Why the “antiwar movement” is a force to be ignored

The following is excerpted from a Columbia Spectator op-ed, which is about the highest-tier publication anyone from the so-called “antiwar left” gets published in (minus HuffingtonPost, perhaps).  The lack of critical thinking put forth in this op-ed illustrates why the antiwar left may be forever doomed to frustration.

My first observation is that the author mistakenly uses the term “ROTC” when he should use NROTC.

ROTC: Wrong in 1968 and Wrong Today

…Only when the assumptions of American foreign policy are fundamentally altered should the military have a place on our campus.

This concluding sentence shows the logic from which the article (and, in a general sense, much of the antiwar left’s worldview)  seems to flow:

NROTC=U.S. Military=various atrocities=American foreign policy=Bad.

Columbia=Good=Doler of Reward/Punishment on that basis.

Columbia+NROTC=Columbia’s support of Bad.

The main problems with this logic are:

  1. NROTC does not equal the U.S. military, which does not equal American foreign policy, etc.
  2. Columbia is not the Doler of Reward/Punishment. Disallowing NROTC to avoid “rewarding” the military for the acts Lyubarsky mentions (many of which, as pointed out by commenters on the Spectator website, are the CIA’s doing) is akin to the Bush Administration refusing to “reward” Syria and Iran with diplomatic conversation.

Lyubarsky seems to believe that Columbia is a place to subvert U.S. foreign policy (which I say would lead to ideological bias)  rather than a neutral marketplace of ideas.  While NROTC has its own problems to deal with, its presence at CU would broaden (although probably not deepen, if my own military experience means anything) that marketplace.

If you don’t like what they’re selling, move on.  There’s no reason for an Ivy League school to hide from what they represent.  I’m not committing 40,000 taxpayer dollars a year (my school bills being paid by the VA) to learn only from those institutions the antiwar left feels comfortable with.

In the meantime, wars and other unpleasantries will continue irrespective of which universities allow ROTC/NROTC/AFROTC.


  1. brendanrooney says:

    I couldn’t have said it better. War is part of the innate, instinctive nature of mankind. Let’s just say it’s like drinking water for political actors. IT WILL NEVER STOP COMPLETELY!!! It is absolutely ridiculous to shun the idea of re-introducing an NROTC program to the university. I actually go to bed at night, murmuring this quote, “The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards.” – Butler. I mean, I guess if it were possible, we could just have some sort of international robotic warfare, in which the winner would get to claim “Victory” over the other (this, of course, could be viewed exclusively on Spike TV, right after re-runs of Fear Factor). Honestly though, the “Anti-War Left” continues to use it’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” argument for rejecting the idea of NROTC, which is somewhat understandable, but if this is such an issue, wouldn’t it make sense to put some bright Columbian’s in the nations armed services to initiate that positive change? To me, it’s just common sense. Then again, sometimes, common sense gets lost in the minds of 18 year old Know-It-Alls…

    -B. Rooney

  2. brendanrooney says:

    I guess I sort of botched up my apostrophes. Remove the one in “Columbian’s” and add one to “nations.”


    {Don’t worry, it’s cool – Jay}

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