Thursday, March 16, 2006

I am deeply ashamed of my alma mater. That Yale would sooner embrace an ambassador from one of America’s declared and defeated enemies, and in the same breath keep ROTC and military recruiters off campus, shows where Yale’s allegiance to America falls. Or should I say fails?

For the last two weeks, Yale has refused to condemn the practices endorsed by the Taliban and Hashemi Ramatullah, the Taliban’s deputy foreign secretary, whom Yale’s dean of admissions recruited to study on campus. That’s right. We have the modern equivalent of Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s foreign minister, taking classes at Yale, and all Yale has to say is that “universities are places that must strive to increase understanding, especially of the most difficult issues that face the nation and the world.”

What difficult issues are there to “understand” about summary executions? Stoning women who wear nail polish? These are uncivilized acts, perpetrated by savages, who do not respect human life. Evil, plain and simple.

Mr. Ramatullah may have assuaged his mind by pawning off the blame for the Taliban’s heinous acts on their Ministry of Virtue and Vice. He claimed as much in a recent interview with the London Times, saying they were the ones to blame, not him. But that equivocation just doesn’t wash.

And, what about Yale’s support for the military? To quote Helaine Klasky, Yale’s public relations director, who cut her teeth working for Ted Kennedy, “While Yale does not have an ROTC program, the University does support those who wish to make such a commitment and we believe the leadership these students provide is vital to our military.”

Yale’s double-speak dishonors all those who serve or have served in our armed forces, while Mr. Ramatullah’s presence on campus adds insult to injury.

But this is nothing new. Yale has worked for years to keep the military outside its gates. Yale “supports” those who wish to serve by requiring ROTC cadets to drive 70 miles to the University of Connecticut. Real support would, of course, entail Yale petitioning the Department of Defense to establish ROTC on campus and supplementing the costs of such a military program with the financial heft of its $15 billion endowment both with supplemental ROTC scholarships and budgetary aide to defray the Department of Defense’s, and hence the taxpayers’, expense.

Showing concern that shuffling ROTC cadets out of sight wasn’t sufficient “support” for the military, Yale also filed a friend of the court brief in 2004 supporting the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights’ failed bid to keep military recruiters off campus. Fortunately, the Supreme Court rejected Yale’s logic on March 6 with an 8-0 decision in Rumsfeld vs. FAIR.

If this is support, I cannot imagine disapproval.

Yale articulates an indefensible position embrace our nation’s enemy and shun our nation’s protector. Only in a politically correct world could our enemy teach us more than the front line defenders of liberty. Yale prides itself as the center of the pluralistic universe, but without the might of the U.S. military protecting it, that universe wouldn’t last long. Soldiers, not professors, give us freedom of speech.

But, then perhaps Yale isn’t interested in promoting freedom throughout the world? Perhaps Yale fancies a more totalitarian view, one in which Yale could lead the forefront of “educating” the state’s youth. Sound far fetched? Well, Yale’s actions certainly underscore such a view, as do their weakly-crafted words.

Americans should stand up and take notice of such anti-Americanism in our ranks. It’s high time the Ivory Tower undergo some reform. We must stand up and hold Yale accountable both as taxpayers who finance Yale through government research grants and as citizens of the great American experiment in human freedom and dignity. Make your voice known to Yale’s president: Tell him that Yale should serve American interests first by embracing our nation’s military and ejecting our nation’s enemy.

A real leader, President Reagan, once remarked: “Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

Active vigilance is required; let’s keep freedom on the advance, where it belongs.”

Flagg Youngblood is a program officer for the Young America’s Foundation, an alumnus of Yale and a former Army captain.

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