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OSU's Churchill Clones By: Thomas Ryan
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, March 08, 2005


At what major university did a professor question whether 9/11 should be termed “terrorism”? Which state school featured another professor who condemned Ward Churchill – for failing to “deploy” his Little Eichamnns “metaphor effectively”? On which campus can you find an atheist Jewish professor arranging a national conference for Palestinians who support suicide bombers?  The answer is at Ohio State University (OSU) in the capital of the Buckeye State.

Two of the above examples are taken from professors in the university’s Peace Studies program. The program is purportedly dedicated to analyzing “the causes of war and other forms of disruptive conflict, and also the causes of peace, toward the end of developing long term peace building strategies,” but, as in the case of dozens of other Peace Studies programs on academic campuses across the country, it’s transparently clear what this program is really about: indoctrinating students with anti-American hatred.

 

The Peace Studies program at OSU, offered on the university’s main campus in Columbus, is part of the International Studies Program, which is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental program offering students a major, minor, and certificate qualification “built around courses on contemporary global issues and different world areas.” The program was founded after World War II to “provide a United States emerging from decades of isolationism with the knowledge of other world areas necessary for it to perform its new role as political superpower and economic engine of a devastated world.” Its goals, the program’s boilerplate contends, are to promote “world-mindedness, training for domestic vocations involving foreign relations, preparation for the foreign service, and advanced linguistic and cultural training to allow professional students of all types to be able to practice abroad.” The program’s notion of “world-mindedness” and “cultural training” is to subject OSU students to professors with radical agendas.

 

A required course for students enrolled in the Peace Studies specialization at OSU-Columbus is “Introduction to Peace Studies,” in which “students are encouraged to explore the numerous dimensions of violence and the prospects for peace in our world today.” This course was designed by Daniel J. Christie, who developed the class after serving as a visiting professor in Malaysia at the Institute Technologie Mara in the mid-1980’s.

 

Today, Christie serves as a Professor of Psychology at OSU’s Marion Campus, which doesn’t offer the Peace Studies specialization, but nonetheless provides Christie with a place to ostensibly research “intercultural sensitivity and bias.” Christie, a psychologist by profession who is not even qualified to teach International Studies, has twice received OSU's Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as OSU’s Distinguished Diversity Award, formerly titled the Distinguished Affirmative Action Award.

 

While serving as an educator at OSU, Christie also served as president of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence, which is the Peace Psychology Division established within the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1990; Christie still serves as chair of the organization’s publications committee. The goal of this division of the APA is to “encourage psychological research, education, and training on issues concerning peace, nonviolent conflict resolution, reconciliation, and the causes, consequences and prevention of war.” To this end, the organization has put forth its criticism of the War on Terror, stating:

 

military and intelligence responses are inherently incomplete, since they do not address issues of social justice, militarism, and root causes (why people like bin Laden engage in terrorism, what makes others like him susceptible to his messages and influence). In fact, purely military responses are problematic in that they tend to spark additional terrorism, destabilize entire regions, and stimulate radicalism and backlash.

 

The Peace Psychology Division of the APA recently enacted the Peace Psychology Resource Project, which consists of class assignment ideas and “valuable links to additional materials.” Groups for which they provide links include:

 

 

Christie has also served as president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PSR), a group that is a member of the anti-American, anti-War on Terror campaigns of Win Without War, Abolition 2000, and United for Peace and Justice. As a former president, in 2002, Christie signed a statement that was written in cooperation with the nuclear disarmament group Urgent Call. The document stated, “long years of military activity abroad have contributed to a massive resentment of U.S. policies, and to a smaller group of individuals willing to risk all to inflict terror upon the nation they see as responsible for much of the destitution visible around the world.” Both PSR and Urgent Call were part of the Nuclear Freeze movement of the early 1980’s, which sought to halt U.S. production of nuclear defense technologies, while allowing our adversary, the Soviet Union, to maintain its military might.

 

The book that Christie has used in his classes is David Barash’s Introduction to Peace Studies (second edition co-written with Charles Webel, titled Peace and Conflict Studies). This is a text that doesn’t even attempt to pretend that it’s an objective academic overview of the complex issues of war and peace. A presentation of different possible causes that might lead to world conflict are non-existent. The book is simply a leftist tirade, rooted in Marxist ideology, whose clear objective is to indoctrinate students into the authors’ (and presumably, the professor’s) radical worldview. Far from promoting any kind of “peace” or conflict resolution, Peace and Conflict Studies actually promotes violence when it serves socialist goals (i.e., Castro’s revolution in 1959) and justifies the actions of America’s totalitarian enemies. For instance, the text implies that JFK provoked the Cuban Missile Crisis, because he “determined that he wouldn’t be pushed around again by the Soviet leader.” The text immediately adds, “fortunately for the world. Kruschev was able…to be willing to back down.” No mention is made of the Soviets’ positioning of missiles on Cuba in the first place; Kruschev merely saves the world from a warmongering president who is all-too typical of his country.

 

In its reference to the tragedy and crime of 9/11, the authors blame the victim, patiently explaining to the reader that terror, when committed against America, must be seen as the last resort of the poor, the oppressed, and the downtrodden. “‘Terrorists,’” the authors write (the authors place the word in quotation marks), “are people who may feel militarily unable to confront their perceived enemies directly and who accordingly use violence, or the threat of violence, against noncombatants to achieve their political aims.”

 

In other words, if you lack power, then it’s justified to indiscriminately murder innocent human beings, including women and children, if it facilitates your goal of self-empowerment. Terrorism, the authors continue, is also “a contemporary variant of what has been described as guerrilla warfare, dating back at least to the anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist struggles for national liberation conducted in North America and Western Europe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries against the British and French Empires.” In other words, there is no difference between George Washington and Al-Zarqawi.

 

The authors are then kind enough to explain why they put the word “terrorist” into quotation marks by regurgitating the motto that “one person’s ‘terrorist’ is another’s ‘freedom fighter.’” Thus, the position of Peace and Conflict Studies on 9/11 is transparently clear: Muhammad Atta and the rest of the hijackers who murdered 3,000 innocent civilians can be seen as “freedom fighters.”

 

And what does Daniel Christie think of the book Peace and Conflict Studies? He believes that “Barash and Webel have penned a masterpiece that should appeal to seasoned scholars of peace and conflict studies as well as to others who have little knowledge of this multidisciplinary field.” He also notes:

 

It is refreshing to see the authors begin the book with some good intellectual hygiene, owning up to their attitudinal proclivities, which they describe as “antiwar, antiviolence, anti-nuclear, anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment, pro-environment, pro-human rights, pro-social justice, pro-peace, and politically progressive.”

 

Christie also doesn’t seem to mind the book’s sanctioning of terrorism in general and of 9/11 particular. He actually even exploits the occasion to trivialize the severity of September 11, stating:

 

Only a few pages are given to “terrorism,” and although the coverage might seem scant, the authors offer a number of critical distinctions (e.g., state vs. nonstate sponsored), place the problem in context, and leave the reader feeling that September 11, 2001 (9/11) was nothing new. When viewed in historical context, 9/11 begins to look like merely another iteration of organized efforts to meet political objectives through violence.

 

Note how Christie not-so subtly condones terror, in the fashion of Ward Churchill. Like Barash and Webel, Christie puts the word “terrorism” in quotation marks and implies it is no different than the foreign policy of, say, the United States. And what’s good for the goose….

 

Another leftist professor, who teaches OSU’s Introduction to Peace Studies course is Basil Kardaras, Sociology and Psychology professor at OSU’s main campus. Kardaras is a speaker for Central Ohioans for Peace, a group dedicated to “generat[ing] effective ways of making [their] voices heard,” and “hold[ing] leaders accountable for advancing peaceful solutions to conflicts.” To this end, the organization promotes such far-Left groups as Not In Our Name, Veterans for Peace, and MoveOn.org. They also encourage their members to make and display such signs reading: “War begins with ‘Dubya,’” “Empires fall,” and “I asked for universal health care and all I got was this lousy stealth bomber.” The group took part in the April 12, 2003, “End the Occupation” Rally sponsored by International ANSWER in Washington, D.C. ANSWER is a front for the Workers World Party, which supports Kim Jong-il, Saddam Hussein, and Slobodan Milosevic. (International ANSWER head Ramsey Clark is currently Saddam’s lawyer.) Of the rally, ANSWER said, “This movement represents the hopefulness of the planet that war, imperialism, oppression, racism and any form of colonialism can be overcome through the globalization of human solidarity.”

 

Kardaras also took part in the Marxism 2000 conference held at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in September of that year. The tagline of the event read: “the party’s not over.”  Of the symposium, the Wall Street Journal remarked, “the conference appropriately is being held not in Moscow or Beijing or even Hanoi but in the one place organizers are confident they will find enough party faithful: Massachusetts.” Kardaras sat on the panel of the talk “Rethinking Globalization: Neoliberal Conceptualizations, Intellectual Property, Sustainable Development, and the Environment.” Other participants of the event included Marc Becker, a history professor at Truman State University who is an organizer for the radical group Historians Against The War; and Angela Davis, Communist professor from the University of California-Santa Cruz, who provided Black Panthers with the weapons they used to kill a judge in 1970.

 

Another professor of OSU’s Peace Studies program is Mark Grimsley, who teaches History in Columbus, and who has been the recipient of the university’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. Grimsley has taught the Peace Studies elective course “History of War.” On his website, entitled, the “The Kinder, Gentler Military History Page,” Grimsley sets out to admonish his colleagues who teach war history classes from a perspective in which war can be seen as a viable alternative. He insists:

 

Too often military historians take what might called the “drawn gun” approach to their subject.  It is as if they focus not on the individual who has drawn the gun (his reasons for drawing the gun, why he has one in the first place), but focus on the gun itself – the armed forces – and take violent conflict resolution as a given. Still worse, military historians tend to utilize the same intellectual categories as the military establishment. That tendency, to the degree in which it is indulged, makes independent, critical analysis more difficult.  Peace Studies provide a highly useful corrective.

 

On his website, Grimsley also provides links to a number of biased, anti-American and anti-Israel organizations, including Friends for a Non-Violent World, a group which has ignored the brutal dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and blamed the Iraqi people’s pre-liberation suffering on U.S. economic sanctions.

 

On his blog, “War Historian,” Grimsley has plainly acknowledged that there is a left-wing predisposition inherent at Ohio State University, especially at the graduate level. He has reduced this trend to a “self-fulfilling prophecy” whereby conservative students fear scorn from the biased nature of the school, and therefore “do not apply to grad school in the first place.” Grimsley has failed to recognize the contributions he and his colleagues make to advance this trend.

 

Grimsley has also used his blog as a forum with which to lambaste Front Page Magazine editor-in-chief David Horowitz, who has done a great deal to expose the bias in the university. Grimsley writes, “Personally I do not think that Mr. Horowitz is interested in the free exchange of views.” However, Horowitz has sought to represent both conservative and liberal students who have had gripes with any university.

 

On his blog, Grimsley also failed to condemn Ward Churchill’s remark comparing casualties of the 9/11 attacks to Nazi-resembling “little Eichmanns,” about which he instead attempted to argue the statement’s metaphoric effectiveness. Grimsley writes:

 

I continue to wrestle with the issue of whether the “little Eichmanns” metaphor can be made coherent. As I have said, a major problem with the Ward Churchill essay is that the essay fails to deploy the metaphor effectively, at least as an aid to analysis. As an aid to incitement, it has proven to be quite effective.

 

In other words: If only Ward Churchill had hated his country in more vivid metaphor! Grimsley goes on to praise the merits of Churchill, stating, “There are those, like me, who think opinions can be valuable especially if they seem dangerous or disagreeable.”

 

This problem of political partiality, and often anti-American contrivance, is not limited to OSU’s Peace Studies Program. Philosophy professor Joseph Levine has been a vehement critic of Israel, President Bush, and U.S. policy. In November of 2003, Levine helped to organize the Third National Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM), which offered conferences and workshops to its participants. PSM serves as the student faction of the International Solidarity Movement, which calls for universities “to divest from Israel all financial holdings until Israel ends its system of occupation and apartheid in Palestine.” While PSM has as its goal to “[bring] about an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” it has disturbingly given a pass to Palestinian-enacted suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Charlotte Kates, a spokesperson for PSM, has said, “Why is there something particularly horrible about ‘suicide bombing’ - except for the extreme dedication conveyed in the resistance fighter’s willingness to use his or her own body to fight?” At the group’s Second National Conference, which was held at the University of Michigan in 2002, and which Levine reportedly attended, participants chanted, “Kill the Jews!”

 

Levine has said that despite the atrocities committed by brutal dictators around the world, his main focus is to condemn Israel. Levine writes:

 

Some people argue that it is unfair to target Israel when so many other governments deny their citizens basic human rights, and others are guilty of occupying foreign land as well. In fact, there is no inconsistency here. It is absurd to argue that whenever you direct your energy to fight abuse in one area, you must do so everywhere. Following such a course would be a recipe for total paralysis and passivity…there are particular reasons to focus on the Israeli occupation. Israel is singular in the degree of economic and political support it receives from the United States. That places a special moral burden on American citizens to do something about Israel's brutal behavior, because without U.S. support, it couldn't be sustained.

 

Levine’s own concept of “higher education” is to include students in pro-Palestinian campaigns on the OSU campus. An unabashed anti-Israel activist, Levine’s predominant focus at OSU is calling for the university’s divestment of Israel – and enlisting students in his cause. Levine is the faculty adviser to the Committee for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Palestinian group that joins forces with other radicals in condemning Israeli security measures, while failing to denounce Palestinian suicide bombings. Although an atheist, Levine affirms that it is his “Jewishness that drives him to scrutinize Israel so closely.”

 

Levine took part in a June 14, 2002, protest against Bush, when the President came to speak at the school’s commencement ceremony about voluntarism and community participation. While only one individual was reportedly ejected from the grounds for disturbing the peace, Levine exclaimed, “There was no need for them to clamp down on free speech. They [security officials] knew pretty well what was planned. There was nothing especially disruptive about that. This was an attempt to really put a chill on protest activity.” Levine went on to say, “The president is pushing an agenda, one that is antithetical to the goals of higher education. His agenda includes a redistribution of resources toward the wealthy, while the function of public higher education is in large part to level the playing field and enable redistribution in a more egalitarian direction.”

 

However, it appears that providing an alternate viewpoint to their students on these vital topics would be too “egalitarian” for this crew. It may well be only passing State Senator Larry Mumper’s Senate Bill 24, the Academic Bill of Rights, can solve such a problem – and guarantee Ohio’s college students receive an education instead of an indoctrination.


You may e-mail Thomas Ryan by clicking here.


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