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A Fisking

December 30th, 2010 - 9:27 am

Read McCarthy’s next graf:

Will the Ivies have the courage for such stands? I’m doubtful. Only one of the eight Ivy League schools — Cornell — offers a degree in peace studies. Their pride in running programs in women’s studies, black studies, and gay and lesbian studies is well-founded, but schools have small claims to greatness so long as the study of peace is not equal to the other departments when it comes to size and funding.

Now would be the perfect time to remind you that McCarthy “teaches courses on nonviolence at four area universities,” and I’m sure his job prospects would be even brighter if more of those Ivy League schools offered degrees in what McCarthy is peddling. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a columnist pimp himself out quite so blatantly on the op-ed page of a great metropolitan newspaper.

But wait until you read his next graf. I have to take it one small bit at a time — our military butchers would find it “a target-rich environment.” Onward:

At Notre Dame, on that 1989 visit and several following, I learned that the ROTC academics were laughably weak. They were softie courses.

As opposed to the academic rigors of “peace studies.”

The many students I interviewed were candid about their reasons for signing up: free tuition and monthly stipends, plus the guarantee of a job in the military after college.

You mean they didn’t sign up to kill darkies for Jesus?

With some exceptions, they were mainly from families that couldn’t afford ever-rising college tabs.

Mercenaries! While I can’t find any data for ROTC cadets in 1989, McCarthy might want to update his anecdata. These days, your typical Army recruit is richer and better educated than his civilian counterpart. And retired military officers tend to do better in the private sector than civilians. Surely then your average ROTC cadet must lie somewhere above “Knuckle-Dragging Neanderthal” on the evolutionary ladder.

On then to McCarthy’s penultimate paragraph, in which he expresses his admiration for soldiers everywhere:

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.

See there, Mr. U.S. Marine Captain — McCarthy doesn’t hate you. Why, he thinks you’re every bit as respectable as a Taliban.

McCarthy concludes with this:

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.

And I’ll conclude with this.

That is the warrior ethic, Mr. McCarthy — and Harvard could stand a good deal more of it.

UPDATE: More from Ace.

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