Friday, January 28, 2005


According to an article in the Rocky Mountain News, Colorado University professor Ward Churchill displays an intellectual and moral obtuseness remarkable even by Left-wing professorial standards:

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.

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."

The essay maintains that the people killed inside the Pentagon were "military targets."

"As for those in the World Trade Center," the essay said, "well, really, let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break."

The essay goes on to describe the victims as "little Eichmanns," referring to Adolph Eichmann, who executed Adolph Hitler's plan to exterminate Jews during World War II.

"When you kill 500,000 children in order to impose your will on other countries, then you shouldn't be surprised when somebody responds in kind," Churchill said.

"If it's not comfortable, that's the point. It's not comfortable for the people on the other side, either."

The attacks on Sept. 11, he said, were "a natural and inevitable consequence of what happens as a result of business as usual in the United States. Wake up."

This essay is so sophomoric that we're reluctant to take it seriously. Surely, one suspects, the professor is baiting us, enticing us to think him a complete imbecile at which point he'll startle us with some surprising turnabout. Or, maybe, he just really is a complete imbecile.

In defiance of appearances, however, let's assume that he intends to be taken seriously. Where does he get the figure of 500,000 children killed in a U.S. bombing raid against Iraq in 1991? That's almost five times the total number of people killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Perhaps he's including in this figure the number of children who died during sanctions imposed by the United Nations. But if so, these were deaths caused by Saddam Hussein who used the money with which he was supposed to feed and care for his people to build palaces and to buy off the French and Kojo Anan. Why does Professor Churchill lay these tragic victims at America's feet? Churchill seems to think that it is America's fault that Hussein abused his people. This is typical of the Left to blame America for whatever evil there is in the world. It is also positively goofy.

We also wonder why the victims of the 9/11 attack deserve the epithet "little Eichmanns"? What was their crime? Being Americans? Being capitalist business men and women? Many of the victims, of course, were neither, but even if they all were American capitalists how does that make them legitimate targets of terrorism? This sort of slander against perfectly innocent and decent people is the toxic effluent of a mind that's been too often marinated in hallucinogenic cocktails at campus colloquies.

Maybe the looniest part of Professor Churchill's essay is his claim that 9/11 was a retaliation for American offenses against Iraq. We have been told ever since we began preparations for war against Saddam Hussein in 2003 that there was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. We had been told that al Qaida despised the secular regime Hussein had established and didn't want anything to do with it. Now Professor Churchill wants us to believe that there is a direct link between U.S. (actually U.N.) policy in Iraq and the Saudis and other Arabs who made up the al Qaida hijacking teams.

We would be interested to see the evidence he has for this allegation, but we don't expect him to offer any. It is the Left's modus operandi to fervently assert whatever fits their view of how things are and not worry about whether there is actually any support for the assertion. In Leftist epistemology any claim that serves to dishonor the United States and its people is self-validating.

For more on Professor Churchill, including a charming photo, go here.

To Drink or Not to Drink

A study published last August by a team of researchers from Harvard claimed that consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. The problem with the study is that it contradicts a 2003 study which found no link at all between sugared soft drink consumption and diabetes. Oddly enough one researcher helped author both studies.

So do soda drinkers have an elevated risk of diabetes or don't they? Steve Milloy at Fox is on the case. He concludes his article with these reassuring words for all the soda addicts out there:

The Harvard researchers have yet to make a credible case that soda consumption increases the risk of type 2 diabetes - but I am becoming quite convinced that they don't really care about credibility in the first place.

Read the whole column at the link and be careful not to spill any of that coca cola on your keyboard.