Skip to comments.Stephens (Ebsco CEO) questions U.S. Role in Iraq (at UA graduation ceremony and gets booed!!)
Posted on 05/14/2007 4:55:19 PM PDT by plain talk
Caps and gowns filled the floor of Coleman Coliseum twice here Saturday as the University of Alabama held its spring commencement. At 9 a.m., ceremonies were held for the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Human Environmental Sciences, School of Social Work and Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies, followed by ceremonies for the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, College of Communication and Information Sciences, College of Education, and Capstone College of Nursing at 1 p.m.
James T. Stephens, former president and current chairman of the board of EBSCO, addressed the graduates and challenged them to do better than previous generations. He then challenged them to question the nation's motives for going to war in Iraq.
"We ... are now engaged aggressively in addressing Iraq," he said. "We are asking whether our minds are being led by a good heart. We are asking whether this is good global citizenship. Most importantly, we are asking: Is this the behavior of a good and virtuous society?"
Stephens said he finds two elements of the war painful to the nation's character. "First, we stepped outside our national character when we started the war," he said. "The second pain is the combination of the loss of life and the large number of crippled young men and women of our armed forces, but the greater number is the 65,000 absolutely innocent children, women and men, all Iraqi civilians, who have died from the disturbances created.
(Excerpt) Read more at al.com ...
Thanks for posting that chart—and the link!
It appears the Webb gang returned his contributions....hummm
That was my thought as I read the article.
What an idiot! Doesn't he know this is just a fraction of the number Saddam routinely murdered during his reign of terror? And "died from the disturbances created"? What a moron! They were killed in terrorist attacks by the islamofascists who'd do the same to us in a heartbeat. I hope this old fart was booed off the stage.
Stephens got his slot after the Guard was full and only the ruling class were able to get their sons signed up. President Bush was a fighter pilot and would most likely served in Nam, but The Reds ran out of fighter pilots and jets and decided to go with surface to air missiles.
I was there. We booed him off the stage. He didn’t finish his speech. He walked straight out of the Coliseum.
He did get booed off the stage by the graduates of the afternoon ceremony, I was there.
Or hear of it announced by Perky Katie?
“I think it was one of the Stephens sons that was able to get a safe Alabama Air Guard slot during the Viet Nam era.”
No such thing as a “safe” slot back in that day — or now.
The jets back then were terrible and the Russians really were probing and doing constant intrusions into our territory.
This is totally inaccurate. I attended the 9am and 1am ceremonies.
After the 9am ceremony, he received what I’d characterize as ‘normal’ applause. I heard one boo and about 15 people - primarily faculty - stood up and clapped.
The 1pm ceremony was more charged. During the 2nd half of the speech, when he was citing figures about how much the US spends on defense ($0.40 of every tax dollar, more than next 20 nations combined, etc.) a group began to boo. Immediately others began to respond to the booers, telling them to “let him finish.” Somebody who was sitting on the stage later told me that they could not hear this. When Stephens said, “In conclusion” towards the end of the speech, a good number of people clapped and laughed. When he finished, there was polite applause, some booing, and again some standing ovation from faculty...exactly what you’d expect.
He sat on the stage for the next hour (seemed like an hour) as graduates came up and received diplomas. Afterwards, at the foot of the stage, he was approached by a graduate and her family who were offended by the speech. They spoke for several minutes. Afterwards, he walked out with several other people.
That is what happened.
See if any of your friends in T-Town were there and post here what you find out! Let us know if the Crimson White covered it also.
I also was at the 1 pm Commencement. There were a number of boos, which escalated in volume and number toward the end of Stephens’s speech. While he might have finished, his words were hurried and not “eloquently” delivered as the boos became louder. He appeared to be a bit rattled and anxious to take his seat. Applause was moderate and simply polite as the booing took over. As a parent of one of the graduates, I know it doesn’t take a Conservative or a Liberal to be disappointed by Mr. Stephens’s use of a university commencement to voice his own political views. He was out of line in many ways...