Cheers for Jacques Barzun. Shame on Columbia

...Adoptive San Antonian Jacques Barzun, one of the nation’s leading intellectuals, a Columbia graduate and a former provost and professor of history at the university, took up the issue in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. His opinion piece is behind the paywall. But here are a few snippets from his devastating take down of Columbia’s repugnant treatment of the military:

With Congress having repealed that edict last year, Columbia faculty have raised new arguments against ROTC. Some faculty members have recently circulated a petition that the military should remain banned because it continues to be a “discriminatory institution” on the basis of “many reasons from physical disability to age.” The basketball team discriminates too.

The armed forces have drawn some of their most celebrated leaders from Columbia. Not one but four commanders in chief, including the incumbent, studied or worked there. Educating citizen-soldiers is necessary not only for the vigor of our armed forces, but for the vitality of our universities and our republic.

Most will choose not to answer the call – that is acceptable, the natural result of relying on an all-volunteer military. What is not acceptable is denying the army the opportunity to even make that call.

Cheers for Barzun, a national treasure. Shame on Columbia.

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John D. Beatty - 3/16/2011

...Then Columbia should take the moral high ground and not take ANY money from the government whatsoever, including tax exemptions, in its opposition to torture policies.

That is, if it wants to be consistent in its indignation, which is unlikely.

Q Tawney - 3/16/2011

Certainly, virtually no Columbia students will answer that call. But, the military apparently needs to situate itself at a few elite schools in order to eliminate legitimate charges of discrimination--like that it only recruits at public schools on the south side of Chicago and outside Walmart in Alabammy.

One would think that Columbia would take the high ground and object to the military on the basis of the US government's torture policies, but then I guess the faculty wouldn't be able to vote for Obama in 2012 either.

Such a dilemma.

And, sorry, but I don't see much evidence of "Jacques Barzun, national treasure" here either. Is the author being sarcastic or have we really sunk to this level of national degeneracy?

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