This recent attempt to ban the ROTC program and military recruiters from the UCSB campus has led me to realize one very important fact about society: Some idealists can be stupid. Using the words of the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream. It is a dream in which all peoples and nations would get along and there would be no need for armies or police. And then reality hits.
We’re human and humans do what they’ve done best for eons: fight each other. Even if it came down to the last two people on Earth with all resources available to them, they would still find a reason to go to war. And so we have the latest attempt to make the ivory tower of academia an exclusive country club for pseudo-righteous propagandists.
You can try to justify this move by protesting the Armed Forces’ stance on gays in the in the military, but this is stupid. Funny how a policy designed by then President Bill Clinton only comes into a bad light now. Is it coincidence or political timing based on bitterness?
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is the epitome of privacy protection. All of those who are always harping about government intrusion into the private lives of people should laud this rule, as it preserves privacy. I bet that many of those so adamantly pushing this agenda don’t even realize that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy even applies to heterosexuals in a form known as the “fraternization policy.” This policy prohibits close relationships among the ranks. Why does this policy exist, you ask? The simplest answer I can provide you with is this: Don’t shit where you eat. Basically, the military is run like a business and distractions are unnecessary. They erode morale, cohesion and effectiveness of a unit that is supposed to work together.
There are many reasons why people join the Armed Forces, but a chance at a decent education is usually the main one. For those who don’t have the opportunity to go to college, the military serves as a means to get the education not afforded by their current financial situation. The GI Bill can be the ticket to a better life for many with no means to get there. But many of those opposed to the military presence on campus wouldn’t understand since they probably come from a stable financial background with every cost taken care of by mommy and daddy. Yeah, I know this is a generalization, but so is the belief that all the military teaches is how to kill.
By the way, if you want to remove the “overwhelming military presence” from this campus, you’d better start with the removal of many of your professors’ grants. Many of these come from the Dept. of Defense, Dept. of the Navy and the U.S. Air Force, only to name a few. After all, fair is fair and fairness is the mantra of ivory tower idealism.
So to all of you planning to serve or are currently serving in the Armed Forces, I, and many others, are proud of you for standing up to the ignorance of self-appointed moralists. You are doing what is honorable in order to protect simple freedoms such as writing this column. I can say with all distinction that knowing people like you is an honor in itself. Serve your country and serve it proudly. If I were to ever have the honor to meet any of you, you would get a snappy military salute followed by a warm handshake.
As for you self-hating rich PC snobs looking down from the comfort of your ivory tower upon those willing to serve in our military as lesser human beings, well, keep on with your dance of hypocrisy. It has failed you in the past and it will haunt you in the future. The only salute you’ll ever get from me is an extended middle finger.
Henry Sarria is a longtime Isla Vista resident.