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Horowitz Talks as MIT Republicans Make Comeback

By Jessica A. Zaman


The MIT College Republicans have reappeared on the school political front, adding fire to an already controversial scene. For their debut performance, the College Republicans invited best-selling author and conservative speaker David Horowitz to speak before the MIT community.

“We thought Horowitz was a good choice because he would bring a lot of publicity,” said Brad Ortloff ’02, second vice chair for the MIT College Republicans.

In contrast to his previous appearances on campus, Horowitz attracted a sparse crowd for the Wong Auditorium. Publicity for his talk, “How the Left Undermined American Security,” centered around Institute Professor and social justice activist Noam A. Chomsky.

Horowitz is also well-known for touring college campuses and has visited 150 throughout the nation. Last year his campaign focus dealt with why reparations should not be made for slavery.

Horowitz criticizes Chomsky

Much of Horowitz’s speech criticized the recent actions of Chomsky and his followers. Horowitz claimed Chomsky was the “fountainhead” or “Ayatollah of anti-American hatred.”

Horowitz argued that people like Chomsky are responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11. He condemned the intellectuals and academic institutions of our times, calling the college demonstrations protesting the war on terrorism “a disgrace.”

“I too was once a former Chomsky-ite,” said Horowitz. “However, when you’re young, you take everything for granted. I believe this country is remarkably tolerant. It is only in this country that people, who in their own nations would be killing each other, are living in peace together.”

Giving his own take on Sept. 11, he said, “we were attacked on our own soil. We were tagged as infidels by our attackers, even the Muslims in this room now.”

Horowitz claimed that the Muslims responsible for the attack were fundamentalists.

“They are sick people who kill children in strollers as they did last week in Palestine ... The Muslim world owes America a great debt. No other country provides as much assistance.”

Horowitz provided three primary instances in which the United States provided aid in Afghanistan, Somalia and Albania.

He made reference to the current film, Black Hawk Down. “Eighteen American soldiers were killed and dragged through the street to feed the starving Somolians.”

“We are dealing an enemy trapped in a medieval culture.” Horowitz criticized leftists for running away from this enemy. The U.S. reactions to attacks on American embassies, for example, were almost an invitation for terrorists, he said.

Republicans kick off ‘revival’

Horowitz’s presence marks a revival in the MIT College Republicans, which has not been active on campus for almost three years. “When I arrived on campus, I tried to find the club in the activities midway. When I didn’t notice them, I went online and found their Web site. It hadn’t been updated since 1998,” said Ortloff.

Although the website has yet to be updated, the Republicans club has pushed to become more proactive. Over 100 students have expressed interest in the organization. The board currently contains five members and meets weekly. One of the group’s objectives is to increase awareness of a more conservative perspective, which is currently not often expressed on campus.

The organization is currently working to make a greater presence at state meetings and dinners. They are organizing to attend a convention to be held in Boston early this spring.