On Genocidal West Point Professor William C. Bradford And Retractions

william_bradford

West Point professor, William C. Bradford published a 200 page paper in the National Security Law Journal which’s main points The Guardian summed up,

William C Bradford, proposes to threaten “Islamic holy sites” as part of a war against undifferentiated Islamic radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage”.

Other “lawful targets” for the US military in its war on terrorism, Bradford argues, include “law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews” – all civilian areas, but places where a “causal connection between the content disseminated and Islamist crimes incited” exist.

The West Point faculty member 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”. (h/t: JD)

It is surprising that this paper was able to make it past the editor and was included in the journal in the first place. It makes an elaborate case for the killing of professors and others who are deemed enemies of the state for criticizing the “War On Terror.” It employs the methodology of Robert Spencer in describing critics of the military and US policy as “useful idiots” and sympathizers of the catch-all bogeyman known as “Islamists.”

Most of the news reports have focused on Bradford’s fascistic call to eliminate professors and attack academic institutions. The retraction by the journal focuses completely on this aspect of his paper, which granted is the central thesis,

This past spring the Journal made a mistake in publishing a highly controversial article, Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict Academy as an Islamist Fifth Column, 3 Nat’l Sec. L.J. 278 (2015), by William C. Bradford, who is currently an assistant professor at the United States Military Academy. As the incoming Editorial Board, we want to address concerns regarding Mr. Bradford’s contention that some scholars in legal academia could be considered as constituting a fifth column in the war against terror; his interpretation is that those scholars could be targeted as unlawful combatants. The substance of Mr. Bradford’s article cannot fairly be considered apart from the egregious breach of professional decorum that it exhibits.  We cannot “unpublish” it, of course, but we can and do acknowledge that the article was not presentable for publication when we published it, and that we therefore repudiate it with sincere apologies to our readers.

Moving forward, the current Editorial Board is committed to generating legitimate scholarly debate, representing all points of view, in the area of national security law. However, we have learned from this experience, and we recognize the responsibility that attends our publication decisions. The process of selecting articles is one our Editorial Board takes very seriously, and we are re-examining our selection process to ensure that we publish high quality scholarly articles.

A welcomed and necessary retraction by the Journal to save face after this embarrassing incident, though it doesn’t tell us why they published or made this “mistake” in the first place.

It is telling that the retraction doesn’t mention another factor why Bradford’s article can be considered as exhibiting an “egregious breach of professional decorum”: the fact that it considers threatening “total war” and use of nuclear strikes on “Islamists” and Muslim holy sites as a reasonable strategy! Shouldn’t that be included in the whole reason why this paper was so awful?

Top U.S. Officer: Stop This ‘Total War’ on Islam Talk

Photo: Department of Defense

Top U.S. Officer: Stop This ‘Total War’ on Islam Talk

By (wired.com)

America’s top military officer condemned in the strongest possible terms a Defense Department course that taught troops to prep for a “total war” on Islam using “Hiroshima”-style tactics.

“It was totally objectionable, against our values and it wasn’t academically sound,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a Pentagon press conference on Thursday. The instructor responsible for the course, Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, is “no longer in a teaching status,” Dempsey added — but he is still employed at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va.

Dempsey’s comments were prompted by a Danger Room report on Thursday that described Dooley’s course in detail. For at least a year, Dooley taught an optional course at the college for lieutenant colonels, colonels, commanders and Navy captains that proposed taking a war on Islam “to the civilian population wherever necessary,” which he likened to the bombardment of Dresden and nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Guest lecturers in the course encouraged those senior officers to think of themselves as a “resistance movement” to Islam.

Dempsey and his deputy for military education, Marine Lt. Gen. George Flynn, pulled the plug on the course last month. The general said he was “quite thankful” for an unnamed military officer who brought word of the anti-Islam material to his attention. Dempsey and his staff launched an investigation into “what motivated that elective to being part of the curriculum,” as he put it on Thursday, and the general also sent a letter to the heads of every military service and regional command instructing them to jettison any similar material, as per a White House directive issued last fall.

 

The inquiry, conducted by Army Maj. Gen. Frederick Rudesheim, is scheduled to conclude on May 24. Any disciplinary action against Dooley; the college’s commandant, Maj. Gen. Joseph Ward; or any other officer is contingent on its findings.

“Final judgment should await General Rudesheim’s findings, but it’s not too early to say that these excerpts are offensive (though that word may be a bit mild here),” emails Douglas Ollivant, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and Iraq veteran who has taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. “Further, presentations like this do real harm to those trying to carefully distinguish extremism and support for it from otherwise admirable religious devotion.”

The harm perpetuated on student officers “who accepted the implied authority of the instructor,” Ollivant added, “is obvious.”

The military is hardly alone in dealing with anti-Islam instructional material passing itself off as responsible counterterrorism. Over the years, hundreds of documents claiming “mainstream” Muslims are “violent” have made their way into FBI curricula, alongside internal claims that agents working on counterterrorism cases could “bend or suspend the law.”

“Plenty of U.S. military officers and troops were inspired by their service in either Iraq or Afghanistan to learn Arabic or Dari and study the peoples of the region. I left the Army in 2004, as a matter of fact, to pursue a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut,” says Andrew Exum, a retired Army captain who now serves as a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “But plenty of other officers and troops began their own amateurish studies of Islam and now, like Lt. Col. Dooley, peddle claims to know the truth about the violence and hatred at the heart of Islam. Pope’s warning that a little learning can be a dangerous thing is certainly relevant here. These hucksters, like the Robert Spencers of the world, know just enough to make themselves sound credible to an uninformed audience and hide their prejudices under a thin layer of amateurish, ideologically motivated scholarship.”