Thrawn Rickle 94

New Jersey Prof Urges Fragging of U.S. Officers

© 2005 Williscroft

Rebecca Beach

Rebecca Beach is a student at Warren County Community College (WCCC) in Washington, New Jersey. She is also a member of the Young Americans for Freedom on the campus.

A few days ago Beach announced a Freedom Week meeting of the Young Americans for Freedom featuring speaker and war hero Lt. Col. Scott Rutter. During Freedom Week, both Veteran’s Day and World Freedom Day (November 9, 1989—the fall of the Berlin Wall) are commemorated.

Beach sent her announcement by email to the staff and faculty of WCCC. Of her many responses, one stood out. It seems that Prof. John Peter Daly, Adjunct Professor of English, took exception to Beach’s membership in the Young Americans for Freedom and her apparent enthusiasm for the night’s speaker, Lt. Col. Rutter.

Prof. Daley responded with a detailed email which is included here in its entirety:

Dear Rebecca:

I am asking my students to boycott your event. I am also going to ask others to boycott it. Your literature and signs in the entrance lobby look like fascist propaganda and is extremely offensive. Your main poster “Communism killed 100,000,000” is not only untrue, but ignores the fact that CAPITALISM has killed many more and the evidence for that can be seen in the daily news papers. The U.S. government can fly to dominate the people of Iraq in 12 hours, yet it took them five days to assist the people devastated by hurricane Katrina. Racism and profits were key to their priorities. Exxon, by the way, made $9 Billion in profits this last quarter–their highest profit margin ever. Thanks to the students of WCCC and other poor and working class people who are recruited to fight and die for EXXON and other corporations who earning megaprofits from their imperialist plunders. If you want to count the number of deaths based on political systems, you can begin with the more than a million children who have died in Iraq from U.S.-imposed sanctions and war. Or the million African American people who died from lack of access to healthcare in the US over the last 10 years.

I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your won’t dare show their face on a college campus. Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people’s needs–such freedom fighters can be counted throughout American history and they certainly will be counted again.

Prof. John Daly

The Professor’s world-view is apparent from his comments regarding the numbers of deaths under Capitalism versus Communism. His characterization of the Young Americans for Freedom as Fascists borders on the ridiculous, and the numbers he quotes regarding deaths in Iraq and elsewhere resulting from American “imperialism” are simply regurgitations of the tired mantras of the far left. But Prof. Daly goes beyond spouting off these mangled statistics.

Every young infantry officer carries a latent fear that one of his own troops will “frag” him – shoot him in the back or otherwise take him down or even out during combat. This practice is as old as warfare itself, and has been part of the “self-disciplining” environment that shapes and molds a young officer. An obviously popular and respected officer stands virtually no chance of being fragged, whereas the typical egocentric blowhard is “selected out” of the process more often than we would like to think.

Prof. Daly’s boycott of the event turned out to be a stunning success – in reverse. Beach told me in an interview that more than eighty students attended the event, significantly more than at any other event at WCCC this year. Lt. Col. Rutter told me that his reception was as warm and friendly as any he had received thus far.

Lt.Col. Scott Rutter

Beach turned over Prof. Daly’s email to the Young Americans for Freedom, and it didn’t take long for the professor’s comments to show up on the World Wide Web. Consequently, WCCC was inundated with information requests. In an instant, WCCC, Beach, and Daly were catapulted into the national arena.  Finally, on the afternoon of November 17, WCCC shut down its web site temporarily, in order to insert a disclaimer in front of everything else. Here is the exact wording of that disclaimer:

Press Release
November 17, 2005

Warren County Community College is a “students first” college where learning without limits is always the main goal. We maintain a mission of building a community of learners through accessible, quality learning opportunities designed to meet personal aspirations for all students.

It has been brought to the administration’s attention that a part-time instructor, Mr. John Daly, speaking for himself and using his personal email, sent a message to a student representing the Young Americans for Freedom in response to a personal email from her requesting him to announce an upcoming event on the campus. Mr Daly responded to her alone, and expressed his own personal views regarding his beliefs about this group.

The viewpoints of this professor in no way depict the views of Warren County Community College, its administration, or the Board of Trustees. The College does however support the constitution, the first amendment, and the right to free speech.

Additionally, Mr. Daly’s message was sent as a one-to-one message, via e-mail, to one person, and not to the college community. Finally, the College is viewing this message as a personnel issue and will be addressing it according to the policies and procedures of the College.

Dr. Austin, college president stated, “I firmly believe every employee and student has first amendment rights, no matter how repugnant I personally find Mr. Daly’s statements. Our attorneys have advised us of our obligation to follow state laws, board policies, and college due process in regards to any personnel matter. We are now investigating this matter further.”

Two days later the following release appeared on the WCCC website:

For immediate release – November 19, 2005

Warren County Community College to Hold an Emergency Meeting

The Board of Trustees of Warren County Community College will convene an emergency meeting of the Board, Tuesday, November 22, 2005 at 6:30 PM. This meeting was called by Board Chair Edward Smith.

The Board of Trustees intends to consider the welfare and rights of its students, the college community, and the public in lieu of recent events. The Board will also consider personnel issues.

The college President, Dr. William Austin reiterates his statement that comments made by Mr. Daly are his own. The opinions Mr. Daly has expressed do not represent the views of the community college, administration, faculty, staff or students, nor do his views align with the college’s mission and core values.

College President Dr. Austin said, “The Board of Trustees’ meeting is scheduled for the first legally available date.”

I am delighted that the WCCC Board takes this incident so seriously, and am looking forward to the outcome of their emergency meeting. And while I’m heartened to read that WCCC President Dr. William Austin “…firmly believe[s] every employee and student has first amendment rights,” I’m at a loss to understand how this belief translates into supporting Prof. Daly’s “right” to make his comments.

Although I am not a recognized constitutional scholar, I have read and studied the constitution sufficiently often to state unequivocally that it does not directly address this kind of situation. But I also know that several court decisions have firmly established the interpretation that says the First Amendment does not guarantee the right to incite to violence or riot, and this is exactly what Prof. Daly has done.

There is no difference at all between the Islamic Mullah who openly advocates killing Jews or Americans or President George W. Bush, and Prof. Daly who openly advocates that soldiers kill their superiors. His likening of American patriots fighting in the Revolutionary War with Communist insurgents during the Cold War and the Islamic insurgents in Iraq today (which is the only reasonable interpretation of his closing comments) is a stretch that boggles the mind.

President Bush said it as clearly as possible: “Either you are with us, or you are with them.”

There is no middle ground.

Since this incident hit the national scene, I heard a report on FOX News that quoted Prof. Daly refusing to withdraw his comments, and as saying further that the Young Americans for Freedom were nothing but a Fascist organization anyway, not worthy of intellectual consideration.

Remember that Prof. Daly is not just another citizen speaking his mind on the “protest corner” on Friday evening, as his kind are wont to do here in North Hollywood. Daly teaches impressionable young people every day. His subjects center around creative writing, so his class discussions can touch on any subject he desires. He has clearly stated that he is “asking [his] students to boycott [the] event.” This amounts to open politicizing in the classroom.

I am reasonably certain the WCCC did not hire this intellectual misfit to conduct political indoctrination in his creative writing classes. Prof. Daly’s actions thus far in this matter, and his stated intent for the future should seal his fate within the publicly funded academic community whose hospitality he is abusing.

This intellectual lout’s free pass at the public trough needs to be terminated immediately, and his teaching credentials jerked. He needs a healthy dose of reality by having to find a real job doing something useful – like garbage collector – instead of being given a guaranteed job-for-life as a tenured teacher in New Jersey’s State Community College system.

I don’t quarrel with Prof. Daly’s right to spout off while collecting garbage, reading gas meters, or even writing books (if he can actually find a publisher), but I strongly protest his having even a casual conversation with impressionable under-age students while being paid public monies – especially when they are his captive audience in a class where he ultimately assigns a grade based, I suspect, on their political orientation rather than their performance as writers.

It’s time for the professor to go, and leave his teaching credentials behind.

[NOTE: The Editor of L.A. Mentary, Arvin Tseng, unexpectedly wrote a rebuttal of this article in the same issue of the magazine. I protested, and he included a disclaimer with his article, and  published my responding letter in the next issue.]

Submariner, diver, scientist, author & adventurer. 22 mos underwater, a yr in the equatorial Pacific, 3 yrs in the Arctic, and a yr at the South Pole. BS Marine Physics & Meteorology, PhD in Engineering. Authors non-fiction, Cold War thrillers, and hard science fiction. Lives in Centennial, CO.

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