Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs celebrated its 75th anniversary festivities on October 1st, 2005. In no more than 24 hours, the University hosted Lt. General David Patraeus (one of the managers of the Fallujah massacre), Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Throughout the occasion, not a single speaker represented the majority of world opinion on issues of recent US wars. Not a single independent analyst, academic, journalist, historian or activist was involved. The speeches and speakers were left unchallenged and unquestioned, by students and faculty alike. Many were, however, unofficially endorsed by some of the University's highest-ranking officials. WWS Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter called Patraeus “One of our most distinguished alumni" and interpreted his handling of the battle of Fallujah as a credential. Slaughter also announced she "cannot imagine a better person to launch our 75th anniversary celebrations" than Secretary Rice who “exemplifies those values” of Princetonians “serving the nation and the world.” Her comments sparked an enormous campus controversy and protest during Rice's visit. Over a hundred undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members signed a public letter “question[ing] the university’s motives in inviting Rice” and condemning the “institutional endorsement of a position that is elsewhere being questioned for its disregard of international codes of conduct, treaties and laws.” Slaughter and Princeton President Tilghman issued responses without addressing the substance of the letter, and Dean Slaughter has failed to respond to calls for further dialogue about the issue. The letter and various protests against the University's conduct have been ignored.

The Rice-Chertoff-Patraeus blitz is only the most recent example of Princeton's consistent policy of inviting, rewarding and honoring celebrity statesmen and military officials in recent years. In March 2004, the university presented the prestigious Crystal Tiger Award to former Secretary of State Colin Powell for his “transformative impact” on millions of lives. The gentleman was presented the award “on behalf of the entire undergraduate student body,” a decision unknown at the time to the entire undergraduate student body. In April 2003, the University embraced George Shultz (an honorary co-chair at the Princeton Project on National Security). On April 8-9 2005, the Woodrow Wilson School hosted State Department’s Director of Recruitment Diane Castiglione, CIA inspector general Frederick P. Hitz, former CIA, Pentagon and Office of the Secretary of Defense employee Peter Probst, and the Director of the Commander's Advisory Group at United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) Col. Thomas F. Lynch III. On the same occasion, the Woodrow Wilson School honored two "Keynote Speakers": Israeli Defense Forces superstar Giora Eiland and American General Anthony Zinni, both of whom have been condemned for war crimes and terrorism by Human Rights Watch, the International Red Cross and others. At the Woodrow Wilson School's prestigious colloquium on 'Rethinking the War on Terror,' there was not a single panelist or speaker who criticized the ‘war on terror’ on a basis other than ‘strategic’ or ‘tactical.’ Not a single keynote speaker lacked a government position or state/military function in their biographies. Students were completely uninvolved in the University's decisions to honor these guests.

This pressing issue has received no attention. One of America's most influential universities (arguably the most influential), at this critical stage of U.S. military expansions, is gladly giving Washington free propaganda sessions at prestigious conferences. Princeton has consistently greeted and rewarded figures in power in total disregard of their records of waging monstrous wars, lying to the UN and the world, advocating mass murder, and violating international law. The university, rather than hosting free dialogue in a critical intellectual arena, has reduced itself to the shameful status of academic ‘stamp’ for those in power.

For more information on Princeton's record of support for Washington in recent years, please see the following:

 http://www.princeton.edu/prog/powell.htm
 http://www.princeton.edu/~sshimp/26mandic.html
 http://www.middleeast.org/premium/read.cgi?version=0.2.6&category=Magazine&num=54&month=10&year=2005&function=text&standalone=1

For more information on Princeton campus developments on the issue, contact Danilo Mandic at (732) 8242566.