Skip to comments.Ward Churchill Isn't the Only One Who Hates America (mega barfer)
Posted on 02/04/2005 5:44:11 PM PST by indcons
I listened to the endless chatter about it on talk radio. I read the news stories, along with the editorials condemning Ward Churchill's essay. I have just gotten around to reading what the professor actually wrote.
The University of Colorado professor could have used a good editor. That's the first thing I noticed. And certainly, he holds back not at all in casting blame for Sept. 11.
What struck me the most, though, is how familiar it all was. The Eichmann reference clearly was stupid and was designed to be incendiary. A fair reader of the essay will not, though, be tripped up by it. In no way was he saying children, police officers and firefighters deserved to die.
Instead, he is saying they were the enemy's "collateral damage," no different from the innocent Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese and a host of others who have been killed when our military weapons miss and, sometimes, hit their targets.
The familiarity of what Ward Churchill wrote comes from the books and extensive articles in national publications that have been written in recent years on this very subject, with the same accusatory finger for Sept. 11 pointed directly at the U.S. and its citizenry for closing a blind eye to our country's adventures overseas.
"(We) now have several thousand of our own disappeareds, and we are badly mistaken if we think that we in the United States are entirely blameless for what happened to them.
"The suicidal assassins of Sept. 11, 2001, did not 'attack America,' as our political leaders and the news media like to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy."
Chalmers Johnson wrote this in the Nation magazine on Oct. 15, 2001, about the same time Ward Churchill wrote his essay.
"On the day of the disaster," he continued, "President George W. Bush told the American people that we were attacked because we are 'a beacon for freedom,' and because the attackers were 'evil.' In his address to Congress on Sept. 20, he said, 'This is civilization's fight.'
"This attempt to define difficult-to-grasp events as only a conflict over abstract values - as a 'clash of civilizations,' in current post-cold war American jargon - is not only disingenuous, but also a way of evading responsibility for the 'blowback' that America's imperial projects have generated."
The article is equally as devastatingly self-blaming as that written by Ward Churchill, only much more factually based and eloquently written.
And Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute and professor emeritus at the University of California at San Diego, has had no one call for his college position or his life.
The author of 12 books, he is best known for his 2000 book, Blowback: The Cost and Consequences of American Empire, long a best seller overseas, that was barely picked up by Americans until after Sept. 11, when it became a best seller here.
"Blowback" a term invented by the CIA in 1954 to describe possible results from its operation to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran, refers to the unintended consequences of American policies, few of which, Chalmers Johnson contends, most Americans even know about.
In the book, he fairly predicts that a Sept. 11 is an inevitability, noting the only question is where it will be carried out.
He answered his own telephone when I reached him at his San Diego-area home.
He knew of Ward Churchill. His use of the Eichmann reference, he said, "was a stupid, foolish decision."
"The bond traders and other professionals, you could argue, were part of the military-industrial complex George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower both warned about, but to say their deaths were warranted is a bit of a stretch."
The rest of what Ward Churchill wrote "is little different" from what scores of others, including him, have written.
"I am not endorsing the professor one way or the other. Yet I and so many others are not alone in our view," Chalmers Johnson said.
"In fact," he adds, "I've actually had quite a favorable response to my work."
He is 73 years old. "I certainly am not out there trying to get tenure. And I don't need the money. I am retired."
The morning of Sept. 11, 2001, he actually believed the horrors were the work of Chileans. Sept. 11, he noted, is the date in 1973 when the U.S. sponsored the overthrow of the elected government of Salvador Allende, a date no Chilean, he says, has ever forgotten.
It could, too, have been Greeks, Okinawans, any number of African nationals, Argentines, Brazilians - you name it, he said. That the attacks were mostly carried out by Saudis, he said, was not a surprise. Blowback.
Like Ward Churchill, Chalmers Johnson says the Pentagon, in the context of blowback and warfare, was a "legitimate military target, no question."
The destruction of the World Trade Center, he adds, was "not legitimate. Clearly it was symbol," he said, "but it was pure terrorism."
The problem, he said, is "when retaliation comes, Americans do not have the context to see why it happens. What it is not is a clash of civilizations. It is irrelevant to what we are talking about here."
In Indonesia, for example, a country where he has lived and visits frequently, 80 percent of the people there are now demonstrably anti-American.
"They openly wear Osama bin Laden T-shirts. In the years before George W. Bush, 80 percent were pro-American."
"Every red light was flashing," Chalmers Johnson said. "The world knew it. Yet here in America, we re-elected George Bush. We simply are asking for it.
"All of us, with that election, endorsed preventative war and more war, torture, prisoner-abuse, the flaunting of Geneva Convention rules, the backing out of treaties when it suits us, the rest of the world be damned. It is one bad thing after another.
"The belief out there is the U.S. is unfair. And that is warranted."
There are three things the U.S. can do to solve it all, where terrorism "will become only the concern of local police chiefs. Not that it ever will happen," Chalmers Johnson said.
Our uncritical and unflinching support of Israel, our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and this nation's unchecked militarism, he said reciting Roman history, is "our Rubicon, and we have crossed it.
"I am not certain it can be reversed," he said. "I see clearly what I call the short, happy life of the American republic.
"We have undercut the separation of powers. We have an imperial presidency that does what it wants, that relies on secrecy more than ever, combined with a Congress that doesn't perform.
"The entire political system today doesn't perform. As a result, Nov. 2, 2004, will be a date that ultimately will be better remembered in this country than Sept. 11, 2001."
Ward Churchill never said anything like this.
And Chalmers Johnson, whose head no one has yet called for, has released a new book, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic.
It well could become a best seller. Bill Johnson's column appears in the Rocky Mountain News. Call him at 303-892-2763 or e-mail him.
I laugh at their infatuation with the term "Blowback," makes them feel all cool and sophisticated, like they know some "inside" knowledge, which is pretty common jargon even a civilian like me knows. What a crew of hypocrites--if I honestly felt about this country as they claim to, I'd be typing this in some other country.
Let me call for his head right now.
And Bill Johnson, the author of this piece, seems to think he's just peachy.
Hey, that's me they're talking about!
Just saw two of his students interviewed on O'Rielly show. Both of them defending him, and surprise surprise they both were angry little punks and agreed with him, yeah he just wants to encourage debate.
""The suicidal assassins of Sept. 11, 2001, did not 'attack America,' as our political leaders and the news media like to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy."
I would argue the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor about our "foriegn policy."
War is war. When in one, fight to win. Only after victory, does talk by professors need any attention.
So, basically, the author defends an a$$hole like Churchill with another a$$hole named Johnson. Kinda like saying Stalin was an OK guy because Pol Pot liked him.
"Now I know why tigers eat their young."--Rodney Dangerfield
Chalmers Johnson - Berkeley Professor
"Nurturing Iraq's Non-Election
By Robert Jensen and Pat Youngblood, AlterNet. Posted January 28, 2005.
To pretend that the U.S. might want true democracy in Iraq one that actually would be free to follow the will of the people is to ignore evidence, logic and history."
This is another professor who speaks with forked tongue..I don't know whe he even lives in the US.
"...In no way was he saying children, police officers and firefighters deserved to die. Instead, he is saying they were the enemy's "collateral damage..."
The 'enemy' sure didn't think so. They tried to kill as many as possible.
Same nonsense, different day. The article implies that American foreign policy is evil. And why is American foreign policy evil. Because America is a Western, capitalist nation. We don't understand and appreciate other cultures.
The September 11th attack was a case of cold-blooded killing, and was intended to be. It was an attack on Americans, on American soil, by foreigners who despise us. And no amount of rationalization is going to get around that fact. I wish our "enlightened" progressives would stop blaming other people's actions on America.
Robert Jensen and I had a VERY HOT argument when he came to my university to propagandize two years ago. I called him a liar to his face but was shouted down by the radicals and the islamists who made up 95% of the crowd. Jensen is a scumbag.......sometimes he organizes his speaking tours in conjunction with the neo-stalinist organization, Not in Our Name.
America's indiscriminately lethal arrogance and psychotic sense of self-entitlement have long since given the great majority of the world's peoples ample cause to be at war with it
The problem is that vengeance is usually framed in terms of "getting even," a concept which is plainly inapplicable in this instance. As the above data indicate, it would require another 49,996 detonations killing 495,000 more Americans, for the "terrorists" to "break even" for the bombing of Baghdad/extermination of Iraqi children alone. And that's to achieve "real number" parity. To attain an actual proportional parity of damage the US is about 15 times as large as Iraq in terms of population, even more in terms of territory they would, at a minimum, have to blow up about 300,000 more buildings and kill something on the order of 7.5 million people.....Were this the intent of those who've entered the US to wage war against it, it would remain no less true that America and Americans were only receiving the bill for what they'd already done.