Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Five Years of Campus Watch

In April of this year, I began working as the Northern California Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Philadelphia-based think tank, the Middle East Forum.

Despite the hysterical claims of "censorship" and "threats to academic freedom" emanating from Middle East studies academics in the spotlight, Campus Watch's purpose, as made clear in our Mission Statement, is to review and critique Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. My goal, as Northern California Representative, is to call further attention to Middle East studies academics in West Coast colleges and universities, a problematic lot if there ever was one (my archives can be found here and here).

But for those ensconced in their ivory towers and unused to withstanding scrutiny of any kind, Campus Watch constitutes a threat to be resisted at all costs. This paranoia has led to numerous smears against Campus Watch and, in some cases, outright falsehoods, a pattern that Campus Watch director Winfield Myers has devoted much time at our weblog recently to correcting (read more here, here, here, and here).

Middle East Forum founder and director Daniel Pipes marks Campus Watch's fifth anniversary this week with an article titled, "Five Years of Campus Watch," in which he elaborates on this theme:
What has Campus Watch, a project to critique and improve Middle East studies in the United States and Canada, achieved since it opened its doors this week in 2002?

Along with like-minded organizations – the National Association of Scholars, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, National Review, and the Manhattan Institute – it assesses what professors are saying and doing, thereby helping to challenge academia's status quo.

Critiquing professors is more revolutionary than it may sound, for academics have long been spared public criticism such as that directed toward politicians, business leaders, actors, and athletes. Who would judge them? Students suppress their views to protect their careers; peers are reluctant to criticize each other, lest they in turn suffer attacks; and laymen lack the competence to judge arcane scholarship. As a result, academics have long enjoyed a unique lack of accountability.

If Campus Watch, headed by Winfield Myers, has interrupted this charmed academic life by exposing what Martin Kramer of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has termed the "failure of Middle Eastern studies in America," it is because we consider the work of these specialists too important to be left uncritiqued. We hover over their shoulders and remind them that their egregious statements might well end up ridiculed as our "quote of the month," or even cause them trouble when they try to win tenure or get a new job.

Academics criticized by Campus Watch generally respond by calling it names, caricaturing its purpose, and presenting themselves as victims, hoping thereby to render our work illegitimate. Remarkably, I recall not a single case when the meticulously documented and mildly presented work of Campus Watch has met with a serious and substantive rebuttal. So much for the marketplace of ideas.
Continue reading "Five Years of Campus Watch."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You Want Nasty? Check Out MY Hate Mail

Ever wondered what sort of feedback a conservative columnist writing for the San Francisco Chronicle online ( gets? Well, it just so happens that's the subject of my latest column. Mostly, I just let the hatemail do the talking. It speaks volumes. Here's a sampling:

You give cover to the illegal bush regime and betray your roots. You are sickening for not calling the Chimpy McHitlerstein corruptocracy what it is and demanding Bush's impeachment. Bush stands against world justice and heads the worst Rogue State in the history of the world. Too bad you are blinded by your love of GW War Criminal. PS-I hope you get fired soon. You just dont fit in to SF. Move to Utah.


Dear Strawberry STINKwell -- Yet again, you have missed the point completely. You are a facist bitch with nothing intelligent to say. Go directly to South Dakota, where maybe you might find some support of your kind. Don't count on it though. As long as you vomit when you speak, no one will find your message appealing. Go work for the worst newspaper in the country, somewhere other than San Francisco. You are trash. You are filth. Your message doesn't matter at all.


wow your debunking 911 conspirators is well thought out and a perfect analysis ... unfortunately, most of your descriptions describe people who believe the official story .... and the denial of the jewish involvement screams of guilt ... lets face it 911 was the best scam yet by the zionists

Continue reading "You Want Nasty? Check Out My Hate Mail"

By the way: It should be noted that the majority of the feedback I receive is positive. But, unfortunately, it's not quite so entertaining as the hatemail!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Terrorists' Guide to the 2008 Presidential Election

Last week, I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein's soon to be released book, Schmoozing With Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal Their Global Plans--to a Jew!

Klein has proven himself to be an indispensable source for unfiltered news on the Middle East and the war on Islamic terrorism. His revealing interviews with jihadist leaders and their minions, all the more astonishing for being granted to an Orthodox Jew, are legend. His book looks to be a useful and witty compilation of these interview results, at least for those willing to hear the truth about what motivates our enemies. Here's a hint: It's not our fault.

While I haven't yet read the entire book, one particular chapter caught my eye. Noting how closely America's foes follow U.S. domestic politics, Klein interviewed a number of Palestinian and other assorted terrorists about their views on the 2008 presidential election. And guess who the terrorists endorse, above all others, for president? That's right. Hillary Clinton.

The chapter in question is titled, "Terrorists Go Ga-Ga Over Hillary Clinton," and indeed they do. They base their support on the belief that Hillary will pick up where her husband, former President Bill Clinton, left off, in regards to the failed Oslo Accords, thereby assisting them in their goal of annihilating Israel. They also base it on the understandable assumption that Hillary will effect a premature withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, which, they note, would be seen as an American defeat. In the process, the jihadists make a very strong case (at least for those are aren't on their side) for not following their advice.

Taking it a step further, the jihadists also endorse fellow presidential hopeful Barack Obama and heap praise upon the Democratic Party, and the left in general, for its, shall we say, rather weak-kneed approach to fighting terrorism. For Republicans, they have nothing but contempt. A badge of honor, if there ever was one.

Of course, pointing this out will result in the usual indignant protestations from Democrats and other acolytes of the "anti-war movement" to the effect that, "how dare we question their patriotism!" But all discussion of patriotism aside (and methinks they doth protest too much), the simple fact of the matter is that the Democratic Party has been forcefully pushing a policy of appeasement since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and, lo and behold, America's enemies have taken notice. Indeed, one would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to have detected the daily exhortations to surrender emanating from our nation's capital, not to mention the streets and salons of cities such as my very own San Francisco.

The terrorists interviewed in Klein's book also prove useful in the presidential candidates they oppose. And at the top of their list is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. While Giuliani's tough-guy defiance would seem to be their prime motivation, it is, in fact, a specific incident that inspired their ire. That is, in 1995, when Giuliani kicked out late Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat from a Lincoln Center concert marking the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, telling the incredulous press (to say nothing of the liberal Jewish establishment), "I would not invite Yasser Arafat to anything, anywhere, anytime, anyplace. I don’t forget."

Giuliani took a similarly heroic stand soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when he told Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal where he could put his $10 million "disaster relief" check, which was contingent, of course, upon accepting the claim that U.S. support for Israel led to the atrocities.

Indeed, Giuliani has demonstrated on a number of occasions that he understands an obvious truth, which, as I put it in an earlier post on the subject, is that the global war on terrorism and hatred towards Israel and Jews are inexorably linked.

When it comes to Giuliani's choices for foreign policy team, his campaign stands out from the pack. It includes many of the more perceptive minds of our time, particularly in regards to the Middle East. Norman Podhoretz, Martin Kramer, and Daniel Pipes (full disclosure: I work for Dr. Pipes' Middle East Forum), to name just a few.

Giuliani's unwillingness to go along with the international charade that a Palestinian state, in its present form, will be anything other than a terrorist state (adherents of which, I might add, include President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, et al.), also displays a presence of mind worth noting.

All of this has earned him the charming nickname, "Jew-liani," from the keepers of the "neocon conspiracy" school of, er, thought, who can always be relied upon to steer the rest of us in the opposite direction. In fact, the braying from the left, along with the antipathy expressed by the terrorists interviewed in Klein's book (among other objectionable sources), is making Giuliani look pretty good right about now.

And lest one forget where Hillary stands, the photo of the Clinton clan cozying up to Arafat, with Hillary and Chelsea's smiling and obligingly hijab-clad faces (what is it about Democratic women and head coverings?) in the foreground, serves as a useful reminder.

The terrorists have spoken. Maybe it's time we started listening.