Academics At War, With The Military

, Michael P. Tremoglie, Leave a comment

President Bush said during his State of the Union address that America’s military personnel believe in America, and that America believes in its military personnel. Would that that were true.

Not all of America believes in its military. The intelligentsia who operate our nation’s elite universities do not believe in our military. They do not like the military at all, especially on their own campuses.

In the mid-1990’s, Representative Gerald Solomon (R-NY) introduced legislation, passed by Congress, barring federal funds for schools that banned military recruitment on campus. Unfortunately, the Clinton Administration did not enforce the law.

Things changed during the Bush Administration and the Defense Department started enforcing the law. Harvard, for example, was given the choice to either permit the military on campus or lose $300 million in federal funds. Harvard opted for the money. However, what Harvard, NYU, and many other schools do is hamper the military by permitting them on campus, without the use of an office.

There is at least one school that prohibits the military from conducting any type of presentation anywhere on campus: Vermont Law School. (VLS). VLS is not part of a university and consequently has no concerns about federal funding. What they do not receive from the federal government they will receive from somewhere else.

Probably the paradigm of this attitude by academics was the response by Professor Peter Kirstein of St. Xavier University in Chicago to an October 8 email by Air Force Academy cadet Robert Kurpiel. He sent an e-mail to several professors about the academy’s annual forum of political views. Kirstein replied, “You are a disgrace to this country and I am furious you would even think I would support you and your aggressive baby killing tactics of collateral damage. Help you recruit. Who, top guns to reign [sic] death and destruction upon nonwhite peoples throughout the world? Are you serious sir? Resign your commission and serve your country with honour….No war, no air force cowards who bomb countries with AAA, without possibility of retaliation. You are worse than the snipers. You are imperialists who are turning the whole damn world against us. September 11 can be blamed in part for what you and your cohorts have done to Palestinians, the VC, the Serbs, a retreating army at Basra.

This anti-military attitude by academia is nothing new. Liberal academicians have long been contemptuous of the military. The saying among the profs was that a person went into the military because they could not make it in civilian life.

The most blatant manifestation of this contempt was the treatment of Viet Nam veterans after they returned. Most were harassed and abused by these enlightened individuals who opposed the war. Anyone in uniform was subject to this abuse by these “enlightened people. ” College professors exemplified this attitude.

This is why it is such a farce for many of those who oppose the war in Iraq—particularly college professors—to claim that they are concerned about the troops.

A Philadelphia police force veteran, Mr. Tremoglie served as vice-president of the Pennsylvania Association of Scholars