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Letters...but in all the shouting, no one’s listening.


I was distressed to see the “War Stories” (October/04) piece trumpeting what was evidently considered to be the achievements of grads Wolfowitz, Chalabi, and Ashcroft, in connection with the Iraq war. The subhead’s “godfather” reference for Wolfowitz was especially suitable, as a “godfather” figure is one who directs a ruthless gang in the conduct of illegal activities, generally of a violent and socially harmful nature. Not at all inappropriate for Mr. Wolfowitz. This is a U of C favorite son? Is the pride of association an accurate reflection of the wider U of C family or only the editorial staff?

In your cover text promoting the piece, you promise to “detail what life is like on the ground in Iraq.” But I find no reference to any Iraqi participants in this daily war experience. Should there not have been some reference to what life might be like for the Iraqi population? I have no argument with a piece on the experiences of some graduates who have been caught up in this tragedy, but I do with an article that completely ignores the daily hell that has been created for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have lost mothers, fathers, children; who have been made homeless; or who have to carry their injured and dying loved ones to hospitals without adequate medicine or facilities.

In Europe the overwhelming judgment is that the world is a much less safe place because of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and there is great concern about the humanitarian cost, on a daily basis, of these misguided activities. I seriously question if the Magazine well serves the interests of the U of C by highlighting the importance of graduates in the conception and management of this tragic Iraq adventure.

Charles Roess, MBA’62
Brussels, Belgium

War Stories” was one of those low moments for the University of Chicago, like giving Robert McNamara the Humanitarian of the Year award. [In May 1979, 1,600 people, mostly students, protested as World Bank President and Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara visited campus to receive the Albert Pick Jr. Award for International Understanding.—Ed.] You might have at least added that Ahmad Chalabi is still wanted in Jordan where he was convicted of bank fraud.

Needless to say, for every Wolfowitz there are a thousand U of C alumni who are part of the “Anti-War Zone” and don’t want to be part of the new Empire or live in the new Rome. Many signed the Not In Our Name statement of conscience ( published in dozens of papers across the country. I was proud to be an organizer of this statement.

C. Clark Kissinger, SB’60, SM’62
Brooklyn, New York

From the hysterical reaction of all but one of the letters in response to “War Stories,” it is clear that too many alumni still consider conservatives at the very least stupid, prejudiced, and warmongering, even if they happen to be U of C grads. But the surprising thing is that the letters included one from a GSB grad lauding Michael Moore’s propaganda as a documentary.

It’s clear that the empirical analytical tradition of the U of C did not penetrate that grad’s head.

Darrell Dvorak, MBA’70
Lake Forest, Illinois

The Magazine welcomes letters. Letters for publication must be signed and may be edited. To ensure a range of views, we encourage letters of fewer than 300 words. Write Editor, University of Chicago Magazine, 5801 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637. Or e-mail: