Ward Churchill: A chicken with nowhere to Roost

            Why has Ward Churchill caused such a stir at Hamilton College?  Sure, Ward Churchill’s essay, “’Some people push back’ On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” suggested that the people killed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, were not “innocent” victims.  I’m sorry, did I say “suggested.”  What Ward Churchill actually said was, “…As to those in the World Trade Center…Well, really.  Let’s get a grip here, shall we?  True enough, they were civilians of a sort.  But innocent?  Gimme a break…”

            But what happened to free speech in America?  Doesn’t Ward have the right to speak?  Why are people at Hamilton College trying to stop him from speaking?  Perhaps it’s because while there is the right to free speech, it doesn’t mean everyone with an opinion has to be extended an invitation.  And perhaps the people who are protesting Churchill’s speech don’t feel that they should have to listen to a moron’s opinion.

            I believe in my heart of hearts that Ward Churchill’s problems began in childhood.  Either he wasn’t breast fed or, more likely, the breast milk was sour.  Of course, being familiar with Ward’s philosophy and some of his other writings, I have no doubt that he would turn his sour milk experience into genocide.

            Oh, how Ward loves that word Genocide.  He loves the word holocaust too!  Referring to how the First Gulf War killed 500,000 Iraqi children because the U.S. bombed a water filtration plant.  He speaks of war crimes and the breaking of international law.  Then he backs up his accusations with statements of a different kind.  The evidence that he gives, suggests nothing about death from a bombing of a water infiltration site but, of economic sanctions.  Then, he sets up a quote from Madeline Albright as her having been asked about an assistant U.N. Secretary’s comment as “‘a systematic program…of deliberate genocide.’”  He says Albright was asked to comment on these “allegations” on “Meet the Press.”

            This just shows that Churchill has no regards for facts.  Albright’s comments came two years earlier, on”60 minutes.”  People may feel that this is a small point but, to me, if someone is going to pontificate and use words such as “genocide,” I think perhaps they should do their research.  It seems Ward Churchill only uses facts that are convenient to his warped point of view, then arranges them in such a way that virtually renders them false.

            Nobody said to Madeline Albright, “There’s genocide going on in Iraq, do you think it’s worth it?”  This is what Ward Churchill would have you believe.  He also mistakenly calls her Secretary of State, when the comments are made.  She was the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.  These may seem to be small points but, for a supposed “intellectual”, I think it’s important to do your homework.

            I have a friend who wants to challenge Ward Churchill to a fight.  Now, that Churchill has made me defend Madeline Albright, I too may want to challenge him to a fight.

                                    Where is Ward Wrong?

            As far as I can see, he’s wrong wherever he is when he opens his mouth.  Madeline Albright talks about economic sanctions being a “hard choice.”  Maybe she’s a little undiplomatic in saying that 500,000 dead children is “Worth it.”  But, let’s face it; nobody decided, in 1991, “You know, let’s see how many children we can kill in Iraq.  Puppies and kittens too!”  Iraq was attacked because they occupied a sovereign nation…and I think a good point that Ward leaves out is the fact that this was not a “U.S.” operation.  It was a “U.N.” operation.  (Some people may be confused by my use of the term U.N.  In 1991 there was an international body headquartered in New York called the United Nations.  Today, this body still exists but, the term “United Nations” can be substituted for the term “France.)  So when he speaks of “international law” he leaves out the fact that because of resolutions passed at the U.N.,  both the First Gulf War and the sanctions were international law.

            Ward makes no mention of the Kurdish “Genocide” (I’m using his definition of Genocide) committed by Saddam Hussein.  Or the ten year “Genocide” committed by Iraq against Iran.  (Ward uses the word “genocide” and “war” interchangeably.)  And of course the aforementioned Kuwaiti “Genocide.”

            Ward doesn’t seem to remember that after the invasion of Kuwait, there was a very real fear that Saudi Arabia was next.  It’s very easy to quantify the number of dead because of U.S./U.N. actions.  It’s not as easy to quantify the amount who lived because of U.S./U.N. actions, but, safe to say it was in the millions.
Ward talks about the “Highway of Death.”  When hundreds of retreating Iraqis were killed.  What he fails to mention is the fact that, as part of the cease fire agreement, the Iraqi’s were told to leave their weapons behind, so that it would be difficult for Iraq to continue to make war.  When they failed to comply, by the hundreds, their tanks and other military equipment were bombed and yes Ward, those driving them were killed.

            And above all, why is there no mention of the U.N. oil for food program?  Is it because it makes the U.S. look too concerned for other people’s well being?  Or perhaps it’s because that program shows the true reason people in Iraq went without.  Saddam Hussein allowed none of the monies to go to the people who needed it.

This business of Iraq being a great place before the gulf war is also garbage.  Iraq was bankrupt after its ten year war with Iran.  Maybe the reason many of those children died was less because of sanctions but more because of a leader who was concerned, not about enhancing the lives of his own people, butt ending the lives of others…and as we have recently discovered, not only did he not help his own people but he, committed a real genocide against them.

                                               Why did those 0n 9/11 deserve to die?

                       According to Churchill, there are many reasons.  My favorite he offers is a payback for the crusades.  Wars that took place before the U.S. even existed.  Because of U.S. support for Israel?  Maybe U.S. policy on Israel hasn’t always been correct but, when did the U.S. start supporting Israel in such a large way?  After Israel had been attacked and repeatedly threatened by military maneuvers by Arab nations.  While everything Israel may have done may not be correct, I don’t think they should be “driven into the sea” as many Arab states and terrorist organizations have stated as their goal.

            First, Ward makes a case that the pentagon was a military target.  He makes no distinction between the civilians working there as opposed to the military.  He compares this to targets the U.S. has chosen during its wars, ministries of war and the like.  Perhaps he has a point here but, he misses two large facts.  The reason for Allied attacks on these places is to take out command and control capabilities.  The reason for the attack on the pentagon was to kill people, “Plain and simple” (to steal a phrase from Ward.)  If this isn’t the case, why did they choose to attack during “normal business hours” when they knew the most people would be there.  The U.S/U.N. conducts their raids at night, when civilian casualties will be limited.  The other point is that people at the pentagon had no idea it was coming.  Both U.S. attacks on Iraq have been after deadlines passed.  They may not know the exact time it’s coming but, they know it’s coming.

            These points also hold true for the victims in the World Trade Center.  But beyond that while Ward acknowledges that they were civilians, he says they weren’t innocent.

            Why?  Partly because they are a part of the big financial machine that makes the U.S. so rich and because they didn’t do anything to help the children in Iraq.  Well guess what Ward, economic sanctions against a country don’t help the rich.  They can’t do business there and, I dare say, many of them would have liked to see a country that didn’t need to be sanctioned.  What makes Ward think that the people in the World Trade Center didn’t have their own pain to deal with and who is he to judge whose pain is worse.  Yes Ward, they had power lunches and brought their kids to soccer games even though, people were dying in Iraq.  They went about their daily business just as people all over the world did.  I’m sure you continued annoying people and making up other genocides even though people in Iraq may have been dying.  Those who died in the World Trade Center’s first responsibility was to themselves and their families, not to the Iraqis. And contrary to what you may think, they don’t rule the World.  No one deserves to be incinerated.  Or to have to choose between being burnt alive or jumping 100 stories.   The problem with the world today is that people think they are entitled to what America has.  If you want it, work for it.  Why is there no mention of the amount of foreign aid both financially and humantarily the U.S. hands out?  The U.S. basically feeds the world.

            The people at the World Trade Center were trying to make a living.  Some had it good, some had it bad, none deserved to die.

By : Patrick Justin Fahey

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