Dana Cloud is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Texas (Austin). According to the University's official website, she “specializes in the analysis of contemporary and popular and political culture from feminist, Marxist and Critical Race Theory perspectives.” Professor Cloud is a member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO), a Leninist vanguard that considers itself part of the Fourth Communist International.
Cloud was quick to blame American policies for having provoked the 9/11 attacks, singling out the U.S. as the world’s number one terrorist state. On September 12, 2001, she wrote that she felt “outrage at the hypocrisy of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and all of the politicians and pundits who … rushed to declare war on the still-unidentified perpetrators of this tragedy.” Targeting civilians, she conceded, was “despicable." "But it is worth pointing out," she added, "that the United States military has, in recent years, been the most effective and constant killer of civilians around the world. The 1991 Persian Gulf War left more than two hundred thousand civilians dead as a direct consequence of the war. Ongoing economic sanctions in Iraq have killed more than 1.5 million more, including hundreds of thousands of children.”
“Many Americans don’t stop to think,” Professor Cloud continued, “about why Palestinians and others in the Middle East have cause to be extremely angry with the United States for its support of Israel in its decades-long campaign of terror against Palestinian civilians. Few people I have spoken with have thought about the role that the U.S.’s refusal to participate in the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa (where questions of Israeli racism against Palestinians arose) may have played in intensifying Arab anger at the United States.” The planning session of the Conference to which Professor Cloud refers was convened in Iran by mullahs who barred Jews, Americans and members of the Baha’i faith from attending. At the actual Conference, participants demonstrated in the streets, distributing flyers that portrayed Jews with fangs dripping blood and wearing helmets inscribed with Nazi swastikas. Lord Greville Janner, a British MP, characterized the events in Durban, including the official proceedings, as “the worst example of anti-Semitism that I have ever seen.”
Professor Cloud also warned against “the scapegoating of Arabs and the hasty and predictable attempt to blame the [9/11] attacks on Osama bin Laden and his supporters.” She further spoke about her fear of “the curtailing of our civil liberties in the wake of this crisis.” “Already we are hearing about tightening airport security,” she lamented.
In Professor Cloud's view, the root causes of the 9/11 attacks were American transgressions: “Why would someone target the U.S.? Why would people feel so desperate that they would want to kill themselves and innocent civilians in these kinds of attacks? We need to address these questions if we are to prevent the kind of devastation that happened yesterday from happening ever again.”
Professor Cloud’s antipathy for the United States is further expressed in her disdain for the Pledge of Allegiance. “It seems very strange,” she said, “to pledge loyalty to a scrap of cloth representing a corrupt nation.” In July 2002, Cloud decided to write a new Pledge -- not to America, but to those people worldwide who are the alleged victims of American greed, exploitation, and aggression:
“I pledge allegiance to all the ordinary people around the world, to the laid off Enron workers and the WorldCom workers, the maquiladora workers and the sweatshop workers from New York to Indonesia, who labor not under God but under the heel of multinational corporations; I pledge allegiance to the people of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, and to their struggles to survive and resist slavery to corporate greed, brutal wars against their families, and the economic and environmental ruin wrought by global capitalism. I pledge allegiance to building a better world where human needs are met and with real liberty, equality and justice for all.”