Yoo at Berkeley: I’m ‘A Shining Beacon of Capitalism and Democracy Surrounded by a Sea of Marxism’
Carol J. Williams profiles John Yoo, who provides some of the most deliciously boastful quotes this side of a James Bond movie. He’s done, he thinks, with the campaign to prosecute him for his advice during the Bush years: “I hope that this closes this chapter in trying to use criminal and ethical charges to carry out political fights against the policy of a past administration.” But he has the most fun tweaking his colleagues and his academic environment.
“I think of myself as being West Berlin during the Cold War, a shining beacon of capitalism and democracy surrounded by a sea of Marxism,” Yoo observes, sipping iced tea in the faculty club lounge, a wan smile registering the discomfort of colleagues walking by en route to the bar.
He sees his neighbors as the human figures of “a natural history museum of the 1960s,” the Telegraph Avenue tableau of a graying, long-haired, pot-smoking counterculture stuck in the ideology’s half-century-old heyday.
“It’s like looking at the panoramic displays of troglodytes sitting around the campfire with their clubs. Here, it’s tie-dye and marijuana. It’s just like the 1960s, with the Vietnam War still to protest.”