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September 26, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-26

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 26, 2001

OP/ED

4

G~ie jlkbi1vgau Duati

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
If the verdict ...
falls at the lower end
of our new risk range,
it would qualify as the
worst global recession
of the post-World War
II era."
- Stephen Roach, chief economistfor
Morgan Stanley & Co., regarding
recent economic growth forecasts as
quoted in the Christian Science Monitor.

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The enemy of our enemy is not our friend
MANISH RAIJI NOTHING CATCHY

xj ft this point, it
doesn't matter if
you are pro- or
anti-war, because it's clear
<k that we're going to war.
Liberals have diverged
into two general camps -
the centrists who have
decided that patriotism
means standing firmly
and unquestioningly behind the president, and
the left-wingers who are rallying for peace.
What's been lost in the '60s nostalgia ver-
sus absolute patriotism is a responsible cri-
tique of the actions of the Bush
administration. It's not enough to say "Make
love, not war," nor is it enough to say "I rally
behind the president." War is inevitable, and I
tend to believe that war might be necessary.
But the Bush administration has been revert-
ing to tactics that reek of Cold War politics -
finding allies in people who do not like us.
When Bush began naming his cabinet, a clear
pattern began to emerge - he was choosing
many people who were directly involved with
his father's administration. On one hand, that
was seen as positive, since he was obviously
surrounding himself with people with more
experience, and perhaps more intelligence.
But now we see the shortcomings of this
plan. The ideas that seem to be floating around
Bush right now are the ideas of tacticians who
learned their trade on the volatile blackboard of
the Cold War. Middle Eastern policies have
especially been defined by the Cold War, and
the collapse of the Soviet Union left the United
States confused about its friends and vulnerable
to its enemies. A return to a "zone of contain-
ment" style strategizing will prove nothing
short of calamitous in the long run.
The Bush administration has sought out
Pakistan to be its ally in this war, a decision that
could have long-standing destabilizing effects.
The decision to employ Pakistan is a decision
grounded in history - Pakistan was one of
America's Cold War allies against the Soviets.
Indeed, in the final years of the Cold War, Pak-
istan was used as a base for the war in
Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion.
But Pakistan is not our friend. If not for the
threat of destruction as a price for noncompli-
ance, Pakistan would side with the Taliban, a
neighbor-state with which Pakistan has been
cooperative for years. When Pakistan's military
president, Pervez Musharraf, addressed his
nation regarding the decision to cooperate with

the U.S., the decision was met with a great deal
of protest. Musharraf's government took con-
trol after a military coup, and the stability of
Pakistan depends on the complacency of the
population. A citizenry enraged over coopera-
tion with the enemy against an ideological
brother could lead to massive civil unrest in
Pakistan, bringing to power the same sort of
fundamentalists who were responsible for the
terrorist attacks.
The U.S. seems willing to forsake long-
term strategy for an immediate, politically pop-
ular round of attacks against Afghanistan. By
employing Pakistan in these efforts, we will
only further inflame the fundamentalists who
seek to destroy all governments seen as com-
placent to the whims of the U.S.
The common enemy
approach failed during the Cold Forcin
War. Some examples:
In 1979, the Soviet Union terrorist
invaded Afghanistan and began support u
a decade-long battle. Those another
fighting against the Soviets
included freedom fighters who state d
would eventually form the Tal- solve the
iban. At the same time, the of tern
U.S., understanding the strate-
gic importance of keeping the
Soviets at bay, funded a proxy war through
Pakistan. Following the defeat of the Soviets in
1989, the freedom fighters organized into the
Taliban and overthrew the government, setting
up an antiquated, fundamentalist society that
was as anti-Soviet as they were anti-American.
We hated the Soviets, the Afghanis hated the
Soviets. That did not make us friends.
In 1980, the year after Ayatollah
Khomeini led the fundamentalist revolu-
tion in Iran, Iraq invaded Iran and began a
protracted border war that eventually led to
the involvement of the U.S. The decision
to support Iraq against a common enemy
- the new, fundamentalist government in
Iran - proved to be an utter failure when,
in 1991, Saddam Hussein's thirst for ,terri-
tories led to the invasion of Kuwait. Our
war with Iraq was fought with American-
made weapons - those that we had and
those that we had provided for Iraq a
decade earlier. We hated Iran, Iraq hated
Iran. That did not make us friends.
In 1982, when the Israeli army moved into
South Lebanon in order to oust the invading
Palestinian forces, which had occupied south
Lebanon as a base of attack against northern

Israel, the Israelis were met with adoration by
the local Shia Muslim villagers. The Israelis
were seen as liberators, driving away the
Palestinians from the Shia homelands. Israel
sought to make local village militias who
would aid them in their fight against the
invading Palestinians, but they soon over-
stayed their welcome. The training that the
Israelis gave the local Shia population turned
against them and Israel found themselves
accosted from the very people who had once
loved them. Israel hated the Palestinians,
Shi'ites hated the Palestinians. That did not
make them friends.

4

I could'
Amidst all
ig one
state to
is against
terrorist
oes .not
problem
orism.

continue, but the point is clear.
the Cold War politics, the U.S.
seemed to have lost sight of the
larger picture - the 1979 Iranian
Revolution had created an orga-
nized fundamentalist group,
Hizbollah, that sought to create
not just an Islamic state, but an
entire Islamic world. The cost of
this dream is the destruction of all
those who oppose fundamentalist
precepts.
This organization of funda-
mentalists extends beyond
Hizbollah; it extends beyond Iran

and beyond Afghanistan. It extends into nations
that we are seeking out to be our friends -
nations such as Pakistan.
We are entering a war without borders,
against an enemies for whom death is not pun-
ishment and defeat on one front will only
inflame the agitations on numerous other
fronts.
Forcing one terrorist state to support us
against another terrorist state does not solve
the problem of terrorism. Pakistan's actions in
Kashmir, its support of the Taliban and its vio-
lent reaction to the decision to support the
U.S. is a testament to this fact.
At best, aligning ourselves with Pakistan
will delay the sort of anti-American violence
that we witnessed on Sept. 1lth until after Pres-
ident Bush is out of office. But in the long run,
we will have only forced these people to reor-
ganize elsewhere in order to continue their fun-
damentalist activities. By the time that happens,
us 20-somethings will be the ones sitting in our
offices when a plane explodes into our build-
ing.

V VIEWPOINT
Responsible liberalism

BY JEREMY MENCHIK
The American left is confused. Those of us
on the left are usually aware of the complex
nature of international politics. However, in
addressing the reasoning behind U.S.-focused
terrorism, many liberal university and national
commentators cite poor U.S. foreign policy.
Alongside this they ask us to question the
actions of all governments and subsequently to
redefine the term "terrorism." Sanctions on
Iraq, support of Israeli sovereignty and U.S.
troops in Saudi Arabia are then redefined as a
form of terror, by which the military imposes
its will upon civilians, largely through fear.
Thus, they argue, don't all governments prac-
tice terrorism?
If so, we should not be so quick to con-
demn militant groups, since members of Islam-
ic Jihad are freedom fighters and al-Qaida is
similar to the founding fathers fighting British
tyranny. We should equate attacks from terror-
ists such as bin Laden and Hamas with imper-
fect U.S. foreign policy, so that we may
presumably justify this attack when placed in
the context of worldwide retaliation to Ameri-
can imperialism.
This argument should strike the reader as
problematic. What is being equated in the same
moral breath is the cruel intent to slaughter
innocents and merely imperfect, though altruis-
tic, government policy. Once the definition of
terrorism includes a wide breadth of political
activity, the annihilation of innocent citizens is
not necessarily regarded as a legitimate means
for promoting political ends but is, more dis-
turbingly, rationalized as a congruent response
to American policy.
While I understand that we have problems
with our foreign policy, I abhor this relativist
approach (being all the rage in political science
these days), which refuses to label the purpose-
ful killing of innocent civilians as evil and
incongruous to American actions. To equate our
policy with terrorists, whose very objective is
the slaughter of as many innocent people as pos-
sible is morally sickening. Apologists who use
the tragedy as an opportunity to pontificate on

how we should recalibrate our foreign policy
approach - one they apparently have always
believed inappropriate - should step off their
postmodernist soapboxes.
Furthermore, the controversial sanctions
imposed on the wronged groups are the
responses in lieu of sustained diplomacy efforts
eschewed by many such fundamentalist groups.
Terrorists, extremists, those who bolster their
regimes through fear and oppression are gener-
ally not willing to address problems over the
bargaining table. We need to understand that in
fact, many people hate Americans and our allies
and are willing to die making their point.
Does anyone doubt that Saddam Hussein
wants to wipe Israel off the map? Should the
U.S. give Hussein free reign to build weapons
that he would use to kill millions? The left has
ignored the reality of the Iraqi dictator in order
to focus all attention on the impact of sanctions
and ignore the reason sanctions are in place.
Similarly, many commentators have framed the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a human rights
issue instead of a legitimate security and sover-
eignty concern. Sept. I1 should serve as a wake-
up call to those who condemn Israeli policies
aimed at protection of civilians. You cannot
negotiate with terrorists; they want uncondition-
al surrender or total destruction. The jihad on
Israel and the West is focused on secularism on
principle, not just with Zionism or details of
American policy.
However, this does not mean we should
support whatever President Bush offers to the
nation. Blind patriotism has no place in Ameri-
ca. Indiscriminate bombing will help bin
Laden by creating thousands of innocent mar-
tyrs and even more new recruits for the war on
the "big Satan." If we as students are to help
promote smart policy in the United States, we
need to do so with critical reasoning and intel-
lectual honesty in a global framework. We
cannot cite travesty without context or policy
without purpose. Those of us on the left should
be just as critical of our own rhetoric as we are
of the right's.
Jeretnv Menchik is an LSA senior.

Manish Rani can be reached via
e-mail at mrayi@umich.edu

V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Bush responsible for
the protection of the
United States
TO THE DAILY:
Every day I wake up feeling grateful for
the chance to be attending the University. I
love the campus, I love the sports.
I do not, however, love some of its stu-
dents. I have never seen so many blinded
young intellectuals (that might be an over-
statement with some of the people here)
gather in one place at one time. BAMN and
YAF's position to protest against a war on
terrorism is one of the most unpatriotic
things I have ever seen.
Why is it when there is an overwhelm-
ing majority of people for an issue, there
always has to be some ignorant University
group that has to come out and protest it.
About 70 percent of our nation's citi-
zens and 92 percent of Michiganders favor
an all-out war on terrorism and the coun-
tries that harbor terrorists, but yet BAMN
and YAF feel the need to go against the
grain.
These groups talk about "unity" for the
people of the United States, but in essence,
they are the ones keeping the country from
being unified. Our country is not going out
and just randomly bombing civilians and
"scapegoating."
I have confidence that our country will
handle this war in the most appropriate
fashion and take aim at those terrorists that
threaten our livelihood. Anyone who thinks
otherwise should just move to Canada.

mistake again by sitting on our asses trying
to unify a country that is already unified!
Quit protesting and pretending that you
are in the '60s! Our lives have been threat-
ened and there is no way this country is
backing down!
JASON ROOvER
LSA senior
Anti-war sentiment
is completely anti-
patriotic
TO THE DAILY:
I was astounded when I read an editori-
al by one of your writers (who I will leave
nameless) in which he stated his logic for
an absence of retaliation to the terrorist
attack.
He wrote "once you're dead, you're
dead," and went on to oppose an American
military reaction with his own injudicious
opinions.
I suppose this writer has never lost any-
one close to him, or he wouldn't be so flip-
pant about death.
I recently visited my girlfriend in East
Lansing and picked up The State News, the
Michigan State University student paper, to
see what they thought about the national
crisis.
I found one State News editorial in
strong support of our president and his
decisions. Another editorial, less aggres-
sive but no less American, urged students
to wear a yellow ribbon in support of our
troops.

Death of foreign
civilians acceptable
TO THE DAILY:
I am a "bleeding-heart" liberal. Actual-
ly, I'm about as liberal and peace-loving as
they come. I would have protested against
military action in Vietnam without hesita-
tion.
Now, however, things have changed
drastically. It is now us or them. These ter-
rorists need to be eliminated. Israel has
been doing it correctly all along - elimi-
nate those leading the terrorist groups.
There can be no diplomacy, and, despite
what some students almost treasonously
suggested, the U.S. has done nothing, I
repeat, nothing to promote this cowardly
attack except being a free society.
Blaming U.S. foreign policy is just a
convenient excuse for the terrorists.
They hate us for what we are. They hate
that we allow women to attend school, that
we have private presses and media, and
that we have a genuinely democratic gov-
ernment.
They have proven to us that they cannot
comprehend normal human logic. There is
no amount of discussion that can convince
these terrorist countries otherwise.
They want us all dead. Period. Their
citizens want us dead. Period.
They support the killings of Americans,
both civilian and military, and have
cheered Osama bin Laden on in his quest
to kill us. They name their sons Osama in
honor of their hero and chant his name in
their celebrations of our deaths. They sup-

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