Scott Horton Interviews Rashid Khalidi

Scott Horton, February 22, 2011

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Rashid Khalidi, author and professor of Middle East history and politics, discusses the spectacle of protesters from Morocco to Malaysia echoing the leaders of the American Revolution; how genuine reformist movements in Iran are undermined by US support; the endgame of US Mideast policy, where despotic client regimes were nurtured in the name of regional stability; the bravery of Libyan protesters who knew full well their government’s willingness and ability to use violence against them; the obvious deficiencies of US mainstream media coverage when compared to other sources; and the TV talking heads – who have no real knowledge of the Mideast – dutifully ignoring the actual events and whipping up fears of Islamic global domination.

MP3 here. (18:54)

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, received his BA from Yale in 1970, and his D.Phil. from Oxford in 1974.  He is editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and was President of the Middle East Studies Association, and an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993.

He is author of Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East (2009); The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006); Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East (2004); Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (1996); Under Siege: PLO Decision-Making During the 1982 War (1986); and British Policy Towards Syria and Palestine, 1906-1914 (1980), and was the co-editor of Palestine and the Gulf (1982) and The Origins of Arab Nationalism (1991).

7 Responses to “Rashid Khalidi”

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  2. Hey Scott.

    I hope you have Eric Margolis back on soon.
    He seems to be really knowledgable about Libya.
    Would like to get his thoughts on the tribal/clan breakdowns there…and what happens after the dust settles.

    As always, thanks for the great intervies.

  3. This was a very regrettable interview.

    Khalidi was misleading if not quite dishonest when he claimed that Iran is not behind the uprisings, and that fears in that regard are baseless. In the 1990s Iran did pay the troublemakers there, who weren't beyond bombing places; this hasn't been forgotten. Nor did Khalidi mention that Iran has not consistently accepted that Bahrain is not part of Iran, a claim the Shah long made, and then abandoned in exchange for some favors from the British.

    Far worse, egregiously wrong, is Khalidi's insinuation that only democracies are legitimate: are Liechtenstein, the Vatican, and even Singapore (which has the trappings but not essence of a democracy) not thriving and happy countries? This is American Neo-Wilsonian paternalism at its very worse.

    Having spent 19 years on the Persian Gulf, (aka Arabian Gulf) I can truthfully say that the Sheikhs down there are better understand as fathers to the tribes they govern, and that every citizen had the right to go to their Sheikh with problems, and expect a solution. Sort of like Mayor Daley in Chicago, another thriving pseudo-democracy. And Sheikhs who were not wanted by their people could be, and were, fired.

    Rashid Khalidi's rhetoric was just awful. Mayor Daley also had his moment at the Democratic Convention; the Hardliners in Bahrain disgraced themselves, but Khalidi's rhetoric that the Royal Family should go is as insane as insisting that the United States government needed to be overthrown because of Kent State and Jim Crow.

    Please drop him.

    Guest SC. I sent you an email to your inquiries page.

  4. The Libyans are learning the reason why our founding fathers gave us the right to own arms.

  5. Rashid Khalidi, great guest, well done Scott and the AW team; keep up the great work!

  6. Yesiree. All problems are solved by guns.

  7. Have him back & ask him what he thinks about the Palestine Papers & how they rewrite the history of P-I "negotiations."

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