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American Anthropologists Stand Up Against Torture and the Occupation of Iraq

22 November, 2006

By David H. Price
I
n San Jose, on Saturday evening, November 18, 2006, the rank and file members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) attending the Association’s business meeting approved resolutions condemning the occupation of Iraq and the use of torture.
These two resolutions were co-written by Roberto González, an associate professor of anthropology at San Jose State University, and Kanhong Lin, a graduate student in anthropology at American University. The first resolution condemns the American occupation of Iraq; calls for an immediate withdrawal of troops, the payment of reparations, and it asks that all individuals committing war crimes against Iraqis be prosecuted. This statement passed with little debate or dissent.

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This article has just appeared in Counterpunch. It is a reminder that anthropology is always “applied”, in the sense that it has very a real political dimension. The question of what is an ethical use of anthropological techniques and “knowledge”, so often constituted through highly personal relationships, is extremely important, not only
in Iraq.

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