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Channeling Churchill at the University of Dayton By: Thomas Ryan
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Would the Roman Catholic doctrine of Social Justice be best represented by the Marxist forgeries of Rigoberto Menchu? Do Catholic students need to be taught that the goals of the 9/11 hijackers' are no different than those of "individuals whom we in the United States have long identified and honored as religious, political, or military heroes"? Do they need to hear that foreigners hate America because "of [its] double standards and double talk, of crass ignorance and arrogance, of wrong assumptions and dubious policies"? The University of Dayton thinks so.

“I'd like our students to understand the historical context of the attitudes that caused the [9/11] attacks.” This remark was made by Mark Ensalaco, director of the International Studies program at the University of Dayton (UD), following the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. In instructing students to examine the historical context of the attacks, a veiled allusion to Western culpability, Ensalaco fails to recognize the attacks for what they were – violent acts executed by terrorists whose goal is to eradicate non-Islamic governments through the mass murder of innocent civilians. It is with this ‘blame-America-first’ attitude that students at UD enrolled in the International Studies program are implored to “understand” 9/11.

The University of Dayton, a Catholic, Marianist University in Dayton, Ohio, offers its students a major in International Studies, with concentrations in Global Development, Human Rights, Peace and Global Security, and European and Latin American studies. Described as a “multidisciplinary major designed to meet the needs of students interested in acquiring a broadly based international perspective,” the program’s idea of “international perspectives” are those which are chiefly critical of the United States.  In 1999, UD was the first university to offer an undergraduate degree program in human rights. Of this, Ensalaco stated that the program “fits so squarely with the University's Catholic, Marianist philosophy of education because it instills in students an appreciation for social justice.” Social justice, of course, is code word for the contradictory notion of equality under a Marxist rule.

Ensalaco is an associate professor of Political Science at UD, having joined its faculty in 1989. Ensalaco's teaching and research reportedly concern human rights and political violence, with a particular emphasis given to Latin American studies.  Ensalaco has done research work and teaching in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, and Nicaragua, the latter in which he served as an international observer to its 1990 elections. The following year, he was a visiting professor at the School of Law at the Universidad de Concepción in Chile, where he drafted a proposal to re-establish their social science program following it’s elimination by Augusto Pinochet, who terminated the program upon coming to power in a coup that deposed Marxist president Salvador Allende in 1973.

Much of Ensalaco’s teachings before 9/11 centered on the political dynamic of Latin America. However, following the attacks, Ensalaco began focusing his efforts on teaching a seminar course titled, “Human Rights and Terror,” and a class called “Political Violence.” Of the latter, Ensalaco said, “I see that our students are angry and hurt about what happened in New York and Washington, and as important as it is for us to promote learning here at the University, I think it's also important to promote tolerance.” Tolerance, unfortunately, will not stop those terrorists bent on killing innocent Americans.

Students of the “Human Rights and Terror” course are challenged to write a “War on Terror Rulebook,” where they are asked to consider issues such as prisoner interrogation techniques. Ensalaco stated, “We don't avoid controversy. We're asking ourselves some tough questions. This university encourages frank discussion about all kinds of issues.”

Ensalaco personally believes that “prosecution of a war criminal is a state obligation, and there are two different types of prosecution. The first is the truth and reconciliation commissions, and the second is courts.” Ensalaco was reportedly involved with the 1991 El Salvador Truth Commission that was assisted by the United Nations following the country’s 12-year civil war. Despite this, amnesty was granted to two members of the left-wing guerilla group Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front who were held for the 1991 murders of two U.S. servicemen. Ensalaco has said that he “would like to see a truth commission investigate the United States’ support for Iraq during the Iran - Iraq war,” and as well investigate the Kurdish gassing which happened during the war, because, as he asserts, “the United States gave the Iraqis the principle agents on which to build chemical weapons.”


Ensalaco has also been critical of the current administration on Iraq. He has exclaimed, “I don't see the sense of asking really serious questions about this Administration's exit strategy or the force levels or serious concerns I have with respect to the way the intelligence analysis was conducted prior to the war. I think there could be a lot more serious criticisms which all goes to the question, is this administration competently managing the crisis, did it miscalculate with terrible consequences in Iraq, and if so and what is the consequences in Iran or North Korea or other trouble spots?” The democratic elections, which Iraq successfully achieved for the first time in its history, are proof that the Bush administration is managing Iraq competently.


Ensalaco’s political bias also factors into the types of books he requires for his “Human Rights and Terror” course. One particular book is titled, Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam & the Future of America. The book is by an anonymous author who is described as a “senior U.S. civil servant with nearly two decades of experience in the U.S. intelligence community’s work on Afghanistan and South Asia.” One of the book’s main themes is a comparison between Osama bin Laden and prominent figures in American history. The book reads:


The United States and the West have little useful context in which to try to understand Osama bin Laden. The aim of this study is to provide some of the missing context from the work of historians, Western and Muslim journalists, expert commentators, and, most especially, the words of Osama bin Laden himself. I also will use several analogies from the Anglo-American history that are meant to show that bin Laden’s character, religious certainty, moral absolutism, military ferocity, integrity, and all-or-nothing goals from those of individuals whom we in the United States have long identified and honored as religious, political, or military heroes, men such as John Brown, John Bunyan, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Paine.


The book further compares John Brown, the American abolitionist, to bin Landen, whom the author lauds, stating:


Although the dissimilarities between Brown and bin Laden as individuals are greater than their similarities – the latter is, by far, the better man – the two men share a passionate, uncompromising devotion to ridding their nations, the United States, and the Muslim believers, or the ummah, of what they perceived to be a dominating evil.


Ensalaco is not alone in using texts which are critical of the U.S., and pointed in their condemnations of Western values and ideals. Other professors require students to also read books and articles which are chosen less for their educational value, and more for there socio-political agendas. In the International Studies course “Social and Cultural History of Latin America,” which is taught by Juan Santamarina, students are required to read the book I, Rigoberta Menchu : An Indian Woman in Guatemala. The book is purportedly written by a Quiche Mayan woman from Guatemala, and in its pages she portrays the struggles of her people as they rebel against their European subjugators. The book, and Menchu herself, have been lionized by the Left. Menchu even received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. It was later uncovered that this autobiographical tale was in reality written by the French Marxist Elisabeth Burgos-Debray, and thus served to advance a Communist agenda. Menchu in fact served as a Communist agent working for the very terrorist forces that were eventually to blame for the death of her own family.


In another International Studies course, “Introduction to International Politics,” taught by Margaret Karns, students are required to read an article by Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International. The article, titled “Hating America,” reads:


On September 12, 2001, Jean-Marie Colombani, the editor of Le Monde, famously wrote, ‘Today we are all Americans.’ Three years on, it seems that we are all anti-Americans. Hostility to the United States is deeper and broader than at any point in the last 50 years... Today, the dominant reality in the world is the power of the United States, currently being wielded in a particularly aggressive manner. Anti-Americanism is becoming the way people think about the world and position themselves within it.


Karns also requires students to read writings by Stanley Hoffman, a political science professor at Harvard University. Hoffman is a vehement critic of the U.S., considering our country blameworthy for anti-Americanism around the world. He has said, “The anti-Americanism on the rise throughout the world is not just hostility toward the most powerful nation, or based on the old cliché of the left and the right; nor is it only envy or hatred of our values. It is more often than not, a resentment of double standards and double talk, of crass ignorance and arrogance, of wrong assumptions and dubious policies.”


Another professor teaching courses in the International Studies program is Sociology professor Theo Majka. Majka teaches the courses “Racial and Ethnic Minorities,” “Community,” “Immigration and Immigrants,” and “Political Sociology.” In the latter course, Majka relies heavily on the studies of Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, and purports to examine “Marxist class theories.” Cloward and Piven were two Columbia University sociologists who, in the mid 1960s, proposed a plan to bankrupt the welfare system by overloading it with more applicants than the system could handle, which its enactors hoped would result in economic collapse, and eventually transform the U.S. into a socialist system. Organizations such as the National Welfare Rights Organization adapted this strategy, and its adoption caused the welfare crisis that bankrupted New York City in 1975.

Majka particularly uses Cloward and Piven’s writings on voting in his course, and has as a required text Why Americans Still Don’t Vote, and Why Politicians Want It That Way. In the early 1980s, practitioners of the Cloward-Piven strategy formed the “voting rights movement.” The movement was lead by such groups as Project Vote, ACORN, and Human SERVE, the latter of which was founded by Cloward and Piven. These organizations lobbied for the Motor-Voter law, which Bill Clinton signed in 1993, and which is today blamed for inundating the system with invalid registrations and opening the door to the extraordinary levels of voter fraud in recent elections. Just as they flooded the welfare system in the 1960s and 70s, Cloward and Piven now hope to overwhelm the U.S. electoral system, with the same intention of overburdening to the point of collapse.

In this course, Majka has imparted to his students:


One thing I would like you to come away with is a realization that political issues have an enormous impact on our own lives and futures, even though their influence may often be indirect and complex. Also, if you and I are not knowledgeable about political issues and do not participate in political decisions in informed ways, then others, usually powerful private interests, will successfully manipulate our consciousness and dominate the public arena, often in ways that are not neither in our personal nor in our national interest.


With this statement, Majka is telling students that the U.S. government can’t be trusted, and that throughout this course he will instruct them on whom and what to be wary of, indicating an expressed declaration of his political intentions.


Majka was also a signatory to an anti-Iraq war statement written by the September 11 Coalition, a Dayton based anti-war group whose mission is to “seek global peace through social and economic justice.” The group’s actions are sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, a radical Quaker organization that has supported Vietnamese Communists, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the PLO; and the Southwest Ohio Chapter of the American Muslim Council, which supports Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. The document states, “War with Iraq is the real threat to our nation.”


The International Studies major at UD has demonstrated its inherent and dangerous political bias. Of the program, and specifically its human rights concentration, director Ensalaco has remarked, “We find a high percentage of students with a deep sense of social commitment, or they get one soon after arriving.” With the anti-American sentiment coursing through the department’s faculty and flowing into the University’s classroom, it is not “social commitment” with which students are instilled, but rather the dangerous beliefs of individuals who value the views of terrorists over the ideals of our country.

You may e-mail Thomas Ryan by clicking here.

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