Dr. Robert Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., noted military, scientific and political leader will give a public lecture at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The lecture titled “War is Not the Answer: a Personal Odyssey” will be delivered at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.
Bowman, who has a Ph.D. in aeronautics and nuclear engineering from California Institute of Technology, flew 101 combat missions as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, after which he became Director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the Air Force Space Division. In that capacity he oversaw the then secret program to study missile defenses, which President Ronald Reagan later turned into the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), or ” Star Wars.” He later became Manager of Advanced Space Programs at General Dynamics and then Vice President of Space Communications Company. During the Reagan administration he became a forceful critic of the President’s SDI, claiming that the “Missile Umbrella” was actually intended as the first step toward the militarization of space with space-based offensive weapons.
He has become a powerful anti-war voice within the progressive community — active with Veterans for Peace, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He has addressed hundreds of peace conferences, and has been keynote speaker at Veterans for Peace annual conventions four times. He has also been a member of the Peace Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. He has opposed both wars with Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, as well as the military operations in Bosnia and Kosovo.
He is the founder and past Presiding Bishop of the United Catholic Church, an “independent Catholic fellowship” held to be connected through apostolic succession to the Old Catholic Church. He is a powerful expositor of Just War Theory as a basis for his anti-war stands.
Bowman was a Reform Party candidate for President of the U.S. in 2000, outpolling Pat Buchanan in the Iowa, Illinois and California primaries before dropping out of the race for lack of money and media coverage. Issues central to his campaign included severing the connection between big money and political power, proportional voting and runoff elections, gaining democratic control of the World Trade Organization, establishing a doctor-run single-payer national health system, allowing workers to keep more of the wealth they create, and a return to a Constitutional foreign and military policy which refuses to go to war for the financial interests of the wealthy few.
In 2006, Bowman was the Democratic candidate for Congress from Florida’s 15th congressional district, losing to the incumbent Republican 44 percent to 56 percent, despite being outspent 30 to 1.
He is the founder of “The Patriots”, a group devoted to government which follows the Constitution, honors the Truth, and serves the people. It seeks to find common ground on which conservatives and liberals can unite. He has lectured at the National War College, the United Nations, Congressional Caucuses, the Academies of Science of six nations, and the House of Lords. He is the President of the Institute for Space and Security Studies, Executive Vice President of Millennium III Corporation, the recipient of the Eisenhower Medal, the George F. Kennan Peace Prize, the President’s Medal of Veterans for Peace, the Republic Aviation Airpower Award, the Society of American Military Engineers’ ROTC Medal of Merit (twice), the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal, and numerous other awards.
This lecture is being supported by the Young Memorial Trust for International Peace and Understanding. It is free and open to the public.
In the photo above, Professors Steven Lee and Larry Campbell discuss the upcoming talk that they have organized.