Yale president Dr. Richard Levin isn’t going to be the next Lawrence Summers. Summers, memorably run out of hyperliberal Harvard for speaking his mind on ladies’ affinity for the sciences, is obviously on Levin’s mind as the gathering storm of controversy regarding Yale’s admittance of former Taliban ambassador Rahmatullah Hashemi grows from ripple to tsunami. Levin is terrified of actually uttering a word to justify Yale’s admittance of the unrepentant Hashemi, so he has refused all requests for interviews. (Levin, like Dick Cheney on 9-11, is hiding in an undisclosed location.) Instead, like the real man he is, as you’d expect of anyone whose life is dedicated to the advancement of diversity, Levin sent a girl out to fight this battle for him.
Subbing for Hugh Hewitt last week, the Yale-Hashemi scandal much on my mind, I invited Dr. Levin to come on and make his case. I wanted to find out how Yale justifies admitting Hashemi and — as the Yale Herald reported last week — giving him a discount of 35 or 40% on his tuition, money that could be going to students who haven’t been in the pay of a terrorist government. Levin refused to come on the air, of course. But Hugh’s producer, Duane Patterson, got the following e-mail from Yale’s equivalent of Xena the Warrior Princess: Levin’s flack, Mizz Helaine Klasky.
President Levin is out of town and further, we are not doing interviews. Here is a statement. You can quote me or say it is from Yale, whatever you prefer.
Rahmatullah Hashemi was approved by the U.S. government for a visa to study in this country. Yale has allowed Mr. Hashemi to take courses for college credit in a part-time program that does not award Yale degrees. Contrary to what has been reported by some in the media, he has not been admitted as an undergraduate to Yale College or to any of the other schools at Yale.
We hope that his courses help him understand the broader context for the conflicts around the world. We acknowledge that some are criticizing Yale for allowing Mr. Hashemi to take courses here, but we hope that critics will also acknowledge that universities are places that must strive to increase understanding, especially of the most difficult issues that face the nation and the world.
Also, there is a lot of mis-information out there namely that (1) Rahmatullah is a freshman. He is not, he is a non-degree student and (2) that Yale does not have any ROTC program, we do. Here are the facts, in case you are interested, in that latter point:
While Yale does not host an ROTC program, the University does support those who wish to make such a commitment and we believe that the leadership these students provide is vital to our military. Each year we have a group of ROTC students at Yale, and they complete their training alongside other students from colleges and universities across the state at the University of Connecticut. Yale facilitates participation in ROTC training by providing the students with transportation to their ROTC classes. Recently a Yale ROTC graduate was honored nationally while a Yale senior as the Air Force Cadet of the Year.
Wow. It’s apparent that Yale’s Colonial Office is convinced that we wogs are completely dependent on its tolerance, sensitivity and leadership. Kneel, you knaves, tug your forelocks and say thank God for the liberals of Yale such as Ms. Klasky who labor mightily that we might be more understanding, tolerant and sensitive. Not the Taliban, mind you: us.
Ms. Klasky is a product of the from-conception-to-career liberal incubator of which she is now a part. Old Komsomol grads from the former Soviet Union would be jealous of how widespread and effective our equivalent is. Klasky is a Berserkely grad and before coming to Yale, she worked for Sen. Teddy and, inevitably, flakked for the Clinton regime (in the Treasury Department). Her deputy, Tom Conroy, was chief spokesman for Mario Cuomo. So it is natural that she would say, in behalf of Yale, that “We acknowledge that some are criticizing Yale for allowing Mr. Hashemi to take courses here, but we hope that critics will also acknowledge that universities are places that must strive to increase understanding, especially of the most difficult issues that face the nation and the world.”
In that one sentence, Klasky managed to speak condescendingly to both audiences. If Yale is striving to “increase understanding” of difficult issues such as terrorism and radical Islam, how is that accomplished by admitting Hashemi? Only if his admission is a crude joke by the Yale Colonial Office. Maybe Yale plans to display Hashemi in a cage, a sign hung on it saying, “Please pet our tame Taliban, but don’t feed him.” In the opposite direction, Klasky seems to be saying that Yale students can increase their understanding of radical Islam and terrorism by talking to Hashemi. But why shy away from the real thing? Having Hashemi at Yale is mere academic dilettantism. I’d venture the guess that most Yale faculty, and many Yale students, want us to close Gitmo and release all its inmates. If they were as serious as they pretend, why not close Gitmo and put its inmates in a Yale dorm? Hashemi is a committed radical Islamist, but may not have blood on his hands. If Yale really wants to understand him and what he stands for, why not get the real thing? Or, better yet, why not get some of those folks who have fought the Taliban to talk about them? Oh. I forgot. This is Yale, and the military isn’t welcome.
The best part of Klasky’s e-mail is the outright lie it tells about ROTC. Yale doesn’t have an ROTC program, despite what the first part of her message says. It loftily permits some of its students to ride the bus about 70 miles to UConn to attend ROTC classes and drills. I love this part of Klasky’s message: “While Yale does not host an ROTC program, the University does support those who wish to make such a commitment and we believe that the leadership these students provide is vital to our military.”
OK, gents, listen up. Find a Yalie (if you can) and kiss his ring. Beg him to mentor you as he was mentored at Yale. Look, you poor slobs with commissions coming out of West Point, Annapolis and Colorado Springs, you desperately need the guidance of Yale’s Band of Brothers. And for those graduating from The Citadel, VMI, Texas A&M and such there’s just no hope for you. Unless you find yourself serving under a product of the Yale Colonial Office. You’re no better than what a Brit pal said of the Irish: “They make fine troops if they’re properly trained and led by white officers.”
TAS contributing editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery, 2004).