professor invokes Somali heroism to protest Iraq war
- The following article appeared on page A10 of the Saturday 29 March 2003
edition of The Arizona Republic and is credited to the Associated Press.
Many of us remember the lame excuses the Bush and Clinton administrations
used for their invasion of Somalia, particularly the one about claiming to
be feeding famine victims. The heroic resistance of the Somali people
quickly shattered that myth. Now an American professor calls upon the
people of Iraq to show similar heroism, and the people of Iraq are showing it.
COLUMBIA PROFESSOR CALLS FOR DEFEAT OF U.S. FORCES, A "MILLION MOGADISHUS"
New York--A Columbia University professor told an anti-war gathering that he
would like to see "a million Mogadishus"--referring to the 1993 ambush in
Somalia that killed 18 American servicemen.
At Wednesday night's "teach-in" on the Columbia campus, Nicholas De Genova
also called for the defeat of U.S. forces in Iraq and said, "The only true
heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military." And he
said Americans who call themselves "patriots" are White supremacists.
De Genova's comments about defeating the United States in Iraq were cheered
by the crowd of 3,000, Newsday reported. But his mention of the Somali
ambush--"I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus"--was largely
met with silence.
A call Friday to De Genova, 35, an assistant professor of anthropology, was
answered with a recording that said his voice mailbox was full.
The university said in a statement that De Genova "was speaking as an
individual at a teach-in.
"He was exercising his right to free speech. His statement does not in any
way represent the views of Columbia University."
History Professor Eric Foner, who helped organize the teach-in and spoke after
De Genova, said Friday, "I disagreed strongly and I said so. If I had known
what he was going to say I would have been reluctant to have him speak."
He said De Genova was a last-minute invitee, was just one of about 25 speakers
and "did not represent the general tone of the event..."
- Eric certainly brings up some good points here, and this shows the
weakness of political correctness. It may be within the confines of
political correctness to oppose imperialist wars of conquest, but it
is politically incorrect to advocate inflicting the casualties needed
to do this. I had a similar struggle with Jim Bronke over language
and semantics, and for that reason he is no longer accepting my posts.
Just as well, I was sick of his cringing call to "support our troops".
They aren't my troops, just because they are American citizens. They
are the mercenary troops of the Jew government, and for this invasion
to end, many of them have to die. To "support" them would be to hinder
our goal. This notion that whatever Americans think of the war, they
have a patriotic duty to "support our troops" is a stealth tactic by
the enemy to try to convince the anti-war elements to objectively support
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Eric Foner is supposed to be a progressive, maybe even
a CPUSA member/supporter. I find his lack of
solidarity with De Genova outrageous. Even if he
disagreed he should score a point against the
aggression on the way, not just say, "I really didn't
know this guy, I wouldn't let him say that."
First, I don't know how one is supposed to defeat an
army other than by inflicting casualties. I don't
suppose the Foner would have liked it better if De
Genova had called for "decapitating the US regime" by
"taking out Bush and blowing up the Pentagon."
So attacks on the men are what is left.
I don't suppose De Genova's calls for a million
Mogadishus was meant to be a precise mathematical
calculation meaning a call for killing 18 million
American soldiers -- one would certainly hope the
Americans would be sensible enough to give up long
I guess the lesson is that you must speak in abstract
"I hope the US sustains a telling military defeat."
"I hope lots of American troops get killed on the
battlefield compelling the US to pull up and go home."
is not ok. Though both mean the same thing.
I guess this is the etiquette of revolutionary
rhetoric in an academic environment.