The consensus among “ordinary” people is that the administrations and faculties of most colleges and universities in the U.S. are somewhere near the far-left, lunatic fringe of the Democrat Party or perhaps some other ultra-liberal establishment like the Greens, or maybe something called “Nader’s Raiders.” Without question, these institutions, especially given the tenure factor, are often beset and stuck with profs who spread whacko stuff such as that of the infamous Ward Churchill, onetime prof at the University of Colorado.
In an essay of 2001, Churchill wrote that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC were a natural and unavoidable consequence of what he viewed as unlawful U.S. policy, and he referred to the “technocratic corps” working in the World Trade Center as “little Eichmanns.” Pretty heady stuff and not too copascetic! Eichmann was prominent in the Hitler pogroms in which six million Jews, among about 11 million human beings altogether, were incomprehensibly tortured and killed in the 1930s-40s.
Robert Olson, a professor at the University of Kentucky, writes regularly for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky’s second largest newspaper, part of the McClatchy group. In a recent article concerning the U.S. pullout from Iraq and the state of the country left behind, Olson wrote, “Moreover, they [the Shi’a] were brought to power by a Christian nation for its own hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East.” It’s hard to imagine a greater lie than that. If the U.S. had “hegemonic ambitions,” it wouldn’t have pulled out in the first place or at least wouldn’t have before making arrangements preempting Iraq’s oil reserves for this country at this country’s stated price.
Olson also wrote this in the article, as mind-boggling as it is: “It is difficult for all Arabs, not just the Arabs of Iraq, to understand why a country like the U.S. — which fought a civil war in which 4 million people died to save the union — would so nonchalantly destroy another sovereign country.” The people trying to save the Union lived in the North, population 22 million in 1860. According to Olson, more than 18% of them died 1861-65 trying to save the Union. The paper has left that loony-tunes stuff in the online edition, so it apparently stands by Olson’s wacky claim. Weird!
Olson wrote this: “Not only did U.S. policies lead to Shi'a coming to power, but also led to the division of the country between Kurds and Arabs.” Olson apparently forgot that Saddam, an Arab, along with his Sunni-Arab cohorts, gassed and otherwise tried to kill the Kurds years ago precisely because there was a “division of the country between Kurds and Arabs.” When Saddam was captured, pilots from the U.S. and other nations had been flying 24/7 over Kurd territory for about 12 years to keep the butcher from continuing to bomb and gas them.
As laughable as it is, Olson wrote this concerning the pullout: “Washington saw the handwriting on the barricades: it was time to leave.” The schedule for leaving was set during the Bush administration and Washington (Obama) was merely implementing it, just as he was merely implementing an objective established before he took office when Osama was dispatched. Nothing new, although Obama-freaks seem to think he was virtually divine (or maybe a Navy Seal in disguise?) since it happened on his watch.
This is from the Miami Herald (also McClatchy) of 29 October: “First of all, the withdrawal date was set by a Republican president who began this war, George W. Bush. The Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq signed on November 17, 2008, when Mr. Bush was in the White House, leaves no room for ambiguity: ‘All U.S. forces are to withdraw from all Iraqi territory, waters, and airspace no later than the 31st of December 2011’.” Olson was not being just disingenuous, he was being dishonest.
This kind of misrepresentation is unconscionable and should be intolerable in the pages of a newspaper. If the editors expect to be taken seriously, they need to read Olson’s stuff before they print it. If they agree with him, they need to consider another line of work, else the paper’s credibility, if any, is out the window. The actual tragedy, however, lies in the fact that someone like Olson is turned loose on immature college kids to spread this kind of venom. As for the paper, it apparently considers its readers to be dumb as gourds.