#36 What the Devil is Going On at U Colorado-Boulder?
Originally published on FEBRUARY 02, 2005
WHAT THE DEVIL IS GOING ON AT U COLORADO-BOULDER?
Professor Ward Churchill, a product of the academic left, whose area of expertise is social activism on behalf of American Indian rights, committed a thought crime following the 9/11 Islamist attack on New York City and the Pentagon. He wrote that the victims (the victims!) of the World Trade Towers were “little Eichmanns.” That is only part of his criminal statement.
At the same time, a new student organization at UC-Boulder, calling itself Student Advocates for Free Expression, has put up a Web site it calls NoJusticeHere.com. The site announces an upcoming event in which two issues will be addressed. “How The Patriot Act Affects Us All,” and a campaign to “Free Ernst Zundel, a Political Prisoner.”
Ernst Zundel is a product of the non-academic right. Born in Germany, he immigrated to Canada as a young man, believing what he had been taught in the German public schools, using a curriculum developed during the American occupation.
In Canada, Zundel gradually unlearned much of what he had been taught in Germany, and came to believe that the gas-chamber stories (the first great “weapons of mass destruction” fraud) and much of the Holocaust story were propaganda tools used in the service of US foreign policy. Hello Iraq?
Professor Churchill crime was to write that those who were working in the Twin Towers when Arab fanatics murdered them were “little Eichmanns” who deserved what they got. That is, they were historical knock-offs of those who allegedly genocided the Jews of Europe. A pretty cheap shot for a professor to make. But then again . . . .
They deserved it because instead of protesting US sanctions against Iraq in the 90s, which caused an estimated half-million deaths, mostly children and the elderly, they passed their time “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.”
Zundel does not encourage the idea that it is only natural for Arabs, or anyone else, to kill American “power lunchers.” but rather the idea that it is morally wrong to censor revisionist writings and to imprison revisionists for their views. He argues that the Holocaust story should be open to free inquiry in the same manner that every other historical question is open to free inquiry.
Professor Churchill asks: “If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation [by default, in the murderous US trade sanctions] I’d really be interested in hearing about it.” He added, unexpectedly, and maybe with a sense of humor so elevated that I do not understand it, that when the little Eichmanns ignored those serious matters they were living in a “sterile environment.”
That is, if thousands of people working in sky scrapers do not attend to murderous US foreign policies, they themselves should be murdered. But should we not ask, how about people who work in buildings that do not scrape the sky, but in very short buildings, maybe only four of five stories high, but still do not attend to murderous US foreign policies? How about people working at home? How about you?
Professor Churchill has been punished for expressing the thesis that the mass murder of power-lunchers is only to be expected. He has been forced to resign as Chairman of his Department of Ethnic Studies. He is being pressured to resign from his tenured professorship at UC. He’s probably being laughed at by students. I don’t think he should be laughed at, but were talking students here.
Now Professor Churchill is receiving death threats against his own person. He says he is going to update his will and get it notarized. Good idea. “This proves my thesis absolutely,” he said of the death threats. “That is terrorism. The families of Sept. 11 feel dehumanized and devalued and that leads to violence. It’s not different for the Arabs.”
Those in the World Trade Towers on 9/11 didn’t have time to update and notarize their wills–but, oh well.
Ernst Zundel has been prosecuted by the Canadian State again and again for saying what he thinks is true and what he doubts is true, though he has yet to lose in court. After some 20 years of it, and having his house burned down, he got bored, married an American woman, moved to Tennessee, and retired. After two years in bucolic comfort, Canada caused him to be re-arrested and returned to Canada as a prisoner of the State. He has been held in isolation, without charges, for two years. And that is where he remains.
Professor Churchill rose through academic ranks to become a tenured professor and chairman of his Department. And yet he speaks with a kind of self-righteousness about the intentional killing of unarmed civilians en masse because of the policies of their Government. The conventional academic viewpoint. His error was that he designated Americans as being reasonable targets, not Japanese or Germans or Koreans or Viet Names or-Iraqis.
How about you and me? For my part, I’m guilty. I know I’m guilty. I did nothing about US sanctions against Iraq in the 90s. My wife was sick. I had a bad back. I was bankrupt. My car broke down. I was distracted by life, and only marginally interested in the Iraqis, or the aids epidemic, or world poverty, or the US Government for that matter.
So kill me now. Let’s get it over with. Professor Churchill can tell his Arab friends that I deserve to die for what’s going on in Iraq today, about which I am doing very little. I should pay for my inadequate role in protesting the deaths of a hundred thousand, maybe half a million innocent, unarmed Iraqi civilians.
I don’t have to go out in a blaze of glory, either. I’m a cheap date. No Arab kid will have to blow himself up. He won’t have to blow up his car. I walk alone in the dark. The kid can just slit my throat some night when I’m out on the Boulevard. I think the facts are in. I’m not a caring person, no more than the little Eichmanns who worked in the sterile environment of the World Trade Towers.
Professor Ward Churchill writes that vengeance is all right. Arabs believe that vengeance is more than all right. When Billy Graham spoke at the National Cathedral after 9/11, he said that vengeance belongs to God. It’s a big question. I’ll have to let the others sort it out. Ward Churchill, Ernst Zundel, and the Student Advocates for Free Expression.