Cornell University’s Anti-War Coalition—comprised of students, employees, campus religious leaders, and professors—urged students to "Skip Class for Peace" last week as part of their ongoing effort to protest U.S. military action in Iraq. (Presumably, earlier proposals for “Make the Dean’s List for Peace” and “Work Overtime for Peace” were nixed.) In lieu of attending classes, the wild mob of Stalinists gathered at the entrance to the main administration building and blamed the United States and Israel for world terrorism.
The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition directed the rally, which was implemented locally by Amy Levine, a graduate student in anthropology, Tom Armalchi, an undergraduate student in industrial and labor relations and Alex Bomstein, an undergraduate student active in the local Green Party. These students are leaders of Cornell Students for Peaceful Justice (CSPJ).
Although Cornell does not have an ANSWER chapter or a Young Communists chapter, CSPJ has strong ties to pro-Communist organizations. Their website prominently features writings from ZMag, a Noam Chomsky-style publication that accused President Bush of planning a genocidal rampage in Afghanistan and has frequently published work sympathetic to Palestinian terrorists. CSPJ also has ties to the "United for Peace” organization headed by longtime Communist Leslie Cagan, who views Castro's dictatorship as the societal ideal.
Student Leftists, who pride themselves on being the voices of tolerance and peace, used their anti-war rally to engage in an orgy of hatred, vitriol, and profanity. Predictably, not a single speaker at the event spoke in opposition to Saddam Hussein’s human rights record, the Iraqi government’s history of aggression, or Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program. All of the hatred was directed toward America and Israel.
One "peace-loving" protester, a prominent member of the Cornell Native American Studies field, waved a placard that compared Israel to Iraq. Here is a picture of that sign:
Many Cornell students, especially those active in campus Jewish organizations, were outraged at the sign and crowded around the protester, demanding that he explain himself. When confronted, he defended himself, saying, "I’m not anti-Israel. I am anti-U.S." Later, he acquiesced to demands from protester organizers and took the magnanimous step of altering the punctuation of the sign—changing the exclamation point after the word "Israel" to a question mark.
Other students took to the streets with pro-drug slogans from the 1960s. One such sign offered the compelling anti-war argument, "Drop Acid, Not Bombs."
A recurring theme of the anti-war rally was an alleged parallel between U.S. military action in Iraq and al Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. A large contingent at front of the rally held a long banner reading "Preemptive Strike is Terrorism." Another student held a sign that had the phrase "War on Terror" rewritten to read "War is Terror."
The Leftists’ deep personal hatred for the Commander in Chief was evident in the many comparisons of President Bush to Adolf Hitler. It was crystallized in especially vulgar terms in a poster reading "F*** Bush!" Another student proclaimed that the president, rather than Saddam Hussein, was the threat to world peace and waved a sign that read "Disarm Bush."
No anti-war rally would be complete without anti-globalization conspiracy theorists. These are the folks who espouse the Marxist line that Jewish-dominated corporate interests are conspiring with the military industrial complex to wage war for the purposes of obtaining foreign oil and enslaving racial minorities. Cornell Industrial and Labor Relations student Tom Armalchi wore an American flag cape in which the traditional 50 stars were replaced by 50 corporate symbols, including Bell, McDonald’s, IBM, and NBC). Others held signs which read "It’s the Oil, Stupid!" and "How Many Lives Per Gallon?" One environmentalist scrawled a piece of cardboard that read, "Go Solar, Not Ballistic!"
Some conservatives on hand tried, perhaps foolishly, to engage some of these protesters. One well-informed right-winger explained that if the goal of the U.S. government were to obtain cheap oil from Iraq, we could do so immediately and with far less international rancor by telling Hussein, "You give us oil at price X and we won’t invade your country and overthrow you." In response to this argument, a leading Leftist protester yelled, "F*** Bush!" and announced, "I can’t reason with someone like you because for you, reason is treason." (Whenever liberals devolve into Jesse Jackson-style rhyming, you know you’ve won the debate.)
There is some good news to come out of the venomous rally, however. The protesters’ venomous anti-Americanism was transparent to many student passersby. Many patriotic fraternity brothers drove by the event screaming "God Bless America!" and "First Baghad, next North Korea, baby!" A large contingent of students in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) walked by, visibly struggling to restrain their disdain for the America haters. Even the ultra-liberal Cornell Daily Sun panned the event, editorializing:
"In conception and in implementation, the protest was fundamentally flawed... Tangential arguments addressing everything from abortion to environmental policy were featured and ultimately detracted from the real purpose of the march. Signs like "Drop acid not bombs" damaged the group's credibility as did a disruptive march through the Trillium dining hall that garnered jeers and cat-calls from many students."
A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 66% of Americans support U.S. military action in Iraq as long as we have the support of major allies. Judging by student reaction to Cornell’s "Skip Class for Peace" rally, the best way to increase student support for the war might be for the Stalinists to keep up their insane campus marches.