Tuesday, September 1, 2015
West Point instructor resigned after calling for attacks on Islamic holy places
There are no shortages of hatemongering guys and gals in our world. Not all racists and bigots, however, are dangerous. But some are extremely dangerous because of the position they hold and the influence they create on others. For years, there have been serious criticism of training materials on the Middle East and other religions (esp. Islam) within the institutions of higher learning of the armed forces of the USA.
My attention to this chronic problem was drawn some years ago in the aftermath of 9/11. I was shocked to learn that officers and cadets are taught highly provocative, inaccurate and defamatory information about Arabs that was written in a book by an Israeli scholar who is well known as an ardent racist and bigot. Obviously, it is not difficult to see the impact of those faulty learning or brainwashing on members of our armed forces who are tuned to become mesmerized pawns entertaining unfathomed hostility and intolerance towards the Arabs. Such cannot be a healthy attitude for any military, and surely not for the people in military uniform serving the USA in our time in a world that is seemingly plagued by war and violence.
The Guardian of the UK has reported about a (charlatan) law professor of the US Military Academy at West Point who published an inflammatory article urging attacks on law professors and “Islamic holy sites”. It is worth noting that West Point is the revered undergraduate institution north of New York City where the US army educates its future officer corps. It prides itself on the rigor of its curriculum. West Point is known for its honor code, by which every cadet is expected to abide: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.” Its graduates are judged by it during their entire careers in uniform.
Representatives from the school said William Bradford had only begun his employment there on 1 August. He has been dogged by accusations of misrepresenting his academic and military credentials and has resigned under pressure.
As it is often the case, most of the racists and bigots are liars, and so is the case with Bradford.
In the paper, Bradford identifies himself as an “associate professor of law, national security and strategy, National Defense University”, seemingly his previous job before West Point. But a representative of the National Defense University said Bradford was a contractor at the prestigious Defense Department-run institution, “never an NDU employee nor an NDU professor”.
It appears not to be the first time Bradford misrepresented his credentials. He resigned from Indiana University’s law school in 2005 after his military record showed he had exaggerated his service. (Among his paper’s criticisms of supposedly treasonous lawyers is “intellectual dishonesty”.)
Bradford has had a checkered academic career. In 2004, he quit a job teaching at the Indiana University School of Law after allegations emerged that he had exaggerated his military service, portraying himself inaccurately as a Gulf War veteran, an infantryman and a recipient of the prestigious Silver Star, an award for gallantry in action.
The army provided Bradford’s releasable service history to the Guardian on Monday. Bradford was commissioned into the army as a second lieutenant – the same rank West Point cadets hold upon commissioning – in 1995 and served the majority of his six-year service in military intelligence in the army reserve. He neither deployed nor earned any awards.
In 2005, the Guardian has learned, Bradford took a visiting professorship at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, teaching property law. A former student who wished to remain anonymous said Bradford’s behavior included “doing push-ups in class [and] making students stand and give answers in a military-like manner”.
Bradford, the former student said, ended up leaving his class – and ultimately the college – without grading the final exam.
Bradford urges the US to wage “total war” on “Islamism”, using “conventional and nuclear force and [psychological operations]”, in order to “leave them prepared to coexist with the West or be utterly eradicated”. He suggests in a footnote that “threatening Islamic holy sites might create deterrence, discredit Islamism, and falsify the assumption that decadence renders Western restraint inevitable”.
Bradford went on to argue that “total war” against terrorism ought to include military targeting of “Islamic holy sites”, in order to restore an American deterrent. He acknowledged “great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties and civilian collateral damage” were entailed in his proposal, and suggested that dissent ought to be curbed.
“[D]oubts and disputes about this war [should] be muted lest around them coalesce a new set of self-imposed restraints that prevent Western forces from waging war with sufficient ferocity and resolve so that either Islamism is discredited and the political will of Islamist peoples to prosecute a jihad collapses, or, if necessary, all who countenance or condone Islamism are dead,” Bradford wrote.
Bradford recently published an academic article titled, in translation, “The Treason of the Professors”. The lengthy paper, which has been repudiated by its journal editor as a “mistake”, accused a “clique of about 40” law professors of active collaboration with “Islamist” organizations and recommended targeting them as enemy combatants.
The National Security Law Journal’s editor-in-chief has called the article’s publication a “mistake” and an “egregious breach of professional decorum”.
Supplementing military action, Bradford recommended that Congress investigate links between the professors and “Islamism” under “a renewed version of the House Un-American Activities Committee”, which was one of the vehicles for the discredited “Red Scare” hunts for Communists in the 1950s. “Treason prosecutions shore up national unity, deter disloyalty, and reflect the seriousness with which the nation regards betrayal in war,” Bradford wrote.
The US military’s educational institutions have come under fire before for promoting “total war” against Islam. In 2012, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, ordered a comprehensive scouring of anti-Islam training material after a course proposed “Hiroshima” tactics against Islamic holy sites, targeting the “civilian population wherever necessary”.
The previous year, highly regarded counter-terrorism scholars affiliated with the US army aided the FBI in eradicating similar material from its own training. Those scholars came from West Point.
You can read the full Guardian story by clicking here.