Bruin Alumni Association
UCLA's Fight Against the War on Terror

Chapter 1 - A Day for 'Solidarity'

Chapter 2 - Changing the Subject

Chapter 3 - The Students

Chapter 4 - The Professors

Chapter 5 - Resolutions All Around!

















UCLA's Fight Against the War on Terror

Chapter 5
Resolutions All Around!

    Class cancellations and financial pledges were not the only way in which UCLA professors stood against the War on Terror.  Petitions against war or for peace (at any cost – the radical formulation), were also a popular public commitment.  Along with the 23 UCLA history professors signed to the infamous statement urging Congressional approval of the war with Iraq, a full 42 UCLA professors signed one of the two versions of Not In Our Name’s “Statement of Conscience Against War and Repression.”[i]  The original accuses the United States of “declar[ing] a war without limit and institut[ing] stark new measures of repression.  The second “Statement” makes claims about the Iraq war which bring one to question whether its authors are even describing the current conflict: “the Bush government justifies the invasion and occupation of Iraq on false pretenses, raining down destruction, horror, and misery, bringing death to more than 100,000 Iraqis.”  The 100,000 figure was discarded by even the most rabid anti-war radical months before NION reiterated the lie.  Even the anti-war Iraq Body Count project measures the number of “civilians reported killed by military intervention in Iraq” – as of July 8, 2005 – at between 22,938 and 25,980.[ii]  That includes a generous formulation in which deaths “resulting from the breakdown in law and order, and deaths due to inadequate health care or sanitation” still count as deaths from the war.  But it was NION’s statement, prominently featuring a four-fold exaggeration of civilian deaths, to which no fewer than 42 UCLA professors publicly affiliated themselves.  In doing so, these UCLA radicals demonstrated once again that their commitment to truth, and the principle of academics before politics, is drawn from a shallow well.

    Despite their near-constant activism against the War on Terror – attending protests, encouraging student walkouts, financial contributions and public petitions, radical UCLA professors were still not satisfied.  Faculty radicals were willing to try harder – and did.  On April 14, 2003 – five days after the fall of Baghdad – the UCLA Academic Senate considered a resolution to “condemn the United States invasion of Iraq [and] deplore the doctrine of preventive war the President has used to justify it the invasion.”[iii]  The resolution was brought forward because only 200 signatures – out of the 3,000-plus Senate membership – are required to convene a special session of the Academic Senate.  As it turned out, this same contingent of 200 also was virtually the entire turnout for the session.  For an hour, professor after professor rose to fulminate on a topic for which almost none of them possessed any particular expertise.  Family Medicine Professor Michael Rodriguez protested, “The U.S. claims military measures are preventative, so (it) deploys weapons of mass destruction that will lead to disease and hunger on a massive scale”[iv] - perhaps the kind of “disease and hunger” which might kill, say, 100,000 Iraqis.

    Physics Professor Karoly Holczer defended their kangaroo Senate session by asserting that “The few academic senates in the country are the only organizations who should take a stand on human morals.  It’s more than our right, it’s our obligation.”  But while swollen with “obligation,” the professors faced a real problem – they were one short of the 200 needed for quorum.  For those keeping score, that meant that 200 professors could bring about a special session, and, with a combination of apathy from the balance of the Senate, and a small enough number of opponents, ram the resolution through.  The Bruin story describing this academic-hall putsch gives a sense of the participants’ ideological zealotry – and the Three Stooges-like proceedings.  When after an hour quorum was finally declared, the group, full of their omnipotence, let out a “wild cheer.”[v]  Despite the declaration of quorum, the successful vote total came only to 180-7-9 – still four short of the 200 which called the meeting – and a full 20 affirmative votes short of that standard.  By any normal measure, the shortfall of four votes between declared quorum and votes cast would mean parliamentary failure – but not at UCLA.  In sum, what opposing Law Professors Klee, Lowenstein and Nelson called a “rump group of colleagues,” had indeed made asses of themselves – and in the process, splattered their anti-war manure all over UCLA’s good name.[vi]

    UCLA’s unofficial ban on any authoritative expressions of support for war was not surprising given the official anti-war stances of both USAC and the Academic Senate.  This policy is well-illustrated by the failure of an April 8, 2003 USAC resolution.  The statement, brought to vote by then-Facilities Commissioner Adam Pearlman, simply sought to declare support for American troops.  The matter was tabled in the preceding week, and as Pearlman pointed out later, no council members came to him with concerns or suggested revisions before the next meeting.  This didn’t stop council from voting the resolution down by a 2-8-0 margin.[vii]

    The resolution stated in part that “independent of one's opinion regarding the administrative decisions that lead to war ... (USAC) hopes to see (the troops) home as soon as possible."  The resolution offended the sensibilities of Campus Events Commissioner Ryan Wilson, who complained that, "Some of the language hinted at supporting the war.”[viii]  One meeting attendee, Yousef Tajsar, of the radical student group Peace and Justice Coalition, supported the rejection, and accused the military of taking advantage of the fact that “The only choice [racial minorities] have is joining the military or staying in the streets.”  The only choice for Pearlman, whose cousin in the Navy was deploying shortly, was to hand the resolution over to Wilson.  The bowdlerized result was a resolution which recognized that the military has little or no control over administrative decisions and supported the lives of all people, regardless of nationality.  Having been properly neutered, the measure passed handily.  This satisfied USAC External Vice President and anti-war radical Chris Neal, whom the Bruin paraphrased as believing that “the lives of the U.S. troops are no more important than other lives.”[ix] 

    Neal’s brand of moral equivocation should rightly be scorned.  But the true sentiments of UCLA’s anti-war radicals are even worse.  They hold that, since our evil international hegemony is enforced by military troops, an American serviceman’s life is in fact worth far less than an Iraqi, Afghani, or any other life.  In fact, G.I. Joe’s death should properly be celebrated as a blow against tyranny.  These views are held by both the rabid anti-war Left and hardcore campus Muslims.  Their collective opposition to the War on Terror forms what commentator David Horowitz has termed an “unholy alliance.”  UCLA is a prime example: the Muslim Student Association, populated by the kind of Islamofascists who would be happy to stone gays and adulterous women, perversely find ideological common ground with the Diversity Left.  Bolstered by the cooperation of a pliant, politically correct campus administration, and the aid and comfort of a radical professoriate, this unholy alliance has made UCLA a formidable adversary to the War on Terror.

[i] http://www.nion.us/NSOC/signers.htm

[ii] http://www.iraqbodycount.org

[iii] http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/news/articles.asp?id=23795

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] http://www.today.ucla.edu/2003/030513vote_freedom.html

[vii] http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/news/articles.asp?id=23721

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/news/articles.asp?id=23861