Little Churchills

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Americans were understandably upset to learn that University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill compared the victims who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center to “Little Eichmans,” likening them to the infamous Nazi war criminal. These same Americans should know that there are a platoon of “Little Churchills” in colleges and universities throughout the United States. Here are just a few whose activities Accuracy in Academia’s Campus Report has covered:

There’s University of Texas journalism professor Robert Jensen, who accused the U. S. of pre-9/11 terrorism and rhetorically asked an Austin crowd in November of 2001, “What makes the grief of a parent who lost a child in the World Trade Center any deeper than the grief of a parent who lost a child when U. S. warplanes rained death on the civilian areas of Iraq in the Gulf War?” This, by the way, is a point that was made not only by Ward Churchill but Saddam Hussein.

Jean Abi Nader, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University could not bring himself to call the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Yasser Arafat a terrorist, even before his passing. Dr. Abi Nader did, nonetheless, offer this insight on the jubilant reaction of the PLO to the September 11 attacks on the United States to Christianity Today Online:

“We think it’s the irrational response of a people who live in an irrational environment. They don’t understand. They see death every day of their own people. They can’t find any satisfaction in dealing with Israel. And so this gives them the opportunity to say, It’s God’s will—what’s happening in the United States.”

When Dr. Hatem Bazian called for an Intifada in the United States on his home campus at the University of California at Berkeley, the talk got some national attention. Less widely noticed were the thoughts he delivered to a Canadian audience:

“The Iraq occupation has more to do with ushering in a new American empire. The empire has to be resisted both internally and externally. The Iraqis resisted and we must also resist, as it subjugates people around the world.”

For his part, Dr. Rashid Khalidi [pictured] of Columbia University sees “disturbing but superficial similarities in that suicide bombers apparently motivated by Islam were involved in both” attacks upon the United States and Israel. Dr. Khalidi nevertheless criticizes what he sees as overdone American media coverage of the latter group of assaults and lists Iran as a thriving democracy in his book, Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East.

Professors in other departments than those that focus directly on the Middle East have weighed in on the 9-11 attacks and the war on Iraq. For example, Dr. Mahmoud Mamdani, from the Department of Anthropology at Columbia, blames the attacks on the Reagan Administration, engaging in some relativism that hopefully even the greatest critics of the late president will find immoral.

“In another decade, the center of gravity of the Cold War shifted to Central America, to Nicaragua and El Salvador. And so did the center of gravity of U. S.-sponsored terrorism,” Dr. Mamdani wrote. “The Contras were not only tolerated and shielded by official America; they were actively nurtured and directly assisted, as in the mining of the harbors.”

And then, in a class by himself, there’s the legendary left-wing historian Howard Zinn. Last year we reported that Dr. Zinn told an audience at Southwest Missouri State University that “Saddam Hussein is no longer a danger because he’s been captured but President Bush is because he hasn’t been.”

Defenders of the academic freedom of all of the above might be on more solid ground if:

  • a.) They weren’t addicted to taxpayer funding and tuition and fees collected from parents and students that behooves them to remember their benefactors’ sensibilities.
  • b.) They showed the same willingness to protect the academic freedom of others, such as the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) that can only gain admittance to 20 percent of the campuses in the United States.