- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 8, 2006

Harvard hero

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has sent a letter to outgoing Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers praising the educator’s support for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Harvard is not always a friendly place for the U.S. military. Some faculty want recruiters banned, and the school has not officially recognized ROTC on campus since the Vietnam War. The cadets train at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the program is privately funded.

But Mr. Summers openly embraced Harvard’s 50 or so ROTC students, a move that did little to ingratiate himself to the university’s overwhelming liberal faculty, which worked to force his resignation, effective June 30.

“As you depart your duties as president of Harvard University, I ask that you accept my thanks for your support of another great institution — the U.S. Armed Forces, and in particular its Reserve Officers’ Training Corps,” Mr. Rumsfeld wrote in a May 31 letter. “Your support has been enormously constructive to the objectives of both of our institutions.

“You are the first Harvard president in recent memory to attend the annual commissioning ceremony of Harvard ROTC graduates, and you provided a keynote address each year with a content that was heartfelt and inspiring to your students. You recognized the special career challenges those students chose to pursue; and in doing so, you honored all of your students and faculty. You offered these newly commissioned officers and their undergraduate classmates something they appreciate, but more important, something they deserve — recognition of their personal commitment to serve this great nation.

“Through your actions, you provided every ROTC student with an important sense of belonging, and for that I am most grateful.”

Mr. Summers told Harvard ROTC cadets at their 2004 commissioning: “We are free because we are strong, and that freedom depends on our strength. All of us who cherish and pray for that freedom must also support those who contribute to the strength that maintains freedom. … To the newly graduated officers, always know that the Harvard community will stand by your side.”

Iraq documentary

Conservative filmmaker Patrick Dollard, a former Hollywood agent and manager, is working on a major documentary highlighting the heroism and bravery of U.S. Marines and soldiers in Iraq. The series is expected to counter much of the liberal press’ view of the war and the troops fighting it.

Mr. Dollard tells us he spent a total of seven months in some of the hottest zones in Iraq and was nearly killed in an improvised explosive device attack on a Humvee.

“I was going because it was obvious how left-leaning and biased the coverage of the war was, and because I wanted to get to know what was going on over there, and what these American kids, who I felt were making the world a much better place, were all about and what they thought about what they were doing,” Mr. Dollard said.

He covered military operations in Fallujah, Ramadi and the Triangle of Death south of Baghdad and, unlike most journalists, stayed only about a half-day in the secure Green Zone in the Iraqi capital.

Mr. Dollard, who once represented cutting-edge Hollywood director Steven Soderbergh, said he was shocked at the anger most U.S. troops feel toward the press for misreporting the Iraq war.

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