Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hillsdale Symposium on the "Ghosts of Vietnam"

As indicated earlier this month, I attended a recent symposium at Hillsdale College in Michigan titled, "The Vietnam War: History and Enduring Significance." Speakers, which included Victor Davis Hanson, Michael Medved, Mark Moyar, Lewis Sorley, Mackubin T. Owens, Colonel H.R. McMaster, and Michael Lind, reexamined that pivotal chapter in American history with an eye towards the present conflict and, inevitably, the future.

For those interested in the results, my article on the symposium, "Ghosts of Vietnam," is posted at Frontpage Magazine. Read on:

In the ongoing debate over the war in Iraq and, in a larger sense, American involvement in the war on Islamic terrorism, the ghosts of the Vietnam War linger. It seems we cannot go a day without spurious comparisons to the Vietnam "quagmire" or, more accurately, the dire consequences of a premature withdrawal of troops, both then and now.

It’s even become part of the standard narrative for America’s enemies to conjure up the perceived U.S. defeat in Vietnam as proof that the same thing will happen today in Iraq.

The significance of the Vietnam War, both from a historical and a political standpoint, cannot be emphasized enough. It was the most controversial of all America’s military ventures and it led to a rupture in American society that continues to this day. If allowed to hold sway, this rupture threatens American success in Iraq and beyond.

Speakers at a four-day symposium titled "The Vietnam War: History and Enduring Significance," at Hillsdale College this month came to much the same conclusion.

Gathered together were the "new historians" of the Vietnam War. This group of military historians, veterans, and social commentators has dared to challenge the anti-war orthodoxy that dominates American higher education, mainstream media, and popular culture.

Continue reading "Ghosts of Vietnam."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Discussing Campus Watch on the TV Show, "Spotlight on the Middle East"

I'll be interviewed tonight, September 27th, by historian David Meir-Levy and his co-hosts on the public access Palo Alto-based cable television show, "Spotlight on the Middle East." We'll be discussing the work of Campus Watch and, in particular, our focus on Middle East studies academics in California. Fellow guest Sue Maltiel, executive director of Hillel of Silicon Valley, will address the issue from a student level.

The show is produced once a month and then airs multiple times over the following month. It can be viewed by local cable subscribers and over the Internet at the show's website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Discussing Libel Tourism Tonight on Fausta's Blog Talk Radio

I'll be taking part in a discussion tonight, September 26th at 6pm (PST), on Fausta's Blog Talk Radio regarding the subject of libel tourism, the practice by which authors are sued for libel in countries other than where they reside. Along with blogger and Pajamas Media editor Fausta, the podcast will include fellow blogger Siggy, and Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It and herself a target of libel tourism.

As I indicated in an August SFGate column titled, "Libel Tourism: Where Terrorism and Censorship Meet," American journalists and academics investigating international terrorism funding have been finding themselves on the receiving end of libel suits originating in the UK, where libel laws tend to favor the plaintiff. The end result, in some cases, has been the effective censorship of their work.

Campus Watch, for whom I'm the Northern California Representative, has been following the case of Alms for Jihad, a book co-written by UC Santa Barbara history professor Peter O. Collins and former State Department analyst J. Millard Burr. Alms for Jihad was the target of a threatened libel suit in the UK brought by Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz, which resulted in the publisher, Cambridge University Press, agreeing to retract its publication, destroy all unsold copies, and issue a public apology. Developments in the case continue as we speak.

Getting to the heart of terrorist financing is crucial to winning the battle against Islamic extremism. As such, libel tourism is a worthy topic indeed. Listen in tonight or catch the podcast in Fausta's archives.

Update: The podcast is now available here.