University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill should be discharged for his signature intellectual lunacies. They blur the distinction between the reasoning of Socrates and the propaganda of Joseph Goebbels.
As a role model for impressionable students, Professor Churchill’s ravings against the United States gyrate between catastrophic and disastrous. Further, he has no business amplifying his dementia by wearing the mantle of a state university. Hyde Park corners are available for his twisted speech.
The professor has likened September 11, 2001’s World Trade Center victims to Adolph Eichmann. According to the self-proclaimed Creek and enrolled Keetoowah Band Cherokee, participating in a free enterprise economy with willing buyers and willing sellers is indistinguishable from shipping Jews to Adolf Hitler’s extermination camps. Thus, as Eichmann was abducted from Argentina by Israel, convicted of crimes against humanity after a public trial and sentenced to death, so the World Trade Center corpses were equally complicit in morally squalid actions that justified their grisly fates.
Professor Churchill fulminates: “If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation [in America’s global financial empire] upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the Twin Towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.”
In other words, the professor celebrates summary execution for every American employed in a way that strengthens America’s global dominance, meaning virtually every citizen. He would thus rejoice at multiple new editions of the September 11 abominations murdering not thousands but 300 million. Their apparent crime is support for a nation whose record of emancipating the oppressed and welcoming the persecuted is unsurpassed in the annals of history — for example Afghans from the wretched Taliban, Iraqis from the gruesome Saddam, and Albanian Kosovars from the genocidal Slobodan Milosevic.
Failing to distinguish the firefighter from the fire, Mr. Churchill tacitly indicts the United States as a moral leper equally if not more reprehensible than Hitler’s Third Reich, Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union, Benito Mussolini’s Italy, and Hideki Tojo’s Japan.
Exemplary of the professor’s monumental distortions is the following polemic scribbled in a 2003 introduction to his works entitled “Acts of Rebellion”: “So long as Native North America remains internally colonized, subject to racial codes, unindemnified for the genocide and massive expropriations we’ve suffered — and continue to suffer — genocide, colonialism, racism and wholesale theft will remain the signal attributes of American mentality and behavior.”
Indeed, Native Americans were mistreated in the past. The Trail of Tears and the Sand Creek massacre are not fables. But to characterize current U.S. policies towards Native Americans as colonial, racist, genocidal and thievish encroaches on the domain of the hallucinogenic.
The Indian Claims Commission, the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, tribal sovereign immunity and adoption privileges, employment and contracting preferences for Native Americans; muscular statutes protecting Native American gravesites and relics, the mushrooming political clout and casino wealth of Indian tribes, and widespread renunciation of mascots and names thought demeaning to Indians expose the absurdity of the professor’s accusation.
The professor would keenly relish a Nuremberg-like war crimes tribunal for American leaders. As he elaborates in his introduction: “The near-term prospect of any such scenario materializing is virtually nil… [but] reveries of malignant toads like Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and Jesse Helms squatting in the shadows of the gallows are simply too pleasant to be suppressed.” Neither of the three, however, has been morally responsible for anything resembling the horrors of the Third Reich, such as extermination camps and warfare with the specific intent of destroying human rights, the rule of law and individual liberty. The professor’s war crimes analogy is like placing a serial murderer and a smoker of marijuana on an identical moral and legal plane.
He insists the 1991 Persian Gulf war to defeat Saddam Hussein’s aggression against Kuwait, the sequel no-fly zones in the north and south to protect Kurds and Shi’ites from massacres, and the U.N. economic sanctions (ameliorated by the oil-for-food program) to punish Saddam’s flouting of his peace obligations constituted genocide or a holocaust against Iraq. As defined in the Genocide Convention and domestic law, genocide means an attempt to exterminate a people or their culture because of race, religion, ethnicity or nationality. Neither the war, nor the no-fly zones, nor the sanctions were intended to exterminate Iraqis. They were intended to save countless lives, to forestall brutalities against Iraqis by the government, and to cripple Saddam’s ability to renew aggression. Saddam was the morally culpable actor regarding the widespread popular sufferings because his chilling villainies occasioned the internationally imposed hardships. Similarly, if a mass murderer is sentenced to life imprisonment that causes his wife and children economic travails, the moral blame for the misfortune falls on the wrongdoer, not the government for inflicting a punishment prescribed for the heinous crimes.
Typical of Mr. Churchill’s incorrigible propaganda are his falsifications about World War II. He maintains “it was pious Americans who led the way in assigning the onus of collective guilt to the German people as a whole, not for things they as individuals had done, but for what they had allowed — nay, empowered — their leaders and their soldiers to do in their name…. And the price exacted from the Germans for the faultiness of their moral fiber was truly ghastly.”
The U.S., however, put only major figures in the dock at Nuremberg and sister tribunals. The German people received the lavish benefits of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin airlift, accession to NATO and a U.S. military presence that made West Germany the economic powerhouse of Europe. Only a madman would be unable to distinguish between a Carthaginian peace and U.S. magnanimity after Germany’s defeat.
Education is the science of reasoning, drawing lines, perceiving matters of degree, distinguishing between fact and fantasy, and assigning moral responsibility for actions and events. If college students are denied a proper education, democracy will degenerate into trial by battle, and civilization will descend into barbarism. Liberty and tyranny will become synonyms. That is why the University of Colorado should discharge Professor Churchill, and examine why he was ever hired.
Bruce Fein is a constitutional lawyer and international consultant with Bruce Fein & Associates and The Lichfield Group.