Wednesday, February 23, 2005

 

Remember Pearl Harbor?

Before you read the following, please realize two things-- a)Trask called a halt to the questions at the press conference last night the moment those questions became anything less than fawning and brainless adoration, and b) Churchill wrote that "Pearl Harbor doesn't count." Granted, he wrote in the same paragraph that we were meant to feel pain on 9-11, and I can understand his point--I'd have to be braindead not to. That wasn't a hug those terrorists gave us, after all. But last night's soapbox convention took place in Hawaii, and I'd be willing to bet that more than a few people were pissed off by the fact that Ward Churchill said that Pearl Harbor didn't count ;) Hey, maybe he should try this little grandstanding of his at Ground Zero, Manhattan! I wonder how far he'd get...

Churchill defends his views in Hawaii
Hundreds hear CU prof's speech; 20 students protest
By Jeannette J. Lee, Associated PressFebruary 23, 2005

HONOLULU - Embattled University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who has been criticized for his comments likening some Sept. 11 victims to Nazis, defended his position before an overflow crowd Tuesday night at the University of Hawaii.

Churchill emphasized that he did not advocate the attack on the World Trade Center. Rather, he said, he insisted an attack was inevitable, given U.S. international and economic policies.

"One does not advocate the volcano," he said. "It requires no advocacy from mere mortals. One points to the volcano and attempts to make sense of it."

Churchill spoke of U.S. atrocities in Japan, the Philippines and in the United States against Hawaiians and American Indians.

About 200 people, barred from entering the auditorium packed with a mostly supportive crowd of more than 400 people, watched Churchill speak on a television monitor set up outside.

It was Churchill's first university speaking engagement outside Colorado since his essay comparing victims of the World Trade Center attacks with Nazis was discovered on a Web site last month.

Churchill wrote that some "technocrats" killed in the World Trade Center were like Adolf Eichmann, a high-ranking Nazi official who orchestrated the extermination of European Jews in the Holocaust.

Some 20 students, including members of the Hawaii College Republicans, protested outside the campus auditorium before the speech. One held a poster with photos of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks over the label "Churchill's Gallant Combat Team." Kimberly Craven, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii College Republicans, a 12-member club that formed last week, said she was outraged that the university was welcoming Churchill to speak.

"It's not a matter of free speech; it's a matter of common sense," the UH senior said. "We're in a war on terror, and you shouldn't bring a supporter of terrorists here."

State Sen. Fred Hemmings also criticized Churchill's appearance. "I think it's awfully sad Hawaii has to host a person such as this," Hemmings said.

Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, of Vermont, who was vacationing in Hawaii, was among those who attended. "I support and welcome free speech, but those are my friends (firefighters, police office and other victims) Churchill was referring to," Dubie said.

About two dozen campus groups and departments expressed support for Churchill's appearance, including the Center for Hawaiian Studies and the William S. Richardson School of Law.
Hawaiian Studies professor Haunani-Kay Trask has called the University of Colorado's investigation into Churchill's teaching credentials a "witch hunt" and likened the probe to House Un-American Activities Committee hearings and Communist fears propagated by Sen. Joe
McCarthy about 50 years ago.

"I am urging public support of Professor Churchill's struggle as if it were our own, that is to say the native people of Hawaii," said Trask, also an outspoken Hawaiian activist.

Churchill's next university engagement is scheduled for the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Assembly voted to condemn Churchill's comments and urged the university to cancel the speech.

The Churchill paragraph in question regarding Pearl Harbor, taken from the Colorado American Indian Movement website--and bear in mind that the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council has renounced all ties with Ward Churchill:

Still, at one level, the message delivered was uncensorably straight forward and simple, assuming the form of a blunt question: "How does it feel?" The query was and remains on its face one well worth posing. Not since its own Civil War ended in 1865, after all, has the U.S. been directly subject to a serious taste of what it so lavishly and routinely dishes out to others (no, Pearl Harbor doesn't count; it is located in Polynesia, not North America). WardChurchillGhostsof911

The argument that seems to be related to this twisted view of history is that Hawaii was not, at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, actually part of the United States, nor is it, obviously, mainland America today. The attack was, nonetheless, and revisionist history aside, an attack against the United States, but apparently the American dead that December day do not "count" any more than do the "little Eichmanns" who died on 9-11.

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