Comparing Bush to Hitler an 'insult to Hitler'

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Comparing Bush to Hitler an 'insult to Hitler'

Post by Roofus » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:44 pm

A university instructor who came under scrutiny for arguing that the U.S. government orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks likens President Bush to Adolf Hitler in an essay his students are being required to buy for his course.

The essay by Kevin Barrett, ?Interpreting the Unspeakable: The Myth of 9/11,? is part of a $20 book of essays by 15 authors, according to an unedited copy first obtained by WKOW-TV in Madison and later by The Associated Press.

The book?s title is ?9/11 and American Empire: Muslims, Jews, and Christians Speak Out.? It is on the syllabus for Barrett?s course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ?Islam: Religion and Culture,? but only three of the essays are required reading, not including Barrett?s essay.

Barrett, a part-time instructor who holds a doctorate in African languages and literature and folklore from UW-Madison, is active in a group called Scholars for 9/11 Truth. The group?s members say U.S. officials, not al-Qaida terrorists, were behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

?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 wrote.

Barrett said Tuesday he was comparing the attacks to the burning of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in 1933, a key event in the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship.

?That?s not comparing them as people, that?s comparing the Reichstag fire to the demolition of the World Trade Center, and that?s an accurate comparison that I would stand by,? he said.

He added: ?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.?

Moira Megargee, publicity director for the Northampton, Mass., publisher Interlink, said the book is due out at the end of November and the editing isn?t finished.

?It is not final and for all we know that essay may not be in the book or may be edited,? she said.

The university?s decision to allow Barrett to teach the course touched off a controversy over the summer once his views became widely known.

Sixty-one state legislators denounced the move. One county board cut its funding for the UW-Extension by $8,247 ? the amount Barrett will earn for teaching the course ? in a symbolic protest, even though the course is unrelated to that branch of the UW System.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and his Republican challenger, Mark Green, have both said they believe Barrett should be fired.

One essay Barrett is requiring students to read is entitled: ?A Clash Between Justice and Greed,? and argues that conflicts between Islam and the western world were made up after the ?collapse of the Soviet Union to justify U.S. ?defense? spending, and to provide a pretext of controlling the world?s resources.?

The author of another essay, ?Interpreting Terrorism: Muslim Problem or Covert Operations Nightmare?,? contends some western intelligence agencies are committing acts of terrorism to make them look like the work of radical Islamics.

The university?s chief academic officer, Provost Patrick Farrell, decided to retain Barrett for the course after reviewing his plans and qualifications. He said Barrett could present his ideas during one week of the course as long as students were allowed to challenge them.

He later warned Barrett to stop seeking publicity for his personal political views.

Farrell said he has not seen the essay, but faculty can assign readings that may not be popular to everyone.

?I think part of the role of any challenging course here is going to encourage students to think of things from a variety of perspectives,? he said.

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Post by Ex-Cyber » Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:22 pm

This article is pretty useless. This sentence:
It is on the syllabus for Barrett?s course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ?Islam: Religion and Culture,? but only three of the essays are required reading, not including Barrett?s essay.
totally fails to make it clear whether Barrett's essay is required for the course. Does it mean that there are four essays, and Barrett's essay is one of them, or that there are three essays and Barrett's essay is not one of them?

Anyway, context and plans for the course are really important for evaluating whether the material is appropriate. There's a big difference between requiring students to read a text and saying "this is fact" vs. reading a text and analyzing it. You could end up with questions on the exam like:

1) Why does George W. Bush hate Muslims?

2) How do we know that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job?

3) List 5 possible reasons that Christians and Jews are agents of evil, with supporting facts for each.

or questions like:

1) How does the author reconcile his proposed course of events with the 9/11 Commision Report?

2) How does the author's understanding of "jihad" influence his opinion on the plausibility of 9/11 as the action of Muslims?

3) What role does popular Muslim perception of Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount play in the author's analysis?

The perspective on the material can make a huge difference.
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Post by perry » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:43 am

Ex-Cyber wrote:This article is pretty useless. This sentence:
It is on the syllabus for Barrett?s course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ?Islam: Religion and Culture,? but only three of the essays are required reading, not including Barrett?s essay.
totally fails to make it clear whether Barrett's essay is required for the course. Does it mean that there are four essays, and Barrett's essay is one of them, or that there are three essays and Barrett's essay is not one of them?

Anyway, context and plans for the course are really important for evaluating whether the material is appropriate. There's a big difference between requiring students to read a text and saying "this is fact" vs. reading a text and analyzing it. You could end up with questions on the exam like:

1) Why does George W. Bush hate Muslims?

2) How do we know that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job?

3) List 5 possible reasons that Christians and Jews are agents of evil, with supporting facts for each.

or questions like:

1) How does the author reconcile his proposed course of events with the 9/11 Commision Report?

2) How does the author's understanding of "jihad" influence his opinion on the plausibility of 9/11 as the action of Muslims?

3) What role does popular Muslim perception of Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount play in the author's analysis?

The perspective on the material can make a huge difference.
Weather or not it's fact, the author should ask questions in that way. it basically leaves every option open.
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Post by melancholy » Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:03 am

Um, I fail to see what is wrong with this. It's college. If a professor requires students to read an essay that challenges them to think against their beliefs, then what's the problem? That's the whole point of going to college. He's not forcing some view on them, he's just opening them up to different possibilities.
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Post by Stormwatch » Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:39 am

Making people eat shit is not the same as introducing them to different cuisines...
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Post by Strapping Scherzo » Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:47 am

Stormwatch wrote:Making people eat shit is not the same as introducing them to different cuisines...
Well if I genuinely felt that eating shit was, well... the shit, then it would be the same shit. This guy honestly feels that shit was a government conspiracy. It's not like he's the only one that feels this way either, shit.
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Post by melancholy » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:45 am

Strapping Scherzo wrote:
Stormwatch wrote:Making people eat shit is not the same as introducing them to different cuisines...
Well if I genuinely felt that eating shit was, well... the shit, then it would be the same shit. This guy honestly feels that shit was a government conspiracy. It's not like he's the only one that feels this way either, shit.
I have no idea what you just said.
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Post by Darksaviour69 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:55 am

he said shit
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Post by Covar » Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:41 pm

melancholy wrote:Um, I fail to see what is wrong with this. It's college. If a professor requires students to read an essay that challenges them to think against their beliefs, then what's the problem? That's the whole point of going to college. He's not forcing some view on them, he's just opening them up to different possibilities.
funny i thought the whole point of college was to get the skills required to start/further your career in life.
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Post by Roofus » Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:57 pm

Covar wrote: funny i thought the whole point of college was to get the skills required to start/further your career in life.
That's one of the objectives, but to say that's the whole point is oversimplifying things. If all you want is a job, you might as well go to DeVry.
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Post by |darc| » Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:17 pm

Covar wrote:
melancholy wrote:Um, I fail to see what is wrong with this. It's college. If a professor requires students to read an essay that challenges them to think against their beliefs, then what's the problem? That's the whole point of going to college. He's not forcing some view on them, he's just opening them up to different possibilities.
funny i thought the whole point of college was to get the skills required to start/further your career in life.
Funny, I thought the point of college was to further one's education, not fatten one's wallet.
It's thinking...
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Post by Wagh » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:51 pm

Darcus Magnus wrote:
Covar wrote:
melancholy wrote:Um, I fail to see what is wrong with this. It's college. If a professor requires students to read an essay that challenges them to think against their beliefs, then what's the problem? That's the whole point of going to college. He's not forcing some view on them, he's just opening them up to different possibilities.
funny i thought the whole point of college was to get the skills required to start/further your career in life.
Funny, I thought the point of college was to further one's education, not fatten one's wallet.
Yeah really.
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Post by Quzar » Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:11 am

For all the things one could say about dubbya, I don't think that anyone could really call him a genocidal megalomaniac and brilliant millitary tactitian whose only flaws are his insatiable thirst for homogeneity and drugs(although the drugs thing wasn't hitler's fault).
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Post by Jeeba Jabba » Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:21 pm

Quzar wrote:For all the things one could say about dubbya, I don't think that anyone could really call him a genocidal megalomaniac and brilliant millitary tactitian whose only flaws are his insatiable thirst for homogeneity and drugs(although the drugs thing wasn't hitler's fault).
Thank you. Bush may be an idiot, and may have a mass of critics because of his controversial actions, but the guy isn't a genocidal murderer that caused the death of more than 30 million people. That's a completely fucking ridiculous argument.
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Post by APE » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:36 pm

The direct result of millions of deaths? Most definately not. However he may have helped to set off what could go on for a very long time. Not that the Soviets didn't help, or Regean, or Carter, or Ford, etc.
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Post by mankrip » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:20 pm

APE wrote:The direct result of millions of deaths? Most definately not. However he may have helped to set off what could go on for a very long time. Not that the Soviets didn't help, or Regean, or Carter, or Ford, etc.
Are you talking about Hitler or Bush?
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Post by |darc| » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:53 pm

Mr. Jeeba wrote:
Quzar wrote:For all the things one could say about dubbya, I don't think that anyone could really call him a genocidal megalomaniac and brilliant millitary tactitian whose only flaws are his insatiable thirst for homogeneity and drugs(although the drugs thing wasn't hitler's fault).
Thank you. Bush may be an idiot, and may have a mass of critics because of his controversial actions, but the guy isn't a genocidal murderer that caused the death of more than 30 million people. That's a completely fucking ridiculous argument.
Oh, okay, he isn't as bad as Hitler. Someone forge a crown for this guy!
It's thinking...
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Post by Quzar » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:57 pm

Darcus Magnus wrote:
Mr. Jeeba wrote:
Quzar wrote:For all the things one could say about dubbya, I don't think that anyone could really call him a genocidal megalomaniac and brilliant millitary tactitian whose only flaws are his insatiable thirst for homogeneity and drugs(although the drugs thing wasn't hitler's fault).
Thank you. Bush may be an idiot, and may have a mass of critics because of his controversial actions, but the guy isn't a genocidal murderer that caused the death of more than 30 million people. That's a completely fucking ridiculous argument.
Oh, okay, he isn't as bad as Hitler. Someone forge a crown for this guy!
Nobody said he's awesome. The point is that the guy who said he's as bad as (or even comparable at all) to Hitler, is as far off as someone saying he's an amazing president.
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Post by Sir Savant » Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:16 pm

Quzar wrote:
Darcus Magnus wrote:
Mr. Jeeba wrote:
Quzar wrote:For all the things one could say about dubbya, I don't think that anyone could really call him a genocidal megalomaniac and brilliant millitary tactitian whose only flaws are his insatiable thirst for homogeneity and drugs(although the drugs thing wasn't hitler's fault).
Thank you. Bush may be an idiot, and may have a mass of critics because of his controversial actions, but the guy isn't a genocidal murderer that caused the death of more than 30 million people. That's a completely fucking ridiculous argument.
Oh, okay, he isn't as bad as Hitler. Someone forge a crown for this guy!
Nobody said he's awesome. The point is that the guy who said he's as bad as (or even comparable at all) to Hitler, is as far off as someone saying he's an amazing president.
As stated in that excerpt, he clearly states that he only compares the actions of the burning of Reichstag and the World Trade Center Attacks, not the actual people.
Barret wrote:?That?s not comparing them as people, that?s comparing the Reichstag fire to the demolition of the World Trade Center, and that?s an accurate comparison that I would stand by,? he said.

He added: ?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.?
He obviously is not comparing them, as he later says it would be bad to do so for the reason that Hitler is smarter than Bush.
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Post by Quzar » Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:28 pm

It was that specific quote "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." that I was commenting on. In the essay he does not compare the two (according to him) but in that little sly comment he does.
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