Here is a paragraph by Martin Peretz with more switchbacks than a coastal highway:
I know that the internationalization of our universities is high on everybody's wish list, at least with everybody who makes a living in our academic institutions. Probably, however, much of this is just a scam. "The higher learning" is not everywhere the higher learning. So, many mediocre intellects come from foreign countries to less than mediocre colleges and graduate schools, and the most one can say about these enrollments is that they are a favorable cash transaction for the U.S. You may recall those eight male students from some place in the Middle East who came to study I forget where and never showed up at the registrar's office to enroll. Of course, some very brilliant intellects come here--maybe even many--and they end up making significant contributions to the life of the mind, the spirit and the economies of America and their places of origin.So this "internationalization" is "high on everybody's wish list," but everybody turns out to be a narrowly-circumscribed professional sector. "'Higher learning'" is not "higher learning"--(echoes of "love is not love")--because these foreigners are "mediocre" while their institutions of advancement are "less than mediocre." This basically describes the state of the majority of students--mediocre--at the majority of American land-grant universities--less than mediocre--but neveryoumindnowthat'snotthepoint. Marty can't recall any details of the aspersion he nevertheless casts; the only reason he casts it in any event is to make sure you know he ain't talkin' 'bout no Hindus or Chinamen: he's talking about dirty Arabs. Well, when is he not? This generalizing is a little too gaudy even for Marty, so he hauls it on back: some, no, many foreigners are "brilliant intellects" and make "significant contributions" to theirn and ourn.
What's the point, Marty? With that question in mind, I waded into his second paragraph, and found out that what he's really talking about: back in the glorious days of the Shah, a bunch of Iranians came over and studied physics. Then the Shah got booted out and, while a few scientists fled, plenty stayed put, and now?
But many of them remained behind, and some of them are responsible for the weapons with which Ahmadinejad is now imperiling the world.What weapons? Martin doesn't know and doesn't care. He needs something to carelessly impugn the way a dog in heat needs a crotch to sniff. He capers of and thus alights on a apocalyptic vision of some Egyptian grad student cackling to himself in his Cambridge sudio apartment: "Today, the coin-op laundry in the basement; tomorrow, the world!"