Friday, February 24, 2006

Eugene Jarecki Speech a Bust

When the Marquette Tribune ran a puff-piece about the campus appearance of leftist filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, one key piece of information was omitted.

The article said nothing about the turnout.

We have information from two students who were there, and one says the turnout was “approximately 30,” while another says “35 is on the high end.”

While it’s tempting for a conservative to applaud the fact that a leftist speaker got a poor turnout, we would have preferred a large turnout of students willing to listen critically and confront Jarecki on his tendentious view of national security issues.

Indeed, that’s the spirit with which the College Republicans approached the event.

College Republicans Daniel Suhr and Rob Fafinski prepared the following list of questions for Jarecki, and members of the organization passed them out at the event.

The Marquette University College Republicans would like to present:

Twenty Questions
With Eugene Jarecki

In the name of a true academic discourse on our campus, the MUCRs would like to pose a few questions to Eugene Jarecki. If one of these questions in particular strikes you, feel free to ask Mr. Jarecki!!!

  1. You start the movie off by asking the question on many Americans minds: Why do they hate us? How would you answer that question?
  2. Yes or No, did the American government bring 9-11 upon itself by our actions throughout history?
  3. You noted that President Bush labeled the 9-11 terrorists “evil-doers” who must be stopped because of their evil. Do you consider the 9-11 hijackers “evil-doers”?
  4. The movie says the United States decided to remain militarist permanently because of the Soviet Union. Do you believe that Soviet Communism presented a threat to America? Would you agree with the common assertion that the permanent militarism you condemn was part of the reason that America defeated communism?
  5. The movie says that animosity against the United States is stronger now than it has ever been in history. How do you measure that? Is that true even given, for instance, the Cold War?
  6. Do you believe that the U.S. invaded Iraq in order to intimidate other countries and show them that the U.S. could “do what it wants” on the world stage?
  7. What is your understanding of imperialism? Is the United States an imperialist nation?
  8. The movie says that the United States is “spreading democracy” … is that a bad thing?
  9. The movie says that by doing a cost-benefit analysis most American military families must be against the war. How do you account for the fact that military families are among the most ardent supporters of the Bush’s actions?
  10. You reference “economic colonialism” in the movie, and you imply that free trade and free markets are not good… would you rather see markets in these nations remained closed to US and other nations’ capital investment and goods?
  11. The retired AF Lt Col. says that she will not allow her children to even consider entering the military. Do you support her decision? On what basis?
  12. In the making of the movie, how many Americans did you ask the question, “Why do we fight?”
  13. Do you agree with Howard Dean that the capture of Saddam has not made America safer?
  14. Was President Clinton right to send troops to Bosnia in 1995 and Yugoslavia in 1999?
  15. The defense industry is one of the most unionized industries in the U.S. Would you say that unions help perpetuate this American military empire you speak of?
  16. Why are troop recruitment and retention rates on track or higher than expected in recent years? How do you account for troops finding fulfillment their implementation of Bush’s policy in the Middle East?
  17. Is patriotism jingoistic? In other words, do you fly the flag on the Fourth of July?
  18. How much money are you making off this movie, and would you say you are benefiting financially from the American military empire you speak of?
  19. Does United States military action need to pass John Kerry’s “global test,” which was basically requiring explicit U.N. approval before action?
  20. I want to put to you a question asked in March of 2003 by a British journalist of the French foreign minister – as invasion was imminent, who did you want to win, the Coalition or Saddam?

The College Republicans clearly approached the event in the proper spirit. Academia is the place where tough questions ought to be asked, and asked of students, professors, administrators and outside speakers.

But we wonder: where were the campus liberals and leftists on Wednesday night?


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