Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dahr Jamail at UAA on Monday

Author and journalist, Dahr Jamail, spoke at the School of Communications at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Monday evening. The lecture hall was packed to overflowing, with several students attending, along with members of the general public.

Jamail is on a national book tour, promoting his new book, The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. From what I have read in it so far, it is an interesting and provocative work. During the Vietnam War, there weren't nearly as many critical books coming out while the war was still in its expansion phase, as there have been recently about what are now Obama's expanding wars.

He received a standing ovation. In the question & answer session after his talk, I related that I left college to serve in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, then went back to college afterward. I've been teaching at UAA since before September 11th, 2001. Before the war, about 15% of my students were military, 10% recently released Veterans. After the wars ramped up in 2003, the number of students who are in the military went down drastically. It has come back up, though, and I am concerned about campus support for our Veterans.

Many seem to be OK and are great students. Some are indifferent. But some have been through severe stresses that make their pursuit of a degree difficult at best.

I asked if, on his talks on campuses around the USA, he knew of college-based support networks for our Veterans. He knew of none, save at a couple of large schools. He doubted that there will be much effort to fix this, as some systems - notably the University of California one - are undergoing immense budget cuts.

Dahr Jamail:
The Audience - I:
The Audience - II:
A doubting Vietnam Vet (red tie and high blood pressure) and an agreeing Iraq War squad leader Vet:


Durruti said...

And did you bring up the number of lies this man has spread about our military and how many disturbed muslim youths have been recruited to Jihad because of those lies ?

Also, what is surprising about an anti-American speaker getting a big turn-out at one of America's universities ? The big surprise would be the day that one of these America-haters doesn't get support from academia. Fifty years of indoctrination by old, embittered Leftist professors and lecturers has created a one-sided political climate at most universities that the old Soviet Union would be proud of.

Susie said...

I attended Dar Jamail's lecture last evening and found it to be highly enlightening. He is doing this as an independent journalist, not bought and paid for by the military, our government, or by corporations. He is bringing us the unvarnished truth about what is going on over there, and of the physical and emotional damage that our soldiers are bringing back to their homes. War is not pretty, and his descriptions of some of the activities our soldiers are indeed disturbing, but we need to hear about them. Bush got us into an illegal and immoral set of wars, and it's a huge mess now about how to sort out how to get out of them.
I wonder why the worked-up guy in the suit and red tie didn't stick around for the Q & A session and ask his questions in a reasonable way in the proper forum for them? As rude and inappropriate as his shout-outs were during the lecture, you'd think he would have been chomping at the bit to speak directly with Dahr, but just disappeared when the lecture was over. Very strange...

akglow said...

Funny, I don't remember Dahr saying "I hate America".

Durruti said...

'He is bringing us the unvarnished truth about what is going on over there,"

How do you know ? Or is it because he reinforces the prejudices you already have about this country that you have such blind faith in his lies ?