No security

Faculty and students at Borough of Manhattan Community College are protesting plans for a security management certificate program which they “view as an endorsement of the Bush administration’s Department of Homeland Security,” the New York Sun reports.

“Faculty members point out that if BMCC becomes known as ‘Homeland Security U,’ this will intimidate and drive away many present and potential students, especially immigrants,” the (student government) leaflet states.

The president of the student government at BMCC, Jason Negron, said the proposal is “a very scary issue that students are very, very against.”

He said if the program were to be instituted, students would be exposed to “a lot of right-wing views” and about “a lot of things that other countries have done to America without giving the other side of the story.” He said it was the “progressive” faculty members who voiced opposition to the proposal at Wednesday’s meeting.

It would be horrible if students were exposed to right-wing or pro-American views on a college campus, wouldn’t it?

Betsy comments:

I guess that going to school in the shadow of where the World Trade Towers once stood is not enough to convince these numbskulls that security is not a partisan issue, but something that this country is going to have to think about for a long, long time. And there will be plenty of jobs for someone who has a little background in security management considering that every mall and big office building will want such employees.

Apparently, these students and the faculty members supporting them don’t care about giving their students a marketable skill if it means that someone could possibly twist that into some skewed endorsement of George Bush.

Elinor Garely, the business professor who helped design the proposed program, said, “That’s why we have colleges, so people can speak out.”

Not really, Betsy replies:

We have colleges to educate students. Perhaps, to prepare them for a fulfilling life not spent sponging off their parents. A community college, in particular, is dedicated to providing either remedial or marketable skills. People can speak out anywhere.

The protesters are trying to suppress the teaching of ideas about terrorism, such as the notion that America has a right to defend against people who have a lot of reasons why they hate us and want us to die.

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Comments

  1. For a political ideology that claims tolerance and openmindedness as central tenets, aren’t these progressives being a little uptight about what speech COULD be uttered on campus? I mean, I thought the left was against preemtive actions, but apparently not, since these folks are protesting ideas with which they haven’t yet be faced. Honestly.

    I’ve got a better idea for all these protesters. Haul your butts inside and come up with coherent counter-arguments which y’all can use in one of those open debate thingies. It’s a lot less embarrasing and a lot more productive.

  2. The topic really doesn’t merit further comment. I hope that someone in the Department of Homeland Security is taking names.

    I should wish to renew my continuing objection to the use of the word, “progressive,” to mean “left-wing,” or something of that nature. Almost all those who claim the term “progressive” are morbidly reactionary, often explicitly so.

    Scratch a Communist (if you can still find one), and you find an Oblastnik; a feminist, and you find a paleolithic Earth-Mother worshipper; almost any “multiculturalist,” a Boxer-like Hesperophobe, lashing out blindly at the pathetic going under of his antiquarian folkways.

    All these “progressives” are yearning to progress back to some mythic original position, back to some golden age before the Bourgiosie, of the Jews or the Christians, or the Patriarchs, or somebody else just ruined everything–a time before the oceans drank Atlantis, a time of, as Ovid put it, “. . .ancient poets’ monstrous lies, Ne’er seen now or then by human eyes.”

    If truth–the congruence of word and fact–means anything, we should insist of the Confucian rectification of names and and call these charlatans on their distortions every time they dare to utter them.

  3. Good post. I blog in response to your (and Betsy’s Page) post here.

    It is interesting to me that liberal preach tolerance and diversity and yet when confronted with a program that has only the most tenuous, incidental connection to the Bush Presidency (i.e., he happened to be president when events occurred that convinced BMCC of the need for such a program) they react in such an illogical manner as this.

  4. “The protesters are trying to suppress the teaching of ideas about terrorism, such as the notion that America has a right to defend against people who have a lot of reasons why they hate us and want us to die.”

    Yes, but here’s the thing. The right wing talks about defense but then launches a war against a country that is absolutely no threat.

    We turn on the TV and we don’t see the masses in Iraq dancing in the streets celebrating that the evil dictator is gone. No, instead we see an insurgency and the insurgency is growing.

    Probably the best defense in the long run is to understand how our foreign policy is a major reason why these people hate us in the first place.

    If we want to make our country more secure, we should stop invading other countries on false pretenses. With the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Bush has spawned more terrorists than Osama ever could.

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Anyone who still fails to see the interconnection between Saddam and al Queda and jihad likely does not comprehend the connection between intercourse and pregnancy. You can either kill individual ants with a hammer, or you can burn out the nest.

  6. What does one say to somebody who still claims there’s a link between Saddam and the tragedy of 9/11?

    Or to somebody who thinks the WMD will be found any day now?

    Or to those who think they’ve already been found except the liberal press is playing down that fact?

    This is right-wing Alice In Wonderland logic.

    When you liberate a country, the people are happy and grateful. When you invade a country, they are not.

    What we have here is a case of American fascism. It’s not a political point of view. It’s psychopathological.

  7. “When you liberate a country, the people are happy and grateful. When you invade a country, they are not.” Ever consider the possibility that people, including Iraqis, are *individuals*, not just members of a racial/national group? Many Iraqis are “happy and grateful” while those that benefited from Baathist rule are not. When Union armies invaded the South, liberated slaves were “happy and grateful”..former slaveowners were not.

  8. Lou, if we insist on dictionary meaning for words like progressive, then I would be both progressive and liberal, since I like both progress and liberty. I’m actually a libertarian, who I believe are far more liberal than those who call themselves that today. Today’s liberals see the state as the solution to almost everything, and they believe that our freedoms are granted by the state. Not exactly a liberty-loving position if you ask me. How about calling these folks regressive statists? Seems far more accurate.

  9. Richard Nieporent says:

    Robert, give it a rest. I am sorry that your hero Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, but al least you still have Kim Jong Il to worship. Clearly, the millions of deaths that Saddam was responsible for don’t bother you in the least, do they? Why is that? Why would anybody with a modicum of humanity not rejoice in the downfall of a mass murderer like Saddam? Please explain to us simple folks why it would be in the best interest of the Iraqi people to still have Saddam Hussein in power?

  10. Photon, I would like to see a reliable news organization report on who the insurgents are and why the insurgency is spreading.

    Most reports I hear indicate that the majority of Iraqis oppose the U.S. occupation. And that in a popularity contest, Saddam would beat George Bush.

    If anybody knows of a good print article on the subject, please let me know.

    Richard, you seem to be saying that since Saddam is an evil man, it was OK for the U. S. to lie about him and call him a threat to American security.

    Because we live in a democracy, when we lie about our defense, we weaken it.

  11. Richard Nieporent says:

    Robert, you did not answer my question. Is it really more important to you whether or not Bush “lied” than the fact that Hussein is no longer in power? If so, then I would suggest that your moral compass is in need of realignment.

  12. “We turn on the TV and we don’t see the masses in Iraq dancing in the streets celebrating that the evil dictator is gone. No, instead we see an insurgency and the insurgency is growing. ”

    Does that make the insurgents right? Does that mean that we should refrain from doing anything that might motivate opponents to take up arms and organize an insurgency? Should we really give ultimate decision-making authority over our actions and the societies we build to men who bomb civilians and use children and pregnant women as human shields and as kamikaze agents?

    “When Union armies invaded the South, liberated slaves were “happy and grateful”..former slaveowners were not.”

    Yes, and groups of those former slaveowners and their descendants put on white sheets and formed an insurgency that lasted a hundred fricking years! Was the invasion of the Confederacy a mistake too?

  13. Richard, yes, I think the means did not justify the ends.

    As evil as Saddam is, the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq.

  14. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Robert, I am sure Saddam appreciates your support.
    I would like to know what combination of promises and written promises would have swept Saddam from power. Those who advocate leaving Saddams in power are allies of Saddam. I know there are other bad rulers in NK, Syria, Iran and Cuba. Their time will come, hopefully sooner.
    I consider anyone who comforts dictators to be little better than those dictators. Pick your friends as I do, punk.

  15. Mad Scientist says:

    Actually, I seem to recall throngs of people cheering and waving flags on the occasions of Saddam being ousted, then again when he was captured. Amazing how some people tend to forget the little things.

    When you consider that the “insurgents” are better at killing unarmed Iraqi civilians and aid workers than they are at targeting US troops, I would suggest that would tend to point you towards the absolute goal of these people: they want the US out so they can return to power.

    In this country they would be called thugs and murderers.

  16. Walter, I think a powerful country like the U.S. should not be the judge of who is a good ruler and who is not. The U.S. intervened in Guatamala and other places when it shouldn’t have. And now we support Saudi Arabia, an oppressive country where women don’t have the right to vote or other rights. The U.S. has supported so many dictators that you used to be able to buy Friendly Dictators trading cards.

    Intervention should happen only in special cases–like Rwanda and Yugoslavia, instances that the U.N. would support.

    Sometimes the U.S. will dipose a dictator claiming it’s for the good of the people when the people have quite a different opinion on the matter.

    And I’m sorry you had to call me a name.

    Mad Scientist, you recall throngs of people cheering when the statue of Saddam was toppled but news reports since then (See Anne Garrels) indicate it was a photo-op staged by the marines. Some people were waving and cheering, but most of the people who circled the statue as it came down were disturbed by the whold thing.

    As for the capture of Saddam, yes, many were happy, but there weren’t massive demonstrations. There were no parades. And right now, if there was a popularity poll conducted in Iraq, I wouldn’t be surprised if Saddam beat out George Bush.

    And though the U.S. claims that it’s setting up a democracy, they’re not going to allow Saddam on the ballot.

    As for who are the insurgents and what drives them, again, I’d like to somebody point me to a print article I could read on the subject. When we speculate, we just project our political prejudice.

    And let’s be careful with the deceptive power of our words. When the U.S. fought in Viet Nam, we didn’t kill people. We killed Communists.

    And when we talk about terrorism, we forget that the U.S funded Contras were terrorists though we called them “Freedom Fighers.”

    The U.S. supports terrorism, just not terrorism against our own people and our economic interests.

  17. Tim from Texas says:

    Mr. Walter E Wallis:

    I’m not making this comment to defend anyone or to say anyone’s argument here is right or wrong, but to name call is just fist pounding. Moreover, to use the term you used is much more than fist pounding.

  18. Mad Scientist says:

    Robert, by your logic we should never have invaded Normandy because Hitler was not a direct threat to us. After all, it was a European thing, and who really cared if a few Jews got fried.

    I specifically did not mention the toppling of Saddam’s statue. What I was referring to was the day he was captured. Every news outlet showed throngs of Iraqis waving flags and just whooping it up. I was dismayed that a lot of the flags were communist flags, but they seemed truly happy that the head thug was cauget.

    Anne Garrels is just about as liberal as one can be. I was surprised that in her recent “embedding” with the troops that she took a somewhat more balanced view. I would hope that the soldiers protecting her did so out of a sense of duty and because it was the right thing. I do not know if I would have treated her with any respect after some of the stuff she reported. But than again, NPR is not what you would call the most supportive of the general efforts against thugs and dictators.

    As for “not letting Saddam on the ballot”, I guess we have a better system here than what we are helping to set up in Iraq. After all, we let Marion Barry back on the DC City Council even though he was a crook and a drug addict. Your kind of guy, right?

    I sincerely hope you have at least a modest amount of respect for the people who put their lives on the line every day so you can sit fat, dumb, and happy in your continual desire to create a utopian society.

    But I doubt it.

  19. Mad Scientist, that’s actually a good point about Normandy. But WWII was a good war. That’s the war where people actually cheered when liberated. And note that there were no German or Japanese “insurgents” sniping at American soldiers after the mission was accomplished.

    The reports I’ve heard, and I’d welcome a lot more info on the subject, is that most Iraqis dislike Saddam but dislike the Americans in their country even more.

    You write, “But than again, NPR is not what you would call the most supportive of the general efforts against thugs and dictators.”

    I agree. But should a news organization take on that role like Fox?

  20. Mad Scientist says:

    And note that there were no German or Japanese “insurgents” sniping at American soldiers after the mission was accomplished.

    Really? How interesting that you conveniently forget that US soldiers in Germany had to affix devices to the front of the Jeeps to cut down wires placed neck high. What about the Japanese soldiers that continued to fight for years after the war was over?

    The point is that the Iraqis who want us out ASAP want to fill the void with their own brand of “justice”, which will mean revenge killings on a scale similar to Rwanda. Do we want to be there for a long time? No. Do the Iranians want us there at all? Decidedly not.

    However, the point of this thread is that we have a bunch of dewey-eyed hippies who do not like security precisely because Bush wants it. If this had happend under Clinton, or a Gore Administration, you can bet that those losers would get supported by the current crop of crazies.

    It’s about time you learned that the world is a dangerous place, and that we can’t just all get along.

    The only thing the Arab thugs and terrorists respond to is force. Respond with anything less, and they will continue to attack. I firmly believe that when Nick Berg was beheaded, we should have taken five random prisoners from Abu Garhib, tried them in the public square, and executed them summarily and in full view of the entire Arab world. Then, let the corpses ROT in the street. Then those barbarians would know we are serious.

    I wish Bush had the balls to tell the Muslim world that future terrorist attacks on civilian targets would be dealt with decisively as follows. Pick a “holy” site at random, and LEVEL it (either cruise missiles or a nuke or two would do the trick). Once the places near and dear to them are destroyed, they may get the picture that there is no way they can win a war of attrition.

  21. Richard Nieporent says:

    And though the U.S. claims that it’s setting up a democracy, they’re not going to allow Saddam on the ballot.

    Congratulations Robert. That is truly the most asinine statement that I have ever read.

  22. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I believe that relativists who equate Saddam with the United States are very evil and twisted. There is a difference between cutting off a child’s allowance and cutting off his hand. Those who fail to comprehend that difference are beyond discussion and beneath contempt.

  23. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘And though the U.S. claims that it’s setting up a democracy, they’re not going to allow Saddam on the ballot.’

    I think he’s in prison awaiting trial for war crimes and mass murder…hey why not allow him to run for President.

  24. Mad Scientist: I believe it’s a fact that after WWII, there were no American soliders in occupied Germany or Japan who were killed by anti-american natives. I read this from a source I took to be reliable. If I’m misinformed, which might be the case, please recommend something I could read on the topic.

    I disagree with your suggestion that barbarism be countered with more barbarism for reasons that are obvious. I admit that it would feel good, though.

    Richard, will Iraq be a democracy if we tell them which candidates may be on the ballot? Wasn’t that how the Communist Party usually won elections in the Soviet Union?

    The U.S., ignoring the wishes and sober judgement of the community of nation, violated Iraqi sovereignty by deposing their head of state with claims that turned out to be false.

    Walter, I don’t equate Saddam with Bush. Saddam was telling the truth about the WMD. Bush is the one who lied. Saddam didn’t invade the U. S. Bush invaded Iraq. Saddam fought a war of defense. Bush fought a war of aggression. Saddam didn’t come over here and kill any Americans. Bush sent hundreds of Americans off to their death, needless death. No, I don’t equate the two.

  25. “The U.S., ignoring the wishes and sober judgement of the community of nation, violated Iraqi sovereignty by deposing their head of state with claims that turned out to be false.”

    What was the community of nations doing about Saddam, exactly? They ALL thought he had weapons, not just the US. The fact that none have been found shows more what a master con artist Saddam is, not that Bush is a dirty liar. The UN was running a scam which funded Saddam’s regime while claiming to feed the Iraqi people. France had some pretty rich, and shady, dealings with the regime. In this case, using the community of nations as a moral compass is clearly an error.

    Another point I’d like to quibble is the claim of Iraqi sovereignty. Iraq had no legitimate government, merely a regime cemented in place by terror and murder. Saddam was not Iraq’s sovereign, merely its oppressor.

    To respond to the false claims bit, Saddam was a fantastic liar, and had the entire world convinced that he had WMD. If he was deposed because of that, it is HIS fault.

    “Walter, I don’t equate Saddam with Bush. Saddam was telling the truth about the WMD. Bush is the one who lied. Saddam didn’t invade the U. S. Bush invaded Iraq. Saddam fought a war of defense. Bush fought a war of aggression. Saddam didn’t come over here and kill any Americans. Bush sent hundreds of Americans off to their death, needless death. No, I don’t equate the two.”

    Um… yeah… you forgot the most important comparison.

    Number of Iraqi citizens killed by Saddam’s regime without trial: over 1 million.

    Number of US Citizens killed by the Bush Administation without trial: none.

  26. Richard Nieporent says:

    I have one question. Why are we wasting our time debating this topic with Robert Wright? Yes I know he spout the usual Leftist drivel that cries out for a response. However, after reading his comments I have come to realize that he is truly incapable of rational thought. I feel like I am the man in the Yogi Berra commercial. His statements are so illogical that I am left momentarily speechless. Nothing he says makes the least bit of sense. Debating him is like asking someone how much is 2 + 2 and getting an answer of red. His comments are so asinine that I am actually embarrassed for him. No rational person can really believe that in the name of democracy you should allow a mass murderer to run for office. But Robert believes it. I rest my case!

  27. Who should and who should not be allowed to run for office is not a decision that should be made by a foreign power. Let the Iraqi people decide for themselves. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?

  28. “Who should and who should not be allowed to run for office is not a decision that should be made by a foreign power. Let the Iraqi people decide for themselves. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?”

    In general, who appears on the ballot and who doesn’t should be the choice of Iraqis. The exception to this is Saddam and members of his Ba’ath party. I’m going to use an argument used by people here when it comes to things like minority-only dorms and events: the people have to be free from the oppressive power. While I think that arguments such as this hold very little water in the race debate, when it comes to the first election after the removal of an oppressive regime, it’s a mighty good reason. Do you honestly believe the result would be an expression of Iraqi will if the man they came to fear was running again?

    Let’s make a comparison on this one… assume it’s spring 1945 and Hitler was captured alive in the bunker. Would you say that Allies would have been wrong to keep him off the ballot, as they surely would have done?

  29. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘Who should and who should not be allowed to run for office is not a decision that should be made by a foreign power. Let the Iraqi people decide for themselves. ‘

    Maybe you missed the news but the US handed over power to the interim Iraqi gov’t some time ago and Saddam is going to be tried in an Iraqi court. The Iraqis are running their own elections and based on their election rules he’s not being allowed to run. Nice try at being a mass murder apologist though.

  30. Mad Scientist says:

    I propose we set up a fund for the express purpose of buying Robin a better shovel, seeing how he keeps digging himself a bigger hole.

  31. Adrian, you make a couple of valid points.

    Ah, but some comments from others remind me of the logic lampooned in Animal Farm.

    OK. A couple questions.

    When the Interim Iraqi President visited Bush in the Rose Garden and thanked him and the American people for all they’ve done, was his speech written by himself or a White House speech writer?

    Second question. Should any candidates be allowed to run in the Iraqi elections who happen to have anti-American sentiments?

    Third question. Jack said the U. S. turned power over to the Interim Iraqi government. Was this for real or just ceremonial? To what extent can this interim government disagree with and override the wishes of the U.S. occupation forces?

  32. “Second question. Should any candidates be allowed to run in the Iraqi elections who happen to have anti-American sentiments?”

    That’s a tricky question. I would have a few rules on who could run. The first is, as stated above, Saddam and other Ba’ath party officials are out. Second, candidates must be Iraqi citizens. Third, candidates who have worked for or with al Qaida or any other regional state should not be allowed to run. Fourth, any candidate who recievs monetary support from any outside state, including the US, should be removed from the ballot.

    I think these precautions are fairly sane ones.

  33. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘When the Interim Iraqi President visited Bush in the Rose Garden and thanked him and the American people for all they’ve done, was his speech written by himself or a White House speech writer?

    Allawi and the US said it was a prepared speech not written by the White House eventhough they advised him on presentation. Secondly beyond your childish peevishness about it WTF difference does it make?

    ‘the U. S. turned power over to the Interim Iraqi government. Was this for real or just ceremonial?’

    They turned over authority for administration of the country to the interim gov’t.

    ‘To what extent can this interim government disagree with and override the wishes of the U.S. occupation forces?’

    You’ve got things assbackwards – the question would be to what extent can the the US override the Iraqi administration’s decisions?

    ‘Should any candidates be allowed to run in the Iraqi elections who happen to have anti-American sentiments?’

    The Iraqi gov’t hasn’t made any conditions of support from any of the registered parties. I know you’re disappointed that imprisoned mass murdering monsters aren’t able to run but I’m sure that is a condition where the US would and should intervene.

  34. Good. Now my follow up question. Did the White House suggest to the Interim Iraqi president that he thank the American people?

  35. Robert, visit a site called Rantburg.

    Ask your questions there.

    And most on that site are much more knowledgeable about WWII.

    I believe you were talking about the Werewolves during WWII in Germany. We did modify our jeeps after a few heads met piano wires strung across the road.

    –“The U.S., ignoring the wishes and sober judgement of the community of nation, violated Iraqi sovereignty by deposing their head of state with claims that turned out to be false.”–

    Yup, had no time to hide anything anywhere.