Mark Grimsley: A Ward Churchill Clone?

Historians in the News

Thomas Ryan, commenting on alleged "Ward Churchill Clones" at Ohio State University, at (3-8-05):

Another professor of OSU’s Peace Studies program is Mark Grimsley, who teaches History in Columbus, and who has been the recipient of the university’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. Grimsley has taught the Peace Studies elective course “History of War.” On his website, entitled, the “The Kinder, Gentler Military History Page,” Grimsley sets out to admonish his colleagues who teach war history classes from a perspective in which war can be seen as a viable alternative. He insists:

Too often military historians take what might called the “drawn gun” approach to their subject. It is as if they focus not on the individual who has drawn the gun (his reasons for drawing the gun, why he has one in the first place), but focus on the gun itself – the armed forces – and take violent conflict resolution as a given. Still worse, military historians tend to utilize the same intellectual categories as the military establishment. That tendency, to the degree in which it is indulged, makes independent, critical analysis more difficult. Peace Studies provide a highly useful corrective.

On his website, Grimsley also provides links to a number of biased, anti-American and anti-Israel organizations, including Friends for a Non-Violent World, a group which has ignored the brutal dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and blamed the Iraqi people’s pre-liberation suffering on U.S. economic sanctions.

On his blog, “War Historian,” Grimsley has plainly acknowledged that there is a left-wing predisposition inherent at Ohio State University, especially at the graduate level. He has reduced this trend to a “self-fulfilling prophecy” whereby conservative students fear scorn from the biased nature of the school, and therefore “do not apply to grad school in the first place.” Grimsley has failed to recognize the contributions he and his colleagues make to advance this trend.

Grimsley has also used his blog as a forum with which to lambaste Front Page Magazine editor-in-chief David Horowitz, who has done a great deal to expose the bias in the university. Grimsley writes, “Personally I do not think that Mr. Horowitz is interested in the free exchange of views.” However, Horowitz has sought to represent both conservative and liberal students who have had gripes with any university.

On his blog, Grimsley also failed to condemn Ward Churchill’s remark comparing casualties of the 9/11 attacks to Nazi-resembling “little Eichmanns,” about which he instead attempted to argue the statement’s metaphoric effectiveness. Grimsley writes:

I continue to wrestle with the issue of whether the “little Eichmanns” metaphor can be made coherent. As I have said, a major problem with the Ward Churchill essay is that the essay fails to deploy the metaphor effectively, at least as an aid to analysis. As an aid to incitement, it has proven to be quite effective.

In other words: If only Ward Churchill had hated his country in more vivid metaphor! Grimsley goes on to praise the merits of Churchill, stating, “There are those, like me, who think opinions can be valuable especially if they seem dangerous or disagreeable.”

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