I hear that John Waterbury, the president of American University of Beirut, is in big trouble with the US government. Apparently, the US embassy in Lebanon is most displeased that Robert Fisk was awarded an honorary doctorate from AUB. In his speech, Fisk gave a scathing indictment of US foreign policy. That did not sit well with the embassy, which is lobbying Washington, I am told, to punish Waterbury. They found a technical irregularity in one of the advertised posters, and will be using that to discredit Waterbury.Waterbury is an important American academic who's written many great books on, among others, Egypt and Morocco. If this turns into something, be ready to support him and defend academic freedom. After all, I don't like another recipient of the same honor (Nasser Kharafi of the eponymous Kuwaiti mega-corporation), but don't think Waterbury should be punished for it!