Friday, February 11, 2005

I'm sure that all of you have heard about the Ward Churchill controversy. He was forced to resign as head of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder after a 2001 essay he wrote, Some People Push Back: "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens", finally came to the attention of the general public earlier this year.

The most controversial portion of this sprawling, blame-America-first piece is the following paragraph, where Churchill implies that the capitalist victims of the 9/11 World Trade Center bombings brought the violence on themselves:

Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire – the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" – a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.

The remainder of Churchill's essay (http://cryptome.org/ward-churchill.htm) follows the contours of a typical anti-American screed. He criticizes "average" Americans as a bunch of self-absorbed Christian sheep, who are too busy to mind inflicting "genocide" on people throughout the world. He is especially incenced by the sanctions levied on Iraq and the enforcement of the no-fly zones with bombers piloted by "cowards". Throughout the essay, he tries to legitimize the 9/11 terrorist attacks by comparing the relative amounts of ordinance used (bombs) in Iraq as opposed to that used by the terrorists, thereby establishing some sort of jaundiced moral equivalency.

Typical of leftist professors, Churchill leaves out several inconvenient points in his rambling screed against the U.S. First and foremost, that the darling-of-the-left U.N. was the organization responsible for organizing and enforcing the sanctions against the Iraqis. Second, the destructive sanctions he complains of never would have been imposed had the military not cut off its pursuit of the Iraqi troops according to U.N. mandate, which allowed Saddam to maintain his "sovereignty". Third, Churchill completely ignores the Kuwaitis, and the justice produced by freeing them from the maurauding, raping, and pillaging Iraqi troops. And finally, the terrorists, far from being economically and socially disadvantaged and therefore "justified" in acting as terrorists, were the same sort of rich, pampered babies from which Churchill's own group, the liberal professorial elite, is drawn.

For a good laugh, I would encourage all of you to read the essay. The real tragedy, however, is that UC students, who are probably required to take an "Ethnic Studies" course, will have to listen to this garbage, packaged as enlightened thinking. At best, they will have to parrot Churchill's inanities back to him. At worst, they will actually believe him while doing so.
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