I guess I overestimated the movement to drive our military off campus. While it is true I believed the motivating force behind it was hatred for our troops,and not "discrimination," I thought that the shameful protesters would at least try to hide this. Evidently not.
Writing in The Sun, Professors Moncrieff Cochran and William Trochim, along with students Patrick Young '06 and Bekah Ward grad, revealed their true intentions in trying to remove the military from the University. After placating the discrimination argument, they turned to their real gripe: the United States military itself. They wrote, "we oppose military recruiter's presence on campus because they are selling a career in killing."
Make no mistake, the discrimination argument is a canard. This coalition of radical writers, along with their considerable following, hates our military and our soldiers not because of anything relating to discriminatory practices, but because they consider them killers. Having failed to stop the liberation of Iraq with their rallies and teach-ins, these anti-war radicals have turned to another front to attack the U.S. Armed Forces.
Behind the calls of "Support Our Troops -- Bring Them Home," lies the belief that the U.S. military is not generally a force of good in the world, but rather a negative one. In their mind, American G.I.'s do not stand for freedom and protecting America, but rather are drones helping further American "imperialism." I'm not pulling this out of thin air. The authors admitted it themselves: "These recruiters further U.S. imperialism ... "
Not surprisingly, within this movement there rests no respect for the sacrifices made on a daily basis or the bravery habitually exhibited by the men and women of our Armed Forces. Instead of appreciation, these radicals spout condemnation. Their heroes do not overthrow mass murderers and protect American values, they ransack ROTC offices and spout off silly chants.
So let's get it straight from the start. All this talk about the Solomon Amendment being "illegal" -- which in my opinion is nonsense -- is just talk. It is merely another front in a continuing battle against the U.S. military by the radical left.
Truth be told, there are legitimate questions that can be raised about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Personally, I'm conflicted over whether it is the right policy. On one hand I understand that permitting homosexuals in the military may create an uncomfortable environment. There are reasons why men and women do not share barracks today, and it is the same reason -- or at least a major part of the reason -- for the reluctance to allow gays into the service.
On the other hand, other functioning and active militaries such as Britain and Israel have incorporated homosexuals. Furthermore, I find it counterproductive to dismiss gay translators, especially those who are proficient in Arabic, at a time when there is such a dire need for such linguists. When nine gay linguists were dismissed in 2002, some proficient in Arabic, I questioned if there could be some modification to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to allow them to remain.
But this is a question that one should bring to Congress if they were serious about strengthening America and our military. If one felt that barring gays from the military was hurting American interests and the strength of our armed services at a time when we are engaged in a great war, presumably they wouldn't want to take actions to further weaken them, even if they felt it may be following a discriminatory policy. By trying to force ROTC and military recruiters off campus they would be doing just that.
So clearly, the protesters -- at least most of them -- aren't demanding that the U.S. military change its position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so that the U.S. army would be strengthened. If Donald Rumsfeld announced tomorrow that gays would now be allowed in the military, no questions asked, the movement to drive the military off campus would not fade away. It would just adapt. They would have to develop another pretext to fight military recruitment and ROTC training on campus. As I said, the primary motivation is not discrimination, but loathing of the American military itself.
The article by the radical anti-war activists goes on to describe how at a recent Cornell Career Fair, activists bombarded military recruiters, claiming they were interested in joining the military. After wasting the recruiters' time, they proceeded to tell them that they were gay and asked whether that would be a problem.
After getting the answer they expected, the anti-war radicals began filling out bias related reports against the recruiters on campus in the middle of the career fair. The radical coalition of writers described it as follows: "There was an air of excitement, people getting involved and hundreds of supportive passers-by."
While it seems that the protesters had fun playing their anti-war games and stymieing military recruiters from doing their job, it also sounds like some false reports may have been filed. From what I gathered in the article and heard around campus, it sounded like non-gay activists also participated in the childish shenanigans and filed bias-related incident reports. If in fact this is true, and I would be willing to bet that it is, in filing the reports the non-gay students would be submitting reports to the Cornell administration that were false. You can't be discriminated against for being gay if you are not, in fact, gay.
After doing some research, it appears that such actions would violate Title III, Section II, Subsection C of the Campus Code of Conduct which states as a violation, "To furnish false information to the University with intent to deceive." The Judicial Administrator should look into this to see if any false reports were filed, and if so, they should hold the offenders accountable.
Regardless, we can't allow this movement to succeed here at Cornell.
Jamie Weinstein is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be contacted at email@example.com. Time Out usually appears on Wednesdays.