...why not boast about Leopold and Loeb?
ALUMNI AND THE WAR
The introduction to Amy Braverman’s article (“War
Stories,” October/04) makes me wonder once more how my
university, respected for its intellectual creativity and seriousness,
has also produced so many hard-right conservatives. I am especially
disturbed by those who have been making decisions that kill soldiers
and civilians, destroy our relations with other countries, and put
an end to our constitutional rights.
Herbert J. Gans, PhB’47, AM’50
New York City
appropriate that you celebrate the Iraq war on your October/04 cover,
since the University is widely given credit for the thinking which
resulted in it.
Michael L. Kanninen, AB’61
didn’t include Paul Wolfowitz, PhD’72, or John Ashcroft,
JD’67, in the article itself, their names were prominently
placed in the lead paragraph presumably because they are alumni
who have achieved notoriety. If Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism
czar, is to be believed, Mr. Wolfowitz, perhaps influenced by a
discredited novel about Iraq’s involvement in the first attack
on the World Trade Center, or perhaps wanting to have a bigger,
better war than George Shultz’s paltry Grenada invasion, or
for reasons the public can’t be trusted to know, is one of
a handful of people responsible for the Iraq war that, to date,
has cost more than 100,000 casualties and undisclosed billions of
dollars, as well as being a recruiting boom for the Al Qaeda terrorist
network, and a disaster of monumental proportions.
Then there is John Ashcroft who, as documentary
filmmaker Michael Moore points out, couldn’t beat a dead guy
in an election. If America survives the next four years as a republic,
he will go down in history as the man who trampled the constitution
to such a degree as to make Attorney General Palmer’s WW I
deportation of aliens look like a piker. Mr. Ashcroft, whose notion
of loyalty is to brand anyone who doesn’t agree with him a
traitor, has detained 5,000 people without due process for, but
not charged with, terrorism with no conviction.
If it were up to me, I would go out of my way
to avoid any publicity linking these two guys and their underwhelming
records to my school lest people think that they are typical graduates.
But if you’re going to boast about these two, why not also
boast about other notorious alumni as well, like Leopold and Loeb?
Daniel Santerior, MBA’68
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Stories” was interesting, but conspicuously omitted mentioning
perhaps the most noteworthy U of C graduate writing about the war,
Pulitzer Prize–winning author and journalist Seymour Hersh,
AB’59, whose articles in the New Yorker and the New York Times
about Iraq and the war make him most worthy of at least a mention.
David Weitzman, BS’59
may be interested to know that another Chicagoan, Lt. Eric Chewning,
AB’00, AM’00, is serving in Iraq as a military intelligence
officer with the Army. While the nation works toward an exit strategy
in Iraq, the immediate future holds our hopes that our men and women
will make the safest and most humane decisions until they are able
to return home. Eric has shared some of his experiences with me,
and it is comforting to know that, regardless of one’s stance
on U.S. presence in Iraq, we have people like Eric making those
important decisions until a long-term solution is found.
Bryan Kelly, AB’00
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