Ward Churchill's Chickens are Home to Roost

Posted: Jul 20, 2007 12:01 AM

Ward Churchill is hopping mad that he's being fired from his tenured faculty position at the University of Colorado. He says he is not leaving. He has announced his decision to sue. The whole procedure, he insists, was a "farce" and a "fraud." Only in America, he believes, could he be treated in this way. I'm not sure why Churchill is so indignant. According to the logic of his original argument, he deserves his penalty--and worse. By his own account, he had it coming.

Let's review the main thesis of Churchill's notorious essay On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. He called the civilians working on September 11, 2001 in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns." In short, they were "a cadre of faceless bureaucrats and technical experts who had willingly and profitably harnessed themselves to the task of making America's genocidal world order hum with maximal efficiency." So they deserved it.

Churchill had been saying stuff like this for years. Indeed his rhetoric is not markedly different from that of revered leftists like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. Usually such radical extremism brings applause in the special precincts of the university campus. Unfortunately for Churchill, his comments made their way into the national media and there was a firestorm.

Not that Churchill backed down. Called to defend his shocking Eichmann analogy, Churchill said it was unfair—to Eichmann! His argument was that at least Eichmann believed in his cause. By contrast, he alleged, the workers in the World Trade Center were in it solely for the money. In response to claims that he was being unfair in calling janitors and postal delivery workers Nazi-style collaborators, Churchill said that they were just small fry: the real villains were the stockbrokers and analysts who helped to operate the levers of global commerce. They were the ones who were really guilty.

Indeed, according to Churchill, the whole of America was guilty. For Churchill, 9/11 was merely “symbolic” justice because proportional justice would require that, in return for all the Muslims that America has killed, the Muslims in return should kill more than 7 million Americans. Not just Americans, Churchill clarified, American children. And this was merely part of the story. Churchill wrote that for U.S. crimes stretching back two centuries, compensatory justice "would require a lethal reduction in the U.S. population...of between 96 and 99 percent." Basically no one in America deserves to live.

In a footnote to the essay, however, Churchill acknowledged that this indictment of America's citizens applies also to him. For one, he enjoys privileges that are a fruit of conquest. "I am a citizen only by virtue of the U.S. impostion of itself upon my people," he wrote. (Churchill fancies himself to be part native American, a claim that has been questioned by his critics.) Despite his criticism of U.S. foreign policy, Churchill says he didn't do enough to block the U.S. war machine. "I am nonetheless here, in the belly of the beast, still alive and at liberty, and have thus done less than I could have. Hence I share in the political guilt of all Americans. It follows that had I been aboard one of the fatal aircraft on 9/11 or should I be similarly extinguished in the future, as is entirely possible under present circumstances, I will have no more basis for complaint than any other American."

Now the chickens are coming home to roost for Ward Churchill. Should he be surprised? Yes, but only at the leniency of his treatment. If America were really the ruthless Moloch that he alleges, America would turn him over to Al Qaeda. The radical Muslims would then do their worst, which Churchill himself admits would be perfectly understandable and just. But America has attempted nothing of the sort. Instead, Moloch’s Colorado representatives have decided merely to relieve Ward Churchill of his job. So what is the guy snivelling about? Could it be that he knows he's been playing the victim card for years and getting away with it, and now he expects to put on his American Indian outfit and cry some more, and hope that some politically correct jury falls for it and awards him a big sum of money? Churchill is right about one thing: only in America!