to the Editor
A professor floats a discussion question and no one discusses blank
stares, pensive doodles, silent postures that scream Dont
call on me! Its a dreaded moment for a teacher. An editor,
sending some 80,000 copies of a magazine into the world with the fear
that not a word will be heard in return, can relate. What is that about
the sound of one hand clapping?
Not a worry when Professor Robert Kaufmans thoughts are in print.
Professor Kaufmans viewpoint on matters Middle Eastern and other
foreign policy issues drew a reader response notable in both number and
passion. Clearly, many read the interview with a rising sense of disagreement
while others were pleasantly surprised. But they read every word, they
thought, and they responded
At their best, the pages you hold in your hands should reflect the daily
life of the University of Vermont, a community of diverse minds and pursuits.
Thanks to Professor Kaufman and the readers whose opinions are represented
on these pages, weve accomplished that with our Summer and Fall
2002 issues. Its a trend that we hope to continue with editorial
content that demands reading, provokes thought, and illustrates the myriad
ways UVM is involved with the most pressing issues of our times.
Thanks for raising your hands.
Tom Weaver, Editor
Case for War
I thought I knew the definition of a war monger until I read the interview
of Associate Professor Robert Kaufman in the Summer 2002 issue. The knowledge
that Robert Kaufman actually comes in contact with young and impressionable
students is very disturbing. I hope your editorial policy allows you to
print an alternate opinion that doesnt advocate human destruction.
Civilians are the major casualties of all wars.
Walter C. Isgro, UVM Parent
Regarding the interview with Robert Kaufman, The Case for War,
and his comments on the Israel-Palestinian situation: I was surprised
to find such a blind bias in a university magazine.
Joseph Vanhoenacker G76
Apex, North Carolina
Please congratulate yourselves for a well done magazine this issue. Usually,
the VQ is browsed and put away, then rotated into the to-the-homeless-shelter
bag for later distribution without a second thought.
But NOT this issue, and only because of the interview article with Professor
Kaufman! Finally, an intelligent, concise, precise and correct assessment
of the situation with the Islamic world. And from UVM who
woulda thunk it? Most of the articles in the VQ deal with regional
and academic issues, not something for the rest of the world. It usually
made me wonder if life outside New England and academia was actually noticed
by UVM. Now this is more like it!
Lets have more of this from VQ. Surely there are other professors
at UVM who think along these lines. Lets hear from them. Relevant
topics for the times we live in.
Dean A. Cassano 70
Since I have been seeking a more prudent, indeed more sophisticated, U.S.
strategy against Saddam Hussein than recourse to a unilateral, exclusively
military option, I was disappointed to find no semblance of such an approach
in your summer 2002 interview with Professor Robert Kaufman.
Professor Kaufman contends that war is more prudential, moral, and
practical than continuing the sanctions policy aimed at defusing
Iraqs involvement with weapons of mass destruction. A prudential,
moral, and practical U.S. initiative to topple Saddam Hussein is indeed
needed. However, U.S. military action should be designed in the context
of a regional-development strategy providing the framework for addressing
all our concerns in the Middle East. Since Iraq under Saddam Hussein would
not meet the programs standards such as promotion of democracy,
protection of human rights, and opposition to terrorism, hence would not
qualify for the aid the program offered, anti-Saddam Iraqis in and outside
Iraq would be all the more impelled to mount a well-organized effort to
overthrow the regime.
If (most likely when) they seek outside military assistance, the United
States and its allies should be ready to oblige. Saddam Hussein would
be toppled, and Iraq would be on track for the political and other reforms
required for participation in the regional-development program.
I envisage this as a Marshall Plan-style strategy financed by the United
States in concert with other world powers and appropriate international
agencies. Having served in the Marshall Plan in Washington and London,
and mindful of the massive differences between Western Europe in the aftermath
of World War II and the Middle East today, I believe our successful initiative
in Europe over half-a-century ago can be a productive prototype for a
dramatic Middle East initiative today. Unlike unilateral U.S. military
action to overthrow Saddam Hussein without such a regional strategy, the
action I propose would get wide international approval.
Using words from Professor Kaufmans commentary on how to settle
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the strategy I propose as the framework
for addressing our concerns in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East
would permanently change the psychology of our anti-terrorism
efforts throughout the region.
David J. Steinberg 39
If Professor Kaufman so firmly believes that war is the solution to the
myriad problems related to terrorism and unrest in the Middle
East, he should take up his club, or perhaps an AK-40, and ship out to
evil Iraq. He certainly should not be teaching his Neanderthal Politics
301 in what I hope is still a modern university.
Daan M. Zwick 43
Rochester, New York
You cant imagine my shock and surprise to find the article The
Case For War in my summer edition of Vermont Quarterly. A
happy and pleased shock, I might add. UVM may be the only American university
that permits a professor to speak in favor of a course of action decidedly
opposite the liberal left. I can only imagine Professor Kaufmans
status with his colleagues.
I felt compelled to let Professor Kaufman know that I support his views.
I havent much respect for the quality of liberal arts education
in universities these days but UVM has gone up a notch in my estimation
for bucking the trend and presenting an intellectually honest story.
Barbara Destino 65
Mission Viejo, California
I read with great interest Iras Acres in the summer
2002 Vermont Quarterly, and one name stood out: Alvin Twing, a
blacksmith by trade in the Class of 1837.
Was he related to Joshua Twing, the pioneer foundry operator and millwright
of Barre, Vt., who in 1834 repaired the ore crushing machine and installed
additional rollers for the pioneer metallurgist Isaac Tyson, Jr. at the
pioneer copper mine and smelting plant in South Strafford?
Did Alvin Twings blacksmithing have a connection with Joshuas
foundry, and did they both create Twingsville, a settlement
in the north end of Barre City, where I think an old mill building still
exist? Esther M. Swifts Vermont Place Names gives me clues, but
who was Alvin?
Collamer M. Abbott 42
White River Junction, Vermont
The summer Vermont Quarterly is a superb issue. I particularly
enjoyed Iras Acres. As a graduate student in 1931-32
I crossed the Green daily going to Professor Tuppers office in the
Old Mill. There I met another grad student, an alumnus from Springfield,
Vermont. As we studied together in Billings Library our friendship deepened
and in 1934 I became Mrs. Bertrand Chapman.
In 1952 we moved to within a block of the Green and to this day as I walk
my dog, we frequently enjoy the paths across the Green. I remember when
the four maple saplings were planted on the north end of the Green. Two
of these now-magnificent shade trees have been encircled with green and
gold ribbons and plaques commemorating the classes of 1947 and 1952, a
I congratulate and thank the groundskeepers for so beautifully keeping
this jewel for the university and the city.
Marcella Cassard Chapman G32
I was a UVM student when there were still American Elms on the UVM Green.
As a student/resident between the years of 1975-80, I saw the last third
of the one-hundred elms that once graced the UVM campus, according to
Kit Andersons article in the summer issue.
I would like to mention the efforts (albeit humble) of Sue Morse and Project
Elm-UVM, of which I was a member during my college years. I assisted Prof.
Morse, one of my most inspiring UVM teachers, with injecting the infected
elm trees with a disease fighting substance. We had regular meetings and
most of my efforts were in the area of fund-raising. I sold 500 Project
Elm-UVM pens in one night, in my usual last-ditch effort to meet a deadline.
I was glad to read Ms. Andersons article, and for the reminder of
these stately and silent giants that once made the UVM campus so beautiful.
I hope it fosters a deeper conviction in everyone to do their part in
preserving the beauty of the UVM campus.
Isabel Routh Reddy 80