RE: Columbia Prof.'s Remarks Spark Threats

Can we please put an end to people trying to foist their own political views
on the rest of us?

Please get back on topic.

Frank Reinthaler.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thursday, 15 May 2003 17:31
Subject: Columbia Prof.'s Remarks Spark Threats

From: Rie Beam

Columbia Prof.'s Remarks Spark Threats 

By Ron Howell
Staff Writer

April 1, 2003, 5:53 PM EST

A Columbia University professor who called for a brutal defeat of U.S.
forces in Iraq is under siege with angry e-mails and calls, including death
threats, faculty members said.

They also bemoaned a more innocent victim of the comments made last week by
Assistant Professor Nicholas De Genova. The campus anti-war movement.

"I'm afraid the consequences could be that they could silence us," Jean
Cohen, a political science professor, said of those making the threats.

Cohen, an organizer of last week's teach-in where De Genova called for the
killing of U.S. soldiers, said she and other organizers have received
threats, even though they denounced De Genova's statements.

"It's frightening for me to get all these e-mails," Cohen said, adding that
she was puzzled how De Genova could have called for "a million Mogadishus"
-- a reference to the 1993 ambush and killing of 18 American soldiers in
that Somali city.

"It ended up drowning out all the other voices and tarring the anti-war
movement with being anti-American and anti-patriotic," she said.

Those who planned the teach-in, at which more than two dozen professors
criticized the Bush administration's Iraq policy, had hoped to have a
follow-up event in the near future, Cohen said.

"Now who knows? I don't know if the university would give us Low Library or
if people would be nervous about doing it again ... because of the death
threats," she said.

A spokesperson for Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger could not
immediately be reached for comment. A person answering phones at the
anthropology department where De Genova teaches said, "I don't know of his

In a letter published Monday in the Columbia Spectator daily student
newspaper, De Genova elaborated on his controversial speech. He called this
time for another Vietnam.

"Vietnam was a stunning defeat for U.S. imperialism; as such, it was also a
victory for the cause of human self-determination," he wrote in a letter
published in the newspaper.

Bollinger Friday said he was "shocked" by De Genova's speech at the
teach-in. But his statement upset some.

His criticism "completely ignored the tenets of academic freedom that have
been previously affirmed at this university again and again," said Leigh
Johnson, 21, a senior and anthropology major.

Bollinger acknowledged he was breaking tradition by speaking out about De
Genova, but he told Newsday Friday that the professor's comments had simply
"crossed the line and I really feel a need to say something." 


This article originally appeared at:,0,1431551.story 

Visit Newsday online at

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Received on Thursday, 15 May 2003 21:58:44 UTC