Letters to the Editor

Letter: ROTC members welcome but not superior

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To the Editor:

Many commentators have accused Peter Makhlouf’s ’16 polemic opinion piece “ROTC: Return of the criminals” of being logically unsound and overly generalized. However, a real concern about the piece is the lack of formal reasoning for an anti-war ethos on campus. Being a pacifist is not a feather in the cap for liberal hipsters. It is a refusal to allow the state to abstract violence committed against other people and nations. It is a belief that no human has the right to cause another human being pain or suffering.

The engaged, anti-war members of the community ought to welcome ROTC members, for they are students like everyone else here, excited to engage in the pursuit of knowledge. But despite the integrated sense of community, ROTC members must be willing to engage with an extreme irreverence toward the justification of war that I and many other pacifists share. Walking through Faunce House in army fatigues does not immediately elevate the wearer from the scholastic rabble nor should the wearer expect absolute respect for the military institution they represent.


Joey DiZoglio ’15

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  1. This is simply stating the obvious. When did any potential ROTC candidates intimate that they deserve to be recognized as “superior”? The author labels himself a “pacifist” and suggests that ROTC members at Brown should have to justify state sanctioned use of force. What about the policy makers that many “pacifists” at Brown voted for? There is an assumption that every military member is “pro war”. This reductionist thinking is disappointing at a place like Brown. Do “pacifists” believe there is never a situation in which use of force should be considered by the state? As in, the United States should not have a military at all?

  2. “Walking through Faunce House in army fatigues does not immediately elevate the wearer from the scholastic rabble ”

    Well, no, but it definitely puts them on the ladder to rise above you. Should they actually go on to serve they are, without doubt, far better human beings and Americans than sheltered ingrates like you will ever be.

  3. Reality Check says:

    Ironic that Joey talks about the pain and suffering of other human beings, considering that the United States military has alleviated more of it than he could possibly hope to achieve.

    PS- the guy you voted for has bombed more countries than Bush did. Just sayin.

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