologists, our profession has something particular in its
                  reliance on trust and trustworthiness that isn't necessarily at the
                  heart of other "sciences." It isn't for example, at the heart of being
                  a mechanical engineer, or a physicist, or a chemist, or biologist, to
                  depend on human trust in relation to the realities we are studying. Our
                  research is with and about human beings (not "human terrain" even); it
                  is about the questions related to understanding what it means to be
                  human, not just in a utilitarian way so that we some how psyche people
                  out and eventually get what we want from them (though unfortunately the
                  discipline has had too much of this in its history, and has often had to
                  spend much subsequent energy apologizing for and/or returning what we
                  helped to "acquire" or "discover.") We have had to redeem our
                  reputations in so many instances, because our discipline has been used,
                  usually by the "powerful" against the "powerless" (to 'pacify' them, to
                  'manage' them, and/or to appropriate their artifacts, knowledge,
                  traditions, land etc.)



                  I go again back to the ideal of the model of the Red Cross, and how it
                  approaches the very applied, practical work of helping people, even in
                  wartime circumstances. They aren't there for a side, and they work
                  assiduously to maintain the principle that will generally allow them to
                  continue to work in very dangerous circumstances. This does not mean
                  that they are always safe, or always perceived to be non-partisan, but
                  in general their reputation on a global scale is one of principled
                  neutrality.



                  If an electrical engineer joins the war effort of a given state power,
                  it doesn't call into question the motives of all electrical engineers or
                  make them all suspect by the nature of their discipline. Unfortunately
                  the same can't be said for anthropologists, by nature of their/our
                  discipline.



                  And we can't afford to perpetuate our history of repeated stumblings
                  into state-sponsored agendas by adopting an "oh well" relativism that
                  says "well, no such thing as a neutral act anyway..." Haven't we
                  learned anything from our discipline's "scientific" support of racism,
                  neutralizing and appropriation of indigenous cultures, bolstering (or at
                  least social rationalization) of colonialism.... And so much more in our
                  discipline's checkered past?



                  These anthropologists are being engaged in a project that, first, frames
                  a people and their culture as a "terrain" to figure out, so that a
                  military agenda can succeed-however kindly and gently. ("War lite,
                  brought to you through the wonders of cultural anthropology!!!")



                  I don't imagine, or suggest, that individuals be censured by our
                  professional organization(s); I would hope however that voices prevail
                  in our profession that are clear about the partisan and mercenary
                  character (in all its negative connotation) of such involvement of
                  anthropology professionals.



                  Brian









                  ________________________________

                  From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                  Of Kip Waldo
                  Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 5:02 PM
                  To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Fwd: Mercenary Anthropology



                  I have hesitated to enter this discussion, as it is really more a matter
                  of one's view of the world we occupy. The discussion thus far exists on
                  a number of levels: the U.S. military, the war in/on Iraq, "taking
                  sides", ethics and objectivity, among others.

                  Maybe the Iraq War provides a good opportunity to consider some of these
                  questions, given that the war is being carried out in our names,
                  regardless of our current location. This war and its aftermath are going
                  to be central to events the region and the world for some time to come.

                  I don't think we can dictate, to others in our field what they do with
                  their skills. If they choose to work with the occupation forces, it is
                  their choice. Maybe the AAA could censure them as a political gesture,
                  if someone wished to initiate such a response. But to discuss whether
                  there is a "value" in this sort of research, other than a further
                  subjugation of the Iraqi population, is wishful thinking at best. What
                  could anthropologists have contributed, had they been consulted prior to
                  the invasion? There were many warnings by anthropologists and others,
                  months ahead, about the dangers to the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad.
                  They were ignored, not because they weren't heard. They were and are
                  irrelevant to the purpose of the war. And the response to the massive
                  looting? Basically "s____ happens." Of course now there is an effort to
                  recover some looted objects, but that's like closing the barn door
                  after.....

                  What could anthropologists have contributed then or contribute now to
                  the invasion and occupation of Iraq? To find cultural pathways to
                  promote a different approach to the occupation and extraction of the oil
                  wealth from the region?

                  This is certainly not a new discussion. Operation Phoenix, at MSU,
                  during the Viet Nam war was one of the most notorious. These topics were
                  also discussed to some degree at the last AAA meetings. Laura Nader was
                  one of the people on one of the panels. There were 3 linked sessions, as
                  I remember, and possibly others.

                  As the world is today, there are very few neutral acts, especially when
                  one is engaged in social science research. This can mean "taking sides"
                  and maybe this means passing up lucrative offers and standing for a
                  certain perspective on the world and our place in it.

                  kip waldo
                  Chabot College - Hayward, CA

                  >>> Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...
                  <mailto:lloyd.miller%40mchsi.com> > 10/17/07 7:31 AM >>>
                  Brian,

                  You are right. I agree with you and stand corrected. I was
                  addressing applied anthropology in general and lumped military work
                  in with the rest. As you say, any attempts to educate warriors still
                  makes the anthropologists part of the war effort. With Rebecca and
                  Monica, I too would not wittingly participate in any endeavor that
                  invaded others, forced them against their will or harmed them.

                  Lloyd

                  On Oct 16, 2007, at 5:08 PM, Lynch, Brian M wrote:

                  > Lloyd,
                  >
                  > It puzzles me why you continue to put this issue in terms of
                  > anthropologists and whether they are personally ethical. It isn't a
                  > question of whether as individuals they are being ethical (or that
                  > conversely, if we question whether anthropologists should be
                  > working for the promotion of military operations, we are
                  > questioning their personal integrity.) The fact is that they are
                  > working for a side in a war. This makes them partisan without
                  > question, however "ethically" or "conscientiously" they do their
                  > jobs. They are working to help one side of the war be successful.
                  > They aren't just generically working to reduce or eliminate
                  > violence, but only to smooth the way a little bit so that "we" can
                  > "win" with somewhat attenuated violence (anthropologists among them
                  > in fact carrying weapons themselves). All of this is based on the
                  > assumption, it seems, that this side is the one that SHOULD win the
                  > war, however nicely or violently we do it. In essence, it implies a
                  > judgement about which side is "right" in this war. It seems from
                  > this that we are operating on the principle then, as
                  > anthropologists, that as long as we are on the "right" side, we can
                  > operate professionally as long as we are also doing so with some
                  > sort of "ethical" principles.
                  >
                  > From that point on all bets are off about the trustworthiness off
                  > ANY anthropologist, from the perspective of any people facing the
                  > power of military, state, and police forces anywhere, at home or
                  > abroad.






                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.