Monday, May 15, 2006

Patriot Games


I'm a big fan of the Smirking Chimp. It compiles wonderful stories from around the internet and there is always something of interest there.

But today I stopped by and found someone I admire insulted. Which is fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Michele Goldberg originally wrote her article for Yahoo News, a news gathering source I also happen to like.

Her opening paragraph:

Early last year, much of the American right worked itself into an ecstasy of outrage after discovering a vile three-year-old essay by Ward Churchill, an obscure ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado. Titled, "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," Churchill's diatribe referred to the victims of the World Trade Center attacks as "little Eichmanns," who were "too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight...into the starved and rotting flesh of infants."

For the sake of clarity, here is Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens.

I happen to think Ward Churchill is one of the bravest Americans alive today. In the past, when the controversy first broke, I questioned the timing of his writing. At the time, it seemed to me that the day of such horror might not be the best moment for such accusations.

I was wrong. I've since re-thought my position. What's the use of having a mind if you can't change it sometimes.

While the rest of us were stunned into silence by the spectacle of 9/11, Ward Churchill saw through the bullshit. Clarity of thought that will someday, in a more enlightened time, be celebrated.

I've also since had time to watch and listen to Churchill. Make no mistake, tact is not the man's strong suit. He can be brash, seemingly arrogant, unkempt and uncouth.

And I admire the hell out of him.

I watched on C-Span late, late one night as he demolished David Horowitz in a debate. Churchill was poised, concise and infinitely logical in his arguments. Horowitz came across like Woody Allen on a meth binge. His arguments were often simply attacks against academia and sounded both tired and rehearsed. Score one for us traitors to the Reich.

Some People Push Back is a white-hot, no-holds-barred, unvarnished indictment of America and it's foreign policies. Though there is much there that should raise the ire of "patriotic Americans", The main outrage came from the "little Eichmanns" quote.

Do I think the victims of the World Trade Center attacks were "little Eichmanns"?

Yes I do.

But here is where I must tell you that I think all Americans, myself included at the time, were responsible for the murderous policies of our government and therefore part of a terrorist regime. We were all legitimate targets for anyone fighting the oppression in the Middle East.

I was a "little Eichmann". Worse, I was one of the American Empire's Sturmtruppen. A true believer in the way of the gun.

In fact, in that I am still an American citizen, still enjoying the 'fruits of liberty" and cheap oil that millions of Middle Eastern children have died for over the years, I am still part of the goddammed problem.

But I'm working on it. I'm trying in too small ways to make a difference. I hope to have the courage to make larger contributions. I'm trying to have the courage of my convictions and lose the mantle of hypocrisy I wear. I hope to atone for my ignorance and indifference.

Most Americans don't.

Of course, this entire post assumes that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were planned and carried out exclusively by nineteen men of Middle Eastern descent.

I don't believe that for one second.

No, I don't believe Flight 11 and Flight 175 were holograms or radio controlled with technology developed at Area 51. Nor do I believe that Dick Cheney coordinated the attack from a control room in World Trade Center 7 while feasting on the hearts of Iraqi children or any other such nonsense.

But the official story is so wrong that anyone with eyes can see it. I believe the true version of what happened has Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Mossad fingerprints all over it.

And if you can't see it, if you close your eyes and refuse to see it, you too are, to quote a great American, a "little Eichmann".


  • At 9:07 PM, Anonymous JMF said…

    "... No, I don't believe Flight 11 and Flight 175 were holograms or radio controlled with technology developed at Area 51. Nor do I believe that Dick Cheney coordinated the attack from a control room in World Trade Center 7 while feasting on the hearts of Iraqi children ... ==== Robert: I don't find convincing the notion that any of the 9/11 flights were "holograms" either. But radio-controlled override of aircraft navigation systems is not only possible but quite plausible. Such technology has *long* existed. In fact, [blaming Cuba for] downing a remote-controlled plane *disguised* as a civilian airliner was specifically proposed in the 1960's Operation Northwoods planning documents penned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ==== As for the coordination efforts, that would of course actually be Rudy Giuliani (among unknown others) in the Building 7 "highrise bunker" Command Center; Cheney was in DC, directly overseeing the Pentagon "strike" -- personally standing down what can only be realistically construed as a recommendation to *intercept* (and possibly shoot down) the erstwhile "Flight 77". [See Secretary of Transpotation Norman Mineta's testimony to the 9/11 Commission regarding Cheney's role in facilitating the DC hit.] Moreover, the "identified" aircraft in that particular case may or may not have been the actual vessel involved -- personally, I doubt that it was, for various reasons gleaned along the way. As for "feasting on the hearts of Iraqi children", well, we *are* talking Dick Cheney! That being the case, who really knows?? The man is obviously quite capable of the most despicably vile conduct. (He could easily have been Jack the Ripper in a "past life".) So why NOT infanticidal cannibalism, along with mass murder and his various other crimes? (Besides, if he truly considered himself a "sportsman", he'd either eat his prey or not "hunt" at all!) ;-) ==== As for Ward Churchill, the man made a profound statement -- highly thought-provoking and entirely commendable, in my mind -- at a time most Americans were least receptive to hearing it. But then, "Truth hurts!" As for the later, *retrospective* outrcry and the extended haranguing over that essay -- primarily by the proponents of the rabid right -- that's seemingly yet another example of this country's own Nazis deliberately seeking out intellectuals to scapegoat in accordance with their perennial pursuit of mindless conformity and unwaivering "Loyalty to the Leader". So much for "free thinking", eh? [Funny thing about "Loyalty to the Leader" -- it's both the name of a major drainage canal Saddam had built in Iraq *and* the would-be "patriotic" mindset of most vocal right-wingers in this country. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?)

  • At 5:27 AM, Blogger Again said…

    We were all legitimate targets for anyone fighting the oppression in the Middle East.

    i know what you mean - being part of a guilty society forces you to bear the guilt, too, it doesn't really matter, if you didn't do anything (or wouldn't have done anything) - because, as Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer admitted (quoted in Too Late)

    "I am guilty,
    But not in the way you think. I should have earlier recognized my duty;
    I should have more sharply called evil evil; I reined in my judgment too long.
    I did warn, But not enough, and clear; And today I know what I was guilty of."

    i know what you mean, but, but...

    but there are differences in the guilt of a Bonhoeffer, a willingly un-aware Otto Normalverbraucher (Joe Sixpack) or an Eichmann and i remember 2001, the pictures of the people crying for their relatives and feel the pain again, i've felt as i tried to imagine how they must have felt in the towers

    and then i remember that elderly woman, helping an old woman, maybe her mother, to cross the melting roads of Dresden - caring for another and dying melting in the hot asphalt. Both didn't stop Hitler, but they also didn't deserve to die in such a horrible way

    and no, i can't agree in "legitimate targets" - i know they may have been guilty and i know that "the others" surely have "legitimate" reasons to hate them, but i can't agree

    the world of us humans is created in our brains - and therefore i don't want to support such a violence, even only in my mind. There cannot be legitimation in case of such a violence, and no harm can justify that

    as the Israelis are not allowed to deport the Palestinians, just because the Germans deported them from their home, as the British shouldn't have killed a whole city by a hellish firestorm, the suicide killers of the Twin Towers shouldn't have killed the thousands (assumed, they did)

    defense is needed, punishment is needed, but there are limits decency must respect

    so for me, Americans are not all "little Eichmanns", most of them are just the lazy human mass living everywhere on Earth, some of them are Bonhoeffers - and some of them are even Hans' and Sophie Scholzes

    actually, i'm very proud to know such Americans ;-)

  • At 2:59 PM, Anonymous ML said…

    Churchill was cited for plagiarism, misrepresentation, falsification, and fabrication.

    Are we talking WMDs, Iraq, yellowcake, Powell's presentation to the UN, and the Office of Special Plans?

    How many US and Iraqi deaths resulted from Churchill's alleged plagiarism, misrepresentation, falsification, and fabrication? I think we're investigating the wrong suspect here.

  • At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anyone wanting to have fun with some Churchill bashers, check out this blog. Apparently you get banned for simply agreeing with Churchill.

  • At 8:27 PM, Blogger Robert said…

    Well hey. A friendly Anonymous.

    Welcome and thanks for the link.


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