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by Steven Plaut


There was a time when the Left in the United States was able to field its own intellectual heavy weights, in order to try to offset the intellectual arguments from those opposing the Left. It was a Left of Michael Harrington and Irving Howe and contained people of a similar caliber.

That Left is no longer in existence. The Left in recent years has shown itself incapable of distancing itself from its lunatic fringe. Rational leftists have long ago abandoned the Left, while the adverse selection has produced a Left filled with treasonous lunatics and Hate-America neurotics, whose politics reflect little more than an infantile anger at Mommy and Daddy. There is today no difference between the academic Left and the Left of Mumia Abu Jamal and Ward Churchill. Nothing so clearly illustrates the demise of the "intellectual Left" than the self-recruitment of the stable of writers at Counterpunch magazine on behalf of Churchill, people better named Cockburn's Cockroaches.

Ward Churchill's pronouncements about Americans being little Eichmanns and his open endorsement of the 9-11 terrorists are by now familiar to all, although those were just the tip of his iceberg of his anti-Americanism and treason ( ). In recent weeks, Counterpunch has morphed into almost a single-issue magazine, and that single issue is celebrating and defending Ward Churchill. This is not a "free speech" defense of Churchill by free speech absolutists, but rather an endorsement of the contents of Churchill's anti-American and pro-terror speeches and articles by people staunchly OPPOSED to free speech for neoconservatives!

Counterpunch is a web magazine owned and edited by Alexander Cockburn. Cockburn's anti-Americanism can compete only with his anti-Semitism, and Counterpunch largely promotes these two sentiments on its pages. Cockburn has been denounced in the past for both his anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism by Frank Foer of New Republic (see ) magazine, by Eric Alterman (in his MSNBC weblog), and by a variety of other journals, organizations and columnists, including the Seattle Times, the Declaration Foundation, Professor Edward Alexander,, LeftWatch, and Christian Action for Israel. In the past Cockburn openly gave credence to reports that Jews spread anthrax in the U.S. and that Israel was part of a conspiracy to topple the World Trade Center. Cockburn insists Jews conspire to control the media (see ).

There is nothing that so clearly illustrates the collapse of thinking on the American Left and its total intellectual bankruptcy as its near-universal embrace of Ward Churchill. Every single "Indymedia" web site in the country has carried multiple endorsements of Churchill, even defending his lying about being an American Indian. A visit to the Counterpunch web site of leftist Alexander Cockburn currently reveals no fewer than eight separate articles all endorsing Churchill, and not a single article denouncing him.

Cockburn's web magazine seems to be the most obsessed with celebrating and glorifying Churchill of leftist magazines usually regarded as semi-civilized. The reason seems to be that Churchill is not only mindlessly anti-American, but almost as anti-Semitic as Alexander Cockburn himself. Ward Churchill is a vile anti-Semite who has written, among other filth, that the Jews are worse than the latter-day Nazis because "those who deny the Holocaust, after all, focus their distortion upon one target. Those [Jewish scholars] who deny all holocausts other than that of the Jews have the same effect upon many." Churchill of course also supports Arab Islamofascist terror against Jews. See

This past week Cockburn himself led the flock of Cockburn Cockroaches in Counterpunch with "Ward Churchill and the Mad Dogs", at, in which he not only backs Churchill unreservedly, but argues that Churchill did not go far enough. When Churchill wrote that the al-Qaeda terrorists who destroyed the WTC were heroes and justified, given America's evil nature, he should have reinforced his article with references to America's bombing of Amariya civilian shelter in Baghdad in January, 1991, with 400 deaths, writes Cockburn. Never mind that no one seriously thinks the US intentionally targeted civilians in that or any other bombing operation, unlike Churchill's role models.

Cockburn argues that the whole outcry over Churchill is some grand right-wing conspiracy to suppress free speech, rather than over the treasonous content of Churchill's pro-terror agitation. Cockburn writes: "Why should Churchill apologize for anything? Is it a crime to say that chickens can come home to roost and that the way to protect American lives from terrorism is to respect international law?"

Cockburn insists that there is nothing in Churchill's conduct any worse than Governor Schwartzenegger's proposals for budget and welfare reform. Right-wingers expressing their opinions in a civilized manner are worse than Ward Churchill, he insists.

By the way, this was hardly the first time Cockburn's web site came out in favor of bin Laden. Earlier, it ran a piece by Shahid Alam, a tenured professor of economics at Northeastern University in Boston, entitled "Poverty From the Wealth of Nations." There Alam argued that the 9/11 attacks were an Islamist insurgency, the attackers believing that they are fighting-as the American revolutionaries did, in the 1770s-for their freedom and dignity against foreign occupation/control of their lands.

A companion piece to Cockburn's was "A Ward Churchill Kind of Day," by Kurt Nimmo,, who compared the attacks on Churchill and on some other pro-terror professors to the nazi purges in German universities. He added, "I must say that I agree with Churchill: the financial and government institutions housed in the WTC, including the CIA, most certainly did employ "technocrats" comparable to Adolf Eichmann."

Nimmo is a wretched little campus photographer from New Mexico State University. I could not find any evidence on the web of Nimmo ever having gone to college, or even to high school. Nimmo is a vicious little anti-Semitic brat, and so - not surprisingly - he is a regular on Counterpoint, the anti-American, Jew-hating web magazine of Alexander Cockroach, er I mean Cockburn. Cockburn says Jews spread anthrax, conspire to control the media, and the Israeli Mossad bombed the WTC on 9-11.

Nimmo recently libeled another faculty member at the University of Haifa in his web site, on the basis of hearsay about what that professor had said in his class, this coming from a communist Trotskyite non-student living in Haifa, not registered in that class. Cap'n Nimmo is not carried by any other web magazine, other than Counterpunch and a few loony communist pro-al-Qaeda blogs and web sites. He maintains his own pro-Holocaust web site at His role at Counterpunch proves as well as anything else that everything I said about the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left and the racist anti-Americanism of Counterpunch is completely correct.

Note how he links his personal web page to al-Jazeera, Global Gulag, Jihad Unspun, the Holocaust-Denying Rense web site, and other progressive web sites for peace.

Nimmo is echoed in Counterpunch by Carolyn Baker. In "Ward Churchill and the Attack on American Higher Education",, Baker compares at length the criticism of Churchill to nazi suppression of dissident teachers in Germany. She bemoans insufficient leftist indoctrination on campus in the US, and concludes by writing: "The neo-conservative, neo-fascist standard for higher education is a mirror-image of German education in the 1930s. It is indeed time to 'rethink patriotism.' It is indeed time to hear what Ward Churchill actually said. If one cannot do so, then one can neither call oneself 'American' or 'educated'."

In Counterpunch's "Liberals Trash Ward Churchill", Joshua Frank denounces those liberals who criticize Churchill rather than endorsing Churchill's pro-terror stance.

In another Counterpunch piece entitled, "Reflections on Empire and Uppity Indians", Tim Wise writes that Ward Churchill was gratuitously targeted because he is an "Indian". Conservatives "had it in for him because he was guilty of a lot more than that. To them, Churchill's most egregious crime was not having died, like all the other Indians.... Dead people of color, the world over, or right here in the U.S., whose ashes they step over every time they walk out the door of their homes, mean nothing to them.... But Ward Churchill, who has merely laid out the facts about America's murderous ways around the globe--facts that have not been disputed even once by any of his critics--is to be silenced. Those who do the deed are cheered, re-elected and get buildings named after them. Those who merely tell of their exploits and suggest that perhaps there may be consequences, get crushed."

Now it goes with saying that Churchill is an American Indian in the exact same sense that Michael Lerner is a Rabbi.

In "The Censorship of Ward Churchill and Dancehall Reggae Music,", Counterpunch's Nate Collins regards any criticism of Churchill as fascist censorship. He writes: "What happened to the classic quote on the nazis about how they go one group at a time until they get you? ... I love Churchill for the same reason I love Dancehall Reggae artists, they have the voices of lions, regardless of any flaws jumped on by the p.c. liberal thought police." (italics in original)

In "What Ward Churchill Didn't Say," by one MICKEY Z. in Counterpunch ( ), Ward Churchill is defended against the true terrorists, which include, in Mickey's "mind", Golda Meir, Menahem Begin, Henry Kissinger, Bill Cosby, and others, most of whom are misquoted by the lying Mickey. Guess he does not give his real name to avoid getting sued.

Counterpunch proves better than anything else around that the term "Thinking Left" is today an oxymoron in the United States.


Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments - both seriously and satirically - on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is


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