We wrote in August about the brouhaha over UT's plans to name a chair in South Asian studies for Charlie Wilson, the former U.S. Rep played by Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson's War.
UT professors protested, saying Wilson had done far more harm than good over there.
Now a niece of Benazir Bhutto, the late prime minister of Pakistan, is weighing in.
On the Daily Beast website, she writes that "it's worth noting that of all the people to name a chair of Pakistani Studies after, Charlie Wilson is possibly the stupidest."
We're not sure if she means the idea of naming one for Wilson is the stupidest idea, or Charlie Wilson is the stupidest person who might have a chair named for him.
Personally, this is a source of great revulsion for me. My aunt, Benazir, and I never agreed on much, and though she's no longer alive to debate the point, my guess is that the idea of such a chair would be one more thing we'd not see eye to eye on--she had quite a different relationship with the Taliban than I do.
Wilson himself has kept relatively quiet (for him) on the issue. Although he's probably tickled to be considered part of the academic elite.
Update: Elsewhere on the Bhutto beat, the Press' Craig Hlavaty points up to the memorial rap song recently released by Bhutto's daughter, complete with what the UK Independent calls "a borrowed Brooklyn accent."
-- Richard Connelly
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