HATING THE MILITARY

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Corlyss_D
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HATING THE MILITARY

Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:16 pm

Hey, Ralph! You know this chap?

HATING THE MILITARY
By KIERAN LALOR

MANY of America's universities want to ban recruiters for the U.S. military from campus — but the Solomon Amendment, a law authored by New York Rep. Gerry Solomon in 1996, denies federal funds to any school that does. On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments from a consortia of 38 law schools (including mine) that want the Solomon Amendment declared unconstitutional.

The schools have long claimed that the problem is the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuality — which they say violates their anti-discrimination policy.

The claim is laughable.

What's really driving this is not equal treatment for gays: It's academia's deep contempt for the armed forces, dating to the Vietnam era.

I started law school just days after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq. Orientation centered on a case of determining the rightful owner of a painting stolen by a soldier in World War II.

It struck me as odd that with countless legal decisions in Anglo-American jurisprudence, the school chose — as an introduction to the study of law, during a time of war — to focus on a case where the bad guy was an American soldier.

The professor leading the class used examples from his practice to illustrate legal concepts. And he had cut his legal teeth defending draft dodgers, so his lessons typically involved a bumbling and heartless U.S. military persecuting a saint-like draft evader.

In my legal education, I've heard a former dean explain to my class that 9/11 was payback for the My Lai massacre and listened to a guest speaker compare U.S. soldiers to Nazis. My wife's also a law student; one question on the final exam of her legal ethics class incorporated an anti-military theme mocking operations in Iraq.

Earlier this semester, the law school invited an Army Special Operations commander to discuss the war in Iraq. (He was not in uniform and representing his own views, not the military's.) Not surprisingly, the dean of the school opened the round of questions with a knee-jerk query about Abu Ghraib and a loaded question comparing Iraq to Vietnam.

How do I know that this bias, rather than "don't ask, don't tell," is the issue? Because of how my school, and others, deal with the people who actually set that policy — our elected representatives.

Under our Constitution, civilians control the military. (Legal scholars generally know this.) Why ban the military from campus when Congress passed "don't ask, don't tell" into law?

Rep. Nita Lowey, whose district includes my school, voted in favor of "don't ask, don't tell" in 1993. In March 2004, she voted to significantly strengthen the Solomon Amendment. That same month, Lowey was welcomed to campus and given the "Pioneer of Justice and Equality for Women and the Law" award.

An Army JAG recruiter who might not even support "don't ask, don't tell," and is powerless to change it, is vilified and barred from campus. Meanwhile, the lawmaker who voted for the legislation is a "pioneer of equality and justice."

The hypocrisy of legal educators who want to ban the military but remain on the federal dole — and use the Constitution as a cloak for their hatred of the military — stands in stark contrast to integrity of the Constitution's defenders, whom many law professors want banned.

Kieran Lalor is a student at Pace University School of Law in White Plains and the founder of the Eternal Vigilance Society (eternalvigilancesociety.org)
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Post by Ralph » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:48 pm

I debated whether to post the Op-Ed piece, which a colleague at another school sent me, together with my response here on CMG. I guess the decision has been taken from me.

Since you posted it, my response is below.

I have provided his piece and my response to the Pace Law School community.

Kieran is a fine student and a very dedicated American and loyal Marine. But his accusations are simply wrong in the main and reflect his discomfort being in a law school where, not surprisingly, there is strong anti-Iraq feeling and support for opposing the Solomon Amendment. We are without doubt a very supportive school for the GLBT community. And we're a New York school.

It is a fact that every male colleague of my generation (five years plus or minus my age) did not serve in the military during Vietnam. It's equally true that some of them support Bush's Iraq policy and others don't.

There is no "hatred" of the Armed Forces at my school and Kieran somehow neglected to mention the turnout last week for a dinner for a second-year student, a Marine reservist, called to active duty in Iraq. People who hate the war contributed towards a gift and the dinner and I assure you his e-mail lifeline to Pace will be humming. The father of a very popular second-year student is one of our highest ranking admirals and he'll be formally speaking at the school in the next few months. I guarantee that he'll receive both a respectful and an enthusiastic welcome.

Frankly I'm disappointed by Kieran but his right to speak his mind is paramount.

MY RESPONSE POSTED TO THE LAW SCHOOL COMMUNITY:

Some of you know Kieran Lalor-he's in my Privacy Law class right now. His article is interesting and expresses a viewpoint not often heard at our school. I don't agree with all his comments and his dismissive reference to a colleague who defended "draft dodgers" is unfair. Anyone has a right to challenge the application of any law and the professor in question never in his career deviated from strict adherence to ethical rules and considerations. I've been called obscene names publicly for defending Pro Choice views and I've never found that such appellations enhanced polite discourse.


And "Whose Monet?" has virtually nothing to do with the theft of a painting by an American soldier other than as a foundational fact for complex litigation. In my long teaching career I have never seen the equal of Professor Humbach's short orientation casebook and I doubt I ever will. Mr. Lalor chose a historically relevant but analytically meaningless fact to tie our orientation program to his belief that "academia," a rather big enterprise, hates the military. ["Whose Monet" is a brilliant short casebook written by my colleague, Professor Humbach, to provide a very rich, common orientation in an intensive one-week course before the first semester regular week. The fact that American soldiers purloined the Monet is undisputed and covering that takes about 90 seconds in the first class session. Ralph]

I respect Kieran's Marine Corps service greatly as I believe he knows. But he has nothing up on me. I joined the Army in 1965, became an officer, and saw three years of active duty, including combat. There is no question that when I started teaching in 1975 most students and most faculty were anti-Vietnam and a tragic symptom of legitimate anti-war protesting was an often mindless dislike, even hatred, of the military.


That simply isn't the case today. I write JAG recommendations every year and no student has ever told me that he/she felt disliked or ridiculed because of a desire to serve in the military. In fact the only bizarre incident I know of was when a very pro-Bush, pro-Iraq War female student hit another woman in the class during a private discussion about Bush. She was lucky no complaint was made because physical violence is close to the one absolute intolerable on any campus. Our society has evolved, fortunately, to where opposition to Bush's Iraq policy is not matched by anti-Armed Forces bias. Quite the opposite.


Kieran refers to the Army major who spoke. Unfortunately I couldn't attend. But had he been present when [senior professor] Ben Gershman debated West Point law professor Margaret Stock (also, incidentally, a lieutenant colonel in the M.P. Reserves) on renewing the USA Patriot Act before a pretty large crowd in the Tudor Room, he would have seen her remarks and views greeted not only with equal respect to Ben's, but clearly many students thought she had the better argument (I didn't).


Kieran's article and views should be read and discussed by all here.

RMS
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Post by Ralph » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:51 pm

Corlyss,

For the record, Kieran's piece appeared in the New York Post.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:54 pm

Ralph wrote:Corlyss,

For the record, Kieran's piece appeared in the New York Post.
I think it was important to note that, Ralph. I can't imagine the Times (1) printing such a thing in the first place and (2) giving it the inappropriate title "Hating the Military."

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Post by Ralph » Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:03 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote:Corlyss,

For the record, Kieran's piece appeared in the New York Post.
I think it was important to note that, Ralph. I can't imagine the Times (1) printing such a thing in the first place and (2) giving it the inappropriate title "Hating the Military."
*****

I have no position with regard to any media printing the piece. That's their right. I only provided the source because I always expect to see articles posted on CMG with proper attribution. I'm sure it was an oversight by Corlyss who, I know, agrees with me.
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Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:50 am

Ralph wrote:Corlyss,

For the record, Kieran's piece appeared in the New York Post.
I've not got the hang of posting again. I had the link but forgot to put it in the story.
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Post by herman » Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:21 am

I have a hard time imagening any professor defining 9 / 11 as "payback for My Lai".

I have no doubt the two events were mentioned in a "we have killed gratuitously, too" kind of way, as a way to further scrutiny of a relevant path for arguments.

This may be hard to stomach for some, but no one ever said Law School was easy.

If so this misrepresentation would point to an inability to view these concepts dispassionately but engaged, and it makes me wonder if this young man is not out of his league here.

Basically what he's saying is "I'm offended" and that's usually the last resort.

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