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WaPo–keep ROTC out of our precious Ivies

Because, you know, its all about war and stuff.

The Washington Post rolled out  what I consider an inevitable op/ed today about keeping ROTC off the campuses of Ivy League schools who banned it when DADT was in effect.  Colman McCarthy, a former Post columnist who directs the Center for Teaching Peace claims that ROTC is essentially an anti-intellectual endeavor which can be opposed on moral grounds:

It should not be forgotten that schools have legitimate and moral reasons for keeping the military at bay, regardless of the repeal of "don’t ask, don’t tell." They can stand with those who for reasons of conscience reject military solutions to conflicts.

Another on the left wanting to limit your choices.

Of course those who reject military solutions to conflicts for reasons of conscience don’t mind being protected by those who graduate from other ROTC programs, one supposes.  And so they are.  It is always fun and easy to be against war if others are willing to fight them for you.   And you won’t find the military against peace either – they’re the ones who have to fight a war and suffer the losses.  However, they’re also some hard-bitten realists who recognize that there are evil people in the world who want to do us harm.  They also recognize that you can be for peace all you want to, but if the other guy chooses war, you either fight or capitulate and live by his dictates for your life.   I assume McCarthy rejects “just war” as a challenge to his “peace for reasons of conscience” as well. 

But if you look closely at the words above, you get an inkling of the depth of ignorance Mr. McCarthy displays in his piece.  In this country, “military solutions” are dictated by civilian authorities.  That may have slipped past him when he was studying “Peacenik 101”.  It isn’t the military that decides when to enter a conflict, it is, for the most part, civilian graduates of Ivy league schools who’ve made those decisions.  I know – irony.

Anyway, I thought that was a bit humorous. 

McCarthy, if you haven’t guessed, is a product of the ‘60s.  And it shows in the smug shallowness of his presentation and the bits of stereotypical nonsense with which his piece is studded.  It’s also a pitch for more “peace studies”, because, you know, we have women’s studies, and black studies, and LGBT studies.  I assume he believes ROTC to be war studies and filled with Neanderthals and knuckle-draggers who want to be indoctrinated, given a weapon and pointed in the right direction with orders to kill everything in sight.

As a proud ROTC grad (and Distinguished Military Graduate) I owe a debt to the course of study.  Like most who graduated from the program, I learned the basics of something our present CiC hasn’t yet learned – leadership.  And the Army took it from there to the point that when I retired, I was both a pretty fair leader and darn sure a good evaluator of leadership.  Other than perhaps a few on-campus organizations, it was the only opportunity to learn about leadership and to apply it in a real world environment.  I don’t know about you, but watching Obama founder on the leadership rocks, I think it is a pretty critical skill.

But McCarthy’s objection doesn’t even consider that.  He’s stuck in the ‘60s Vietnam time warp by which he evaluates everything now.  And he’s really concerned about the Ivies becoming tainted now that DADT has been repealed:

However, being the good PC creature he is, he knows he’s got to be careful.  Read this and shake your head in wonder:

To oppose ROTC, as I have since my college days in the 1960s, when my school enticed too many of my classmates into joining, is not to be anti-soldier. I admire those who join armies, whether America’s or the Taliban’s: for their discipline, for their loyalty to their buddies and to their principles, for their sacrifices to be away from home. In recent years, I’ve had several Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans in my college classes. If only the peace movement were as populated by people of such resolve and daring.

It isn’t “anti-soldier”?  Well of course not – check out the moral equivalency in the next line.  Your young son who joined the Army is now the equivalent of a Taliban terrorist who blinds young girls with acid, executes village leaders for cooperation with the Afghan government and uses the sports arena in Kabul to execute women who’ve offended its bizarre codes.

His reasons for “admiring” soldiers are just as tatty – for their discipline, loyalty, principles and sacrifices.  Most of us assume these to be good traits.  Admirable traits as McCarthy says.  Where in the world does he think such things are taught? Certainly not in his peace studies apparently.  Uh, Mr. McCarthy, try “ROTC”.  Yup – it’s stock and trade.

Finally he panders a bit: combat veterans have lots of resolve and daring.  Daring?  Is there perhaps a bit of a yellow-streak peeking out from behind the word salad?  And aren’t “resolve and daring” what has made this nation great?  Wow – more admirable traits.

ROTC and its warrior ethic taint the intellectual purity of a school, if by purity we mean trying to rise above the foul idea that nations can kill and destroy their way to peace. If a school such as Harvard does sell out to the military, let it at least be honest and add a sign at its Cambridge front portal: Harvard, a Pentagon Annex.

Yeah, that warrior ethic thing is a real “taint” on intellectual purity, isn’t it – if you define intellectual purity as “what I deem important and nothing else”.   Let’s review – loyalty, daring, resolve, discipline, principle and sacrifice.  I have to agree those traits contained in the warrior ethic would be a real drag on “intellectual purity” wouldn’t they?

McCarthy calls the classes taught in ROTC “softie classes” that don’t require much intellectually.  Well they’re certainly not advanced nuclear physics, but then they’re not designed to be.   They are classes which lay the ground work for what is to come in the military.  They are an introduction to the schooling the military will incrementally give its officers as they go on active duty and progress through the ranks.  When I entered the Army I went to the Infantry Officer Basic Course which picked up right where ROTC left off.  Given a few years of experience I went to my branch’s Advanced course, then the Command and General Staff College, etc.  – all part of a planned military schooling cycle that turns out the leaders that we have commanding our military today – most of whom could easily pit their intellect against that of McCarthy and come out miles ahead.

As for the intellectual purity of a school being compromised by ROTC, if this demonstrably misinformed op/ed is an example of what such intellectual purity produces, ROTC would most likely raise the intellectual level of the school this guy attended.   It just makes you wonder what he’s so afraid of.



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26 Responses to WaPo–keep ROTC out of our precious Ivies

  • Steve Green took this crap apart, too…
    This guy teaches some idiot mash like “Peace Studies”.  Lots o’ intellectual rigor there!!!
    The very embodiment of “men without chests”…brains…or balls.  Good grief…

    • Colman McCarthy may be on to something here .. Let’s end militarism and militancy in Taliban schools.

      • Hey, I’ll pony up for a share of Col-thing’s fare to any of the “-istans”.  He should go teach his piffle where it would do the most good, right?  He should have the chance to go heads-on in a Saudi madrasah.
        Let’s see how well he’d do in North Korea, too…

      • The real troubling part about this dope…BHO is really in sympathy with his whole 60’s vibe.

  • “They can stand with those who for reasons of conscience reject military solutions to conflicts.”
    Then take the next step in moral conviction, stand against the government that maintains a military and against the FUNDING that government provides your precious school.  After all if the military is a solution to conflicts, it’s not just not a solution to conflicts we’re having TODAY, it MIGHT be the resolution to conflicts we haven’t even dreamed of tomorrow, and you can’t tell when that MIGHT happen.

  • I wonder — can we call his effort to blacklist academic programs he opposes “McCarthyism”?
    By the way, if you want an idea about what Colman McCarthy thinks is the proper content of academic study, please read this old post of mine about the course he offers at a suburban Maryland high school. If this is what he views as “intellectual purity” at an academic institution, heaven preserve us from his ever having any real control over what is taught on any campus anywhere — he is an intellectual and academic FRAUD.

  • Which just goes to prove of course it’s not the ‘mission’ they object to, and never really was.  DADT was the excuse du jour and now that it’s gone, another must be found, and FAST.
    Intellectual hypocrites.

    • “It’s too easy only to blame the militarists, racists, sexists and other pushers of violence for the mess we’re in. What is harder is self-examination, moving beyond caring by looking inward to ask the personal question: What more should I be doing everyday to bring about a peace and justice based world, whether across the ocean or across the living room?” — Colman McCarthy

      … so hide from the ROTC folks, and avoid the intellectual exercise

  • The argument about our “precious gays” didn’t cut it, so I don’t think “precious Ivies” will cut it either.

  • “Hitler could have been waited out. He might have been overthrown by his own government. Who knows? To have 50 million people killed: Hitler would have died within 10 years no matter what he did.”

    Quote attributed to Mr. McCarthy (via Wikipedia)

  • From the same folks …

    And that only begins to capture the brilliance of this idea. By giving your money to charity instead of the government, they explain, you “replicate good government policy, outside the government and free from the grip of obstructionists within it.”

    … there is a message in there .. somewhere

  • This guy and his radical friends in the 60s were not anti-war; they were anti-draft. When the draft stopped, so did the Vietnam anti-war movement.

    There is an interesting moral dilemma regarding military service.  Forget about the fact that someone protected the country when you were a child and the nation has the right to ask you to serve if necessary.  Whether you go to Canada, hide in San Francisco, or get your wife pregnant to avoid induction, look at the human consequences of refusing your duty. 

    If the Army needs 1,000 men per month, and you don’t show. They won’t just settle for 999.  Someone else will go in your place.  What happened to that person?  Was he killed or wounded instead of you?

    • “Was he killed or wounded instead of you?”
      Oh Arch, he was probably some blue collar kid destined for a dreary life of midwestern farming, ignorance and republican voting anyway.
      Peace man, got any weed?

      • You might want to consider my case.  I’m a war orphan – sole surviving son.  I was married with two boys when I finally got my assignment to DaNang.
        Here’s what happened to me.

        • He was being sarcastic

          • Yeah, I was a year shy of being one of those blue collar kids when the US pulled out of South Vietnam, even if I didn’t grow up to be a midwestern farmer.
            But I’m wounded Harun!  Sarcastic?  MOI??????

    • This guy and his radical friends in the 60s were not anti-war; they were anti-draft. When the draft stopped, so did the Vietnam anti-war movement.

      A popular but erroneous myth. The last draftees were sent to Vietnam in 1969. Kent State, for example, was May 4, 1970.
      A bit of digging into the Soviet archives might help to show just how bogus much (not all) of the anti-war movement was.
      Like the American Peace Committee (?)  efforts in America that changed overnight when Germany invaded the USSR in June, 1940. They changed their name, again literally overnight, to the American PEOPLE’S Co…

  •  Colman McCarthy, a former Post columnist who directs the Center for Teaching Peace

    >>> Oh good lord.  Fools like this were yelling the loudest for the armed forces on 9/11.   

  • Colman McCarthy is just a disgusting piece of human excrement. If actual war broke out in this country he’d crap his pants crying for his mama. Be gone little troll.

  • Its not as if any scientific advances ever were conceived by military necessity!

  • Shorter McCarthy:  Any exposure to a diversity of ideas will show our pseudo-pacifistic pap up as the hollow idiocy it is.

  • “They can stand with those who for reasons of conscience reject military solutions to conflicts”

    Funny how when you state that religous hospitals, doctors and nurses should be able to refuse to participate in an abortion due to reasons of conscience and the left will go apeshit.

  • ” This guy and his radical friends in the 60s were not anti-war; they were anti-draft. When the draft stopped, so did the Vietnam anti-war movement. ”

    As stated abpve the last draftees were sent to Vietnam in 1969.

    Kerry threw his medals over the WH gate on 4/23/71