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"Brotherly Love"

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By: Clint Lien

"She’s A Witch – Burn Her!"

Whom I kidding? I can’t keep my mouth shut or my laptop closed.
How many witches were burned during the Salem Trials?
There’s no such thing as a witch.

Recently I was watching Fox News – that bastion of fair-minded reporting and there was Bill O’ Really in his ironically named show “The No Spin Zone” going on about this university professor who shouldn’t be allowed to speak anymore, that he needed to be stopped from “spreading his vile opinion around the country.” Strong words. So much for the first amendment, I thought. He continued. It seems a Professor Ward Churchill from the University of Colorado at Boulder had written that America deserved the attack on the towers and compared the men and women working there to Nazis. What the hell? What kind of a nut bar would say something like that, let alone think it, unless he was a terrorist himself? To back this up Gov. Pataki weighed in when he found out Churchill was invited to speak at Hamilton College in upstate N.Y., “There is a difference between freedom of speech and inviting a bigoted terrorist supporter." The invitation disappeared quicker than the shrimp at a buffet. The college cited real and credible death threats to Churchill and administrators. Colorado Gov. Bill Owens called for Churchill’s resignation. He didn’t ask for it nicely.

If they were saying it on the Fox News channel it had to be true! Didn’t it? I decided I had to Google this one and find out more. There was more all right. I’d been duped again. It seemed there were two sides to this story after all. The dedicated bunch at Fox had assured me the situation was clear – black and white – good versus evil. Sadly it was not the case.

The first thing I did was find the original article written by Professor Churchill.

The article is long. You can read it here if you want. I took the time and did. Everyone should, so they can really know what all the commotion is about. The article is well written and easy to read. It’s also, in my opinion, a pile of crap. He makes a lot of good points, i.e.: his insistence that we look closer at “why” the attack occurred. We all know the reason Bush gave us – “They hate freedom and love death.” Well, I’m pretty sure that’s not the whole truth and it would be in our best interest to examine it a little deeper. Sun Tzu pointed out the importance of understanding the enemy, and simply labeling them a bunch of religious zealots does no one any favors except the enemy themselves.

So Churchill says it’s our fault it happened because of Desert Storm and we should stop misbehaving in foreign lands - then the Arabs will leave us alone.

I disagree with most of what he had to say but he’s got a right to say it and only the willfully ignorant wouldn’t admit that there is some truth in what he wrote.

If I’m to believe Bin Laden himself, he stated the attack occurred because of America’s support of Israel and America’s entanglement in Saudi Arabia. We should support Israel and shouldn’t be in bed with the Saudis. I’m not sure Iraq was even mentioned.

At any rate, I digress.

Bill and the boys at Fox want Churchill’s blood. They’re not discussing his paper from a factual point of view. They’re not even discussing his paper except to repeat and repeat and repeat one or two clips taken out of context. I am confident that if a real and sincere debate took place, focusing on the merits of Churchill’s papers, the work would not stand up. Instead, what we have is a witch hunt with the Inquisitors resorting to the foulest of tricks. The kind of tricks that so many of us were ashamed of when we saw them happening during the McCarthy trials. Never mind the facts – just get the bastard!

If you read Churchill’s article you’ll find a bitter man who really doesn’t have anything nice to say about America, but we’d all be served well if the paper forced even a few of us to ask the question of why the attacks happened. Churchill was right to ask the question but I believe his answer to the same question is wrong. I also believe he’d probably be better off living in some other country. He doesn’t come off as liking this one much, but he has a right to dislike it and its people. It’s called freedom. You’ve heard Bush go on about it considerably.

This is a bad bit of business going on here and whether you agree or disagree with the professor, to vilify a man to the point where idiots out there are threatening his life is absurd to the point of madness. It’s just plain un-American.

AND, thanks to everyone who wrote in asking me to continue the column. I’ll take it one column at a time.

Reactions? Comments? Write me at barfly@netlistings.com

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