Misguided Foes

THE MAIL

To the Editors of the Crimson:

Recently we have been surprised by the large amount of publicity given to the Harvard members of ROTC; especially since the unit is not an integral part of Harvard. We were even more surprised to find that we had enemies on campus, specifically a group called the EROTC (Enemies of ROTC), formed to "keep ROTC off campus." Having been repeatedly labeled "Khaki-clad killers" and compared to the likes of Charles Manson, we decided that we might listen to their justifications for such slanderous remarks. Curious as to why serving our country was such a terrible crime, we decided to attend their organizational meeting on April 7 in Emerson 104.

Six of us, some members of ROTC and others not, approached the meeting with the intention of only quietly listening to their views. We informed them of this intention several times, only to be refused entrance on the grounds that we were their enemies. Feeling this was unjust, we asked them specifically if they felt this was a discriminatory action. Their answer was an unequivocal "yes"; their only justification being that it was perfectly right to discriminate against "murderers, peasant killers, and those who practice genocide."

Not wanting to cause trouble, we left after a few more words, greatly disappointed in their sense of justice. Much to our satisfaction two members of their group also decided to leave, feeling that a closed meeting would be hypocritical.

Perhaps their refusal to allow an open discussion reflects the true spirit of a group that would proclaim themselves the enemies of anyone or anything. This attitude removes any validity the group may have had and exposes it for the petty, vindictive, reactionary organization it is. Does not this campus pride itself on an open discussion of important issues?

How can any group claim to be more than a spiteful mob if it is afraid to air its views in open meetings and open discussion? The true nature of the EROTC was brought out when we questioned them about Soviet aggression in Afghanistan: they exclaimed that the Soviets were doing an excellent job crushing the Afghan rebels and went on to add that the Red army could whip the U. S any day as they did in Vietnam. In reality, the EROTC does not appear just to be the enemies of ROTC but rather the pro-Soviet enemies of the entire United States. In light of this we find it difficult to take this group or its views seriously. Cadet 4/c Robert M. Alexander USAFR '86   Midshipman 4/c Bradford Baker USMCR '86   Midshipman 4/c Bradford Cabe USNR '86   Paolo S. Coppl '86   Midshipman 4/c David W. Howe USNR '86   Midshipman 4/c John L. Worden IV USNR '86