“At Wednesday night’s ‘teach-in’ on the Columbia campus, (anthropology professor) 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 asserted that 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.” — Associated Press report, March 28, 2003
Based on this news report from Columbia University and on the widespread anti-Americanism among American college faculties, we are not far from the following address by a college president:
As president of our university, I am proud to announce that we have extended a formal invitation to Iraq’s President, the Honorable Saddam Hussein, to occupy the newly endowed Jimmy Carter Chair in Appeasement Studies.
We believe that President Hussein will feel quite at home at our school. Most of our liberal arts professors share Professor Hussein’s views of America, and very few, if any, support America’s racist, imperialist, hegemonic, capitalist, non-U.N.-sanctioned attack on his country.
Moreover, initial inquiries have ensured widespread support for a Saddam Hussein professorship. CNN, for example, has agreed in principle to offer Professor Hussein his own cable show. While such a show will be similar in tone and outlook to CNN’s reporting from Iraq, CNN told us that they feel that it is always helpful to have another voice with particular appeal to their European viewers.
Progressive labor unions have likewise assured us of their support. Upon first hearing that a Middle Eastern leader would be teaching here, some progressive national union leaders immediately called my office to warn of labor unrest if that leader were Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon. We immediately assured them that we have little interest in providing opportunities for allies of America to speak, let alone teach, at our university. And we made it abundantly clear that the fact that Sharon was democratically elected is of no import to any progressive university in America.
I am also pleased to note that our women’s studies professors and the many others concerned with women’s equality are particularly pleased to welcome President Hussein. Though we are aware of reports of widespread rape and torture of women by the officials of the Iraqi government, our university affirms, as do all other great American universities, multi-culturalism. And as multi-culturalists, we believe that judging other cultures is a reactionary anachronism, again emanating from America’s outdated Judeo-Christian perspective. Our feminist scholars have reminded me that what matters is that Saddam Hussein is pro-choice, and the university can surely use another pro-choice voice at a time when a woman’s unfettered right to a third-trimester abortion is under attack by a sexist American government.
I wish to applaud the student council for this idea. As the college’s president, I am well aware that students, not administrators, should make university policy. The notion that a university president knows better than a student two years out of high school what should be taught, or who should teach, at a university is a function of ageism and classism, two vestiges of the American Judeo-Christian and capitalist value systems that we university professors and administrators reject.
Indeed, the only obstacle is that President Hussein smokes cigars, and perhaps even cigarettes. Needless to say, our university cannot offer its students a professorial model who publicly smokes. While our professors and students have long defended Communist, Arab, and other anti-American dictators, the university community draws a firm line at smokers. Negotiations with President Hussein’s staff concerning this matter are taking place at this very moment.
Finally, I call on our many alumni to continue to generously support the college. As you can see, your money is going to support a great American institution.