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One man's odyssey from campus to combat

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posted on Mar, 8 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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One man's odyssey from campus to combat


www.msnbc.msn.com

Human Terrain set off a war of its own in the academic world: Critics, particularly anthropologists, argued that Human Terrain researchers could not serve two masters — that they risked betraying the people they studied by feeding information to the military.

Now, after months of waiting, Bhatia had brought colleagues from campus and the combat zone together in the same room.

They filed slowly from the oak pews of St. Joseph Church, out into the midday chill.



(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Mar, 8 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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This project straddles the line between academic research and gathering military intelligence, and it placed Michael Bhatia directly in the line of fire. Characterized as an 'idealist and a realist', he chose to take the risk in order to try and make a difference, and paid for it with his life. His passion for his work should inspire us all, and his ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of his dream should drive home what's at stake.

May his family and friends find comfort and peace, and eventually come to terms with their loss.

www.msnbc.msn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:18 PM
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Part Two



'Professor' pays a heavy price in Afghanistan

Critics were not letting up in their condemnation of the Human Terrain project. The team kept score, posting what they considered the most outrageously off-base characterizations of their work.

"Mercenary anthropologists," one critic called them. "The Army's new secret weapon," another said.

"Some academics have created a polemical enemy image ... rather than actual learning what the HTT does," Bhatia e-mailed his mentor, Chopra, in January 2008. "We're not involved in lethal targeting at all."


The results Bhatia was getting were paying big dividends in the Army's effort to work with the Afghan people. Testimony had been delivered to Congress by their commanding officer lauding the results Human Terrain had achieved.

On April 30, 2008, though, an IED brought Michael Bhatia's participation in the project, and his life, to a tragic early end. Two other soldiers, Spc. Jeremy Gullet, a 22-year-old father from Greenup, Ky., and Staff Sgt. Kevin Roberts, 25, of Farmington, N.M., were killed in the blast. Their lieutenant was badly injured.



At Michael Bhatia's funeral on May 16, .... Professor Keith Brown spoke about the ripples of the war on terrorism and the way they connect us. He spoke about Michael Bhatia. Then he asked congregants to join him in a responsive reading of a poem by Archibald MacLeish, "The Young Dead Soldiers."

"Whether our lives were for peace and a new hope, or for nothing, we cannot say; it is you who must say this," Bhatia's colleague read.

"We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning," the worshippers answered.

"We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us."

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