Students fight back against anti-war sentiment on campus

Clarion Call No. 130
North Carolina university students are beginning to join the intellectual battle on campuses over the U.S. war on terrorism.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last weekend, a planned anti-war protest was met by a counter-protest of student patriots. According to published reports in The Daily Tar Heel, about 300 anti-war protesters gathered together at McCorkle Place for speakers and Vietnam-era protest music. They chanted “Justice, not war!” and waved placards reading “Warrants not war” and “Impeach the mad-bomber in chief.”

When the protesters marched down Franklin Street, they were matched by students in a parked red pickup truck on Franklin St. The students waved American flags and sang “God Bless America.” One student carried a sign reading “Honk if you love America,” which prompted numerous honks from passing cars. Many onlookers joined the counter-demonstrators in singing “God Bless America.”

On Thursday at Duke University, the Duke Conservative Union, a student organization, sponsored a discussion entitled “The New Patriotism: American Citizenship After September 11.” The DCU featured three speakers, two of them.

Dr. Alberto Coll, the dean of the U.S. Naval College who immigrated from Cuba, spoke on “The Moral Foundations of American Foreign Policy.” Coll discussed the concept of the just war, in which a nation required a just cause to wage warfare. The U.S. is presently engaged in a just war, Coll said, because “we have suffered a grievous attack … against innocent people.”

Dinesh D’Souza, a fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University and an immigrant from India, spoke on “What’s So Right About America and Why the Terrorists Hate Us.” D’Souza said America was “a country where you get to write the script of your own life,” an idea that is “intoxifying and magnetic to the young people of the world, especially the young people of the Muslim world.”

Barry Strauss, chair of the Peace Studies Program at Cornell University, spoke on “The Campus Reactions to Sept. 11.” The reaction across the country, Strauss said, made him understand what his father meant when he said about the nation’s reaction to Pearl Harbor: “In a heartfelt manner … people rallied to the flag.”

Still, Strauss said, there are exceptions to this heartfelt patriotism, including on college campuses and in the news media. Strauss said that the new peace movement believes that “If only we are peaceful, the world will be peaceful and good,” but peace requires everyone being peaceful and playing by the rules. Because some people don’t play by the rules, even a peaceful nation has to defend herself. “There is no contradiction in being a peace-loving people and going to war,” Strauss said.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, on the campuses of North Carolina State University and Wake Forest University, students will hold a “Rally for America.” The rally at N.C. State is sponsored by the College Republicans, and the rally at Wake Forest is sponsored by the College Republicans of Wake Forest and also of Salem College.

The College Republicans have sponsored over 600 similar rallies to take place simultaneously across the country. Information about these rallies can be found at the John Locke Foundation’s new web site for war-related news and commentary,