Silencing On The Middle East

Recently, The Register-Guard pulled a fast one. The editors “caught and killed” my timely letter. It was about a visitor to Eugene who has counseled uninformed American politicians for decades. His counsel has made life and the pursuit of happiness impossible for Middle Easterners, particularly Palestinians and Iraqis. The visitor was Dennis Ross; my letter was about his role in shaping a failed U.S. Middle East policy.

Instead of publishing my letter, the R-G newsroom clerk asked that I provide sources for it. Although the request was odd, I sent the publisher and her editors a list of three books. Still they did not publish the letter.

In four decades of letter writing, this experience has been chilling. My voice has been censored and muted. Consequently, R-G readers have been denied the views of an expert Middle East cultural political scientist, whose analyses have stood the test of time: including discussions of the Iranian Revolution, the Palestine-Israeli catastrophe and blowback from the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.

Instead, the editorial pages have become an echo chamber for the same ruinous and egregious voices that have led America into endless and immoral wars in the Middle East.

If the mission of a newspaper is to inform, educate and entertain, the new R-G owners and its editors have failed us.

M. Reza Behnam, Ph.D.