Letter to the Editor
Krauthammer Lecture Controversy
Psychiatric News
Volume 38 Number 19 page 48-48

In the August 15 issue, Dr. Louis Fierman registered his "protest" of Dr. Charles Krauthammer’s lecture at APA’s Convocation of Fellows in May. His objection seemed based on his opinion that the psychiatrist-turned-Washington Post columnist and Pulitzer-Prize winner is "well known as a right-wing, Republican extremist hawk." Perhaps the more accurate and respectful "conservative" would have sufficed.

Dr. Fierman’s letter went on to link our country’s neglected psychosocial needs to the "military-industrial complex" and the "murderous assault against Iraq."

Dr. Fierman is certainly welcome to his political theories, but he must have attended a different talk. I heard Dr. Krauthammer speak to our collective anxiety of a possible nuclear Apocalypse. Everyone’s nightmare is to have nuclear weapons fall into the hands of extremist groups obsessed with the destruction of the West. Unlike our former Cold War adversaries, he argued, nuclear armed terrorists may not be deterrable. Preemption is an unattractive option, but one that cannot be dismissed out of hand. The audience seemed quite unsettled when he concluded with the provocative thought: "What is the answer? I do not know."

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