Jan 10, 2001

Tufts has obligation to bring unbiased speakers | 10 The Tufts Daily | January 25, 2001

To the Editor:
I stood up once at a chairs' meeting and asked members of the administration whether the short list of prospective Fares Lecture Series speakers was composed based on the speakers' appeasement of Saddam Hussein — through arms sales credits and taxpayer-underwritten loans — prior to the '91 Gulf War. The question was not asked in jest.
George Bush, James Baker, and Margaret Thatcher had all qualified with flying colors. Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell is per haps an exception. As head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he may not have been involved in the Bush White House decision to lavish $5 billion in credits and loans — on which Iraq defaulted — upon Hussein in the years leading up to Operation Desert Storm.
I do not contest the administration's right — and need — to raise money from both controversial and unbiased sources. I even laud student exposure to people whose ideas I oppose. However, in the inter est of the same students' development, both intel lectually and as citizens, the administration also has an obligation to showcase eminent individuals whose points of view lie neither on the right nor the far right. Jerry Meldon, Associate Professor

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