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, May 04, 2007

Quoted in Bernard Goldberg's "Crazies To the Left of Me, Wimps To the Right"

I've had an occasional e-mail correspondence with former CBS newsman turned media critic and conservative author Bernard Goldberg ever since he wrote to me about a 2005 SFGate column of mine titled "San Francisco Declares Itself a Military-Free Zone." In it, I laid out numerous examples of anti-military behavior on the part of the city's leadership and, at times, citizenry, including the notorious refusal of the Board of Supervisors to allow the WWII-era USS Iowa to dock at the Port of San Francisco as a floating museum for no real reason, other than it was deemed a "celebration of war."

Lo and behold, when Bernard Goldberg's new book, Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right: How One Side Lost Its Mind and the Other Lost Its Nerve, came out last month, I found that my column had been quoted in a chapter on San Francisco humorously titled "Was I in a Coma When San Francisco Seceded?" The quote (on page 53) was in reference to the Iowa decision, which I chalked up to "anti-military and anti-American sympathies across the board."

Since that time, the situation in San Francisco has only gotten worse, particularly with the banning of the JROTC from the city's public schools and the use of a blatantly propagandistic and conspiratorial anti-war textbook, if it could be called that, in history classrooms.

Apparently, this is a city that believes, in the immortal words of Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, that "the United States should not have a military." It's anybody's guess who would protect residents in a time of need other than the military (especially if the city leadership ever succeeds in disarming the citizenry), but if San Francisco's virtual secession continues, it may be a moot point.

Getting back to the original subject of this post, I have to say, at the risk of sounding obsequious, that being quoted by Bernard Goldberg is truly an honor. His earlier book, Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, was one of a batch I read soon after my post-9/11 political transformation and it greatly helped shape my understanding of bias in the mainstream media. That it was written by a fellow former liberal only made it more meaningful.

In fact, Goldberg's new book, which I've only just begun reading, begins with a wonderfully written chapter on his break with liberalism that I identified with very strongly. I also identified, I'm sorry to say, with his critique of the general wimpiness, not of conservatives, but of the Republican Party, which, in my view, seems much less adept at maneuvering the propaganda battlefield, both domestically and abroad, than its opponents.

It was for this reason, among others, that I reregistered as a decline-to-stater, and generally started to identify myself more in ideological than partisan terms, since writing the initial column on my journey from left to right, "The Making of a 9/11 Republican." I expounded on this shift in a later column on the subject titled "Of 9/11 and Political Transformation."

But I still hold out hope in the Republican Party, not least because the Democratic Party continues, for the most part, to largely disappoint, if not disgust, me with its platform of cowardice and surrender (along with moral relativism and creeping socialism) in this most crucial of times.

I did find the first Republican debate of the upcoming 2008 presidential campaign last night to be hopeful and it certainly offered up a more impressive group of candidates, in both experience and intellect, than the Democratic debate a week before.

Perhaps if Republicans start listening to those of us who've been on both sides of the fence, not to mention their base, they can be rescued from oblivion come 2008.

Only time will tell.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Iranian Ambassador Zarif to Address Columbia Middle East Seminar

Throughout the academic year, Columbia University holds a series of seminars, bringing together members of the university faculty and, as they put it, "experts and specialists in nonacademic pursuits," and "authorities in many fields of scholarship as speakers in guests" to focus on a variety of topics.

The Middle East Seminar taking place today (5/2) at Columbia promises a "carefully-defined and informed evaluation of stubborn problems in a region that symbolizes mounting instability and proliferating crises." So who did Columbia choose to invite as a speaker, out of all the notable possibilities, to address this pressing issue? None other than Iran's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif.

To read the entire post, go to the Campus Watch blog.

Interview with Mark Carbonaro of KION

I'll be a guest on Salinas, CA station KION, with host Mark Carbonaro, on Thursday, May 3 at approximately 8:35am (PST). Click here for the KION website, although I'm uncertain whether or not they offer online streaming. Locals can tune in the old-fashioned way at 1460am.

We'll be discussing my new position with Campus Watch, as was the case, it turns out, with the interview earlier today with Vicki McKenna.

Busy week!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Interview with Vicki McKenna of WIBA

I'll be a guest on Madison, WI station WIBA, with host Vicki McKenna, on Wednesday, May 2 at approximately 1:09pm (PST). You can listen online here and visit Vicki's website here.

I believe we'll be discussing a blog post of mine from last month...

Muslim Leftists Love America, Western Leftists Hate America

...which was also posted at Family Security Matters.

Hope you can tune in.

Brown University's Middle East Studies Workshop

My latest Campus Watch article (published today at The American Thinker) looks at an upcoming Middle East Studies workshop to be held at Brown University:

Brown University's Middle East Studies Workshop

Speakers include professors Stephen Walt (of "Israel Lobby" fame), Juan Cole, Lisa Anderson and a host of others of a similar mindset, that is, as I put it, "academics hostile to the U.S.-led war on terrorism, its ally, Israel, and any efforts via higher education to combat radical Islam on college campuses."

Campus Watch Director Winfield Myers weighs in on the Brown U. article and the ludicrous notion, popular among Middle East studies faculty these days, that criticism of their work is somehow tantamount to censorship. To read his post, go to the Democracy Project.

Candace de Russy comments on the article in a post at National Review's higher education blog, Phi Beta Cons, titled "Brown: No Pretense of Objectivity at Mid East-Islam Conference."

Solomonia, who recently covered the Brown workshop, blogs my article in "Stillwell on Brown U's Exercise in Chest Thumping."

Monday, April 30, 2007

Solomonia on "Islam in Democratic Societies" Conference

Yet another important conference, in terms of voices of reform within the Muslim world, has gone virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Luckily, Solomonia provides this after report:

Fletcher School: Islam In Democratic Societies