2005/02/10

Say it loud Ward Churchill!



Free speech was delivered to the beat of a Lakota tribal drum on Tuesday night. CU ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill finally got to tell the campus his side of the now nationally debated essay and later book, "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" which recently won an honorable mention in the Gustavus Myers Human Rights Award.

Churchill characterized the Sept. 11 attacks as a military reaction to a long history of U.S. abuses and exploitations abroad. He also asserted that World Trade Center corporate victims were not innocent, but in fact, the "technocrats of empire." His description of corporate workers killed in the attack as "Little Eichmanns," referencing Nazi Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann, was fodder for sound bites all over the country in recent weeks.

Churchill listed a litany of human rights and foreign policy abuses going back to the alleged deceitful purchase of Manhattan Island from the Wappinger tribe by the Dutch, who he said then wiped out the tribe, to Wounded Knee, the American acquisition of the Philippines, the World War II fire bombing of Tokyo and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"What you're putting out will blow back on you and that's what happened," he said, referring to the 9/11 attacks, adding rhetorically: "Why do they hate us?' Why shouldn't they?"

Churchill said some have called his use of the Nazis in his essay as an analogy a "bad rhetorical device." Churchill said he disagrees and won't take it back.

"You make your words your weapons, you say them clearly and you never back down," he said. "I'm not backing up an inch. I owe no one an apology."

"The bottom line of my argument," Churchill says in a statement posted last week on the website of CU's Department of Ethnic Studies, "is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9/11-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."

Churchill said he was referring to "technocrats" who participate in what he calls repressive American policies around the world. He said those include Iraqi trade sanctions after the first Gulf War that have been blamed for the deaths of 500,000 children. Churchill compared U.S. actions in Iraq to those of the Nazis "during the early months of their drive into Russia," noting that internationally the American policy was described as "deliberate genocide."

"If someone were to ask me, 'Do you feel sorrow for the victims of 9-11,' of course I do," he said. "Let's begin with the children. Yes, they were innocent. And I mourn them. But they were not more innocent than those half-million Iraqi children."

Colorado Daily
NewsCoast.com

Say it loud, Mr. Churchill! I and many others are behind you. It's past time for America to wake up! No doubt if I had lost a loved one in the attacks of 9/11 I would now be having to face my own outrage at Mr. Churchill's words. But, I hope that in light of what I know today of my counties crimes against humanity I would be able to understand the need for them.

The following is a must read article at Counterpunch by Tim Wise.
Reflections on Empire and Uppity Indians

16 Comments:

I've respected Churchill for a long time. Too many people in our country want to silence people that don't agree with them, especially when they come a little too close to the truth. That seems ironic, doesn't it, considering that this is America? 

Posted by Charone
2/10/2005 08:45:00 am  
How many students voted for a curtailing of free speech in that poll? A third? That's our future...

I remember my father saying something like Churchill did on the very afternoon that we heard of the attacks. I remember feeling outraged and thinking "how can you say that?"

But once the emotions cooled down and I could see it more rationally, it made sense. America has made many enemies in the past centuries. Few of these enemies are enemies of freedom.

"But they were not more innocent than those half-million Iraqi children."

>That's exactly the point. It seems like the media is putting higher value on "Western" people, on people close to where we are and with the same skin color.

Riverbend commented:

"Why is it 'terrorism' when foreigners set off bombs in London or Washington or New York and it's a 'liberation' or 'operation' when foreigners bomb whole cities in Iraq? Are we that much less important?" 

Posted by Arancaytar
2/10/2005 09:28:00 am  
Hey Charone, what a coincidence. I spent over an hour exploring your blog and wrote you an email only a few minutes ago. 

Posted by WhyNot
2/10/2005 09:33:00 am  
while 11 September was a tragedy, it was not out of nowhere. given how the US has treated allies in recent years it is not surprise that there has been retaliation.
While some of Churchill's statements are a bit odd, this one is not. He speaks the minds of socialists throughout the world. It is no surprise that it was the world trade centre that was attacked, trade has been grossly unfair to much of the world, especially oil.
just something to think of:More people die of preventable diseases each day than died in the attacks of 11 September 2001. 

Posted by Greg Stephens
2/10/2005 09:47:00 am  
“No doubt if I had lost a loved one in the attacks of 9/11 I would now be having to face my own outrage at Mr. Churchill's words”.

Not necessarily, Dianne.

I saw last night a TV interview of the parents of Patrick Rapicault, French/American dual citizenship, captain in the US army, recently killed in Iraq. They live in Antibes, where Patrick spent his youth, a couple hours drive away from here.

They certainly don't hold anything against the Iraqis for their son's death. They don't even hold a grudge against Bush, although, when asked if they thought his death had been "worth" it, his mum was silent for a few seconds, then tried to smile and said "I.... I hope so". Then his dad, you could see he was hesitant and not wanting to undermine his wife's spirit and faith, and after an even longer silence, he put his arm around his wife and said softly to the camera "no, I am afraid it was sheer waste".

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that we don't necessarily feel anger and revenge when confronted to the ultimate loss of life of our beloved ones. In fact, I've often witnessed it not to be the case. 

Posted by WhyNot
2/10/2005 10:25:00 am  
"So. Surely we can do something to make this guy into a raving lunatic? He's been a pain in the ass for some time. Who do we know at his University?

George, you get your ass on television pronto and make some sort of bullshit statement about how this sort of rhetoric is treasonous and dangerous to National Security. What? No. Cheny isn't going to do it. Just shut your pie hole and do what you're told.

I'll get the talk show guys lined up and ready... do we have any cash available to sweeten the pot for them? Good.

Now, remember. What's really important is that we seem completely incredulous about the actual content of his statements and just keep harping on the devisiveness of the tone. Okay.

Everybody Ready? Lets launch Operation "This Churchill ain't no Winston. I'll bet Rush loves that line!" 

Posted by surrogate
2/10/2005 10:51:00 am  
The right of free speech doesn't stop an employer from not wanting to employ an incompetent, outspoken, rude, inconsiderate and (quite simply) wrong individual, esepcially one that public $ is paying for!

He should be fired, plain and simple. I'm sure the ACLU will get him a job somewhere.

/TJ 

Posted by TJ
2/10/2005 01:14:00 pm  
The right of free speech doesn't stop an employer from not wanting to employ an incompetent, outspoken, rude, inconsiderate and (quite simply) wrong individual, esepcially one that public $ is paying for.

Well, since you've told us what it 'doesn't' stop, in your opinion. Whynot tell us what it does? Where do you think a person's right to express his thoughts stops? Does a person't freedom of speech stop when they disagree with you? I think so. But, I'll wait to hear.
Perhaps you agree with RJ Rummel who would use World War 11 as a criteria, who would censor the bit of media, such as it already is, in the US?

It is you who are, quite simply, wrong, TJ. But, I will wait to point this out on your return. Of course, if you don't return I will point it out anyway probably in the form of a blog entry.

Why with a quick look at your blog was I not surprised to find a link to ever popular Cao. So, you approve her slander of the French and her slander of me (frenchie)? This would be an exercise in freedom of speech right?

I anxiously await the debate.
 

Posted by Dianne
2/10/2005 05:17:00 pm  
Too bad everyone focused on his "Eichmann" wording instead of what he was trying to get across, which is simply: What goes around, comes around. You reap what you sow. Everything you do, comes back to you: "America has forced its lethal policies upon societies around the globe, so don't be surprised when people fight back," for instance.
It's a pretty basic message really, and if anything I wish he had used a simpler way of getting it across, especially given the media's propensity for blowing things way out of proportion, and skewing the message in the process.
While I defend to the end his right to speak whatever he wants, and I in fact agree with him on this, I still wish he had taken better advantage of his position by using a more media-savvy approach.

I heard on NPR today some idiot politician loudly proclaiming that Churchill should be fired, because he had been supported by the taxpayers long enough. I think that politician should be fired, as he clearly has been supported by the taxpayers for long enough.
So whose opinion should matter more, yours or mine, TJ? You seem to think yours matters more. I say this is a democracy, not a fascist state. Use your head. Think about it. 

Posted by Sarah
2/10/2005 05:54:00 pm  
To TJ:

“The right of free speech doesn't stop an employer from not wanting to employ an incompetent, outspoken, rude, inconsiderate and (quite simply) wrong individual, esepcially one that public $ is paying for!”.

I'd agree on the "incompetent" part. However, it is not what he's been accused of.

"Rude"? That's YOUR opinion. Same for "wrong" and "inconsiderate".

"outspoken"? Why should that be a ground for firing? Is it part of the non-freedom of speech agenda of the new America?

Resuming your statement, you are in effect saying that:

Someone who has been doing his job for years, who is a highly respected prominent intellectual, should be fired under the false pretence of being incompetent because he dared emitting opinions that differ to that of the Bush order.

Sounds to me like the definition of a fascist system. 

Posted by WhyNot
2/10/2005 07:04:00 pm  
“What goes around, comes around. You reap what you sow.”.

Sarah, I want to take advantage of this to expand a little on what I mentioned the other day about decades of "terrorism" in France and the UK, since it happened for the very reason you mention.

The UK situation stemmed from their sticking their nose (and guns) into Ireland. The French situation from France having fucked Algeria. It's all so obvious one wonders how ppl in western countries still don't learn from history, whether from their own mistakes or those of others. But I guess Bush can read or write, so it's not so surprising.

Yes, the lesson is very simple:

you go fuck with ppl, ppl get pissed, ppl come back fuck with you.

Got that history lesson, Bush, or should I shorten it further still? 

Posted by WhyNot
2/10/2005 08:04:00 pm  
"you go fuck with ppl, ppl get pissed, ppl come back fuck with you."

You forgot the part where the vicious cycle starts repeating...

I wonder WhyNot is this why you seem to waste so much time attacking America? You got caught breaking America's laws, thrown out on your ass, and now you're pissed because you're just an "American wannabe" reject.

All of you ... Americans and the foreigners alike -- if there is one country out there that is any better at anything than America --honesty included, then go, go and be happy! I get so tired of seeing all this criticism without a better idea to follow. If you can't come up with a better option then just shut up ... since when has bitching and complaining made a difference in anything? I suppose it must be hard for some of you to get your minds around the thought that your "ideal form of government" has been tossed on the trash heap of history, but it has ... I suppose none of you will be happy until you force America there with you. Go ahead and destroy her and you'll get what you deserve ... a little totalitarianism anyone, better get the Koran memorized, what direction is Mecca? Forget ever having the right to bitch freely again, because Islamafascist don't play that. America is the reason we are all free to speak our minds ... it is the idea that has set an example for the world. Even wonder who's behind all this hate America speech ... only people who really seem to hate FREE SPEECH. And please ... don't you dare say we don't hate America, just it's policies ... America is it's policies. I would say love it or leave it, but even France isn't far enough away to shut you up! Start paying attention to your own countries policies ... not so swift either are they? Odd, that you let America dominate your hate filled time. There are far worse things than America, like WhyNots hairstyle.
2/13/2005 08:17:00 pm  
“America is the reason we are all free to speak our minds ... it is the idea that has set an example for the world”.

ROFLOL, you wouldn't know freedom of speech if it bit you in the ass.

BTW, do you have a name (other than coward)?
2/13/2005 09:27:00 pm  
Dear anonymous one,

Seeing as you're here and so obviously agitated I guess we must not be wasting our time eh?
I can't think of any place I would rather be than right where I'm at..France. It's a place of beauty and true freedom.
As far as better options well, we are full of better ideas but you and your prez don't care what the rest of the world thinks, remember? Which is it? First you don't want to hear from us then you do. Gosh, this is confusing?

Ok, that's all the attention you get for the moment.

Oh..check your sources. Someone has misled you badly.
2/13/2005 09:35:00 pm  
Okayfine, I guess I'm wrong about everything but WhyNot's hairstyle. Spend all your time cursing America if you want. Let your hate consume you. It's obvious you simply have nothing better to do, I saw the unemployment rates of France on the news. I know if I had something better to do I wouldn't have bothered to comment.

Goodday
G. Hossaphat
2/14/2005 04:09:00 pm  
Wrong again, Jumpin G. He's got great hair. So that makes you wrong on all points.

You just can't please everybody.

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."

It seems to fit...
2/14/2005 06:10:00 pm  

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