January 29, 2005

BLAMING SADDAM (via Matt Murphy):

CU prof's essay sparks dispute: Ward Churchill says 9/11 victims were not innocent people (John C. Ensslin, January 27, 2005, Rocky Mountain News)

A University of Colorado professor has sparked controversy in New York over an essay he wrote that maintains that people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were not innocent victims.

Students and faculty members at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., have been protesting a speaking appearance on Feb. 3 by Ward L. Churchill, chairman of the CU Ethnic Studies Department. They are upset over an essay Churchill wrote titled, "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens."

The essay takes its title from a remark that black activist Malcolm X made in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Malcolm X created controversy when he said Kennedy's murder was a case of "chickens coming home to roost."

Churchill's essay argues that the Sept. 11 attacks were in retaliation for the Iraqi children killed in a 1991 U.S. bombing raid and by economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations following the Persian Gulf War.

The essay contends the hijackers who crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11 were "combat teams," not terrorists.

It states: "The most that can honestly be said of those involved on Sept. 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people as a matter of course."

So we're all agreed on the Iraqi ties to 9-11? Wasn't the Left saying there were none?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2005 10:03 AM

Will you stop confusing them with logic.

Posted by: erp at January 29, 2005 10:38 AM

This kind of thinking simply turns its back on the concept of Jus in Bello. The Hesperophobic idea is that it is permissible for a benighted sand-critter to treacherously slay non-combatants because he is too weak to wage war lawfully.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 29, 2005 11:13 AM

Reason # 914 why we should no longer provide public funding so people can study 'Social Sciences.' The only areas that a student should be able to get public funding for are the math, engineering, the sciences and business. Everything else is just so much excrement.

Posted by: Bart at January 29, 2005 1:03 PM

The sciences are social sciences.

Posted by: oj at January 29, 2005 1:18 PM


Stop all federal funding and watch the costs come down as the quality goes up. Do you honestly think there is a market for incompetence without it? Most social "science" specialties would have died of natural causes long ago without subsidies.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at January 29, 2005 1:19 PM

A choice excerpt from Prof. Churchill's "essay":

Looking back, it will seem to future generations inexplicable why Americans were unable on their own, and in time to save themselves, to accept a rule of nature so basic that it could be mouthed by an actor, Lawrence Fishburn, in a movie, The Cotton Club.

"You've got to learn, " the line went, "that when you push people around, some people push back."

As they should.

As they must.

And as they undoubtedly will.

There is justice in such symmetry.

On the "plus side," this essay helps remind me why the University of Colorado is so worthy of detestation.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 29, 2005 4:36 PM

OJ, the difference between social science and real science is like that between a pogo stick and a F-16.

Tom, pretty much every American graduate program in anything but the areas I mentioned should simply be closed down, saving the students and the taxpayers billions upon billions of dollars. There is no market for it and frankly it is of less real value than phrenology.

Matt, when I think of U of Colorado, I think of two things. One is my cousin who left her North Shore Long Island gilded ghetto and, after a year there, dropped out and took off with some roadies for the Grateful Dead for about a year. Today, she is the wife of a prominent medical school professor and raised her kids Orthodox Jewish.

The other is the Stephen King novel, The Shining, where all the bad people converged on Las Vegas and all the good ones on Boulder. In my world, that is exactly reversed.

Posted by: Bart at January 29, 2005 5:37 PM

I believe the "1991 bombing raid" this idiot refers to was the destruction of a hardened bunker that the boneheaded (or cynical) Iraqis used as a military command post during the day, but as a civilian air raid shelter at night. We hit it at night, not knowing that it was filled with civilians at the time.

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 29, 2005 5:48 PM


Those are technologies. The sciences are all just politics.

Posted by: oj at January 29, 2005 6:01 PM


First, there's the "wacky" side of Boulderites. A couple of years ago, the Boulder Public Library set up a public exhibit of 16 ceramic penises and apparently had trouble understanding why their exhibit was so controversial. Last year, the CU president recently defended the public use of the word "c*nt," saying her background in Medieval history allowed her to transcend the strictures of her own time and place so as to view the word as a term of endearment.

Then there's the "mean" side. If you want to experience the folks in Boulder at their worst, dress in Cornhusker red and attend a football game sometime. My dad went up in 1969 and watched as CU fans threw urine-filled balloons at the Nebraska fans and stole their hats. A friend of mine knows a Nebraskan who had his legs broken when he was getting out of his car and some idiot walked by and slammed the door on him. I've heard similar stories from plenty of others. Nasty, nasty people.

PS I agree with your point about dropping most grad school classes, except I would make an exception for history. That I am currently a grad student in history does not affect that judgment, of course, since I am utterly principled in everything I do and say. ;-)

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 30, 2005 1:54 AM


Science and mathematics are ways of life not mere technologies. Everything I do from doggie care to cooking to work to commentary here is infused with my mathematics background and the skills and logic acquired therefrom.


Why don't you study something lucrative like finance and simply spend your free time either going to the library and taking out the books you want on the historical areas that interest you or buying them on Amazon? The life of a finance nerd with an interest in history is far better than that of a history geek with an interest in finance. Over the years, I've acquired a solid collection in Judaica and French history that rivals scholars in the field of my acquaintance.

Posted by: Bart at January 30, 2005 9:03 PM


You think people couldn't walk and cook before they figured out differential equations?

Posted by: oj at January 30, 2005 10:22 PM

If you think science is irrelevant to the pleasures of the table, you might want to read Escoffier or just watch Alton Brown's Good Eats on the Food Network.

Posted by: Bart at January 31, 2005 10:41 AM

Alton Brown explains why your great-great-grandmother cooked things certain ways. Technology precedes science.

Posted by: oj at January 31, 2005 1:17 PM

If you know why a certain result is obtained under one set of circumstances,you can extrapolate to another set what should occur. The science of cooking is what turned me on to it.

Posted by: Bart at January 31, 2005 2:25 PM

Eating is what turned mankind on to it...quite awhile ago. The science is for the self-important.

Posted by: oj at January 31, 2005 3:07 PM

"We hit it at night, not knowing that it was filled with civilians at the time."

And you believed them. Never ever believe a word the arabs say in warfare. They lie routinely for effect. They love to lie about civilian casulties.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 1, 2005 4:18 AM

Well maybe someone should "push back" at Ward Churchill! He has no right to state that the civillians in the World Trade Center were military targets as those people are NONCambtants. Theses people were working at jobs and not in anyway attacting those "Combat Teams!" Those combat teams were guttless scum that did not have the balls to fight the military of the US. Wars are not waged by hijacking civilian airliners and flying them into civilian places of work. Even Pearl Harbor, Japan only attacted MILITARY Targets not ciivlian ones. In 1991 we waged war on Iraq because it invaded it neighbor Kuweit. The US did what no other neighbor in teh middleeast would do, HELP.I would bet that Churchill never served a day in his life in the military and has no feeling of pride to be in a country that he can voices such an overly outrages essay. Freedom is not FREE and mst be defended daily! If you don't the price of freedom then there are counties that will let you in but you have to keep your BIG MOUTH SHUT!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Kerry Hardy at February 2, 2005 8:41 PM