first heard of Ward Churchill in 2001 when a friend
e-mailed me his essay, "'Some People Push Back':
On the Justice of Roosting Chickens". It was
the first time I felt that; here is an honest and
courageous American. Ward Churchill is the only
American who asked the question: Why have we been
attacked? And his answer is: We are responsible
for our crimes. Americans are not immune.
few scholars had the courage of Ward Churchill.
He accurately relates the crimes of the US government
against defenceless people like the Iraqi people
to the crimes of the 9/11 attacks. Churchill has
exposed US countless acts of aggression as crimes
against humanity that have negative consequences
for US citizens. History shows that all US crimes
are perpetrated against innocent civilians of other
is true, that US foreign policy and US crimes have
been supported by a large majority of US citizens.
The latest US poll conducted by Scripps Howard News
Service and the Ohio University reveals that 47
percent of US citizens approved of the war against
the Iraqi people compared to 44 percent. In other
words, US citizens bear collective responsibility
for those crimes. The recent US elections result
was interpreted as "endorsement" for the
policy of war and terror against defenceless nations.
There are no reasons for US citizens not to know
that US foreign policy is plain terrorism masked
1990, the US and Britain have imposed 'genocidal'
economic sanctions against the Iraqi people. Reliable
estimates from humanitarian aid organisations and
UN officials estimated that the total number of
Iraqi deaths caused by the sanctions' impact on
food, medicines, water treatment and other health-related
factors is about 1.5 million, a third of them children
under the age of 5 years. It was a deliberate mass
killing of more than 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians,
mostly women and children, and the destruction of
the vibrant city of Fallujah "is terrorism,
not a war on terrorism". The bombing of al-Amiriyah
civilian bomb shelter in Baghdad in January 1991,
and the killing of 400 identified women and children
"is terrorism, not a war on terrorism".
These acts of terrorism had nothing to do with "defending
America" or the interests of the American peoples.
It is the duty of US citizens to stop these crimes,
because they are committed in their name.
is a delusion to think only America has the right
to destroy hospitals, bridges, water treatment plants,
factories (including milk factories), sewage plants,
electricity grids, civilian bomb shelters and every
infrastructure that is vital to a functioning civil
society. America has no right to destroy the only
pharmaceutical plant producing vital medicines to
tens of thousands of Africans. America has no right
to kill in millions and pretends its action is 'humanitarian'.
"America's indiscriminately lethal arrogance
and psychotic sense of self-entitlement have long
since given the great majority of the world's peoples
ample cause to be at war with it". Of course,
"some people push back", Ward Churchill
is right; America has no monopoly right on war.
So, although I do not know Churchill very well,
and I only read few of his vast work, I find his
analysis very accurate and credible. The reason
Ward Churchill was attacked and vilified is because
Ward Churchill is a proud Native American. Gore
Vidal and Noam Chomsky made similar criticism of
US foreign policy, but they have much less intense
vilifications and attacks.
is surprising are the attacks on Churchill from
US leftists and pundits who found Churchill a good
scapegoat. It is typical behaviour of the left ranting
about free speech: They just move with the wind.
Remember Christopher Hitchens? With the exception
of CounterPunch , I am yet to read others who supported
the right and views of Ward Churchill.
is nothing inherently wrong with what Ward Churchill
writes. He is just much more courageous and honest.
Churchill tries to connect one atrocity at home,
to many other atrocities somewhere else. Innocent
civilians are the same whether they are Iraqis,
Palestinians or Americans. Churchill is within his
rights to speak his mind and should be defended.
is sad to see the University of Colorado distances
itself from Ward Churchill. The University of Colorado
should be proud to have a scholar of Ward Churchill
calibre, scholarship and integrity.
Hassan lives in Perth Western Australia. He can
be reached at via e-mail.