Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Speaking Veritas to Harvard

Speaking Veritas to Harvard
New York Sun EditorialJuly 11, 2007

When Harvard's acting president, Derek Bok, and its president-elect, Drew Gilpin Faust, skipped this year's commissioning ceremony for the Reserve Officers Training Corps, which Harvard's ex-president, Lawrence Summers, had made a point of attending, the Wall Street Journal thought it worth an editorial, which it was. Our own attention was riveted by the remarks offered at the ceremony by a professor of government at Harvard, Stephen Rosen, which were excerpted in the latest number of Harvard Magazine. When we asked Professor Rosen for the full text, he was kind enough to oblige.

"You did not choose the peacetime military, but, rather, the life of a warrior," Mr. Rosen told the students graduating Harvard and entering military service. " Harvard honors public service, but is uneasy with national military service, because it is uneasy with war, and with warriors, and it is no longer comfortable with the idea of Harvard as an American university, as opposed to an international university."

The professor continued, "We all wish to avoid war, none more so than the men and women who must confront the face of war directly. We welcome students and faculty from around the world. But the United States is our country. Without the United States, there would be no Harvard, and we should never forget that. And our country is still at war, and so I salute your courage, your commitment to national service, and the sacrifices you have made and will make."

They were appropriate remarks and gracious ones, worthy of Harvard's motto. The disclosure yesterday by the presidential campaign of Mayor Giuliani that Mr. Rosen will serve as its senior defense adviser makes them even more newsworthy. In the Giuliani campaign Mr. Rosen joins a remarkably distinguished — not to mention hawkish — foreign policy team that, as announced yesterday, includes the Middle East expert Martin Kramer and the scholar Peter Berkowitz, both of whom have contributed to the Sun, as well as Norman Podhoretz, author of the forthcoming book "World War IV."

At Harvard, as well as here at New York University and Columbia, ROTC was kicked off campus into unofficial status amid opposition to the Vietnam War and to the ban on gays in the military.
So Mr. Rosen's words will reverberate not only in Cambridge, where Harvard's campus boasts both Memorial Hall, which honors the soldiers who fought for the Union in the Civil War, and Memorial Church, which was built to honor the Harvard men who served in World War I, but also at Washington Square and Morningside Heights.

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