Enemy of Free Speech
To the Editors of the Crimson:
On November 17, War Secretary Caspar Weinberger '38 returned to his alma mater and received the welcome he richly deserved. Hundreds of students greeted Weinberger with boos, hisses, cries of "murderer," "war criminal," "South Africa," and "50,000 dead!" Out came the SYL banner: "U.S. Get Your Bloody Hands Off the World!" which the organizers of the event repeatedly tried to tear down. We protested on behalf of the thousands of Weinberger's victims whose corpses are piled in mass graves from El Salvador to Lebanon. The news that ths war criminal was protested here at Harvard should please and encourage our class brothers and sisters throughout Central America in their struggles against U.S. imperialism.
It is grotesque, but typical and predictable that the Crimson, the Harvard administration and others attack those who protested Weinberger as supposed enemies of "free speech" and "academic freedom." They've rallied to defend Weinberger as one of their own, a penultimate Harvard Man for whom "veritas" means "Kill Blacks and commies in Grenada, wear a tie and crimson socks in Harvard yard." Weinberger's victims face a fate worse than catcalls. There was no "academic freedom" for the erstwhile students of El Salvador's National University which was closed down at gunpoint by Weinberger's thugs. From Central America to South Africa the U.S. holds the line for the "free world" through its routine use of torture and assasination of workers, peasants, leftists, students, anyone who opposes U.S. imperialism's Murder Inc. To raise the question of "free speech" in this context is obscene. From the school that developed napalm and Henry Kissinger, comes Caspar Weinberger, an anti-soviet war mongerer who bears direct responsibility for the deaths of thousands in EI Salvador, the invasion of Grenada, the murderous contra raids on Nicaragua, and the bloody mess in Lebanon. Odious though his views may be, we protested Weinberger for his deeds. Apparently the Crimson would prefer to wash the blood of Weinberger's hands and accord him the same courtises as any run-of-the mill right-wing ideologue. What's next? An "ADA rating" for Klaus Barbie??
Dean of Students Archie Epps complained bitterly to members and friends of the Spartacus Youth League, that alas, the protest of Weinberger was at a Law School event and therefore beyond his jurisdiction. Epps continued however to threaten us that "measures will be taken" to insure that no similar protest could take place at the college. Perhaps Dean Epps would like to make visiting war criminals feel more at home by stationing death squads equipped with M16s on campus, or arrange reconnaissance flights followed by aerial bombardment of outdoor rallies such as the one which preceded the Weinberger protest. Weinberger and his underlings in the Harvard administration would no doubt like to treat their opposition in the U.S. the way they do in EI Salvador where anyone who breathes a word of protest would be summarily seized, interrogated, imprisoned or "disappeared." The SYL will not, nor should anyone else be intimidated by Epps attempts to crush dissent, political protest and free speech on this campus.
It's a good thing that students are awakening from the coma of the "me decade" to take action against the war-crazy U.S. government which threatens to blow up the world. Students opposed to U.S. militarism must go beyond a moral revulsion of U.S. policy to take a side against the anti-Soviet war drive. The U.S. sees the hand of "Soviet aggression" behind every movement for social justice anywhere in the world because despite the Stalinist bureaucracy, the USSR remains a workers state capable of thwarting U.S. imperialism's appetites from the Middle East to the Caribbean. Ultimately, fake leftists like the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) and Unity, side with Reagan and Weinberger in their war on Russia. When Weinberger railed against the Russians in Afghanistan, these anti-communists "leftists" kept their mouths shut while the SYL chanted "Defend the Soviet Union! The Main Enemy is at Home!"
The Crimson (23 November) asks "what these people (who protested Weinberger) would do to their opposition if they found themselves in power?" Our aim as socialists is to fight for a better world, where every baby born has a right to live a life free from the murder and destruction perpetrated by Weinberger and his ilk in the service of capitalism. Justice would be served when war criminals like Weinberger are extradited to a liberated zone of EI Salvador to be tried by a jury of his victims! Thomas N. Crean Spartacus Youth League