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Thursday, March 12, 2009

You Can't Go Home

It seems that there are some at Stanford University who don't wish to see former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice return.  This from an article in the Stanford Student Paper.
Stanford Says No To War (SSNW) has begun distributing a petition regarding Condoleezza Rice’s return to Stanford.

“We are concerned about serious allegations that Rice has violated our constitution, domestic laws and international law,” reads the petition letter, which is addressed to the Stanford community.  SSNW is concerned that Rice’s actions have “endangered American people.”

“[The petition was drafted] in light of Rice’s war mongering and torture,” said Symbolic Systems Prof. Todd Davies, who is a member of SSNW.

The petition alleges that Rice was involved with perpetuating misinformation surrounding the threats posed by Iraq to U.S. national security and condemns her alleged support of torturing detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
I guess we could say that what Professor Davies meant was that she knew about torture and condoned it.

So someone who was good enough to be Provost at Stanford turns out not to be good enough to come back to teach after eight years in DC.  Where the people from the Bush Administration always evil or did DC turn them into evil people or was it just being with Chaney and Rumsfeld?  Or, more likely, is this just rubbish?

The comment that struck me as being most off the wall was by Geoff Browning, minister of United Campus Christian Ministry on campus.  The Stanford Daily has him saying that the primary goal of the petition is accountability.  Then they quote him saying:
“It’s as if it doesn’t matter if you’re Hitler or anyone.”
Frankly, I think we need to distinguish amongst Hitler, Stalin and George Bush.  To paraphrase a Senator from Texas, George Bush is no Hitler, and neither are those who worked for him.  This type of talk is unhelpful.

Stanford risks becoming just another elite school of higher learning if it follows the path laid out by the likes of Professor Todd Davies.

And, a hat tip to Professor Ann Althouse for finding this.  I didn't read all the comments, but did like this one..."Maybe Bill Ayers can give Condi some pointers on how to readjust to college life."  But, then, the poster is retired Air Force, with 4,000 hours in the air.

Regards  --  Cliff


C R Krieger said...

One person sent me an EMail saying:

"Most of the public press in the area has been complimentary about her return."

The correspondent lives "in the area."

Regards  --  Cliff

Craig H said...

Strikes me as someone frustrated that they can't get at the real perpetrators of some very real crimes, so they're settling for petty retribution against a "perpetuator". Very weak.

Condi Rice certainly gets no points from me for her eventual complicity, but it's important to observe that she was nowhere near the scene of the original crime when Rummy and Blofeld, I mean Dick Cheney, cooked up the whole sorry mess. I just find it rather tired and sad that someone would give in to such peevishness while sullying the reputation of their employer on the road to missing that whole point.

I do think it's fair, however, to hold someone accountable for the quality of their public service. It's a privilege to serve, and it should not come with the entitlement to your old job back just for the asking. It certainly shouldn't come with a lifetime patronage position, either, a la Whitey's brother, King Billy, but that's a whole 'nuther conversation for another time.

The New Englander said...


Tell your friend to stop e-mailing you and just post! Seriously, though, your friend makes a point that could probably apply not just to locals in the Bay Area but also to the students themselves.

There may be a VERY vocal minority who feels they can lump her in with history's worst (which besides being a bit over-the-top in the dramatism, is also very ignorant of history) but I'd be willing to bet that if you polled all of Stanford's 13,000 grads + undergrads you'd find tons of support for Dr. Rice, a huge swath somewhere in the middle of people who didn't care too much one way or the other, and then the very small number who can produce quotes like the ones you mentioned.