University of Wisconsin-Parkside professor and dean suggests, on Hezbollah t.v., that U.S. made and released coronavirus to conquer other countries, and that Hitler wasn’t so unusual in his behavior

Well, here we see a snake employed as an American professor (of sociology) as well as a dean in a respectable university. Meet an unhinged, muddled, lying, and hate-spreading academic: Seif Da’na, a Palestinian-American Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (UWP).  He’s not only a tenured professor there, but also an associate dean and a departmental chair. And he teaches these classes listed on his website:

ETHN 206 – RACE/ETHNC RELATIONS IN US(DV)
INTS 499 – INDEPENDENT STUDY
MAPS 710 – THE GLOBAL CITY
SOCA 101 – INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
SOCA 206 – RACE/ETHNC RELATIONS IN US(DV)
SOCA 301 – INTRO SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
SOCA 301 – SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
SOCA 492 – INTERNSHIP IN SOCIOLOGY
SOCA 499 – INDEPENDENT STUDY

One wonders if he passes on his palpably crazy views to his students, or instills them with hatred on completely bogus grounds.  A short video and transcript of what he said in a recent t.v. interview can be seen by clicking on the screenshot below. (I note that Da’na appears to be an anti-Zionist as well, claiming that the entire country of Israel is a “pure settlement.”)

The 1.75-minute excerpt is posted on the MEMRI site, and comes from Da’na’s interview with Manar TV, a Hezbollah operation from Lebanon. Here he says a bunch of insane things about Hitler, about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and, most of all, about the U.S. possibly making and “leaking” Covid-19 as a way to subjugate and kill people in other countries. (Too bad the scientists who might have “leaked” the virus didn’t anticipate that it would come back to the U.S.!)

Click on the screenshot below to go to the MEMRI site:

And you can see the video clip by clicking on the video at the same site.

Da’na is not far away from me: UWP happens to be where Greg teaches, but he notes that he was unaware of Da’na’s views until I brought them to his attention this morning, and adds that he doesn’t agree with the views expressed in this clip.

Here’s MEMRI’s transcript of what Da’na says, where he suggests that this might be a conspiracy, but slightly hedges his words so he doesn’t claim it outright. But you get the gist of what he’s saying:

Seif Da’na: “[Regarding the coronavirus] – more people die every year not just from diseases that you can get vaccinated for, like malaria – from which half a million people [die] in Africa – but also from the West’s economic policies – at least in the 20th century and the two decades of the 21st century. More people die every year from the consequences of these economic issues than from what is happening now.

“This is exactly like what happened with Hitler. Hitler did not do anything out of the ordinary. He did not do anything that had not been done by the Europeans before. In the colonial days, in the countries of the [global] south, they would kill hundreds of thousands and even millions of people. Hitler came to be viewed as Satan just because he did what he did in Europe.

“The question about how this virus appeared has not been settled yet. As of now, there is no ‘patient zero’ in China, and therefore, we do not talk here about a conspiracy as much as we talk about the leaking of the viruses from a laboratory at Fort Detrick in the United States.

“Perhaps this leaking was not deliberate. We are not talking here about a conspiracy, even though the U.S. annihilated two whole cities in Japan during WWII, despite this being unnecessary. They were already winning the war, but they still used the nuclear bombs.”

First, Da’na is dead wrong about there being a malaria vaccine—there isn’t one! As Greg notes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that there’s no malaria vaccine, that people are working on one, and that perhaps we’ll have one by 2030. One hopes!

Note that Da’na says that the Covid-19 pandemic might not be a conspiracy but adds that the viruses might have “leaked” from Fort Detrick, once the U.S. center for biological weapons but now, according to Wikipedia, it hosts “most elements of the United States biological defense program.” This casual, unevidenced mention of Fort Detrick, with the assurance that Da’na isn’t not conspiracy mongering, is, of course, classical conspiracy mongering: a virus at Fort Detrick “leaked” “non-deliberately”—to a city in central China? This, along with the false assertion that there’s a malaria vaccine, is the kind of stuff that gives sociology a bad name.

Finally, Da’na compares the “leaking” of the virus to the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, furthering the idea that the “release” of the virus was intended to destroy American enemies, just like the nuclear weapons.  Re the atomic bomb, Greg wrote me this, which I quote with his permission:

While there is debate about the necessity of the atomic bombings of Japan, I strongly believe there can only be legitimate questioning of the second (Nagasaki). The quite effective changes in defensive tactics adopted by the Japanese Army in response to prior Allied victories, which the Japanese Army used skillfully in the horrific battles on Iwo Jima and Okinawa (horrific for everyone, and even more so for the Japanese), meant that the invasion of the main islands would have been unthinkable. Japan could have been eventually blockaded, starved, and conventionally bombed into submission, but it would have been many months more, and almost certainly with more deaths and suffering.

Now I don’t think Da’na should be fired or penalized for expressing these views. It’s his First Amendment right, and falls under academic freedom as well. But what he doesn’t have the right to do is to assert them as facts (or, perhaps, even as unevidenced suggestions) to his classes. (I have no idea what he tells his students.) That would be the equivalent of a creationist teaching Biblical creationism (or any creationism) in biology class—in my view a disciplining or firing offense. You can say whatever crazy things you want when you’re off the clock, but academics don’t have the right to teach lies to their classes, and it’s a dereliction of duty to propagandize your class.

But I wonder if Da’na’s colleagues and administrators know that he even holds these crazy views. At least they could—as Lehigh University’s biology department does with Michael Behe—disavow them, especially since Da’na is a dean.

63 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    sub

  2. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Corona virus times = a crowded theater?

  3. Malgorzata
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    sub.

  4. Historian
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    The wisdom of President Truman’s decision to authorize the two atomic bombings of Japan as a means of quickly ending the war is one of the most contentious issues among historians of the war in the Pacific. Here is a partial bibliography of books on the topic.

    https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/debate-over-bomb-annotated-bibliography

    The reason the debate is so contentious is that historians invariably devolve into alternate history in their analyses. More specifically, they attempt to answer this unanswerable question: what would have happened if the bombs had not been dropped? Ancillary questions include the following. Would Japan have surrendered without the bombs? If so, at what cost in lives? Would a ground invasion of the Japanese home islands been necessary, undoubtedly at a terrible cost in American and Japanese lives? Would the Soviets have attempted to occupy part of Japan if the war had continued, even for a relatively short time?

    Historians attempt to buttress their arguments by referring to various relevant American and Japanese documents. But, there is nothing conclusive. Because of this lack of consensus among scholars, one that is unlikely ever to emerge, I discount the views of those who utter with certainty what would have happened. There is nothing wrong with historians opining about what would have happened if X instead of Y had taken place, but people must understand that depending on the issue, sometimes the alternate outcome advocated for is pretty much guesswork, which is the case of the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan.

    • EdwardM
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      This was a time when it was thought that firebombing cities into oblivion was a legitimate tactic in war. If they had a bomb that could do the same thing without risking more than a handful of their airmen, why wouldn’t they use it? Especially if by its use in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki they made it clear they were prepared to do it to as many other cities as it took. I don’t think its use was really a moral question for them.

    • Jonathan Dore
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I think what happened in Okinawa gives a very clear indication of what would have happened in a ground invasion of the Japanese home islands on a scale orders of magnitude greater: fight to the death by the army, mass suicides by the population, and politically unacceptable levels of casualties in the American forces. The entire population had spent years being indoctrinated that surrender was unacceptable and death always preferable. How people can watch the footage of Okinawans throwing themselves off cliffs into the sea and still blithely assert that the Japanese would have been happy to peacefully surrender is beyond me.

      • Historian
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        A ground invasion of Japan would certainly have been horrific. The debate is over whether Japan would have surrendered not much later than it actually did without dropping the bombs or a ground invasion.

        • BJ
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          Since you’re the Historian, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Japan at the time preparing for a ground invasion by telling all its citizens to fights any foreign invader tooth and nail, even if they needed to use a broomstick to do it, and trying to create brigades out of ordinary citizens?

          I guess, when in such a deadly war, the only thing you can make decisions on is the rhetoric and actions of your enemies, and the rhetoric and actions of Japan at that time seemed to show no sign of surrender. And what we do know is that a land invasion would have resulted is far more casualties, both Japanese and Allied soldiers.

        • Jonathan Dore
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          Is there any evidence that such a surrender was being seriously contemplated by high levels of government? On the face of it this seems unlikely: if they would have fought to the death before surrendering to a ground invasion, logically it is far less likely that they would have surrendered without one, since they would immediately have lost all credibility with the population, and the emperor would have suffered an irreversible humiliation.

          • Historian
            Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            RE: comments by BJ and Dore

            There are reputable historians that argue, in fact, that the Japanese government was contemplating surrender prior to the dropping of the bombs despite the propaganda it was disseminating to its populace. Other historians disagree vigorously. World War II is not my area of specialty so I will not comment on what I think is the credibility of these arguments. If you peruse the annotated bibliography I link to above, you will see that historians differ widely in their assessments of why the bombs were dropped and the need to do so. This is why I think that any consensus among historians on the various issues related to the dropping of the bombs is not likely to happen.

            I would point out, however, that the fact that the Japanese government urged the populace to fight to the end is irrelevant to what it was actually thinking. It is commonplace for governments to urge their citizens to do one thing while contemplating to do the exact opposite.

            • GBJames
              Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

              Do those historians who claim that the Japanese government was going to surrender anyway have more than just arguments? Is there any convincing evidence? Because while governments sometimes say one thing publicly while planning something else, they very often say publicly what they actually expect their population to do. Their public claims are pretty good evidence of intent. Not infallible, but better than just an argument to the contrary.

            • BJ
              Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

              The question isn’t, “what were the Japanese thinking,” but “what signal were the Japanese sending?”

            • davelenny
              Posted April 2, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

              It is common for governments to say one thing while doing another, but the evidence available to the US at the time, and available to modern historians is that the Japanese govt, ie, the Supreme War Council was not prepared to surrender on terms acceptable to the Allies. It was correctly clear to US intelligence that two secret peace initiatives in 1945 did NOT have J. government support.

              As for Nagasaki, my understanding is that the rapid second bombing was to fool J. that the US had plenty more bombs. Given that the J. Minister of War, Anami, thought Hiroshima was a one off and that the War Council split 3-3 over peace, even with the 2 bombs and the Soviet attack in Manchuria the same morning (which probably ended delusions of a negotiated peace), the Nagasaki attack almost certainly accelerated surrender.

        • Filippo
          Posted April 5, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          To what extent do you think the prospect of the USSR invading Japan, as compared to the dropping of the bombs, influenced Japan to surrender to the U.S.?

      • Malgorzata
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        Many years ago (in the mid-1990s) my husband, Andrzej, was invited to a reception at the Japanese Embassy in London (he worked for BBC then). There he met a Japanese civil engineer and they had a long talk. This man told Andrzej that, in a way, Japan should be grateful to U.S. for these bombs. Japan’s population fanatically believed that their Emperor was a God, and that Japan was invincible and that they would win the war if everybody fought to death. Not only the army but the population itself was prepared to die for their God-Emperor. (Well, the kamikaze planes are a good proof of this belief and of the death wish, as are those soldiers who didn’t know that the Emperor was no longer a God and who remained in the jungle for decades.) When the bomb came like a wrath of God, this blind faith started to wobble. The Emperor seemed to understand that he was no God and announced that to his people. Since then, said the engineer, it has not been so easy to incite the Japanese people to fanaticism, and that is what this engineer was grateful for.

      • GBJames
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        I found Dan Carlin’s Supernova in the East to be a very interesting discussion of how Japan came to be what it was in the middle of the 20th Century. I came away thinking that the notion that the leaders were about to surrender anyway is very probably wrong.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, from my reading on it, the issue regarding use of The Bomb seems vexed, with a vast historical record that both the traditionalist and the revisionist schools sift through to make tendentious arguments in support of their respective positions.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      My hypothesis is that the bombs were used as a way of communicating to the Soviets that the U.S. was actually prepared to use the weapons. It was already apparent that there would be a post-war power struggle. The Soviets knew about the bomb, and were working on getting their own. Anything less than actually using the bomb on a city (something like a demonstration drop in Tokyo Bay) would have telegraphed an unwillingness to actually use it to its full and most awful potential. Possessing the certain knowledge that the U.S. would unquestionably use nuclear weapons on their cities may very well have tempered Soviet behavior during the cold war. M.A.D. only works if you know your opponent has the will.

      • EdwardM
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        This seems likely, though I am sure the primary motive was to get the Japanese to stand down. We’d already demonstrated the willingness to kill tens of thousands of civilians by bombing and burning them and their cities to the ground. Not just in Japan either. I don’t think the Soviets were ever under any illusions about our willingness to kill very large numbers of people. The bombs were just another way of saying; “we aren’t kidding”.

      • mike cracraft
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        This was the thesis put forth in Gar Alperovitz’s book “Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam”, a good read.

      • Historian
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        The argument that the main purpose of the dropping of the bombs was to intimidate the Soviets was made years ago by historian Gar Alperovitz. I do not know how well his thesis has survived over the years.

  5. eric
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    what he doesn’t have the right to do is to assert them as facts (or, perhaps, even as unevidenced suggestions) to his classes. (I have no idea what he tells his students.) That would be the equivalent of a creationist teaching Biblical creationism (or any creationism) in biology class—in my view a disciplining or firing offense.

    Well, he would certainly have that legal right in a private University. Not sure about the legality in a state-funded Uni like UW; I guess that would be up to the state as to whether they take an active role in deciding what their employees are allowed to teach.

    But ethically, yeah, he shouldn’t be teaching his own pet theories as established mainstream sociology.

    ***

    Now on to the substantive issue; he’s basically claiming the west is self-interested hypocrites, who only get interested in horrors such as mass killings or disease outbreaks when they affect us personally; when it happens in other parts of the world, we don’t care. Sadly, I think he might be right when it comes to our current leadership.

    But historically, when it comes to disease, the mid 20th century has seen the west take a broader, more altruistic perspective. We eliminated smallpox worldwide, not just in the west. And we’re trying to do the same for polio – eliminate it everywhere, even though it’s already not a problem for the west. The only thing stopping it’s elimination? Religious and cultural resistance to vaccination; people paranoid about help from the west and claim it’s a secret plot to sterilize Muslims or something like that. How about Ebola? It’s mostly an African issue, but the U.S. came up with the treatment.

    We’re not uniformly or consistently helpful to other countries, for sure. But, when it comes to humanitarianism, I’d give that label to the aid worker handing out free polio vaccine, rather than the religious leader telling his followers not to take it.

    • BJ
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I remember reading articles a couple of years ago about US efforts to help vaccinate people in Pakistan against polio, but many people wouldn’t accept the vaccinations because they were told it was a plot by the CIA to sterilize or kill them. It sounds like the kind of conspiracy theory Da’na would promote.

      • EdwardM
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        The Americans did, however, use a vaccination ruse to locate Osama Bin Ladin. That did wonders for acceptance of vaccination programs there, I tell you what.

        • BJ
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Very good point!

        • Jonathan Dore
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          Yes, that was very unfortunate, and selfish of the CIA to do since they must have known the effect it would have on health workers and the credibility of health programmes for years to come.

          • Filippo
            Posted April 5, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            ” . . . selfish of the CIA to do since they must have known the effect it would have . . . for years to come.”

            Perhaps their attitude was that of Madeleine Albright when asked about civilian casualties: “We think it’s worth it.”

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          Totally unconscionable. It is difficult enough to get some populations to accept vaccination. It is often described as a ploy by the West to harm. And that CIA action gave these rumors some solid grounds.

          There is little doubt that the actions of these CIA agents cost a lot of lives (including vaccinating nurses being murdered) and disability. I think the one authorizing the action should stand trial. Even if not convicted, a trial would probably give insight into the devastating consequences of these deeds.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Now you’ve made me think of this scene, in which Col. Kurtz tells Willard about the Vietcong hacking off the arms of Vietnamese children whom the US Special Forces had inoculated against polio, Beej.

  6. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    “ETHN 206 – RACE/ETHNC RELATIONS IN US(DV)
    INTS 499 – INDEPENDENT STUDY
    MAPS 710 – THE GLOBAL CITY
    SOCA 101 – INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
    SOCA 206 – RACE/ETHNC RELATIONS IN US(DV)
    SOCA 301 – INTRO SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
    SOCA 301 – SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
    SOCA 492 – INTERNSHIP IN SOCIOLOGY
    SOCA 499 – INDEPENDENT STUDY”

    That says it all really.

  7. BJ
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    It will be interesting to compare what happens (or, far more likely, not happens) to Da’na in the coming days to what happened to the Christakises after students claimed that Erika Christakis’ email about Halloween costumes made them feel “unsafe.” I’m sure Da’na will receive none of the treatment that they did, like death threats, public humiliation, being forced off campus, being forced to step down from positions of authority, etc. Not that I think he should receive such treatment. It’s just interesting to see how professors are treated based on which groups might be offended or denigrated by the things they say.

    Regarding whether or not he passes his odious views on to his students: I’ve written before about my time at a college very well-known for being extremely liberal, and this was back in the early 2000’s. Even back then, multiple professors (all in the humanities) regularly spouted conspiracy theories in the classroom about Israel and the Jews that live there (for example, that they intentionally poisoned Palestinian water, kidnapped and tortured Palestinian children, one professor even said that the Orthodox right-wing kidnapped Palestinians and harvested their organs to sell on the black market, etc.); I even had a professor who regularly wrote articles for an antisemitic website. Some professors also spread conspiracy theories about Jews secretly running the world and controlling all banking, using the IMF and World Bank to control populations, etc. This was all done in the classroom. It’s what made me completely anti-Israel and a believer in Jewish conspiracies at that time in my life (despite being Jewish myself) — I believed the people I thought were authorities, there to tell me the truth, and I trusted them. I figured that they were my professors, so how could they be lying to me? It was only when I started doing my own research at the behest of others years later that I found out how many times professors had lied to me. It took multiple people sitting me down and having very serious conversations about how insane my views were to help me understand that I’d gone through heavy indoctrination in many subjects. My entire life changed then, as I stopped trusting everyone and started doing my own research on issues. The number of issues I had to change my stance on were enormous. My entire worldview ended up being turned upside-down.

    The vast majority of people will never do research that might invalidate their worldviews and will never admit to themselves that they might be wrong about some things. Once they’ve been indoctrinated, they often stay that way for life.

    College students naturally trust their professors to be authorities who are there to teach them facts, which is what makes professors like Da’na so dangerous. Of course, I still don’t think he should lose his job or be punished over this, as he was speaking in his capacity as a free citizen.

    • EdwardM
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Great jumping jesus. What school did you go to?

      • BJ
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        I don’t want to say (I feel like I’ve already given out too much personal info here), but I will tell you that this was not an uncommon experience among others I’d talked to who went to other colleges in the area, and it seems to be an even more common occurrence now, though that’s only from a sample of people I know who recently went to college.

        • phoffman56
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          How long ago did this happen, profs. who actually related particular lies which were false checkable details, rather than general theoretical blather about subjects with often the pretence of being scientific (social science)?

          I have been, perhaps naively, thinking it to be common only maybe in the last decade or two.

          Where I taught, we had, decades ago, one particular psychology prof., very much a leader in something called the Anti-Imperialist Alliance, IIRC. They held up Hoxha’s Albania as a Stalinist ‘heaven on earth’. For the younger unread, that place was much like North Korea is today, or was before the latter developed the ability to nuke people.

          But his research was pretty solid, experimenting with mice I think. And I assume his teaching kept completely away from the Stalinist nonsense.

          The AIA were small in number, smaller in finance, and disappeared almost immediately when they were sued for slander, or similar, and lost.

    • eric
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Even back then, multiple professors (all in the humanities) regularly spouted conspiracy theories in the classroom about Israel and the Jews that live there…
      …Some professors also spread conspiracy theories about Jews secretly running the world and controlling all banking, using the IMF and World Bank to control populations, etc. This was all done in the classroom.

      Another reason I’m glad I went into science. It’s not crazy-free, but I’ve never heard of a kook scientist teaching their kookery in 101 or ‘required for major’ type classes. Maybe they teach it in the advanced topical classes you can truly choose to take (or not)? If so, my position is more ‘caveat emptor’ than ‘institutional infraction’.

    • Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      It is indeed a rare thing for someone to actively seek ways to undermine their own world views. That was quite a journey you had, and I congratulate you.

      • BJ
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        That’s very kind of you, thanks! But I don’t feel terribly proud. One has to first be duped to un-dupe themselves 🙂

        • Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          We can all be duped, but many of us never fix it. You did!

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Good grief! Back in the cretacious, when I was at school, teachers’ casual racism in the classroom wasn’t unknown (though rare enough that I can still recall particular instances), but your experience at college is off the scale! Glad you made it to the other side, BJ.

    • LaRo
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      BJ wrote: >> It was only when I started doing my own research at the behest of others years later that I found out how many times professors had lied to me. … how insane my views were to help me understand that I’d gone through heavy indoctrination in many subjects. My entire life changed … My entire worldview ended up being turned upside-down.”

      I’m glad to hear you “survived” that stream of lies being poured over you. But what if you were indoctrinated also on the subject of large scale evolution? 😉

      One-sided info may rob you of the whole picture, which may take you by surprise when (if) you it.

  8. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    “But I wonder if Da’na’s colleagues and administrators know that he even holds these crazy views.”

    I’m pretty confident that a lot of his colleagues in that area of academia wouldn’t see much to disagree with in what he said.

    The reflexive hatred of America, the carping about western parochialism, all of that is par for the course.

    What he does rather cleverly is disguise his more insane conspiracies in the language of historical realism and blunt honesty.
    If you smuggle in the crazier stuff alongside a few things that are undeniably true(like the fact that the west tens to be more interested in its own politics…as though any other part of the world is different) people are much more likely to accept it.

    • eric
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      The anti-Zionism goes back obviously to the founding of Israel. But even the notion that the west has been waging an economic and political war on the mideast and that secularism is corrupt goes back to at least the mid ’90s. That’s what Osama Bin Ladin wrote about in hist first ‘declaration of war’ in 1996; our not trading with them on their terms results in mideast poverty, which causes people to die, ergo, physically attacking us to stop such policies is justified self-defense.

      The message has obviously changed a bit (the new liberal strain doesn’t attack Saudi Arabia as corrupt any more, and doesn’t outright advocate for murder as being justified), but all the underlying arguments are still there.

  9. Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    “It’s his First Amendment right, and falls under academic freedom as well.”

    And it falls to us to point at and ridicule him. 🙂

  10. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    In Islam the group is more important than the individual, this often leads to shame being more central than in the West. For example: If you have a part in something bad such as not doing enough to stop the spread of the corona virus you are bad not just guilty of doing a bad thing. This leads to a greater tendency to foist the blame off on outsiders thru conspiracy theories. These deranged ideas are very common in the Middle East. Of course, the group control of shame also leads to honor killings and supports all the crazy beliefs about Jews, such as that they staged 9-11.

  11. Roger Lambert
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I have yet to interact with any Pro-Palestinian activist who does not promote historical falsehoods.

    I’ll take it further – there is almost no falsehood so absurd it does not have a place in Middle East studies. The academic standard of Middle East studies is simply atrocious.

    So, when I see conspiracy theories and antisemitism conjoined with a Palestinian academic, let’s just say I am not shocked.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      “…there is almost no falsehood so absurd it does not have a place in Middle East studies.”

      Sorry, for a moment there I thought you said Women’s Studies.

  12. phoffman56
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    “..U.S. made and released coronavirus to conquer other countries..”

    However much anti-USian, anybody with the tinyest interest in factual information can obviously dismiss that–US will almost certainly end up with by far the most deaths of any country. Exceptions might be India and/or Indonesia, where likely there will be numbers bearing little factual truth, not necessarily deliberately.

    Here is a prediction, just so it’s available to maybe embarrass me later. I fear much worse numbers a lot more than I fervently hope for much better ones. You can figure out the actual numbers of deaths predicted from the known populations, if more literal gruesomeness is desired.

    The numbers are #deaths predicted per one million population as of Aug 1, 2020, made around April 1:

    US, Italy and Spain———-500/million
    France and UK—————-180/million
    Canada (not inc. me I hope)–135/million
    Sweden———————– 60/million
    Norway and Germany———– 30/million

    Note that US is 15/million right now, Canada just 3/million. Others have had more time since virus invaded.

    Huge contrasts, if they happen; then is the time to discuss. If “not inc. ..” holds, as likely, I’ll come back to them here, and hopefully embarrass myself because the actual numbers turn out much lower.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      What surprised me at the time, and I just assumed they knew something I didn’t, was that no news organisations questioned China’s claimed contamination/death figures.

      Countries like China, Russia, have both the motive and the means to massively distort the actual figures so it always baffled me why people were taking them at their word(and even writing admiring articles about how much more efficient authoritarianism is in a crisis).

      • phoffman56
        Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        I agree that the Chinese communist party has plenty of reason and ability to falsify the facts here. I’ve never regarded the figures in the ‘Worldometer’ table on this worthwhile for making any comparisons to China’s numbers. We’ll see maybe with Putin’s numbers.

        I’d mentioned India and Indonesia because of their particularly large populations, which will eventually, along with China and US have a big effect on the world numbers. Maybe there are reasons to think that for some of these three (not US), the final numbers are quite credible.

        Trump would undoubtedly be delighted if he could falsify, but he cannot surely. He can of course make horseshit claims which will be swallowed by an awful lot of gullible morons.

  13. Jon Gallant
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Professor Da’na’s casual invocation of Ft. Detrick (where there has been no biological warfare work for decades) and the malaria vaccine (which is imaginary) are of a piece with his “leaked” coronavirus fantasy, all clichés of sub-literate wokeism. As BJ points out, we can be sure that he regularly conveys all of these memes in his classes.

    Professor Da’na’s recent scholarly gems include the following: “Decolonizing the geographies of resistance: Imperialist cartography of the arab world” and “Geopolitics of Knowledge’: Constructing an Indigenous Sociology from the South”. The capsule summary of the latter is as follows:
    “In the classics of sociology there is a ‘civilizing gaze’ of reality embedded in the archetype of civilization vs. barbarism and a predatory ethic. What shapes this modern discipline since its foundation a Eurocentric rationality that does not express a ‘universal truth’ because there is no such thing nor does it account for other than a white…”

    Professor Da’na’s professional status as Chair and Associate Dean are possibly the most signal triumphs of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion since Ward Churchill got to be a Chair, for a time, at U. Colorado.

    • phoffman56
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      If a prof. consistently makes baldly false ‘factual’ claims in his or her classes, tenure policy there is surely able to haul him or her up in front of colleagues to be kicked out of the university. Hopefully avoid sociologists as the colleagues I’d say, based on this and some specific instances I have run into which can remain ‘classified’.

  14. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    How does an obvious crackpot like Da’na get tenure?

    • EdwardM
      Posted April 2, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I dunno, but dollars to doughnuts it’s because his tenure was reviewed by other crackpots. This is, I suspect, why such bad thinking flourishes are in certain academic disciplines. When the lunatics are in charge of the asylum, it is not surprising that they advance one of their own.

  15. grasshopper
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    “…Hitler wasn’t so unusual in his behavior.” Am I being softened up for another Holocaust, with “shit happens?”

  16. Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    So if he couldn’t be fired from his professorship job, is his dean job protected in the same manner or is that more of an “at will” position?

    • phoffman56
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      “…if he couldn’t be fired from his professorship job..”

      That is unlikely to be literally true. If you think it is, and have already looked at the relevant tenure policy, I’d be interested to hear.

      On the other hand, it is quite possible that the kind of people now dominating the Sociology Department (or whatever group there), or even dominating their Social Scelnce or Arts Faculty (or however they are organized) is so bad that he would never lose tenure without that changing, that’s a different matter.

      • Posted April 7, 2020 at 2:35 am | Permalink

        I have no idea which is why I’ve asked the question. Previously, I’ve see here that professors with tenure are granted wide latitude as to their personal expressions of opinion so that is what I had in mind with my statement. I realize that there are some situations where tenure can be pulled but I’m just wondering about the admin positions.

        • phoffman56
          Posted April 7, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

          “Personal expressions of opinion”, but not in the lecture room when supposedly teaching (likely quite naive people), should almost never be interfered with by other people in the university. But earlier were respondents claiming to have been affected in their thinking by totally inappropriate propaganda from lecturers. See my earlier replies, e.g. under #s 13, 7, and 12.

          • Posted April 7, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            Thank you for the detailed responses to questions I have not asked. Twice I have asked whether his administrative position would also be protected by tenure and twice you have worked hard to clarify snippets of my set up for the question which are irrelevant to what I’m trying to ask. If you have insight into tenure WRT admin positions please share. Information regarding professorship tenure is not what I’m requesting.

            • phoffman56
              Posted April 7, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

              It likely varies with the institution.

              In my opinion, an administrative position ought to have no connection with tenure, ought to have a very definite term after which one is replaced, and presumably is at the pleasure of some combination of both the people served and of your immediate boss. I refer to academically appointed people here, not other employees of a university (of which there always seems to be far too many).

              • phoffman56
                Posted April 7, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

                …far too many in senior highly paid positions.

              • Posted April 7, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for that info.


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