A lecturer at Iowa State University sparked controversy this week when he slammed both the military and the school’s College Republicans in a letter to the Iowa State Daily student newspaper.
“Why do Republicans care so much about the military? Because the military-industrial complex is dear to their simplistic laissez-faire fantasies: a bottom-line patriotism that excludes the people at the bottom,” Thomas Walker wrote.
“Soldiers are to Republicans as fetuses are to them: prized. But once out of the womb-like army, Republican solicitude for hapless veterans goes where extracted zygotes go,” he said.
Walker, who teaches English, was mocking a recent drive by the College Republicans to collect items to send to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for holiday care packages. He slammed those efforts, writing: “Donating toiletries, boxed and canned foods, socks and beanies to U.S. soldiers who can already deodorize themselves, who eat better than the poorest Americans and who are gallantly garbed, is an eleemosynary travesty.”
Instead, he said, “Necessities should be doled out to people who really need them and who might get them if not for the hundreds of billions of dollars being funneled to the Pentagon in the greatest squandering of money on the planet.”
Walker’s letter, published Monday, triggered a flurry of outrage on campus, as well as a series of responses in the student newspaper. The university’s board of regents termed it “fairly offensive” in addressing the matter Thursday.
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