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The human cost of militarism

Over the past decade, militaristic machinations have become more artfully deceptive, demanding dynamic and multi-nodal forms of resistance. It’s relatively easy to build coalitions to protest an expensive and unjust war with large numbers of American casualties; it is much more difficult to build resistance when drone deaths are displayed next to sports scores on the scrolling cable news marquee. The contemporary effects of militarism may appear less cataclysmic and less spectacular than the popular images of war that dwell in our collective imagination. This suggests, however, that the evils of militarism are becoming increasingly banal. We may not have draft notices to burn, but refusing to “smile for the camera” is one good place to start.

Three Books authors discuss moral dilemma of war

After a week of orientation activities, Stanford freshmen took on this year’s topic, “ethics of war,” Sunday afternoon at the annual Three Books panel discussion. This year’s books focused on issues of national security. Scott Sagan, political science professor and co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), who also moderated the discussion…

Op-Ed: Country first, humanity second

If I had to summarize the report and recommendations of the Faculty Senate’s ad hoc committee on ROTC in two words, they would be “Country First,” the shallow, populist slogan of John McCain and Sarah Palin’s presidential campaign. These words come to mind because, having dismissed “some of the most trenchant arguments…against ROTC” on the basis that they were “marred by naïve and derogatory stereotypes” (without providing any examples of such stereotypes or enunciating the basis on which the committee found them to be “naïve and derogatory”), the ad hoc committee proceeds to justify its recommendation that the military be given special treatment, compared to other, more peace-promoting and international-law-abiding institutions, by wrapping Stanford University in the American flag.