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Text of the Rockford College graduation speech by Chris Hedges
Rockford Register Star ^ | Wednesday, May 21, 2003 | Chris Hedges

Posted on 05/21/2003 1:55:32 PM PDT by dixiechick2000

Edited on 05/07/2004 6:24:02 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

I want to speak to you today about war and empire.

Killing, or at least the worst of it, is over in Iraq. Although blood will continue to spill -- theirs and ours -- be prepared for this. For we are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige, power, and security. But this will come later as our empire expands and in all this we become pariahs, tyrants to others weaker than ourselves. Isolation always impairs judgment and we are very isolated now.


(Excerpt) Read more at rrstar.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chrishedges; commencements
Since this story has been the topic of much discussion, I thought I'd post the transcript of the speech in it's own thread. It is worth the read.
1 posted on 05/21/2003 1:55:32 PM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: dixiechick2000
He should have inserted a "Rockford grads '03" here and there to insure applause and cheers.
2 posted on 05/21/2003 2:00:48 PM PDT by Between the Lines
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To: dixiechick2000
It should have included a *BANG* right after the first paragraph. :-)
3 posted on 05/21/2003 2:01:08 PM PDT by Normal4me
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To: dixiechick2000
Think finally of what it means to die for a friend. It is deliberate and painful; there is no ecstasy. For friends, dying is hard and bitter. The dialogue they have and cherish will perhaps never be recreated. Friends do not, the way comrades do, love death and sacrifice. To friends, the prospect of death is frightening. And this is why friendship or, let me say love, is the most potent enemy of war.
Or, depending on the circumstances and the cause, friendship is not a potent enemy of war ... but a force that pushes it to its quickest and most just conclusion. This guy's moral relativism and equivalency knows no bounds. Christ hiumself said this ...
Greater love hath no man than this, that he layeth down his life for a friend.
This guy deserved every bit of the heckling that he got for his rabid anti-American and pro-terrorists (Palestinian) remarks IMHO.

I thought he didn't finish the speech. This makes it sound like he did.

Jeff

4 posted on 05/21/2003 2:04:19 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: dixiechick2000
"We have lost touch with the essence of war. Following our defeat in Vietnam we became a better nation. We were humbled, even humiliated. We asked questions about ourselves we had not asked before."

We were? The America I saw then was a fractured, wounded and economically depressed nation. I mean Im only thirty two, but I dont remember feeling a real ground swell of American pride until President Reagan was sworn in and our hostages came home. Also we were not defeated in Vietnam, those men and women who went to Vietnam and served did so with one hand tied behind their back. Had they been allowed to complete the mission with vigor and not with nonsensical rules of engagement, we would have won that conflict. This guy is a moron, and just another example of liberal bias at the "paper of record" /sarcasm...
5 posted on 05/21/2003 2:08:09 PM PDT by For_God_and_Country (God Bless the Men and Women of the US Armed Forces. Bush/Cheney 2004!!!)
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To: Jeff Head
Not a bad speech in style, just full of errors, echoes of Arab disinformation, and left-liberal short cuts = for example that if it wasn't for Putin and Sharon the jihadists would drop their ideology and such.
6 posted on 05/21/2003 2:10:50 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: dixiechick2000
We will pay for this, but what saddens me most is that those who will by and large pay the highest price are poor kids from Mississippi or Alabama or Texas who could not get a decent job or health insurance and joined the army because it was all we offered them.

It doesn’t sadden him one bit.

It gladdens him that he can look down his Harvard-educated, northeastern liberal nose at the dupes, rubes and southerners who comprise our hapless military forces.

And when he sees them, he will not deign to mock, but will impress us with his goodness by feigning only compassion for their sorry lot in life.

How utterly magnanimous of him.

7 posted on 05/21/2003 2:11:50 PM PDT by dead
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To: dixiechick2000
Damn liberals. Can't stand them.
8 posted on 05/21/2003 2:18:34 PM PDT by smiley
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To: Shermy
If it is full of errors ... and more, many out and out lies, not to mention his abject leftist stereotype of our military ... so, one could argue that his style is fatally flawed.
9 posted on 05/21/2003 2:21:14 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: dixiechick2000
Thanks so much for posting! What a downer - hilarious!
10 posted on 05/21/2003 2:23:24 PM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: dixiechick2000
For war in the end is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of soldiers by politicians, and of idealists by cynics.

The American Revolution does not fit this description. Neither does WW2.

11 posted on 05/21/2003 2:24:04 PM PDT by Huck
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To: Shermy
Not a bad speech in style, just full of errors, echoes of Arab disinformation, and left-liberal short cuts

And also stupid to give at a graduation.
Does he also publicly piss in the punch bowl at weddings?

12 posted on 05/21/2003 2:24:06 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: dixiechick2000
Let's see, where would I put this guy on a scale from "Very Conservative" to "Marist?"

How about a little lower. To "Ultra Marxist."

There I feel better anyway.

I would like to congratulate the students, faculty and guests who turned their backs on this idiot!

13 posted on 05/21/2003 2:24:24 PM PDT by Budge (God Bless FReepers!)
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To: Jeff Head
I agree with you. What rot.
14 posted on 05/21/2003 2:24:37 PM PDT by Huck
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To: dixiechick2000
Bump
15 posted on 05/21/2003 2:25:14 PM PDT by ejo
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To: Shermy
Not a bad speech in style

Preach preach preach preach preach preach preach preach. He's definitely a drama queen.

16 posted on 05/21/2003 2:31:52 PM PDT by JohnnyZ (That's my theory and I'm sticking to it! At least for the present . . .)
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To: For_God_and_Country
You are so right, and I'm old emough to remember vietnam. Hedges' statement about VN ties as the stupidist statement in a really idiotic screed (ties with every other statement). America was almost destroyed by the aftermath of Vietnam. Jimmy Carter did his best to surrender to any American enemy he could find. He practically invented radical Islam. Many Americans were ready to accept third class status (behind USSR, China and Japan). Then, G_d in his mercy gave us Ronald Reagan. America changed and the world changed. Only a liberal elitist half-wit like Hedges would prefer the pre-Reagan world to this one.
17 posted on 05/21/2003 2:48:57 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: dixiechick2000
BoooooooooooooBooooooooooooooBooooooooooBooooooooo
18 posted on 05/21/2003 2:53:19 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: eddie willers
Does he also publicly piss in the punch bowl at weddings?

LOL. I was thinking, "I hope no one asks Chris Hedges to be his best man; he'd have to make a toast, and the wedding reception would turn into a rumble."

He's lucky the crowd didn't beat the tar out of him.

19 posted on 05/21/2003 2:58:25 PM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: dixiechick2000
In friendship there is a deepening of our sense ...

If a freshman turned in this paragraph in a composition class he'd get a D. If hedges wan't such a twerp, I'd be embarassed for him.

20 posted on 05/21/2003 3:01:32 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: dixiechick2000
SPOTREP
21 posted on 05/21/2003 3:03:32 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: stop_fascism
Jimmy Carter did his best to surrender to any American enemy he could find.

The one thing Jimmy Carter had right was that there was a general feeling of malaise in the years following Vietnam.

And yes....Ronald Reagan shook us out of the doldrums that Carter could only name.

22 posted on 05/21/2003 3:07:31 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: dixiechick2000
There are 2 kinds of people:

Those who favor stopping Saddam's torture, rape and mass murder....

...and those who wanted to let it go on.

Mr. Hedges prefers the latter.

23 posted on 05/21/2003 3:09:06 PM PDT by cookcounty
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To: Shermy
Not a bad speech in style, just full of errors, echoes of Arab disinformation, and left-liberal short cuts = for example that if it wasn't for Putin and Sharon the jihadists would drop their ideology and such.

"So, aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, the play was enjoyable?"

24 posted on 05/21/2003 3:14:59 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: dixiechick2000
We have forfeited the good will, the empathy the world felt for us after 9-11.

What empathy and good will? Hedges and his fellow travellers the world over were quick to point out that we deserved it.

25 posted on 05/21/2003 3:15:48 PM PDT by randog (It's always darkest before the dawn--a good time to steal the neighbor's newspaper.)
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To: dixiechick2000
Oh, brother.
26 posted on 05/21/2003 3:18:30 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy (Free Miguel)
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To: Saundra Duffy
I just heard the last 1.5 minutes of Rushes last hour replay today...

It sounded like the graduation speaker had called into Rush...saying he was sorry...that he would vote for President Bush next year. Rush told the caller.."Don't do it again."

Did anyone else hear this?

27 posted on 05/21/2003 3:29:23 PM PDT by Wolverine
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To: dixiechick2000
I was trying to figure out at what point(s) his microphone was shut off. Mr. Hedges needs some sleep, but he shouldn't get it when he's trying to write commencement addresses. BTW, isn't Rockford College known to be a super
conservative school? Don't they advertise in THE WEEKLY STANDARD every week?
28 posted on 05/21/2003 3:32:58 PM PDT by willyboyishere
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To: eddie willers
Does he also publicly piss in the punch bowl at weddings?

Ah, well said 'bout somethin' not well said on the part of Benchin' & Hedges...he certainly was benched!

29 posted on 05/21/2003 3:36:45 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: randog
"...his fellow travelers the world over were quick to point out we deserved (9-11)"---
---YES, this remains one of my favorite after-the-fact conceits of the haters of this Administration. According to this logic, the "empathy" we received from the world after 9-11 should have been "enough"-- we shouldn't have acted at all after we assessed the global threat of terrorism. We should've acquiesced in the warm and gooey feeling of FINALLY getting in the good graces of "the rest of the world".
30 posted on 05/21/2003 3:38:10 PM PDT by willyboyishere
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To: dead
It gladdens him that he can look down his Harvard-educated, northeastern liberal nose at the dupes, rubes and southerners who comprise our hapless military forces.

The elitists need to realize that freedom of speech works BOTH ways. It is not something only for the elite Hollywood bimbos and Liberal professors.

31 posted on 05/21/2003 4:26:13 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: dead
>>It gladdens him that he can look down his Harvard-educated, northeastern liberal nose at the dupes, rubes and southerners who comprise our hapless military forces.<<

His speech is tawdry, cliched, and filled with factual errors. I would be so peeved if some multiculturalist idiot hijacked my college graduation to disseminate his perverse political rantings.

One can tell he came form Harvard--a bastion of multiculuralist/diversity ideology, and declining quality in education as a result.

32 posted on 05/21/2003 4:32:28 PM PDT by Risa
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To: For_God_and_Country
Thank you For_God_and_Country for a good post.
33 posted on 05/21/2003 4:35:22 PM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: dixiechick2000
What did this cretin think when he decided to read this in Rockford? Did he expect them to genuflect to him and kiss his feet?

Definately a future Darwin award candidate.

34 posted on 05/21/2003 5:00:30 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: Risa
I just heard actual audio clips of this speech on Michael Savage's radio show.

It was monotone, morose and sounded like Maya Angelou's cadence and voice pattern, a caller observed. I agree! He sounded so gloomy and miserable.

Savage could hardly contain himself and kept muttering as the audio clip went on ... and on ... and on ... and mercifully ended.

g

35 posted on 05/21/2003 5:15:29 PM PDT by Geezerette (... but young at heart!-)
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To: dixiechick2000
UGH....typical liberal to take this opportunity to vomit his views and opinions onto others. He didn't mention one word about the future for the graduates and he took away their right to enjoy this momentous occasion!!!
36 posted on 05/21/2003 6:55:31 PM PDT by Arpege92
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To: Geezerette
Maya Angelou is the poorest speaker I've ever heard, yet they trot that crone out like she's some great orator. It's like hearing that Jesse Jackson can fire up a crowd. Sure, he can, but only if it's full of his supporters. Everyone who's in the middle can't stand his idiotic ranting.

One of my biggest disappointments was sitting in the Hall of Presidents at Disney, a part of the park where I had eagerly hoped to bring my kids someday. Eisner and his cronies had, to my surprise, changed the narration and theme from non-party-affiliated patriotic American commentary, into Democrat egalitarian propaganda. Being forced to listen to A) Maya Angelou's lisping, rasping monotone narration and then B) Bill Clinton's blathering say-nothing speech made me so sad about the state of the country and the future my kids would have, that I felt sick to my stomach.
37 posted on 05/21/2003 6:55:41 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile ("MORONI DEPORTED TO SWEDEN - Claims He's Not From There!")
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To: Wolverine
I heard the guy you're asking about on Rush, and it wasn't Chris Hedges.

The caller told Rush that he talked with him during the Azores Summit, before the Iraqi war. IIRC, the caller chewed Rush out about our war plans. I think he bought into the media line. Anyway, the caller called in to tell Rush that he had been wrong, that our military planners had been correct, and that he would vote for President Bush in the next election.

Rush was teasing the caller when he said, "Don't do it again."

38 posted on 05/21/2003 7:27:24 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Never have so many, been so wrong, about so much.)
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To: Nachum
What did this cretin think when he decided to read this in Rockford? Did he expect them to genuflect to him and kiss his feet?

He was hoping for the exact reception he got. In his mind, this controversy has been a terrific boon to him personally. Think about it, He went from being almost a nobody to the talk of the town in one short week. Now he is on the "A" list to all the liberal elitist parties.

39 posted on 05/21/2003 7:43:02 PM PDT by CharacterCounts
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To: dixiechick2000
bump
40 posted on 05/21/2003 8:28:57 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: Shermy
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Not a bad speech in style, just full of errors, echoes of Arab disinformation, and left-liberal short cuts = for example that if it wasn't for Putin and Sharon the jihadists would drop their ideology and such.

41 posted on 05/21/2003 8:58:00 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: dixiechick2000
Read Antigone, when the king imposes his will without listening to those he rules or Thucydides' history. Read how Athens' expanding empire saw it become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. How the tyranny the Athenian leadership imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. This, Thucydides wrote, is what doomed Athenian democracy; Athens destroyed itself. For the instrument of empire is war and war is a poison, a poison which at times we must ingest just as a cancer patient must ingest a poison to survive. But if we do not understand the poison of war -- if we do not understand how deadly that poison is -- it can kill us just as surely as the disease.

How many read the The History of the Peloponnesian War ?

42 posted on 05/22/2003 5:05:04 AM PDT by A. Pole
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To: dixiechick2000
This, Thucydides wrote, is what doomed Athenian democracy...

Wow! Chris Hedges quoted Thucydides!

I guess he's a lot smarter than I am, and everything that he says is laced with insight and genius.

*sigh* Maybe if we asked him, he'd be nice and be a philosopher-king for America. Only educated "progressive" people from the Left Coast and the Reverted Tory Colonies can lead us in this dire hour of our need!

</sarcasm>

43 posted on 05/22/2003 5:22:55 AM PDT by an amused spectator
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To: an amused spectator
Wow! Chris Hedges quoted Thucydides!

I guess he's a lot smarter than I am,

Have you read Thucydides? You can get him for free and instantly at this url: http://classics.mit.edu/Thucydides/pelopwar.html

Go for it!

44 posted on 05/22/2003 5:34:48 AM PDT by A. Pole
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To: A. Pole
Or if you want to spend a few bucks, I recommend the Landmark edition edited by Victor Davis Hanson. Nice maps. Of course, Thucydides is no Herodotus. Now there's a writer.

BTW - Hedges interpretation is about as accurate as the rest of his speach - not at all.

45 posted on 05/22/2003 7:56:06 AM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: stop_fascism
BTW - Hedges interpretation is about as accurate as the rest of his speach - not at all.

Could you elaborate what is inaccurate in his interpretation of Thucydides?

46 posted on 05/22/2003 9:16:34 AM PDT by A. Pole
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To: A. Pole
T. was a general for Athens. Like most greeks he thought war was a part of life and more fun than peace (Keep in mind that these wars took place only a generation after the Persian wars). Athens had always been a democracy at home and a tyrant abroad. That was one of the reason that its Ionian colonies didn't fight against the Persians.

T. believed that the Athenians lost because Alcibiades had achieved a diferential of power in the polis. Alcibiades, a former butt boy of Socrates, was a charismatic leader with absolutely no morals (an early version of Bill Clinton). He convinced the Athenians to send a large fleet to Syracuse, where it was destroyed. At this point, T. became so discouraged, he stopped writing his history.

Even after the Syracuse disaster, the Athenians rebounded and achieved a major sea victory. Unfortunately, at this point, the polis became angry at their victorious generals and had them executed (including a son of Pericles). It was only after this democratic bit of stupidity that the Athenian military fortunes went irrevocably down the toilet. They no longer had competent leaders. This had nothing to do with tyranny at home or abroad, except perhaps the tyranny of the mob.

At least, that's how I read Thucydides. Hopefully a better scholar than I will comment.

47 posted on 05/22/2003 11:17:12 AM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: dixiechick2000
"I want to speak to you today about war and empire."

It's nice that the whole graduation thing didn't get in the way of his pompous and condescending lecture. The students at RC probably were inundated with this crap on a daily basis for four years. This is exactly how they wanted to culminate their college careers. They were right to disrupt this windbag.

48 posted on 05/22/2003 12:56:13 PM PDT by bigeasy_70118
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

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