Mis-Education at Brandeis · 12 September 2004

By Thomas Ryan
The Justice | September 13, 2004

On July 21, 2004, FrontPage Magazine published an expose of the Peace Studies program at Brandeis University: "Leftist War Studies at Brandeis," written by Thomas Ryan. Ryan found that Fellman taught anti-American propaganda in the classroom, graded his students on their political views and recruited students for antiwar protests. Gordon Fellman responded in The Justice, claiming the article was nonsense. Below is Thomas Ryan's reply, which we believe demonstrates Fellman's Justice article to be but another of the professor's smokescreen for his anti-American agenda, both inside and outside the classroom. -- The Editors.

"[E]ntirely inaccurate" is how Brandeis "Peace Studies" Professor Gordie Fellman sums up my July 21st, 2004 article "Leftist War Studies at Brandeis" in the September 7th issue of the Brandeis student Newspaper, The Justice. In the article, Fellman defends his courses claiming that far from being anti-American, he "loves the U.S." He furthermore criticizes my claims that the Peace Studies program at Brandeis indoctrinates students - although he doesn't provide a single example of a text required by him that supports the American military or American foreign policy.

Fellman specifically questions the validity of my sources, and challenges me to prove that the Peace Studies department at Brandeis uses anti-American literature in its courses. Ironically, most of the quotes and sources I used for my piece came directly from the Brandeis student newspaper, and the disputed required readings in Fellman's courses are plainly listed on the class syllabi.

In my article, I referred to the fact that many Peace Studies courses around the country are providing students with an overtly anti-Western, anti-Capitalism curriculum. I then demonstrated how the Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies Program at Brandeis University, and other general Brandeis courses, specifically indoctrinate susceptible students through their hiring of Marxist professors like Dessima Williams, formerly the ambassador from the Marxist dictatorship of Grenada to the United States; their utilization of fringe left books as required sources; and the anti-American rhetoric of their faculty as reported in The Justice. Thus Fellman himself has been quoted saying, "If [the War on Terror] is about terrorism and terrorism is the killing of innocent civilians, then the United States is also a terrorist." This does not help his defense.

Following the publication of my article in July, I received an e-mail from David Cutler, the writer of the recent Justice article featuring the retort by Fellman. In the note, Cutler stated, "This summer, you wrote an article for Frontpagemag.com accusing Prof. Fellman of teaching students to hate America... After ensuing investigation, myself and another reporter would like to [ask] you a few questions. Quite a few students with whom we have spoken with have refuted your article and do not know where you obtained most of your quotes or other information. Is it possible for you to supply us with your notes, specifically for the unattributed quotes used in the article?"

I was at first perplexed by his request, for all but one of the Fellman-related quotes came from The Justice itself, for which Cutler is News Editor.

I immediately obliged. In The Justice's attack on my article, which is really an interview by Cutler with Gordie Fellman, Cutler reports that Fellman "questioned the sources" I used in my piece. To clear up any confusion, the quotes concerning or stated by Fellman, and their respective sources (namely The Justice), can be found on the following links:

"…then the United States is also a terrorist."

"The only rational way to address (terrorism) is to acknowledge the humiliations inflicted by centuries of colonialism and imperialism…"

"This war has been planned since before Bush became president."

"For Bush to claim that Saddam is evil for ignoring the United Nations -- if he were more self-conscious, he would be talking about himself."

"During the Vietnam era, Brandeis was a hotbed of activist activity, with the national student strike headquartered in Professor Gordie Fellman's office."

Fellman challenges my reporting that he tells students in their first day orientation class that a third of the grade is dependent on their "personal evolution" in the class.

This was information provided to David Horowitz by a student who dropped Fellman's class when she heard this because of the clear implication in what Fellman said that agreeing with him politically would be an important part of the grade.

Another point in my article with which Fellman took issue was my assertion that he has encouraged participation in activities against America.

Fellman declared that he has "never encouraged anybody to participate in anti-American activities." If one does not include rallies against American-led wars aimed at hostile aggressors and terrorists, while confronting student supporters of American foreign policy and calling them "freaks," then his assertion would be correct.

In a recent article appearing in The Justice to commemorate Fellman's 40 years at Brandeis, reporter Alex Bakst states, "Fellman has helped organize countless anti-war rallies, including the on-campus demonstration last year against the War in Iraq… He helped organize a national campaign, headquartered here, against the Vietnam War during the early 70s. To this day, he has supported a large number of other initiatives to promote political activism here."

In his Justice response, Fellman declares that he "loathes all terrorists." The Justice article further faults me for using only part of a paragraph in which Fellman expresses his rationalization for Palestinian terrorism, blaming me for taking Fellman's remarks on terrorism out of context. Here's what Fellman has said (in full) "Many Palestinian terrorists appear to feel hopeless to affect the Israeli degradation they experience, to find themselves at dead ends with no perceived ways out in their personal lives, and to consider suicide bombings as ways of inflicting revenge on an enemy that seems unable or unwilling to respond to rational pleas for discussion and justice." Since the terrorists' profiles are generally of middle class and upper middle educated people (who are also religious fanatics) and since the Clinton-Barak proposals which inspired the suicide bombing campaign offered Palestinians 97% of the land they were demanding, and since the targets of the suicide bombers are children, old people and innocent civilians, Fellman's comment seems reasonably described as a rationale for terror.

In his Justice response, Fellman also challenged me to cite one anti-American book that is used to indoctrinate students at Brandeis. In my July article, I actually described several such books; and below are a few more.

Prof. Gordon Fellman Defends His Peace Studies Program

Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism, by Joel Andreas, is an anti-American comic book, which Fellman requires students of his War and Possibilities of Peace class to read. Addicted to War blames America for all of the world's problems - period. Its first strip features a little cartoon boy saying, "Unfortunately, after [the American founders] won the right to determine their own destiny, they thought they should determine everyone else's too!" Saddam Hussein/Slobodan Milosevic-sympathizer Ramsey Clark is quoted approving this book, stating "The enormous criminal impact of U.S. militarism on the people of the world and the U.S. is hard to grasp. This book makes it easier to understand. Now we must act."

Fellman also requires students in this course to read Secrets, Lies and Democracy, written by Noam Chomsky, an author who regards America as worse than Nazi Germany and whose latest book Hegemony Or Survival argues that humanity is faced with a choice between US world domination and its own survival. Yet another book Fellman uses, Behind the Invasion of Iraq, claims that the "invasion of Iraq is a desperate gamble by a section of the U.S. ruling elite to preserve their power, driven by the wish to stave off economic crisis through military means."

Fellman claims that he loves the U.S. What he loves is his fantasy of what the United States might be if anti-American radicals like him could destroy it and remake it in their own image. He certainly has no love for the America in which he lives.