[Marxism] Jim Craven on Ward Churchill

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 22 21:15:44 MST 2005

I am beginning to more fully appreciate the penetrating insights embodied 
in Groucho Marx's aphorism: "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that 
would have me as a member."

It is very simple: To really honor the victims of a given holocaust or 
event, the full magnitude and essential dimensions and causes must be 
discovered, exposed and used in concrete ways to prevent another holocaust 
or event and even more victims. So, for example, when some see the nazi 
Holocaust solely in terms of Jewish victims and/or see no nominally Jewish 
victimizers and accomplices, they are not only desecrating the memory and 
sufferings of the non-Jewish victims, they are also desecrating the memory 
and sufferings  of the Jewish victims as well. Anyone who denies, 
equivocates, limits or covers-up the true and full dimensions, causes, 
effects and full accounting of all victims of a holocaust or event 
desecrates the memory of all the victims­colllectively and individually-- 
and helps to make the same easier and more acceptable in the future.

Jump to 9-11. Use of the compound metaphor "Some chickens coming home to 
roost" in reference to 9-11, as the same metaphor was once used by Malcolm 
X in reference to the assassination of JFK, is, at certain levels, a quite 
accurate and provable statement about cause and effect and tit-for-tat that 
goes on in the real world--sometimes mimicked or reflected in game theory. 
To say that for SOME of the individuals and agencies working in the 
WTC  9-11 represented a direct BLOWBACK (and for others an indirect 
BLOWBACK) or negative and unintended consequences coming back from previous 
operations or alliances, is an entirely and provably accurate statement; 
bin Laden and his crew did not just fall out of the sky one day--they came 
from somewhere, they had U.S. support and used U.S. banks, and they clearly 
were then, when they were getting U.S. government support, what they are 
now. In making this observation, neither I nor anyone else is necessarily 
or logically saying or implying that any or all of the victims deserved 
what they got or that we should celebrate in any way the deaths of anyone. 
It is only making a statement about real-world cause-and-effect and is also 
saying or implying that the real way to honor victims (unlike the ways of 
cheap rhetoric, syrupy sycophancy, tie-a-yellow-ribbon exhibitionism etc) 
is to tell it as it clearly and provably is without fear, favor or 
'politically correct' or sanitizing language.

All this hand-wringing about Ward Churchill's apparent "tone" or "style" in 
his article only gives the self-appointed censors and silencers more raw 
meat to work with. Is it or is it not true that the U.S. Government and 
various private entities (some of which had offices in the WTC) have 
committed and are committing terrorism as THEY themselves have defined the 
word (calculated or highly probable/foreseeable violence against 
non-combatants)? Is it or is it not true that terrorist acts not only admit 
impotence and weakness at a certain level, but also invariably invite 
reprisals and counter -terrorism? That is not only the basic observation 
Ward Churchill was making, but it is also asserted in the official rhetoric 
and rationales of the U.S. Government itself .

Is it or is it not true that the basic rationales, logic and mindsets of 
those who did 9-11 are basically the same as those in/allied with the Bush 
and previous administrations of the U.S. Government? Could the essence of 
the following not have been written/uttered by either side? [from 
Information Clearinghouse]:

"That's not really a number I'm terribly interested in.": General Colin 
Powell, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, on being asked his 
assessment of Iraqi military and civilian casualties, April 1991


Lesley Stahl: "I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. & ­ and 
you know, is the price worth it?"

Madeline Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price ­ we 
think the price is worth it."

Former U.N. Ambassador Madeline Albright, responding to reporter Lesley 
Stahl as to whether the over half a million Iraqi children killed by the UN 
sanctions against Iraq were "worth it." CBS May 11, 1996


"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's 
gonna happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on 
something like that?": George W. Bush's mother Barbara on ABC/Good Morning 
America, March 18, 2003

I, for one, am prepared to defend not only Ward Churchill's academic 
freedom, but, also, the specific content­and even tone­of wh what he wrote. 
Let those spineless and opportunistic worms in the Democratic Party wring 
their hands and try so hard to appear 'reasonable', 'moderate' and 
politically correct. For those who really want to honor the victims and 
support the troops, then tell the truth, all of it, without fear or favor, 
then stand firm and take on/expose these proto/outright-fascist 
Neanderthals wherever they surface in whatever forms and venues.

It is all amazing: Clinton got impeached­and almost convictedd­for a little 
'night work' in the ol 'O[R]al Office' (instead of the machinations for 
which he should have been impeached) while little George, through his 
minions, has been able to steal two national elections, commit the kinds of 
War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity for which individuals were hanged at 
Nuremberg, continue to bald-face lie over and over about the real causes 
and intentions behind the Iraq War and cynically use 9-11 the same way 
Hitler used the Reichstag Fire, and some are worried about some of the 
'tone' of Churchill's writing­even suggesting the tone of his writing was 
the cause or a cause of the reaction against him. In fact, in his article 
as well as in the whole book based on it, there was really nothing in 
content or tone by Ward Churchill that cannot be found on myriad lists on 
the net and/or that has not been uttered/written by other academics­myself 

Jim Craven

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

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