Treacherous Professors blame U.S. for terrorism and they are
brainwashing your Children - It's Your Money, if you don't give it, they don't work


Last Update:  12/29/2002

-- Anti-Americanism due to college teachers
-- Anyone who bombs the Pentagon has my vote  says this professor
--
Right and Wrong Is Relative this professor teaches that what society expects of you is wrong.  Just do what you want.
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How public schools are destroying the American brain
-- Pre-schoolers protest possible war in Iraq
-- Professors blame U.S. for 9/11
-- Time for outrage!

-- Welcome to the pity party at the University of California

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 “Anyone who bombs the Pentagon has my vote.”
-- University of New Mexico Professor Richard Berthold

How do you feel about the torrent of anti-American venom that academics inject into the minds of our future leaders?  How do you feel about paying for our children to get only half an education?  I mean, after all, how can they be getting a good education when they’re getting only half the story?

You know me and what I stand for. My name is David Horowitz, Founder and President of Center for the Study of Popular Culture (CSPC), and I’m in the middle of a battle to take back our campuses.

I’ve written a new booklet describing what is happening on campuses across the country.  It’s called “Political Bias in America’s Universities,” and I have a FREE copy of it available for you

“Political Bias in America’s Universities” details not just what’s wrong in academics today, but also the steps you and I can take to restore sanity to our colleges and universities.

And when you read comments like that above you quickly realize that something is terribly wrong at our institutions of higher learning.

You see, beginning in the mid-1960s, the left made a concerted effort to take over our colleges and universities.  The turmoil surrounding the Viet Nam war made our schools ripe for leftist pickings, and they did -- they methodically took over our campuses …

… now, four decades later, they have a stranglehold on hiring, teaching, and administering most of our schools in all 50 states!

As they’ve taken control, they’ve trampled free speech, virtually banished conservative professors, and turned our schools into little more than huge megaphones for anti-American rhetoric from coast to coast.

Today you can do or say anything you want on our campuses -- provided it’s laced with negative sentiment about our nation, our Bill of Rights, our Constitution, our culture … you get the idea.

I believe it’s time to take our schools back.   But I cannot do it alone, I need your help.  A contribution gift of $25, $35, $50,  $100 or more will enable us to build upon our success and fully fund the NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO TAKE BACK OUR CAMPUSES.

Help David Horowitz in the battle to take back our campuses!

Read more about what is really happening on our college campuses and what we must do.

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 Time for outrage!

© 2001 Linda Bowles

It was in 1983 that members of the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued a brutally honest report entitled "A Nation at Risk." The members of the commission wrote, "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might have viewed it as an act of war."

The report was obviously calculated to awaken a stuporous public to a national disaster. It didn't work. Neither have any of the hundreds of other reports and studies issued since then giving the same message.

We now have in hand a new report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly known as "The Nation's Report Card." NAEP measured the scientific knowledge of students in the fourth, eighth and 12th grades across the nation. They used three scoring levels: basic, proficient and advanced.

Having previously reported that our children are doing poorly on reading and math, NAEP currently reports that, for the United States as a whole, only three in 10 students are proficient in science at their grade level. The proportion that scored below the minimum basic level rose to almost 50 percent.

If one digs into the full report, some interesting truths emerge. For example, the everlasting gap between the achievement of blacks and Hispanics and their white classmates actually closed slightly at the 12th grade level. Alas, this was not because blacks and Hispanics improved, but because whites did worse. As an added embarrassment to the education industry, this entire decline in 12th grade science achievement took place in public schools. Twelfth grade scores in private schools rose sharply.

The overall results included scores from private schools, the three largest of which are religious schools: Catholic, Lutheran and Conservative Christian. Whites, blacks and Hispanics in these schools did significantly better at all educational stages than did their counterparts in government schools. This means, of course, that national scores would be even lower if these private schools were omitted from total results.

Based on other objective assessments, if home-schooled students had been included, the superiority of private education over "public" education would be even more striking. That is why teachers and politicians, more so than average folks, send their kids to private schools.

California came in dead last among the states. Democrat Governor Gray Davis, who claims that education is his top priority, was not discouraged by the results, said his spokeswoman, Hilary McLean.

One wonders what is his threshold of discouragement, given that year after ruinous year in the Golden State, hundreds of thousands of minority children languish in poor, unsafe, drug-infested, mind-wasting ghetto schools, held captive there by dirty politics and the governor's own incestuous relationship with old-fashioned, big-time, heavy-handed labor unions representing teachers.

To one extent or another, California's problem is the nation's problem. William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal's chief editorial writer, explained it this way: "This integration of the NEA [National Education Association] into the Democratic Party goes a long way toward explaining how a monopoly that today leaves nearly two-thirds of African-American and Hispanic fourth-graders illiterate, has insulated itself against political accountability."

Education union leaders are open about their mission to get more money for teachers and protect them from the consequences of incompetence as individuals and from accountability as a profession. As one union leader boasted, "as for the kids, they don't pay dues."

What most people, including many teachers, don't fully realize is that the NEA is a left-wing institution with an active agenda, involving support for homosexual causes, abortion, affirmative action, secular humanism, multiculturalism, egalitarianism and open borders. They have insinuated these causes into the teaching profession.

Hard to believe? Hear the words of Robert H. Chanin, NEA general counsel, as he responded to massive documentation assembled by the Landmark Legal Foundation, which supported a formal allegation that the NEA has illegally used millions of dollars of tax exempt union dues on partisan political activities, in full coordination with the Democrat National Committee.

In a brash and revealing speech to the National Council of State Education Associations, Chanin said: "Someone really is after us ... [the NEA and its affiliates] have been singled out because of our political power and effectiveness at all levels – because we have the ability to help implement the type of liberal social and economic agenda that [they] find unacceptable."

In the simplest of terms, the quid pro quo deal is this: In exchange for NEA money and votes, Democrat politicians will not allow consequential school reforms to take place. Only an informed and outraged people can change this.

WorldNetDaily contributor Linda Bowles is a nationally syndicated columnist. She and her husband, Warren, have one daughter, Michelle, and live on a ranch situated on the western slope of the California Sierras.

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 Professors blame U.S. for terrorism
Young America's Foundation documents controversial comments

By Jon Dougherty
© 2001 WorldNetDaily.com

One of the liberties enshrined in the U.S. Constitution is the freedom to speak one's mind, even if those comments may be offensive to most everyone else.

But some Americans, including one conservative outreach organization, believe the comments of a number of college professors – who have taken to blaming the United States for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City and the Pentagon – are more than offensive. They may actually be harmful to the war effort, according to the Young America's Foundation, a Herndon, Va.-based group that promotes conservative ideas on the nation's college campuses.

"We agree that everyone has the right to speak freely in this country, and thank God for that," Rick Parsons, a spokesman for the group, told WND. "However, these professors' comments seem to represent what most college professors believe – that America is at fault for the terrorist attacks."

Among the quotes gathered by the group:

University of Texas professor Robert Jensen has written that the terrorists' acts were "no more despicable than the massive acts of terrorism … that the U.S. government has committed during my lifetime."

Richard Falk, a professor at Princeton University, has said that the terrorist attacks occurred because "the mass of humanity … finds itself under the heels of U.S. economic, military, cultural and diplomatic power."

Professor Elisabeth Weber of the University of California-Santa Barbara wrote, "My concern over the U.S. flags surrounding campus is that they endanger the free exchange that normally characterizes our campus."

Rutgers University professor Barbara Foley wrote that "whatever [the terrorist attacks'] proximate cause, its ultimate cause is the fascism of U.S. foreign policy over the past many decades."

Professor Howard Zinn of Boston University wrote, "We need to think about the resentment all over the world felt by people who have been victims of American military action – in Vietnam, in Latin America, in Iraq."

Evergreen State College of Olympia, Wash., professor Larry Mosqueda wrote, "If we multiply by 800-1,000 times the amount of pain, angst, and anger being currently felt by the American public, we might begin to understand how much the rest of the world feels as they are continually victimized [by the U.S.]. …"

A professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Charlie Kurzman, has blamed the terrorist attacks on the U.S. military. He says, "We're playing into the hands of our own militarists, whose interests always lie, I believe, in the exaggeration of threats, armed responses and so on." He added that he "would argue that there is tacit collusion among the militarists of all sides."

Professor George Wright of Chico State University in Chico, Calif., alleges that President Bush wants to "kill innocent people," "colonize" the entire Arab world and secure "oil for the Bush family. …"

University of Minnesota Professor Ezra Hyland blamed Americans directly for the attacks, claiming that "you can't plant hatred and not expect to reap hatred."

The quotes "show what we've said all along – that most college professors are biased – politically and ideologically," Parsons said. "They are promoting these ideas to their students. We want everyone to know what these students are hearing in their classes.

"These are public quotes, but who knows what else the professors are saying in class," he said.

While admitting the group had not spoken to any college students regarding the comments about the war made by professors, Parsons said such comments "could hinder our ability to fight this war if enough students take the positions of these professors" and begin widespread protests.

The Young America's Foundation sponsored over 300 campus lectures across the nation during the past academic year. Speakers included Ann Coulter, now a WND columnist as well as ABC's John Stossel and Ben Stein.

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 Anti-Americanism Due To college teachers

Ellen Sorokin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

     Professors and administrators are to blame for anti-American sentiment on college campuses today, according to a report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
     More than 140 college campuses in 36 states have held anti-war rallies denouncing the country's military actions in Afghanistan, the report says.
     The document — "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It" — concludes that many professors and administrators are quick to clamp down on acts of patriotism, such as flying the American flag, and look down on students who question professors' "politically correct" ideas in class. The report was completed last month.
     Such practices should be stopped because they threaten the very essence of a college experience, which should encourage a robust exchange of ideas, said Anne Neal, vice president and general counsel for ACTA, a Washington-based educational group. Professors need to change their curriculum to include both sides of historical issues, or else they will continue to short-change their students, Ms. Neal said.
     "We're not saying this sentiment exists 100 percent on all college campuses," Ms. Neal said. "But there are college campuses out there where there is this anti-American sentiment, and we're very concerned about it because this is an attitude that affects our self-understanding."
     The ACTA report lists 117 examples of anti-American sentiment.
     What has particularly caused concern among groups such as ACTA is the anti-patriotic attitude making its way into post-September 11 college courses.
     Examples of such courses being offered this spring and next fall are: "The Sexuality of Terrorism" at University of California at Hayward; and "Terrorism and the Politics of Knowledge" at UCLA, a class that, according to its course description, examines "America's record of imperialistic adventurism."
     Such courses are a "perfect example of blaming the victim, a favorite phrase of the left," said Winfield Myers, of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. "To equate the attack on terrorist strongholds and their state sponsors with old-fashioned imperialism or territorial warfare is disingenuous at best," Mr. Myers said.
     Rick Parsons, a campus program director at the Young America's Foundation, said offering a course that's skewed is typical on college campuses. Most of those classes are taught by professors who were anti-war protesters of the 1960s and 1970s.
     "They feel like America is to blame for everything. It's that simple," Mr. Parsons said.
     ACTA officials said professors should adopt a curriculum that include courses on the foundations of Western civilization. "If both sides are heard, students and all of us will benefit," Ms. Neal said.
     But some college officials said academic institutions have always been known as places where people will find the most freedom to think differently.
     "You want people to think differently on college campuses, you want to them to think critically," said Forest Wortham, director of multicultural programs in the Women's Center at Wittenberg University in Ohio.
     "But people have to be careful in assuming a person's allegiance on what they think or say. I just hope we haven't returned to the McCarthy era."
     The anti-American sentiment has been a part of campus life since it first appeared during the Vietnam War era, when students held anti-war rallies to urge the federal government to stop the conflict overseas.
     That sentiment became more evident in the months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, when professors and administrators removed American flags that students had put up.
     But some students traded in the American flag for the international peace symbol (a circle with an upside "Y" in the center) because, as one student at Wittenberg University in Ohio explained in an interview, the flag is a symbol of military and male oppression. The peace sign promotes a "more inclusive atmosphere."
     College professors and university officials mentioned in the ACTA report for taking down American flags days after the attacks called their actions "lapses of judgement" or "knee-jerk reactions from the 1960s," and said they regretted their behavior.
     Professors, university officials and associations that represent them denounced the ACTA's conclusions, saying the report inaccurately described campus responses to the terrorist attacks.
     "Students, faculty, and campus leaders have, in fact, come together ... in deliberative dialogues about the dangers of racial profiling, and in serious study of the underlying issues and challenges these attacks pose for our nation's future," said Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, which represents 740 colleges and universities nationwide.
     William Scheuerman, president of the United University Professions, the country's largest higher education union, accused ACTA of using the attacks as an opportunity to force faculty to teach "America Is the Best" 1950s-style curricula.
     "Most Americans believe we're the best, but we won't remain so for long if the very American activity of challenging orthodoxy is suppressed on U.S. campuses," Mr. Scheuerman said.

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 College Seniors Taught Right and Wrong Is Relative

By Lawrence Morahan
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
July 08, 2002

(CNSNews.com) - Three quarters of all college seniors report that their professors teach them that what is right and wrong depends "on differences in individual values and cultural diversity," a poll conducted for the National Association of Scholars (NAS) reveals.

Only about a quarter of 400 college seniors randomly selected from campuses around the country said their professors taught the traditional view that "there are clear and uniform standards of right and wrong by which everyone should be judged."

The poll was conducted in April by Zogby International, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percent.

A large majority of students also report that they've been taught that corporate policies furthering "progressive" social and political goals are more important than those ensuring that stockholders and creditors receive accurate accounts of a firm's finances, the study said.

When respondents were given a list of business practices and asked, based on what they've been taught at college, which of the practices rank as the most important, 38 percent chose "recruiting a diverse workforce in which women and minorities are advanced and promoted."

Eighteen percent chose "minimizing environmental pollution," and another 18 percent chose "avoiding layoffs by not exporting jobs or moving plants from one area to another."

Only 23 percent said "providing clear and accurate business statements to stockholders and creditors" is the most important business practice.

However, 97 percent of all seniors believe college has equipped them to perform ethically in their future professional lives, the study found.

Based on what they learned, the seniors were more cynical about business ethics than those of other professions. Twenty-eight percent chose business as the profession where an "anything goes" attitude most likely leads to success; 20 percent chose journalism, and 16 percent chose law.

Moreover, 56 percent of college seniors agreed that the only real difference between executives at Enron and those at most other big companies is that Enron executives "got caught."

Stephen H. Balch, president of the National Association of Scholars, said in a statement that the results "have disturbing implications both for America's economy and its institutions of higher education."

"They suggest that our colleges and universities, however unwittingly, are contributing to, and perpetuating, the ethical laxness behind the recent scandals at Enron, Worldcom, and other major American firms," Balch said.

The foundations of ethical education are laid in the home and school, Balch noted.

"At best, universities can only confirm the lessons taught there," he said. "But they can also undermine these lessons by providing sophisticated excuses for succumbing to the temptations of greed and power.

"The revitalization and politicization of ethical standards, plus cynicism about business in general, opens the way for such excuse making," he said.

The study concluded there were "significant reasons" to be concerned with the results.

"First, it seems reasonable to believe that when students leave college convinced that ethical standards are simply a matter of individual choice, they are less likely to be reliably ethical in their subsequent careers," the study said.

"Unfortunately, three-quarters of our respondents report that this was the relativistic view of ethics they received from their professors," it said.

The NAS, which is based at Princeton, N.J., counts more than 4,000 professors, graduate students, administrators and trustees as members at its 46 state affiliates.

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 Welcome to the pity party at the University of California

Posted: August 5, 2002    1:00 a.m. Eastern    By Michael Medved    © 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

The latest nut-ball notion originating in California – and threatening to make its way across the country – is the "sob story sweepstakes" as a basis for university admissions. The most prestigious campuses in the University of California system, including Berkeley, UCLA, San Diego, Davis and Santa Barbara, now give special weight to candidates who've faced intense hardships at home or at school.

Each university provides its own special twist to this innovative approach. At UCLA, an applicant receives extra "points" to supplement his academic credentials if he's suffered a life-threatening illness, been involved in a serious accident, or become the victim of a shooting. At UC Davis, students earn up to 250 extra points for "perseverance" – meaning they've faced family disruptions like divorce or desertion, poverty, abuse, poor health or life in certifiably "dysfunctional environments." At Berkeley, good grades and test scores count for more if they've been earned at a poor high school, especially if it's riddled with crime, gangs, dropouts and drugs.

Admissions officers, in other words, actively discriminate against applicants who are tasteless enough to have grown up in solid, loving, prosperous homes. The Associated Press spoke to one student from Orange County with a high-school GPA of 4.0, SAT scores of 1300, and service as a student mentor and a varsity sportsman – but got turned down at all three University of California campuses to which he applied. "If my parents would have been divorced, I would have gotten in," he sighed.

The lunacy behind this current situation is so grotesque that, even in today's degraded academic environment, it stands out as outrageous. The California bureaucrats want middle-class parents to understand that they've been chumps with all their hard work and sacrifices to give kids the advantages of pleasant, stable home environments – since those advantages will now count against your child in the admissions process.

This new policy might have produced particularly bizarre results if it had been applied to my own family's educational history. My parents' marriage finally broke up after 28 years, and after their three oldest boys had already begun or finished college. Only my youngest brother, Harry, applied to UCLA after our parents split up. Under the new standards, he would have received more favorable consideration than his big brothers.

Considering the desperate intensity often involved in competition for choice spots at selective universities, it's not out of the question that in the future some impassioned parents will get divorced for the precise purpose of helping their children win college acceptance. They could also assist the kids by getting arrested, moving to a dicey neighborhood, or beating up the children severely enough to require hospitalization. Anyone who believes that it's unthinkable that parents might stage such stunts to give their offspring an edge in the fiercely fought admissions battle doesn't understand the desperation that often infects the homes of high-school seniors hoping to enroll at top universities.

The new rules, of course, represent a twisted attempt to get around the decision by California voters to ban race-based preferences and quotas. By giving special boosts to students from single-parent and divorced homes, by conferring unique advantages to crime victims and graduates of overcrowded schools, the admission officers mean to include more black and Hispanic candidates. So far, the strategy seems to be working – with system-wide admissions of "underrepresented minorities" reaching 19.1 percent for the coming year, a figure even higher than the 18.8 percent in 1997, the last year of affirmative action.

The problem, of course, involves the obvious and appalling distortion of free competition in the name of some abstract ideal of "fairness." In choosing members of varsity football or basketball teams, would it make sense to give special advantages to less-talented candidates who came from unathletic homes, or high schools without top sports programs, or who experienced crippling injuries early in life? Sports fans would never tolerate such idiocy, because we take our athletics seriously enough to demand that we consider only on-field excellence. It makes no sense to treat medical or legal or architectural or accounting or academic excellence as less consequential than athletic performance. In the business world, should we grant promotions based on the hard-luck stories of various candidates, or consider only their productivity and ability to help the company?

The whining competition in the California admissions process represents the latest development in our national tendency to glorify victimhood. Groups and individuals engage in fierce struggles over who's endured the most suffering, the greatest misfortune, and who is therefore most richly entitled to excuses, special treatment, national sympathy, pardons and reparations. Yes, Americans have always celebrated those who triumph over adversity, but in the past we've proudly emphasized the triumph, not the adversity. The new focus on hardship, even among students privileged enough to dream about outstanding universities, illustrates the pervasive self-pity that paralyzes our present and poisons our future.

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 How public schools are destroying the American brain

Posted: September 7, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Samuel Blumenfeld

© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

Have you ever corrected a teenager on a bit of factual information, or a misspelling, or an incorrect usage of the language, and gotten the response, "Whatever"? What this response means is that the correct fact, or spelling, or usage is not important or even necessary. "If you're going to make a case of it," the teenager says, "it's whatever you say it is."

Where does this casual, numb response come from? It comes from public schools, and probably some private schools, where accuracy is no longer an academic value. In fact, public schools are permeated with a philosophy summed up in the phrase, "Accuracy is not the name of the game."

Those are the actual words of Julia Palmer, president of the American Reading Council, an advocate of the whole-language approach to reading. She said that it was OK if a child read the word "house" for "home," or substituted the word "pony" for "horse." "It's not very serious because she understands the meaning. Accuracy is not the name of the game." (Washington Post, Nov. 29, 1986)

Since when is education a game? I thought education was the serious business of providing the citizens of tomorrow with a basic foundation in knowledge and academic skills. It was Sir Francis Bacon who wrote, "Reading maketh a full man ... and writing an exact man." In other words, an accurate reader becomes an accurate thinker, an accurate speller, and an accurate user of language. An inaccurate reader becomes an inaccurate thinker, an inaccurate speller, and an inaccurate user of language.

A brain that thinks inaccurately is a disabled brain. And we are turning out from our public schools millions of disabled brains, unable to think logically, virtually crippled as defenders of civilization. A crippled brain is unable to deal with reality in a logical, objective way. It relies on emotion, sensual urges and superstition as its primary way of knowing and learning. It deprecates accuracy as a threat to its diminished ego.

The cult of inaccuracy can be seen in the way teenagers dress. The boys wear jeans that are about to fall off their behinds. The girls dress in the most tantalizing clothes, revealing their navels as an obvious focus of sexual attention. They all look brainless. "Whatever" is their response to the serious things in life that require a logical brain, objective thinking and intellectual rigor.

And the reason why television sitcoms and movies are made to appeal to the brainless is because they have become the majority. Literacy surveys tell us that only 20 percent of the American people are highly literate. Many of them belong to the liberal cognitive elite who patronize PBS. There are a few programs on commercial television that cater to people with brains. Sunday Morning on CBS is one of them. You can tell who their audience is by their commercials: Wall Street brokerage houses, prescription drugs for senior citizens, upscale cars. And, of course, you can tell the brainless programs, too, by their commercials.

In politics, the Democrat Party is the political home of the brainless and those corrupt members of the cognitive elite who have a lust for power. The latter are the Faustian intellectuals who would be as gods.

Conservatives tend to be good readers who think accurately because they are constantly trying to establish truth in the face of Democrat lies, demagoguery and corruption. Many of them are Bible readers with a keen sense of morality. And many of them are home-schoolers who cultivate accuracy and a love of truth in the minds of their children.

The Democrats know how to appeal to the emotions and superstitions of the brainless, and that is why the liberals who control public education have no desire to return to accuracy and intellectual rigor in the curriculum.

A simple way to gauge the effect of the cult of inaccuracy on the brains of the brightest is to look at the trend of SAT scores among the top students. In 1972, the number of students who scored between 750 and 800 on the verbal test was 2,817. In 1994, that number was down to 1,438 – about half! At the bottom of the scale of the same test, the number of students who scored between 200 and 290 in 1972 was 71,084. In 1994, it was up to 136,841. That was eight years ago when the SAT was still a reliable measure of the nation's intelligence.

It is September, and I pity those millions of kids with healthy brains entering the public schools. In a year, their brains will be disabled. What a tragedy for them and America.

Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including: "Is Public Education Necessary?" "NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud" and "Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children." His books are available on Amazon.com. Back issues of his incisive newsletter, The Blumenfeld Education Letter, are available online.

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 California Patriot

WEB EXTRA
Pre-schoolers protest possible war in Iraq
Allegations of exploitation arise

By Steve Sexton

They still believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. They don’t know how to spell their last names or tie their own shoes. But they do know that “war is bad,” and that “Bush is a bully.”

The next generation of Berkeley peaceniks gathered on the steps of City Hall Tuesday to demonstrate their opposition to a pending war in Iraq- after school, of course. Armed with protest signs, microphones, and Harry Potter lunch-boxes, elementary and pre-school children demanded city leaders contact President Bush and halt his hawkish “war for oil.”

Two hundred students from Berkeley schools met local dignitaries, including Mayor Shirley Dean, city council members and a representative for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Berkeley. Surrounding a ‘peace bell’ fashioned out of melted guns taken off of East Bay streets, children took to the microphone saying, “I don’t want people to die,” and, “we can’t keep killing each other. Then we will all die and suffer.”

Though most students at the rally could not even name Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, many seemed certain the pending U.S. led war in Iraq is about oil.

Celia, age 6, who could not spell her hyphenated last name, told the crowd President Bush “wants to make war because he wants oil.”

“What is so important about cars anyway,” she asked.

Later, when asked if she could name the president of Iraq, Celia, stumped, turned to a friend and asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?” Her friend, equally puzzled, responded, “I think it’s a boy.”

Noah, who declined to give his last name, also age six, asserted the looming war is not only about oil, but also “other things, like Bush wanting land.”

“It is like us squashing ants,” he said.

With city officials looking on, the children sang a song about “peace in the world-that means no fighting.” They held colorful homemade signs calling for peace and no war. One boy had a blue bumper sticker emblazoned on the front of his t-shirt that read: “War in Iraq: NO.” Another held a sign saying, “No War on Children.” With her mother holding a bullhorn, one child shouted a chant for peace across the City Hall plaza, as if taking cue from UC Berkeley students on Sproul Plaza.

The delegation of city leaders addressed the amassed children, telling them “we heard your message.” Berkeley City Councilmember Linda Maio said, “We hear it loud and clear. Bush needs a time-out.”

The elected leaders then signed a pledge to call President Bush and tell him “children want peace” and to urge him to “use words to resolve conflicts as we are learning.”

The rally was organized through several Berkeley pre-schools that pride themselves on their alternative curriculum. At New School, academics are set aside for physical activities like yoga. And at Berkwood Hedge, a private K-5 school with 115 students, the curriculum focuses largely on issues of social justice. This year’s theme at the school is peace. Students in after school programs at public elementary schools in the city also comprised the congregation of young peace protesters.

Sandy Morrill, mother of a seven year old at Berkwood Hedge, accompanied her son to the protest, saying it is important for the children to have a voice in politics.

“This is what they’ve been learning at school,” she said. “They have been taught about conflict resolution, and here they see it in action. The kids get to wrestle with bigger questions.”

Director of New School in Berkeley Susan Hagen said the children are “very concerned about what is going on in the world.” “They don’t want war. We teach them about talking, discussion, and negotiation.”

But Skyler Johnson, 5, hadn’t learned much about the conflict in Iraq. When he was asked who is the President of Iraq, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “My mom might know.” After she came over and gave him a little coaching, he was able to muster, “We don’t want war. Oil kills lots of people.”

The rally, which seemed a logical extension of classroom learning to organizers, struck Berkeley College Republicans Treasurer Andrea Irvin as exploiting the children for their parents’ political beliefs.

“It is incredible that these parents are using their children to advance their political agendas,” she said. “That these teachers are indoctrinating the young children is unconscionable. They are using the kids as puppets.”

Mayor Dean said she didn’t think the rally was exploitive though. She said the kids instinctively know about solving conflicts. “They know the best way to do it is to talk things out,” she said.

The rally ended after an hour with students ringing the peace bell and then marching back to their schools waving their signs.

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