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News :: Media : Politics : Race
Ward Churchill under attack in Colorado
03 Feb 2005
Modified: 11:59:44 AM
Below is Ward's recent press release in defense of himself and his position at the University of Colorado. Check out the links to see the extent that the right wing bastards are going to ruin this great man's academic career. It's also a sign of the times, as the liberal outposts in these red states gone wild are increasingly under attack and invasion by fundamentalist zealots and laisse faire idealists.
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Churchill's statement to the press:

January 31, 2005

In the last few days there has been widespread and grossly inaccurate media coverage concerning my analysis of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, coverage that has resulted in defamation of my character and threats against my life. What I actually said has been lost, indeed turned into the opposite of itself, and I hope the following facts will be reported at least to the same extent that the fabrications have been.

* The piece circulating on the internet was developed into a book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. Most of the book is a detailed chronology of U.S. military interventions since 1776 and U.S. violations of international law since World War II. My point is that we cannot allow the U.S. government, acting in our name, to engage in massive violations of international law and fundamental human rights and not expect to reap the consequences. (BTW, none of these points were addressed by Buchanan or either of the two right-wing blowhards that he had on as guests)

* I am not a "defender"of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people "should" engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy. As Martin Luther King, quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said, "Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable."

* This is not to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam (interestingly, Churchill actually served a tour of duty in Vietnam, unlike most of the chickenhawks that make up the current administration, and includes Buchanan himself) I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see. What I am saying is that if we want an end to violence, especially that perpetrated against civilians, we must take the responsibility for halting the slaughter perpetrated by the United States around the world. My feelings are reflected in Dr. King's April 1967 Riverside speech, where, when asked about the wave of urban rebellions in U.S. cities, he said, "I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed . . . without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government."

* In 1996 Madeleine Albright, then Ambassador to the UN and soon to be U.S. Secretary of State, did not dispute that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of economic sanctions, but stated on national television that "we" had decided it was "worth the cost." I mourn the victims of the September 11 attacks, just as I mourn the deaths of those Iraqi children, the more than 3 million people killed in the war in Indochina, those who died in the U.S. invasions of Grenada, Panama and elsewhere in Central America, the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, and the indigenous peoples still subjected to genocidal policies. If we respond with callous disregard to the deaths of others, we can only expect equal callousness to American deaths.

* Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as "Nazis." What I said was that the "technocrats of empire" working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of "little Eichmanns." Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.

* It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center. Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad, this placement of an element of the American "command and control infrastructure" in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a "legitimate" target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to no more than "collateral damage." If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these "standards" when the are routinely applied to other people, they should be not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them.

* It should be emphasized that I applied the "little Eichmanns" characterization only to those described as "technicians." Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage. Ugly? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. And that's my point. It's no less ugly, painful or dehumanizing a description when applied to Iraqis, Palestinians, or anyone else. If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name.

* The bottom line of my argument is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9-1-1-style attacks on the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation. To the extent we shirk this responsibility, we, like the "Good Germans" of the 1930s and '40s, are complicit in its actions and have no legitimate basis for complaint when we suffer the consequences. This, of course, includes me, personally, as well as my family, no less than anyone else.

* These points are clearly stated and documented in my book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, which recently won Honorary Mention for the Gustavus Myer Human Rights Award. for best writing on human rights. Some people will, of course, disagree with my analysis, but it presents questions that must be addressed in academic and public debate if we are to find a real solution to the violence that pervades today's world. The gross distortions of what I actually said can only be viewed as an attempt to distract the public from the real issues at hand and to further stifle freedom of speech and academic debate in this country.

Ward Churchill
Boulder, Colorado
January 31, 2005

Additional links on the issue:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_35163

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/news_columnists/article/0,1299,DRM

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_35161

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Ward Churchill under attack in Colorado
04 Feb 2005
WC: " It should be emphasized that I applied the "little Eichmanns" characterization only to those described as "technicians." Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. "

Ahhh. The laborers are exempt. The folks working for AMEX--which to most meant trying to assemble the right combo of funds so that some kids could go to college, not shovelling as much money at Halliburton as they could get their hands on--remain guilty.

In that case, count me as guilty--I probably bought something or other today from some company whose portfolio includes defenseware.

Sorry, but this line of argument doesn't cut it. I'm not presumptuous enough, myself, to suggest that anyone in those buildings should have died--I suppose there's the off chance that a few folks in there might have consciously aware of some nefarious deeds they were up to, but there were a hell of a lot more innocent people in there than the janitors and kids.

WC's apology is, to my mind, worse than his "misinterpreted" statements. This is a "great man?" Sheesh.

Like many of you, I lost a couple of good friends that day. Yes, they were in the--gasp!--horrible financial services industry (you know, the one that allows for the investments that give you cable to the curb and your broadband connection). They didn't fall into WC's neat little categorization of the saved and the damned. They were just cool people, activists in thier own ways, good parents, loyal friends.

WC is just another sanctimonious publicity hound spouting his own Fundamentalist version of Good and Evil. If this is kind of crap we hold up as honorable, truthful, wise, and courageous, we on the left are well and truly fucked.

I re-read this four times, looking for some redeeming element, but the sentence quoted above--which could just as easily have come from some mealymouthed Baptist separating his own sheep from goats--truly nauseates me.

I'd suggest turning our attention to genuine heroes and the truly oppressed, not those who court the attention with such crap.
Ward Churchill should be ashamed of himself
04 Feb 2005
To pass himself off as a Native American and to insult the September 11 victims is outrageous. Imagine if a member of Churchill's family, or even yours, died in the World Trade Center!
Re: Ward Churchill under attack in Colorado
05 Feb 2005
No matter what anyone thinks of Ward personally, he's being attacked right now for acknowledging that the US government as policy does far worse things than the terrorist attacks that happened here. Do you disagree with that? Do you think that such violence should only be mentioned when it happens to rich americans and not unmentionables overseas? Ward is not under attack by corporate media because of his character. He is under attack because he pointed out the one thing you are not supposed to point out in a fascist dictatorship, what the rulers are really doing. The reason activists should stand by him now is that he speaks that truth on THIS issue, the one he is being attacked over. It will be the Good Germans who ask us not to speak about the horrors that are happening RIGHT NOW around the world, not to rock the boat. Are you a Good German or a Bad German? Perhaps it is past time for everyone to decide.
Re: Ward Churchill under attack in Colorado
05 Feb 2005
Ward Churchill has been an outspoken opponent of racism and a professor of American History specializing in the American genocide committed against Native Americans. He has also illuminated the actions of the FBI's cointelpro operations in the 60's and 70's, including their involvement in instigating the factionalism that killed Malcolm X and evidence of a campaign against Martin Luther King. I agree that he is a great man.

And no one, who acts as if american multinational financial institutions are somehow separate from US foreign policy should be considered a sane and reasonable person. In fact each passing year we see the corporations based here and elsewhere with more power than the year before and that combination of corporate and government forces deserves a direct comparison to the nazis and Eichmann.

Of course it is never right to kill innocents, but the industrial complex has always been a legitimate target in war, and as our own US generals often say, collateral damage is hard to avoid.

If you look at Iraq today all of it's major industry has been destroyed, not only by bombing but also by Pauil Bremer's decree. They are even importing concrete when Iraq previously was a major producer of it and still has 13 factories that could be brought online.

Everything is being imported into Iraq and the reconstruction of its own industry (which would create jobs and perhaps weaken the insurgency) is being TOTALLY ignored.

Of course I only mention Iraq because it is an example of US targeting of industry. The US attack on Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.
Re: Ward Churchill under attack in Colorado
05 Feb 2005
his choice of words might have been iffy, but i support his overall point; that we are living in a maniacal empire that is extremely destructive to the world, and 9/11 was a natural reflection of the destruction we cause around the world.
Supporters of Ward Churchill
05 Feb 2005
They have no sympathy for those who died on 9/11. Imagine if one of their friends or relatives died in the World Trade Center! Would they still support someone who insulted victims of terrorist attacks?