With Regard To
Freedom Of Expression

By Alfred Lehmberg

Recently on the Rense site a story was covered about Professor Peter Kirstein of Saint Xavier University in Chicago, presently the object of a suspiciously incited mob's "torches and pitchforks" concerning the expression of his personal (if educated!) views on our military. The opinions expressed most opposite to my own regarding this unjustified academic lynching can be found here:
I'm a retired Army officer and combat veteran, with a bronze star and four Meritorious Service Medals, and I think this reflexive firestorm on the reputation of Professor Peter Kirstein, the history Professor "punished" for his "Anti-Military Opinion", is without merit, a graceless institutional overreaction, and descriptive of an America as sick as the professor believes it is. The reactionary arguments of the professor's obviously conflicted detractors are most poignantly outlined by Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC, (from the aforementioned link) and are as follows:
"It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."
The preceding, frankly, is overemotional and sensationalistic nonsense and a weepy justification for a continued ignorance OF (and disrespect FOR!) the rest of the world. Additionally, it is just plain garden variety wrong... wrong in spirit, wrong in letter, and wrong in fact.
IT IS THE REPORTER, not the soldier, who produces the *reality* of a free press. To often that soldier has had his rifle in the reporter's MOUTH or where is the quality raw reportage from the last Gulf "police action" and a recent *conflict* in Afghanistan?
IT IS THE POET, not the soldier, who first suggested, identified, and articulated the freedom of speech, or we'd (all of us) still be tilling a three field rotation for the manor lord and providing our daughters for the sport of his arrogant sons!
IT IS THE CAMPUS ORGANIZER, not the soldier who dares to bravely demonstrate in the first place despite the soldier sent there to shoot him down like a dog, or has everyone just forgotten Kent State! I've saluted the flag. I've served, very honorably, beneath the flag. Tragically, I missed the "opportunity" to be killed in (suspicious!) combat, or I would have been swaddled with it in death! And as to soldiers allowing protesters to burn the flag (?) -- that's just plain old neighborhood unvarnished ludicrousness and opulent (but flatulent) political jingoism!
The padre's pontifications pound patriotic sand!
At the root of this convenient donnybrook is a private communication between two people that should never have seen the light of day -- much less the frenzied attention of the reactionary Nation! Moreover, it was the little ROTC 'weasel' that ratted the private communication of the professor OUT who is the real problem here, not an honorable man expressing himself (as he will!) in an allegedly *free* society!
Had the professor known a freaking MICROPHONE was on... I'm sure he would have couched his RIGHTFUL refusal to participate in more eloquent and thoughtful terms -- used a more pedantic tone to educate what he apparently saw as an ignorant and insentient little military drone! The professor is a pacifist with strong, highly educated, views on a subject of suspicious military violence repeating itself over and over again in our western civilization for the same stupid, arbitrary, and sociopathic reasons, and incurring the wrath of the whole REST of the word against us in the artless process!
Finally, America, the Rome of the 21st Century, is BEST served by ardent criticism and is done a HUGE disservice by thoughtless adulation! Did the Rome of antiquity survive thoughtless adulation, and where came the criticism of it at the end after the reporters, poets, and organizers were exiled or hacked up in the distracting arena!
Reinstate Professor Peter Kirstein and remove his academic shackles, now! He's what _I_ was fighting for!
EXPLORE "AlienViews" at:
"I cleave the heavens and soar to the infinite. What others see from afar, I leave _far_ behind me." - Giordano Bruno, scourged by the scabrously specious scurrilous.


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