Letters to the Editor

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Kissinger brings ignominy to international ethics

Dear Editor:

The idea of Henry Kissinger coming to SMU to discuss issues of international ethics is profoundly repellent.

As National Security Advisor and Secretary of State to President Nixon, Kissinger was the second most important policy maker in an administration that flouted both international and domestic law. Kissinger may not have had any involvement in the Watergate scandal, which made a mockery of our tradition of open political competition, but he and the president he served were major participants in the military overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile. That putsch a tradition of democratic elections that was almost as long at the time as our own. It led to President Allende’s murder, to thousands of “disappearances” and even to the assassination by agents of the Pinochet government of a major Chilean dissident in Washington, D.C.

Far worse, however, was the Nixon administration’s covert, totally illegal and massive bombing of Cambodia as part of its so-called plan to end the Vietnam War. That bombing brought the overthrow of Cambodia’s neutralist government, which was trying to keep its country out of the Vietnam cauldron. In that government’s place Cambodians had to endure the Khmer Rouge, which must deserve a top 10 place among the many vile regimes of the bloody 20th-century world.

The Nixon administration’s foreign policy mocked the very notion of ethics. To have a man who was instrumental in shaping that policy as an honored guest is disgraceful. If we had to have a former secretary of state, I can think of several candidates with a far better claim, including both Madeleine Albright and George Schultz. Perhaps neither of them has Kissinger’s name recognition. But the part that Schultz took in turning the Reagan administration away from a terrifying and dangerous buildup of nuclear arms and toward the policies that ended the Cold War is far more deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize than anything that Kissinger did.

Edward Countryman
University Distinguished Professor of History

Dedman Center nothing to laugh at

Dear Editor:

Though somewhat confused about the point of Brandon Hampton’s article [“Pretty pennies for pretty facilities” in the March 22 Daily Campus], I’d like to address a couple of statements:

NO: The 5.5 percent tuition increase ISN’T paying for the Cinco Center. It was paid by a Dedman Center endowment and money raised by the Capital Campaign.

YES: Students ARE what this (Dedman Expansion) is about.

WRONG: “…A new Dedman Center would hardly be a recruiting tool.” The recruitment potential of a new recreational center has been reported by 10 colleges that experienced a 6 – 22 percent increase in applicant pool and a 14 – 19 percent increase in entering numbers.

NO: “Snobs, rich brats, shallow,” doesn’t describe the students with whom I’ve interacted. The students I’ve met definitely “care about what is best for it (campus),” recognize the value of a quality recreation center for recruitment, retention and community building and value the diversity that is reflected in the users of Dedman Center.

YES: Students DO “want to work out anyway.” Eighty-two percent of SMU students workout regularly. Thirty-two percent of these students spend an average of $52 a month to workout off campus.

When you worked at Dedman, where were you when arguments ensued over whose turn it was on the treadmills?

Where were you the first week of school when students waited their turn to play a game of basketball, but finally got frustrated and never came back?

Attend one of the Senate’s educational sessions. Then you’ll understand why Dedman Center is omitted from recruitment brochures and intentionally left off the campus tour.

Judith Banes
Director of Recreational Sports

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