Charges against embattled Colorado University professor Ward Churchill continue to accrue. Since his predictable, extremist whining has little academic merit, his career is endangered as his facade continues to be exposed.

In his controversial works, Churchill justifies the actions of his heroes – terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks – by alluding to the fact that countless innocent civilians were killed as a result of U. S. intervention in Iraq. Therefore, September 11 was in some way retribution.

What happened to the knee-jerk “Bush lied, kids died” response heard when Iraq and terrorism are muttered in the same breath? After all, a trusty liberal talking point is that Saddam Hussein’s secular nature prevented any connection between the al-Qaeda terrorists and Iraq.

However, such a connection is plausible in Churchill’s world, as he contends that these terrorists were not religious fanatics but instead secular-minded activists. This belief bends the truth – he totally ignores the Islamic fundamentalism that underscored their hateful, extremist actions. His portrayal would only work in the universe where secular activists like Michael Newdow scream, “Allah is great” when arguing against “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and where the ACLU issues a fatwa against Christianity.

Even more bothersome is how he singles out the faults of the United States while ignoring the evil that other countries perpetrate. Churchill totally ignores that, in entering Iraq in 1991, the American army freed innocent Kuwaiti civilians from the rapes and murders perpetrated under Hussein’s occupation.

Next, he neglects to mention that the purpose for the no-fly zones that he condemns was to protect the Kurdish people from attacks by Hussein.

The Oil For Food program, designed to give poor Iraqis food, was corrupted by United Ntions bureaucrats, pillaged by Hussein and was profited off of by European companies.

Ultimately, though, nowhere in Churchill’s diatribe are Hussein’s crimes or the mismanagement of the Oil For Food program connected to the countless deaths in Iraq. Churchill’s one-sided tirade makes the Fox News channel look truly “fair and balanced.”

Americans should criticize their government freely. However, although we need to respect the right to free speech, I fail to see “truth-bender” and “narrow-minded propagandist” in the job description of a professor. In the academic arena, where the search for truth is paramount, a line needs to be drawn between criticism of the government and deceptive half-truths. While we need to encourage the former, those who engage in the latter should be exposed for the charlatans that they are.

Scott can be reached at tscott@campustimes.org.



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