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Makhlouf ’16: ROTC: Return of the criminals

Opinions Columnist
Thursday, February 5, 2015

A November 2014 Herald article described the lack of military support on Brown’s campus. The article outlined how students considering careers in the military and participating in ROTC programs on campus feel marginalized by “the anti-military — and even hostile — stigma attached to ‘schools like Brown.’” Students anticipating careers in the armed forces outlined ROTC as one of their central concerns, and while ROTC is only one facet of military presence on campus, it is undoubtedly one of the most important. On Tuesday, the faculty endorsed a resolution to create a partnership between Brown’s campus and the Navy and Air Force ROTC programs.

Brown has a rich “anti-military,” anti-war history — said with pride. But is our campus today as anti-war as it once was, or are we losing a certain aspect of our past?

It’s a bit disillusioned to think that Brown students should be exposed to every potential career — even more unthinkable to assume that they should be exposed to all potential military careers. The field of military technology — including “military science” — is a field unlike any other. Reports of police units in Ferguson, New York and Berkeley, where the police have committed criminal acts against protesters, have shown the deleterious effects of increasing funding and intellectual manpower in the military sciences.

The overflow of military technology and funding has spilled into our police departments, which are now equipped with tanks, tear gas, riot gear and military grade weapons that can incapacitate crowds with deafening sound waves or pain-inducing electromagnetic waves. This says nothing about the prevalence of military technology dooming civilian populations from Afghanistan and Palestine to the favelas of Brazil and beyond — all of which have been subject to the glorious innovations of “military science.” Let us at least be honest enough to do away with euphemism. This is not science; this is the art of killing and torturing. It seems that ROTC’s attempt to recruit academically elite students is a calculated attempt to rope the best and brightest into the industry of state-sanctioned violence.

By outlawing ROTC and its byproducts on our campus, we have the opportunity to maintain and strengthen a tradition of refusing to capitulate to the increasing demands of military engagement in today’s global agenda. Half of the battle — pun definitely intended — involves doing away with systems of indoctrination on our campus that classes such as ROTC would offer. ROTC aside, normalizing a militant ethos on our campus through programming and information sessions would invalidate Brown’s status as a bastion of military opposition and anti-intervention sentiment.

The anti-military “bias” that certain students have is a firmly grounded ethical stance — an insistence that we will not support the aggression of the United States throughout the world. At a time when we most need a brave intelligentsia to speak out against the craven acts of U.S. imperialism, the thought of extending the poisonous branches of the armed services to our campus should be wholly denounced.

And yet I question whether that legacy of opposition lives on today. The anti-war movement at Brown has dwindled over time. The flame of resistance has been taken up by the waning number of true leftist activists remaining on our campus. The majority of “liberals” on campus tend to be socially liberal centrists who thrive on affective showings of liberalism. In a 2011 Herald poll, over 80 percent of faculty members who have been at Brown more than 20 years reported a dwindling number of student activists.

Further, it is not the case — as Matthew Ricci ’15, president of the Resumed Undergraduate Education Association, intimated in a 2014 Herald article — that there is a clash between a conservative military and a liberal campus.  The majority of “liberal” students on campus are too disengaged from international and domestic policies to take an insistent stance against the military. And our liberal faculty had no qualms in approving further partnerships with ROTC programs and the availability of scholarships for ROTC students, further illuminating the chasm between liberal ideology and military opposition.

The real clash, it seems, is between those who support the policies of the U.S. military and those who refuse to allow their presence on our campus. Positing this as something akin to a liberal vs. conservative dialectic is an attempt to make anti-war activists out to be fashionable liberals rather than consistently conscientious students. And despite the claim by both Walker Mills ’15 and Professor of Biology Kenneth Miller ’70 P’02 that effective change requires on an influx of liberals and their values into the military, it is not liberals’ duty to change an army with an epidemic of sexual assault, LGBT prejudice and war crimes.

And are we really foolish enough to think that liberal ideology would change these entrenched abuses?

Admittedly, Brown is more active than most schools, though the overwhelmingly centrist nature of our campus’ political discourse should be further reason for opposing military presence. The push for normalizing militarism on our campus needs to be opposed because Brown students are so often unsure of their political leanings. Students and faculty alike often oppose the armed services on such isolated incidents as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” but a far more fundamental stance needs to be taken. Both during Ruth Simmons’ time here and during Tuesday’s vote on new ROTC partnerships, the central issue regarding opposition was the barring of transgender individuals, as if that were the most egregious offence committed by the armed forces.

I and others firmly take an anti-interventionist, anti-war posture. Moreover, those who oppose military presence on university campuses are wholly aware that the issue extends beyond those planning a career in the military. Ivy League graduates will take up positions in all facets of society that the military relies on for support. From soldiers to senators and politicians to professors, the destructive foreign policy of the state is dependent upon the ideological backing of its citizens — particularly those in positions of power. Opposing indoctrination in the form of military support is a necessary part of thwarting public backing for such policies.

This past week, Code Pink, a women-initiated, grassroots anti-war movement, protested the testimony of Henry Kissinger at a Senate hearing, insisting that he be tried for war crimes. It was once, in 1969, when members of our senior class chose to stand up and turn their backs towards the University and Kissinger as he was awarded an honorary degree for his criminal foreign policy in Indochina. Perhaps, once more, our campus can take up that proud tradition of resistance and refuse to support glorified, state-sponsored killing.

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  1. Something I think about as a researcher: How should we feel about funds dispersed by the Dept of Defense for category 6.1 Basic Research? I refer to the $2-3bn budgeted annually for ARO, AFOSR, ONR, DARPA, NSA, etc., most of which flows to universities in the form of research grants. I only ask because defense funding is probably the largest source of “military presence” currently at Brown.

    For now, I take the simple view that “funding == good”, especially given that “basic research” has no reasonable connection to the kind of military technology which you briefly touch upon. But I’m interested in other views too.

    • Your point is excellent. Brown is like all universities except two in the US — completely dependent on Federal welfare for it’s research and ongoing operation. The naivete of the author simply reveals the bubble Brown provides for 4 years for it’s silver-spooned.

  2. Great article, I’m proud to be at a school with a long history of opposing U.S. imperialism and keeping ROTC off campus.

    • Something to be proud of says:

      Proud of a history discriminating and preventing freedom of association or expression? Proud of a history that prevents others from sharing the opportunity to advance their education?

    • Which is greater, your ignorance or arrogance?

      Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like Brown has changed since my time there.

    • To the anti -USA author, all I can say
      is ” Go USA “and Gd bless our military including all ROTC members. May your presence on all college campuses grow to unprecedented numbers. I love my country and all it’s armed forces!

    • Imperialism ??? fighting the Communist the Nazis who slaughtered millions of there own people and others ! Please Move to the Middle East…Maybe you will have more rights… Hello !!!

    • Fascist Democrats like you hate America, hate patriotism, and hate our troops.

    • You’re apparently proud to be at a school whose version of history is more historical fiction than fact.

  3. Embarrassed for the Author says:

    This is an egregious article. I’m shocked that a student from the “accepting”, “informed”, and “open-minded” Brown campus has published such a discriminatory and offensive article. Not only am I embarrassed for the BDH, but I am embarrassed for the Brown community. Given the past Ray Kelly incident, one would think that Brown would hope to stop the perpetuating of the perception of snobby ivy league students who are incredibly narrow minded.

    • You are way too generous to the author. What a disgrace.

    • We’re not all like this, I promise.
      The sane, reasonable, and educated ones of us are afraid to open our mouths, while morons like this can’t seem to shut up.
      Yes, many of us are deeply embarrassed of Brown’s reputation as well, and especially of people who write this kind of crap and give us this reputation. But please don’t think we’re all this ignorant and bigoted. There is a silent majority against this, and we are slowly building our numbers to fight back.

      • Katie Keeton says:

        Why are you silent?

        • Grades. Liberal professors are notorious for punishing students who don’t toe the liberal line.

          • I know what you mean.. had some disagreements with some professors of mine.. I finally talked to the chancellor of the university who told me just tell them what they want to hear.. you know the truth, thats all that matters.

          • Same with Brown athletes. If you’re a conservative athlete, you may as well pack your bags and head home.

          • Anon A. Moose says:

            What good are grades from a “prestigious” university if you sell your soul and the essence of who you are to get them.?

    • Buddy, chill with the adjectives and adverbs — you sound like a loony! It’s an op-ed (op stands for “opinion,” not Brown endorsed, subject to disagreement). Grab a bud. Sounds like you one.

      • Actually it is an opinion but the opinion is so wide spread among the extremist beliefs perpetrated by the extreme Liberal and extreme lefts. The campus of Brown has always been this way and no one stands up to it so it continues to poison the reputation this school has. It’s unfortunate that someone who claims the ROTC is a criminal organization yet it is strictly enforced and is not a military paid course. It’s affiliated but not controlled by it. These kids are our future and very rarely do we see criminals come of it. Some the brightest students come from there and quite a few outshine the best non military students of the school itself. This idiot seems to continue to call it a state sponsored killing organization when infact any killing done is self defense and not an order. When the opportunity it arises to take prisoners then that’s what happens but it so happens I never had to many choices as to whether the insurgent lived or died, he pulled the trigger first and died first.
        What really surprises me is this article is so full of personal hate and personal opinion and no factual basis. Therefore this is just another one of those Michael Moore kids that continues to issue his surrender of his freedoms and then complains when others are given the opportunity.
        No really serious intellectual would spew such crap knowing that thier end result is thier future coming to a swift end and will on end up that has been that never was. A recluse who smokes pot and does experimental drugs and fades out in a pool of thier own misery and idealism with a small hint of drug overdose.

        • lookinthemirroramoment says:

          “What really surprises me is this article is so full of personal hate and personal opinion and no factual basis.” — sounds to me like you’re also describing most of the comments posted on this article.

        • Look at all of Peter’s articles, he seems to be a very sad young man. I hope he is able to find something to make him happy as I think he is a bright young man & hopefully life experience can enlighten him in many areas.

  4. Mr. Scientist says:

    Using militarization of the police as evidence that investing in military technology is bad has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.


  6. Embarrased for Brown says:

    What a bigot! How’d this kid get in to Brown?


  8. Trollface.jpg says:

    Militarized police you say? This is why we need the 2nd Amendment! Arm the citizenry, flex your rights, fight back against tyranny!

  9. Ahhhh, the luxury of living in a cloistered college campus among the elites…

    I hope the author’s convictions will be matched by his willingness to refuse all forms of government-sponsored funding at Brown, too. It’s the same government, after all.

  10. There is no greater evidence of how out of touch with reality this kid is than the statement, “…the overwhelmingly centrist nature of our campus’ political discourse…”

    “Centrist”? Maybe in Cuba. But from anyone from planet Earth who’s been at Brown in the last 10 years knows what a croc that is.

    • “Centrist” means they’ll tolerate people who believe “gay marriage haters” should be killed just as they’ll tolerate people who believe “gay marriage haters” should be imprisoned.

      The range of allowable political thought at Brown runs the gamut from A to B.

  11. “ROTC aside, normalizing a militant ethos on our campus through programming and information sessions would invalidate Brown’s status as a bastion of military opposition and anti-intervention sentiment.”

    From Brown’s mission statement, Brown would be a bastion of “discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry”.

    It appears that by making sweeping, *unfounded* judgements about ROTC and the American military (“It seems that ROTC’s attempt to recruit academically elite students is a calculated attempt to rope the best and brightest into the industry of state-sanctioned violence.”), you are doing the opposite. Where is the evidence for your statements? What evidence is there that ROTC does discourages debate and strictly encourages indoctrination? What evidence is there that ROTC brings an overriding pro-war sentiment to college campuses?

    Lastly, when did Brown, an institution that takes pride in diversity in all regards, become a “liberal” campus? I certainly didn’t choose to come to Brown to align with any arbitrary agenda, to witness such a blatant disregard for rational discourse and lack of empathy towards all of the people who simply want to serve their fellow citizens and protect them, without any hegemonic intentions.

  12. Not surprised in the least says:

    This douche canoe makes it sound like affiliating with another school’s ROTC program will result in tanks driving around the Main Green.

    “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one”. Indeed. Don’t like ROTC? Don’t join it.

    $60,000 a year doesn’t buy you a clue I guess.

  13. Those of you who have posted comments stating that this column proves how that discourse on the Brown campus is closed-minded and limited only to anti-miltary views, please remember what prompted this column: the fact that the Faculty and the Administration have just authorized the establishment of two additional ROTC programs. There’s plenty of anti-military sentiment on the Brown campus, to be sure. But there are even more voices supporting an open campus where students are free to make such choices. That’s the reality.

    • Agreed but there are also those who donate millions to Brown who are now pulling the plug who are not supportive of the military..

      And to that I say thank you, now Brown may very well fail.

    • Methinks that might have more to do with the Solomon Amendment than any principled stand on the part of the administration.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams says:

      Very good point.

  14. Don't waste your time says:

    Logic-F. Ethics-F. Critical reasoning-F. Political/ideological drool, protected by those who serve – check.

  15. Roscoe Johnson says:

    Dumbest goddamned thing I’ve ever read.

  16. I agree that ROTC shouldn’t recruit at Brown. Combat is hard enough. The last thing a soldier or Marine needs as a platoon leader is some candy@ss, chickencrap, Ivy League clown who bugs out and heads for safety as soon as he finds out Daddy’s money won’t buy him out of a firefight. Heroes come out of places like Alabama and Texas. Zeroes come out of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

    Mad Dog, Colonel, US Air Force (retired)

    • The military would surely be scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to pick through the scraps at Brown.

  17. Democrats = anti-military

  18. Christian Neihart says:

    Shut up, Mr. Makhoulf. Soldiers are innocent as far as the use of their gear in police endeavors or anything for that matter. If you have a problem with police having access to military gear then take it up with your state legislature and/or the Federal Congress.Never call the troops, or those who chose to become troops, unless you’re talking about the CIA or actual war criminals.


    Brown should feel embarrassed with their name attached to this kid’s piece. Poor structure, weak transitions, and childish emotion plague his writing. It’s the same writing that enthralls weak minded individuals to divert from healthy dialogue in lieu of reason. He pulls his supporting arguments from “fashionable” headline articles and fails to cite any governing sources.

    From personal experience,
    I’ve found ROTC to be made of the “best and brightest” of Boston University. Their “militant” ethos is better phrased as structured. Reporting early to class, dressing appropriately, preserving professional formalities are examples of just a few elements within ROTCs structured ethos that raise the bar for educational institutions nationwide.

    It’s a real shame that one student, probably hopped up on red bulls and monsters while glued to MSNBC for three days straight, has to share his impossibly oversimplified personal opinion in a manner that potentially hurts the amazing strides ROTC has made within institutions across the country and beyond.

    • Take a look at all his articles, they are enlightening and show a strong bias.

      What does surprise me is the fact that he went from a guest columnist to Opinions columnist in a very short time span so somebody at the newspaper likes his biased stories.

  20. Jonathan Payne says:

    What a pompous clown. Get your head out of the clouds, kid. Do some real work outside of the trust fund world. Better yet, spend a week or 2 in boots.

  21. So….Mr. Makhlouf….how’s Freshman year Political Science been treating ya?

  22. Random_Internet_Guy says:

    Hey buddy, just so you know, the Army doesn’t decide to fight wars, that’s the job of our elected officials.

    If you really want to go off on an organization for being all that you hate then pick on the CIA, but don’t drag the Army, Navy, or even the Chair Force into this. We aren’t perfect but we’re getting better. We do what the people that you elect tell us to do.

    The social issues that people like you always point to – hey, guess what – they are a reflection of American society as a whole, because that’s where we come from, although it’s very rapidly becoming either a “family business” or a way out of BFE for most new recruits and cadets because people like YOU can’t be bothered to take a few years out of your precious lives to get dirty with people that might not share your worldview, aren’t the same race, aren’t from your city/state/geopolitical region or have different religious views than you – but the one thing you DO have in common is that you joined the U.S. military, either selfishly or unselfishly, but you soon figure out that Uncle Sam treats you all the same.

  23. Wow, how can a seemingly intelligent young man going to such an esteemed University be so ignorant?

    Thankfully we do have a long history of intelligent & patriotic young men & women who have risked their lives so that authors as ignorant as this one do have the freedom to voice his idiotic opinion.

  24. I hope you never need a GI. I hope you shiver in a bombed out or destroyed basement waiting on relief to arrive, slowly freezing, starving, and crying for help that never comes. Be it in a man made of natural disaster. Many Good Americas gave some, a lot gave all for you to have your say. I hope to remember your name. I have a rule to spend my dollars to the people, business and corporations who have a sense of patriotism. MSgt Retired. A Dad who will never allow a kid to go to Brown. I wonder if you an employable degree or are you just wasting your time?

    • Captain America says:

      The Army will have this guy in 3 years when he enlists for SLRP (I mean, how else is he going to pay the giant student loan) because his PT score wasn’t high enough for OCS.

  25. I can’t help wondering when I read misinformed op-eds like this what the author thinks would happen if one day the military and law enforcement decided to take a public ally announced week off. If they all decided, to a person, to take a vacation, what criminal element would seize that opportunity to engage in absolute malfeasance? How safe WOs the author feel knowing there would be nobody to respond to their 911 call, or to protect this country from any kind of attack.

  26. College students are being indoctrinated into a liberal agenda across the nation. I don’t even think college is worth it anymore.

    • It isn’t easy maintaining or voicing conservative beliefs in just about any university in this country. They were taken over years ago by extreme left wing ideologues. I remember having a “debate” in con law 20 years ago in which I was told “you can’t say that” in a discussion centering on the free speech clause of the First Amendment!

  27. This kid is certainly not among the best and brightest. His dim-bulb analysis of the situation shows a knee-jerk reaction typical of people who have lived a very narrow life.

  28. Makholouf, you are a mindless robot and a product of corrupt modern “Liberalism.” You are a disgrace to the once great institution formerly known as Brown University. Brown was never supposed to be a place where children are taught to slam the United States Military. It is the sacrifice of those in the US Armed Forces that enables you to spew your idiocy. What numb brains like you will never comprehend is the fact those who despise war the most are the ones who volunteer to leave their families and loved ones behind to fight them. They do this because of something greater than self, something self-centered jerks like you could never comprehend. Honor, duty and country are values these men and women possess and their dedication and sacrifice is what protects your right to be an idiot. The presumption those who wear a uniform are war mongers is such a tired old lie and propaganda manufactured by the depraved Woodstock LSD generation of dopers. You have therefore demonstrated zero “progress” in the 40 years hence. It may come as a shock to you, but what you spew is utterly unoriginal. Your mom and dad must be very proud.

  29. What an a$$wipe….this POS is probably attending Brown on someone else’s dime and majoring in Liberalism and minoring in Hate America! May Makhlouf needs to get his pansy a$$ in a uniform and experience what it is o be a patriot and not a human piece of excrement that hides behind a computer and first amendment rights! Brown University should be proud of this jackar$e and his liberal bull$hit!!!!

  30. Makholouf, you are a mindless robot and a product of corrupt modern “Liberalism.” You are a disgrace to the once great institution formerly known as Brown University. Brown was
    never supposed to be a place where children are taught to slam the United States Military. It is the sacrifice of those in the US Armed Forces that enables you to spew your idiocy. What numb brains like you will never comprehend is the fact those who despise war the most are the ones who volunteer to leave their families and loved ones behind to fight them. They do this because of something greater than self, something self-centered jerks like you could never comprehend. Honor, duty and country are values these men and women possess and their dedication defends your right to be an idiot. The presumption those who wear a uniform are war mongers is such a tired old lie and propaganda manufactured by the depraved Woodstock LSD generation of dopers. You have therefore demonstrated zero “progress” in the 40 years hence. It may come as a shock to you, but what you spew is utterly unoriginal. Your mom and dad must be very proud.

  31. As one who served, I have this to say to you: those of us who have served or are serving made the choice to serve. We did this because there are evils out there that must be fought and only a select few will answer that call. We serve so you can choose not to. We sacrifice our present and future so you don’t have to. We sacrifice sleep so yours can be safe and sound. We sacrifice our voice so you can raise yours. We fight the enemy in THEIR land so you remain safe from the atrocities of war. We sacrifice parts of our freedoms so you will ALWAYS have ALL OF yours. Given the choice, most of us would do it all again….even if it was just for you. You’re welcome.

  32. This well-written and balanced article represents the high journalistic and academic standards of Brown University.

  33. Coy Pemberton says:

    Considering the following statement from the article, “The push for normalizing militarism
    on our campus needs to be opposed because Brown students are so often unsure of
    their political leanings.” It is difficult to see the author in a positive light. As the reader, I liken this statement to the desired censorship of information. To say that because a person has not fully developed their “political leanings” and, thus, should not be exposed to available information goes against the very liberal idea of free flow of information and informed choice.

    However, it serves no useful end for commenters to lash out at the author by calling him names and questioning his personal beliefs. In a sense, such comments are equally hurtful to the free expression of opinion and thought. For example, the comment “The
    military would surely be scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to pick through the scraps at Brown” and others like this commit several logical fallacies. A couple of which include, but are certainly not limited to, Ad populum, genetic, and Ad hominem.

    As it is possible, perhaps even likely, that my response in itself will be commented on in
    either/both positive and negative ways; I would like to indicate the type of person I am and why I felt compelled to comment on this. I am a 15 year Army Infantry soldier (still
    serving in the Reserves) who also holds a Masters of Primary Care and Counseling Psychology and am currently a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology. Additionally, I freely hold both liberal and conservative beliefs openly.

    I chose to comment on this out of concern that articles like this and the comments they generate, in my experience, do little to facilitate open, level headed, and informed
    discourse. As such, I have two desires in reference to this: (1) that the author more closely consider the liberal beliefs of tolerance and free exchange of information when writing articles in the future, and (2) that commenters consider the, possibly, inflammatory nature of their comments and how they do little or nothing to support intelligent debate.

    Finally, I want to make clear that the preceding was solely my opinion, based on my personal experiences. I would also like to share the following link to a very well
    presented argument for the necessity of a well-organized military and why a person would chose to be a member of such an organization:

    • Coy, you wrote this as if open debate is what the author (or liberals in general) wanted. His writing makes it clear that his piece was a manifesto — not a call for dialogue. Nothing is going to change his mind anymore than someone could convince me that he isn’t a worthless waste of human flesh utterly beyond any hope of redemption.

  34. Return of the criminals? Wow, everyone gets upset that a guy barely out of training diapers has some kind of anti American and clearly anti Israel perspective? If and when he becomes an American and begins paying his own bills, if ever, he will change. Until then, this is a juvenile delinquent with zero life experience parroting what he has heard from his cooler friends. Peter go F yourself. Hope your zits clear up.

  35. Thomas Mag Malaglowicz says:

    Name just one criminal act committed by the ROTC. Take your time…I’ll wait.

  36. michael hamilton says:

    The author’s premises and conclusions are deeply flawed. What may be worse is what he has passed off as “writing”. Are there no editors at the Brown Daily Herald?

  37. ScarletPimpernel says:

    But no doubt Peter Makhlouf enthusiastically supports the state-sanctioned killing called abortion.

  38. William Head says:

    First of all let’s be brutally honest. Brown U is where you go if your parents have money, but you are too dumb, or too much of a stoner to get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Dartmouth. Secondly, this guy ought to read some Aquinas. Obvioulsy the concept of “moral” violence is foreign to him. Aquinas’ argument was that when confronted with tyranny, we are morally obligated to fight it. I don’t mean some squish, bed wetting liberals’ idea of tyranny, but the real thing. It is only due to the sacrifices made by brave soldiers that Maklouf is free to spew his ignorance. He is a “Three Bong Hit Saviour of the Universe.”

    • let’s be honest, brown university is where you go if you are privileged enough to get in to one of the most elite academic institutions in the entire world. i myself could have gone to columbia, but i chose to come to brown. maybe come up with something more creative if you want to insult brown students? we’ve all heard the stereotypical everyone-at-brown-is-dumb-and-high joke. your comments are old news and you, yourself, appear to be old and irrelevant. just trying to return your brutal honesty 🙂

    • Is that you Peter? says:

      You have proven you are on the same level as the author with your ignorant generalizations. You have done exactly the same by labeling all Brown students as “rich and privileged snobby stoners”, which is simply not true. Continue your strategy of fighting ignorance with ignorance. You will fail, as I am sure you failed to gain admittance to Brown.

    • Wow. This comment is almost as ignorant as the original article. Also, I’m not sure how you decided that the inspiration for Animal House, Dartmouth, belonged on the list of “Ivy Leagues more prestigious than Brown.”

  39. You’re a joke

  40. Anyone else want to start a Student NRA group on campus? Shhh… We’d have to keep it a secret from Peter Makhlouf…

  41. TheLoneRanger says:

    Anyone else want to start a Student NRA group on campus? Shhh… We’d have to keep it a secret from Peter Makhlouf…

  42. I hadn’t realized that Brown was such an unAmerican institution. I will be looking at resumes very closely in the future. It will be a cold day in hell before I hire, or allow to be hired, anyone with a degree from this disgrace of a “university.”

    • This institution predates the country and played a substantial role in the American Revolution. It’s not “unAmerican” in the least. Also, Brown students really aren’t going to rely on you for a job when they’re graduating with an ivy league degree.

      • What something was then and what it is now are not necessarily the same. Was Brown anti-military in the 18th century? Did they take a “principled stand” against George Washington? No? Then your point is meaningless.

        As for hiring, you haven’t got a clue what I do. While I’m not currently in the position, I have regularly been involved in the hiring of attorneys. We hire top tier (including top 10) law school grads on a regular basis. I guarantee you I will be looking a lot more closely at the undergrad institutions now that I know Brown is the Berkeley of the east.

        Although I’ve been practicing law in the private sector for almost 20 years, I’m a vet. I don’t hire people who hate vets or have problems with the military.

        • Are you seriously saying that because of one kid’s personal opinion article, you refuse to hire a single graduate of an ivy league university that has 1,500 new graduates every year? Take a step back and think about this. You absolutely cannot blame the author’s opinion on the university. Kids here major in everything from ancient history and Judaic studies to computer science and physics. It may surprise to you to hear that no professors are going around preaching these views to the student body.

          Everyone has their own unique experience at Brown and nurtures their own interests and opinions here. And among Brown grads are indeed many ROTC members – far from people who “hate vets or hate the military”.

          Assuming that a university produces 1,500 clones of the same person every year is a terrible mistake to make. One shooter at Virginia Tech doesn’t make the rest of the students murderers. George Bush attending Yale certainly didn’t mean that the rest of the student body was anything like him. Guess what, Bob Dylan attended the University of Minnesota. Do you really think that’s what made him who he is today?

          Honestly, I’m very glad I won’t have to work under someone who would jump to such ridiculous and unfounded conclusions.

          • Yes, your statement about what Brown professors teach would surprise me for two reasons. First, as someone with a BA and a JD from two different schools on opposite sides of the country from one another I KNOW what college campuses and professors are like. Second, right here on this very website, Professor Keach, while magnanimously allowing ROTC students the right to wear their uniforms on campus, submitted a letter to the editor. In it he magnanimously allowed that ROTC should be allowed, but that (and I’m paraphrasing here) students wearing their uniforms on campus should expect to be approached by total strangers and castigated for the policies of the country’s political leaders.

            I didn’t say that all graduates of Brown were this guy’s clone. However, in researching this issue a bit more, I have discovered that his opinions are shared by the overwhelming majority of the faculty and students of Brown. Sadly, that hardly makes Brown unique, but I never realized how widely shared such abhorrent beliefs were at the institution. Seriously, you are not going to try to refute the claim that Brown has been a traditional hot bet of anti-military fervor?

            I also find it interesting that you trumpet ivy league membership like a gold seal of approval whilst simultaneously denouncing painting a student body with a broad brush. In the realm of perception you take the good with the bad. I too am glad you will not be working for me — I find hypocrites nearly as tedious as ingrates.

          • y r u the way that u r says:

            Please take a look around. Plenty are disagreeing with the author – in fact, I don’t think I have seen a single comment in agreement with the author. While I find the article ludicrous, poorly argued and poorly written, I also take issue with your comment, because disagreeing with him and with you are not mutually exclusive stances. Seeing as your comment has little to do with this specific author’s argument and more to do with condemning an entire student body, I don’t see how this person above^ could have been expected to directly disagree with the author in a response to you. I personally have not been affected by this anti-military death grip which according to you is so inescapable. Take your preconceived notions about my school elsewhere. Thank you for your service, but not for your ridiculously misguided and judgmental comments.

          • You must have stopped reading at my comment. There are not only posts in support but, as I documented elsewhere letters to this “paper” in support. My notions are well documented in Brown’s history of radical leftist and anti-militay activism. Ray Kelly sound familiar? Google is the friend of those willing to learn.

          • “in researching this issue a bit more, I have discovered that his opinions have been historically shared by the overwhelming majority of the faculty and students of Brown.”

            Exactly what research is this? What is an ‘overwhelming’ majority? Please document your evidence to support this generalization.

          • How about we start with ROTC being banned since 1969 at the instigation of the student body to satisfy their hatred of the military and its continued absence from the campus with their consent for decades.

  43. Bet if they started the Palestinian Glee & AK47 club on campus this guy would be the first in line to be president though.

  44. You completely misunderstand the term “military science”, as applied to ROTC. Military Science courses are designed to teach the “science” of military leadership, decision-making, and tactical thinking, in very basic forms, not to invent new weapons. Nobody’s building a death ray at Brown.

    How is anyone supposed to take you seriously when you can’t even open up Military Science in your course catalog and figure out exactly what it is?

    By the way, military-funded projects gave you GPS. If you truly opposed “military science” as you understand it, dump your smartphone and go back to a paper map.


  45. Peter’s parents should have had an abortion!!!!!

  46. Its people who serve in the military that give morons like you the first amendment right to be as stupid as you want to be.

  47. A Midshipman says:

    Don’t forget about who gives you the right to have such an opinion.

  48. This article is written well and speaks to the intelligence and nuanced thinking of its author. And, more importantly, the column demonstrates the author’s ability to back up arguments with well-rounded research. Good job, Peter.

    • Someone else who forgot the /sarcasm tag.

      • Nope, my comment was a literal statement. Please do not attempt to drown out others’ support for an individual’s view even if it is one with which you happen to disagree.

        • Ah, the age old liberal hypocritical cry of “I get free speech but none for you.” If you are afraid that your support for this vile speech is drowned out by a one line reply consisting of seven words, you might want to reevaluate your writing.

        • Why not? Liberals only support freedom of speech they agree with. Working pretty good seemingly for you folks, might work for conservatives too.

          • “Liberals only support freedom of speech they agree with.” — how exactly is this different from how you and almost all other commenters on this thread are behaving? Freedom of speech doesn’t guarantee you protection from the speech of others that you happen to find offensive.

          • Oh stop it junior, I will fight and have for your right to be as stupid as you can be. You lefties want us shut up, silenced and put in boxes. Your freedom of speech is only important to you and those who think like you. That you have to ask how it’s different shows how dense you are.

          • “how exactly is this different from how you and almost all other commenters on this thread are behaving? ”

            We’re fighting speech with speech. Maggie is fighting speech with “shut up.”

  49. Captain America says:

    You sir, are not an American.

  50. Any true American company that hires anyone from this University is hiring a time bomb. This guy enjoys running his yap, there are plenty who stand back and agree.

  51. IvyLeague Liberals---ugh! says:

    Freedom of speech….staunchly defended by graduates of ROTC. To paraphrase: “Instead of people thinking you are an idiot you use your freedom of speech to remove all doubt”

  52. “State sanctioned violence”? You MORON.. its BECAUSE of men like that
    AND myself – a permanently disabled US Military Veteran that you can
    even SAY those IDIOTIC things without being thrown in jail. Its because
    of US – AD military & Veterans that you sleep without worry that our
    country will be over run by an enemy. Its because of US that for 232
    years the United States has SAVED and LIBERATED in excess of ONE BILLION
    people on the planet.

    Screw you Peter Makhlouf

  53. silentsighing says:

    So, because the police have had some possible abuse cases, military science, ROTC, and the military are bad? Wow. Logic and critical thinking are not being taught at Brown, apparently.

    Since you apparently never learned this, Mr. Makhlouf, let me me inform you: police departments are a domestic law enforcement organization; the military is a federal defense organization and is expressly forbidden from police actions within the United States (except under very strict circumstances). See the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

    The rest of the article seems to presume that the hallowed halls of Brown will be so polluted by the mere existence of ROTC that students “unsure of their political leanings” might actually engage in the free, open exchange of ideas and break ranks from the lock-step, anti-military liberal historical stance of the university. Oh, the horrors!

    This ill-founded, illogical, discriminatory rant is an embarrassment to The Brown Daily Herald and Brown University and does not speak well of Brown’s standards of education.

  54. Not all members of the military support war. While I serve in the Army, I do not think that war should be the first option in any disagreement. However, when it comes down to it, some people can’t be reasoned with, such as ISIS believing that Sharia Law should be enforced worldwide and all nonbelievers (as well as believers that don’t support their views such as the Jordanian pilot they burned alive) should be killed.

    Some of those ROTC students in other colleges are there because they don’t come from rich families and the ROTC scholarship that allows them to attend college was a better option than taking out student loans that they would be paying back for years after they graduated.

    Regardless of their reason for being in ROTC, they do not make military policy and if you have a problem with military policies then you need to take that up with Washington, not people that are taking an elective that doesn’t even guarantee service. No 19-year student in college attending ROTC votes on what wars to fight.

    The military’s policy on not allowing people that are transgender to serve (homosexuals and bisexuals can serve openly now) is based on medical considerations, not a prejudice against them. Some people that are transgender require hormones and may elect to receive surgery. Those things cannot be guaranteed in a combat zone where supply lines may be cut off for weeks or longer.

    Bottom line is if you are anti-military then don’t enroll into ROTC. You shouldn’t use your opinion to justify why anybody else that wants to enroll into Brown shouldn’t be given that option.

  55. The writer probably has never met a person in ROTC. The ones I knew at Brown in the 60’s were on ROTC scholarships so they could attend Brown. They provided a liberal outlook and a balance to the people that worked for them in their military years. They were good for Brown, and good for the country. Some of them died as a result of their service.

  56. Jack Klompus says:

    Standard boilerplate from a petty privileged ivy league twerp. Your feelings of inadequacy drip from every word.

  57. Suggested Ivy League ROTC advocacy resource: Advocates for ROTC.

  58. Peter Makhlouf and his ilk have he luxury of strutting like privileged peacocks displaying their ignorance at an Ivy League school because, as Richard Grenier pointed out, rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. Peter should go over to Syria and try to convince ISIS of his views. Those ROTC cadets and midshipmen on Brown’s campus who are willing to stand between Makhlouf and ISIS are all that is keeping Makhlouf’s head attached to his body.

  59. After reading this op-ed, I find myself reminded of a favorite Ivy league chant at sporting events from days gone by–“What’s the color of s***? BROWN.”

  60. Not surprised an Arab or MUslim would write this garbage. Get the fridge out of America. U would do
    Well in a free country like Syria. U r a POS.on a good day

  61. Love the irony of a liberal lamenting the increasing militarization of the police…while simultaneously supporting the massive expansion of government.

  62. What a refreshingly pacifist viewpoint. Perhaps we should allow weaponry to ban itself, though. For people to choose to stop fighting. Not to fight them for fighting, or declare your own monopoly of violence and coercion

  63. Dr. Timothy J. Williams says:

    Mr. Makhlouf, if this is the type of shallow reasoning produced by an education at Brown University, you have wasted your money. Nevertheless, the graduates of ROTC will be prepared to defend your right to be a moron.

  64. rossdaniels1987 says:

    20 bucks says Makhlouf is a Muslim.

  65. What a sick person with no facts and just leftist hate. He makes teabaggers look open minded.

  66. The author implies that Brown students not involved in ROTC will somehow be forced to take military science courses or read the course materials (or talk with a ROTC student?) and become indoctrinated through these processes. Clearly, he does not understand how ROTC works. He and his anti-war friends can avoid military science classes by…not joining ROTC.

    Saying, in effect, “We should not have ROTC because Ferguson,” makes no sense. The author’s worry about the wishy-washiness of the Brown student body is also not a reason to ban ROTC programs on campus. Does he really think that ROTC students are going to grab anti-war undergrads and force them to watch “They Were Expendable” until they demand to enlist and go to war?

    It seems to me that the author is so anxious for others to adopt his opposition to so-called state-sponsored imperialism that he forgets that, in this country at least, we have the freedom to pursue any careers for which we are qualified. May I suggest that he worry about his own career, particularly if it involves writing skills, and let the future military officers who will protect his freedom to write endless columns disparaging their efforts get on with their studies.

  67. So called “Americans” like this love to flourish in the freedoms that this country’s military has gained and sustained for them throughout its history all while bashing it.

    You are FREE to leave any time you want sir, our military has also ensured that freedom for you. You will not be missed.

  68. AverageJoeMN says:

    Just another looney commie.

  69. socialismisevil says:


    looks like the writer fears the truth

  70. This article amused me, even angered me a bit , but I was pleasantly surprised by other student’s and faculty reaction to him. My son is a wounded Vet , now a student a URI. I have heard him answer critics of the military and our war on terrorism by quoting Orwell.” People sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”. Mr. Makhlouf , pitch your swill to Isis!

    • Thanks to you and your family from another service member and his. Things like this used to anger me before I joined and deployed. Now, I just feel sorry for people such as Mr. Makhlouf because of how much they talk about something of so little they know. I’ll be on my way to Afghanistan again within the next few months, and I’m fine with that. I just wish Americans would stop fighting each other. A truly UNITED States of America could positively affect the world in a way never thought possible.

      • God Bless you and keep you safe Ryan. Thank you for your continued service. These are difficult times for the USA, and you make an excellent point. We need to stop fighting one another! Watch your Six over there!

  71. If this were a paper submitted for a grade, any community college professor worth a dime would mark it down for failure to adequately cite sources. Sure, it’s an op-ed, not a term paper, but the third paragraph is so laughably misinformed as well as unsubstantiated that it calls into question the academic quality of Brown. Such an intellectually void piece published in the school paper reflects a lack of standard and integrity at the institutional level. At the individual level, this writer’s work will pass muster only amongst like minded readers. Anyone with a small capacity for critical thinking will dismiss it as the childish drivel it is.

  72. Brown should send a contingent of professors over and hold talks with ISIS leadership to smooth things over for the world… Please leave a neck up current pic before your flight…

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