Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Professor: Comparing Bush to Hitler is an insult to Hitler

You might recall Kevin Barrett, the University of Wisconsin professor who claimed American officials, not al-Qaida terrorists, destroyed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Well, now Barrett is forcing his students to buy a $20 book of essays that happens to contain his cockamamey brain-farting ... and there isn't a thing Wisconsin can do about it. Academic freedom and all that. The incumbent governor and his opponent even agree: Barrett should be fired. But it ain't gonna happen because we have confused free speech with the right of idiots to teach our kids.

In his essay, Barrett employs the lamest rhetorical tool since "I know you are but what am I?" when he writes:

"Like Bush and the neocons, Hitler and the Nazis inaugurated their new era by destroying an architectural monument and blaming its destruction on their designated enemies."

He invokes the "Bush is like Hitler" argument when he refers to the Reichstag fire of 1933, a pivotal moment in the Nazi rise to power. But, he said in an interview yesterday, he wasn't really comparing Bush to Hitler (See Franscell's Corollary: "If I tell a lie and say it's not a lie, then it's not a lie because I told you so.")

"Hitler had a good 20 to 30 IQ points on Bush, so comparing Bush to Hitler would in many ways be an insult to Hitler," Barrett said.

Barrett is entitled to his opinion, of course. He may rant it on any street corner in America, like other brain-damaged bums. But it's unlikely that his classroom is the model of free speech that he hides behind ... do you think he spends a lot of time making equally radical but opposing views accessible to his students (and forces them to buy the book)? I don't. Besides, in this case, the opposing view is that terrorists hijacked some planes and crashed them into buildings. What is so damned hard to believe about that?

Americans needn't look to Tehran, Damascus or Pyongyang for enemies. They're here and at least one of them lives in Milwaukee.


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the Liberal Press here in the People's Republic of Jefferson County doesn't embrace this drivel.

The leftist Democratic mouthpiece Beaumont Enterprise is a perfect forum for such nonsense...

Anonymous said...

you know i had Dr. Bruce Drury in college and he was the same against Republicans.

Democracy Lover said...

It seems to me that Professor Barrett doesn't really need to put much time or effort into making opposing views accessible to his students. If they want to hear a pro-Bush viewpoint, all they have to do is turn on the radio or TV, or pick up almost any newspaper or magazine.

I think the idea that the neocons masterminded 9/11 is pretty ridiculous, but why didn't the Bush Administration cooperate fully with the 911 Commission? Why are we only now finding out crucial bits of evidence about their failure to protect America? The best way to quash the conspiracy theorists is to release enough information to prove them wrong.

Given that the media in this country confines itself to a narrow political spectrum from centrist to far-right, the universities play an important role in exposing our young people to a wider perspective. Barrett is over-the-top, but I don't want big government censoring college professors anymore than I want it censoring newspapers.