Ed Driscoll

"Y Do You Hate Yale"

John Fund in his latest update to the “God and Taliban at Yale” story, quotes Ben Stein on the admittance of ex-Taliban spokesterrorist Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi:

“It’s extremely discouraging. It’s as if Yale had admitted a largely unrepentant SS man after World War II on the theory he would help rebuild Germany.” He told me. “Yale is being run by Froot Loops and is wacky.”

It’s hard to argue with that assessment after reading this:

Last Wednesday, Mr. Surovov sent an angry email from a Columbia University account to Clinton Taylor and Debbie Bookstaber, two young Yale grads who are so frustrated at their alma mater’s refusal to answer questions about Mr. Rahmatullah that they’ve launched a protest. Called NailYale, it focuses on the Taliban’s barbaric treatment of women, which extended to yanking out the fingernails of those who wore nail polish. In a column on TownHall.com, they urged alumni “not give one red cent this year, but instead send Yale a red press-on fingernail.”

Mr. Surovov, a Yale alumnus who has worked in its development office for three years and is on the board of the Yale Club of New Haven, wrote Mr. Taylor and Ms. Bookstaber at their private email addresses with the subject heading: “Y [sic] do you hate Yale.” Here is his email in its entirety: “What is wrong with you? Are you retarded? This is the most disgraceful alumni article that I have ever read in my life. You failed to mention that you’ve never contributed to the Yale Alumni Fund in your life. But to suggest that others follow your negative example is disgusting.”

Intrigued that someone had looked up his wife’s giving record, David Bookstaber, a Yale computer science graduate, used Columbia’s publicly accessible IT account database to trace the anonymous email. The trail led straight to Mr. Surovov’s Yale office. On Thursday Mr. Taylor phoned Mr. Suvarov, who told him he was angry because the furor over the Taliban official was hurting fund raising and could lower Yale’s rankings in the next U.S. News & World Report college survey. He also accused Mr. Taylor and Ms. Bookstaber of “terrorist tactics,” which when challenged he amended to “terror tactics.”

Later in the article, Fund quotes Christina Bost Seaton, a former officer of the Yale College Democrats, as saying that the enrollment of Rahmatullah “is not diversity–this is a lapse in judgment. Diversity doesn’t mean abandoning your sense of right and wrong.”

But sadly that is the definition of multicultural diversity–and modern intellectualism in general, as Theodore Dalrymple noted in 1998 when reviewing what passes for high art in England:

modern sophistication demands a sensibility that nothing can offend or even surprise, that is ironclad against shock or moral objection. To be a man of artistic taste now requires that you have no standards at all to be violated: which, as Ortega y Gasset said, is the beginning of barbarism.

And what better way to define that barbarism can there be than finding a leader of the Taliban, the most radically chic person you can find, and making him the new big man on campus?

(Via National Review’s new “Phi Beta Cons” blog, where Fund says he’d be happy to move onto other stories “if Yale would just start answering questions and stop acting like the Nixon White House and stonewalling”.)

Update: Roger L. Simon and his readers have some thoughts on Mr. Suvorov’s deep knowledge of post-9/11 Middle Eastern geopolitics.