Condoleezza Rice Cancels Rutgers Speech

President George W. Bush never backed down when confronted with massive objection and protest against the signature event of his administration, the Iraq War. There were protests – some of the largest in history, and around the world. But he denied what was really going on there, continued the lies the war was sold to us on, and continued to make money for the war privatizers he so closely allied with.

And so did his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

But now, a group of students who did not want Rice to sully their commencement, and many faculty who supported them, have effectively gotten through to Condoleezza Rice.

Rice just canceled her May 18 appearance at Rutgers University, where she was to give the commencement speech, and receive both an honorary degree and a speaker’s fee of $35,000. Rice:

“Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families,” Rice said. “Rutgers’ invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.”

Rice still defends her Iraq War record, which surprises no one. And in her statement canceling, added that she “defended America’s belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas.” Fine. That’s exactly what Rutgers students and faculty were exercising when they objected to Rice’s record as the war criminal she was.

Congratulations, Rutgers students. Congratulations, Rutgers faculty. ProtestWIN.

Comments (11)

  1. dbkurz415

    Perhaps there could be some newer, more democratic way for Rutgers to arrange for their commencement speakers. How about some kind of vote from all graduating seniors? You could easily place such a question on tuition bills. Just a thought…

  2. Marie Corfield

    The students of Rowan launched an online petition calling for the university to reconsider its decision to have Gov. Christie give the keynote address at the commencement and award him an honorary degree. Rowan started out as a teachers college, and we all know what Christie thinks of teachers.

    I wrote an open letter to President Houshmand here:

    Here’s the petition:…  

  3. deciminyan

    Assemblywomen Schepisi and Angelini have introduced a resolution condemning Rutgers for their action. I guess Schepisi and Angelini support paying $35,000 to a war criminal.  

  4. firstamend07

    Where was the Rutgers faculty when the war was going strong?

    I love a good protest as much as the next person but what was won here?

    Is this a ” victory” ? If so a victory for what?

    I never understood what purpose  there is to stopping someone from speaking.

    But if it makes the “better late than never” faculty and some shortsighted kids happy,  great.

    Just one more step to a society of people who only listen to what they agree with.  

  5. marshwren

    exclusive garden parties of the ruling class.  Bush and his demented gang of neo-con war-mongers had free run in the M$M during their run-ups to illegal, immoral and unnecessary wars they couldn’t lose, and resource-looting occupations they couldn’t win.  Liberals were routinely denied access to the M$M; many in the M$M were fired; public figures who publicly opposed the wars were blacklisted, threatened and vilified; protesters were arrested, beaten, tear-gassed, “kettled”, even when consigned to “Free Speech” pens miles away from anyone.  “Freedom Fries”, anyone?

    The Establishment had more than their fair share of time on stage, on camera, in the press.  If Rice is so conceited and self-centered that she (of the towering intellect) cannot appreciate just how unpopular the policies she promoted have become (not that they were so beloved at the time), admit any responsibility for their enactment, or accept any responsibility for their bloody, bankrupting and destabilizing results, then why shouldn’t we, the little people, remind her of her lies, manipulations and panic-spreading rhetoric?

    Bravo and well done to RU staff and students (and, i suspect, more than a few parents and alum).  This should be the galvanizing event that builds momentum to getting Guv Conehead off the Rowan stage, and taking his pseudo-crat flunkies Sweeney and Norcross with him.

  6. Bob h

    would be demanding speaking fees at another academic instutition, leaving aside the question of her incompetence and possible criminality.  It speaks of corrupted values within academia.


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