Wounded Iraq vet heckled at Columbia University
posted at 1:36 pm on February 20, 2011 by Bruce McQuain
Apparently civility and free speech only apply to one side at Columbia University – the anti-military side. Woe be unto you if you have the temerity to stand up in an open forum as a member of the Columbia University community and voice an opinion in opposition to that which is prevalent there.
A wounded Iraq war veteran found that out recently as he stood up – something he had to learn to do again after his wounds – and gave what the NY Post describes as an “impassioned challenge to fellow students on their perceptions of the military.” It occurred during the second of three meetings the University has scheduled to talk about ROTC and the possibility of bringing it back on campus.
Speaking truth to ignorance, Anthony Maschek said to his fellow students:
“It doesn’t matter how you feel about the war. It doesn’t matter how you feel about fighting,” said Maschek. “There are bad men out there plotting to kill you.”
One student shouted “racist” at the former soldier, awarded the Purple Heart for somehow surviving being shot 11 times .
Several students laughed and jeered the Idaho native, a 10th Mountain Division infantryman who spent two years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington recovering from grievous wounds.
Maschek, who is studying economics, miraculously survived the insurgent attack in Kirkuk. In the hail of gunfire, he broke both legs and suffered wounds to his abdomen, arm and chest.
Opinions of the military like that aren’t unheard of among some members of our colleges and universities. But this is 2011, not 1971 and the vast majority of Americans decided early on in this century that it isn’t at all acceptable anymore.
Behavior like that of Columbia’s anti-military crowd toward Mascheck is rude, crass, childish, and demonstrates a cosseted ignorance that they, for some reason, seem eager to display. It speaks to the fact that differing opinions are not welcome. And civil debate? Why bother with that when you can bravely stand up and call a wounded warrior a “racist” for simply expressing himself in an open forum?
This sort of bratty behavior toward a man who literally bled on their behalf only demonstrates for all the the emptiness of words like “tolerance”, “civility”, “acceptance” and “equality” for the Columbia anti-war students who jeered and laughed at this man. They should be mortally ashamed of themselves.
The incident also demonstrates that there is no real desire to engage and discuss – instead the emotional argument hold’s sway and any who oppose it are shouted down. Their minds are made up and they have no desire to hear dissenting opinions – their preconceived notions based in a totally naive outlook on the world have formed their unchangable opinion about the military. And ROTC.
“Universities should not be involved in military activities,” Sociology Professor Emeritus Herbert Gans told The Post. “Columbia should come out against spending $300 billion a year on unnecessary wars.”