April 2013  
Macaulay War College?

War Criminal Petraeus, Out of CUNY!

Beribboned and bemedaled, four-star war criminal General David Petraeus, March 2011. (Photo: Akira Suemori/AP)

APRIL 25 – Yesterday, the news spread through the City University of New York like wildfire: CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College has appointed former general David Petraeus – ex-commander of the Iraq/ Afghanistan wars and former CIA chief – as visiting professor of public policy in the university’s Macaulay Honors College. One faculty member said, “I did not realize Macaulay is a war college.”

Some asked, is this a sick joke? No: it’s serious – deadly serious. David Petraeus is a war criminal. What is he going to teach – seminars on “enhanced interrogation,” drone strikes and massacre by helicopter gunship?

Iraq war commander: The images shocked the world: a video (www.collateralmurder.com) released by WikiLeaks showed Apache attack helicopters mowing down five unarmed civilians in Iraq, including the father of two children who were wounded while sitting in a van, as well as two Reuters journalists. Accused of releasing this and other materials on U.S. war crimes and dirty tricks, PFC Bradley Manning is rotting in the brig. Gen. Petraeus was commander of the “coalition” forces during the imperialist onslaught that produced this and innumerable other war crimes.

We’ve all seen the photos from Abu Ghraib. Now, an extensive report in the London Guardian (6 March) based on a 15-month investigation together with the BBC, on “Pentagon’s Link to Iraqi Torture Centers,” headlined: “Exclusive: General David Petraeus and 'dirty wars' veteran behind commando units implicated in detainee abuse.” The Week (London, 7 March) summarized: “General David Petraeus, the former commander of US forces in Iraq, [was] directly involved in a systematic campaign of torture and atrocity” carried out by “paramilitary units connected to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior.”

Scenes from video "Collateral Murder" of wanton killing of five civilians in Baghdad by fire
from Army Apache attack helicopters, 12 July 2007. No one was ever tried for this crime. PFC Bradley Manning is sitting in the brig, accused of releasing this and other evidence of U.S. dirty war tactics.
Now David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, is being brought to CUNY to teach course
on “Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?” What an obscenity!

Afghanistan war commander: As commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2010-11, Petraeus was in charge of numerous bombings in which hundreds of Afghan civilians – including whole families attending weddings – were slain…

CIA chief: As head of the CIA, Petraeus was responsible for Obama’s program of “targeted killings” by drones, which in Pakistan alone has killed more than 200 children. From Vietnam to Chile and Central America, the infamous spy agency is synonymous with mass murder in the service of counterrevolution. In line with the Democratic/Republican war party’s endless colonial carnage abroad, “The Company” helps shred the most basic civil liberties “at home.”

Widespread outrage at CUNY and beyond has greeted the announcement of Petraeus’ Macaulay appointment. What’s needed, now, is mass protest. The Internationalist Clubs call on students, faculty, staff and campus workers to: Drive war criminal Petraeus out of CUNY with protest and exposure!

Back in 2005, we initiated the campaign which spiked the sinister “Homeland Security” program at BMCC. At Bronx Community College we led protests that ousted military recruiters. Today, mass protest against Petraeus can also help root out CUNY’s war contracts at CCNY (where a Colin Powell Center was established in “honor” of the commander of “Desert Slaughter” I).

The Petraeus appointment is the latest outrage committed by the CUNY administration and Board of Trustees, and comes on the heels of the truly obscene golden (more accurately, platinum) parachute for retiring Chancellor Goldstein, richly rewarded by the ruling class after getting a $490,000/year salary and $90,000 housing allowance – for presiding over the destruction of the last remnants of open admissions, a string of tuition hikes, poverty pay for adjuncts, and the notorious Pathways program.

Rather than plead for the Trustees to “consider” the opinion of those who work and study here, we say: Abolish the administration and Board of Trustees; CUNY should be run by democratically elected councils of students, teachers and workers. It’s high time to make this happen – before they turn the City University into one big “war college”!

The CUNY Internationalist Clubs and others are circulating a petition demanding that the appointment of Petraeus be rescinded. To download a petition click here.

For more information about the CUNY Internationalist Clubs, e-mail: cunyinternationalists@gmail.com

To contact the Internationalist Group and the League for the Fourth International, send e-mail to: