4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 11, 2001
(The lC'rrf igttn ttilg
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Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's
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necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
(( I suggest they take
their positions very
seriously, and that they
take any information
that they've been given
by our government very
seriously because this is
serious business we're
- President George W. Bush speaking
yesterday after reconsidering his decision to
lift an information lockdown on Congress
when classified information was leaked
after a previous congressional briefing.
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Talking 'bout my generation
DAVID HORN HORNOGRAPHY
Some thoughts to
consider as you
As it is written in
Ecclesiastics, "One gen-
eration passeth away, and
cometh." The headline of
last week's edition of
The Onion read, "A shat-
tered nation longs to care about stupid bull-
The Who says, "I'm not trying to cause
a big sensation/I'm just talking 'bout my
Our generation is one that has grown up sur-
rounded by the "stupid bullshit" recognized by
The Onion. The photo that accompanied the
story featured images of Brittany Spears, Gary
Condit and Danny Almonte, among others,
superimposed over a shot of the wreckage from
the World Trade Center attack. I have applaud-
ed relevant satire in this column before, and I
certainly do' so now: The Onion could not be
Today marks the one-month anniversary of
the WTC attack, and our nation's - and our
generation's - general naivete, continually sur-
My 20 years in the country have been, by
some standards, the most prosperous years (eco-
nomically, socially) in history. But meanwhile,
our generation's greatest accomplishment seems
to sit somewhere between Aguilara and Taranti-
no. Our greatest moment has probably not
- And now, to most of our continued astonish-
ment, we are engaged in a real war. There may
be no Normandy or Guadalcanal. There will be
no liberation of Paris, or Auschwitz, or a V-E
day (or V-A day).
There will be no mass conscription, and
probably no draft. Instead of Roosevelt and
Churchill, we have Dubya and Blair. Instead of
Hitler and Mussolini, we have Osama bin
Laden, and a network of religious fanatics-
turned terrorists who are capable of acts of
unbelievable horror, as gruesome of those of our
nation's enemies fifty years ago.
I don't know what the real objectives were
of World War II. I don't know what Roosevelt
and the boys were hoping to really accomplish.
But at least when the concentration camps
were liberated, and the Nazis were out of Paris,
and the world was safe from fascism (God-for-
bid!), victory could be claimed on some level.
The challenge presented to our generation
does not have so clear a resolution. And before I
go off sounding too much like our Commander-
in-Chief, let me get to my point. I didn't ask for
this shit, and neither did any of you. Our genera-
tion was perfectly content when the great argu-.
ment was over the age of a Little Leaguer from
The "stupid bullshit" referred to by The
Onion is not glamorous. It does not help to
shape a generation, or to develop character. But
it was safe. Tom Brokaw was not going to write
any books glorifying our generation of apathet-
ic, over-privileged consumers. But there was
peace, and there was a sort of sanctity, naive and
misguided as it may have been.
There was an article in The New York Times
Magazine recently that said that it is now OK for
liberals to feel patriotic. I hardly need the pennis-
sion of The New York Times magazine to do
anything, and regardless, I don't necessarily feel
all that patriotic these days. Further, I am not
comfortable .with the notion of fighting and
killing to preserve a "way of life." But in spite of
my darkest cynicism, I do realize how valuable
the "stupid bullshit" is. In retrospect, I imagine
we all long for the time when Gary Condit's
malfeasance was the primary national debate.
Our generation is being presented with this
mess, and it will be faced for better or for worse,
successfully or unsuccessfully. Despite the
rhetoric of President Bush, failure is very much
an option, and we all need to consider that as we
make our decisions. But life's goal is not to seek
out means to shape one's generation. With all
due respect to the veterans of wars past, we do
not necessarily need to follow their example.
Pardon my ramblings. If you've stayed with
me, thank you. My thoughts these days, as I
imagine is the case with-many of you, are all
over the place, and I am sure that is reflected
But if there is a point to this column it is this:
We didn't ask for this nasty little quagmire, but
we've got it. We can do with it anything we
want, whether that requires acion or inaction.
Each man or woman is master of his or her own
fate, and we owe nothing to history - only to
David Horn can be reached via
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
V IN PASSING
To THE DAILY:
In allowing yesterday's viewpoint "MSA
Execs, Reps Railroad War Resolution"
(10/10/01) to be published, The Michigan Daily
has committed a great disservice to its readers
and once again violated any notion of journalis-
tic integrity that may have been associated with
the Daily and its staff.
While identifying Rachel Fisher as a mem-
ber of the Daily editorial board and the Co-chair
of the Peace and Justice Commission, Wednes-
day's viewpoint omitted another very important
fact. In the Winter 2001 semester Rachel Fisher
was also affiliated with the University Democ-
ratic Party, an organization which ran in opposi-
tion to Matt Nolan, Jessica Cash, and the rest of
the Blue Party in Winter 2001 elections.
That being known, I cannot help but ques-
tion the motives of Fisher in including in her
viewpoint facts seemingly unrelated to MSA's
"railroading" of a pro-war resolution through
yesterday's assembly meeting, such as Matt
Nolan and Jessica Cash's public drunkeness at
the last ABTS conference. As some may be
aware, MSA and LSA elections are rapidly.
approaching. The publishing of Fisher's article
about the inappropriate behavior of two leaders
of an opposing political party seems to coincide
with the upcoming elections rather convenient-
ly. What troubles me is the fact that the Daily
allowed Fisher's affiliation with the University
Democrats to be omitted from the postscript to
Wednesday's viewpoint and further allowed this
blatantly politically motivated piece of "journal-
ism" to be published under the guise of a public
service to the University community.
I am not claiming that the actions of those
who passed Tuesday's war resolution are not
without fault. Nor do I believe that the actions of
Matt Nolan and Jessica Cash (the supposed
"student leaders" of the University) at the last
ABTS conference are anything short of a source
of humiliation to our University. Indeed stu-
dents should be more involved in the selection
of their student leaders and the activities of their
student government. What should not be permit-
ted is political mudslinging by members of
opposing political parties under the auspices of
journalism. The Daily failed its readers in pub-
lishing Wednesday's viewpoint. Fisher's actions
in writing and submitting this viewpoint for
publication were an embarrassment to the Daily.
I can only hope that the editorial staff did not
know of Ms. Fisher's political affiliations at the
time the Daily went to print.
Sadly, I tend to believe otherwise.
had looks, charm
that Bollinger had
To THE DAILY:
Thanks for the objective view of 5th
year people, "Fifth-year seniors are seen as
a sort of anomaly, a slacker who clearly
didn't get his act together and forgot to get
those crucial science credits." ("The Real
Lee C. Legacy," Manish Raiji 10/10/01).
Pray that you don't have to work your
way through college and start out bereft of
any A? credits; catching up on "assumed"
knowledge on the fly while slinging hash
at over-privileged, ever-complaining
underclassmen tends to burn up the years.
By the way ... Lee Bollinger had the
hair, looks, and charm (things that James
Duderstadt could never be accused of), but
he made sure the sun never shone on his
ass in North Campus.
Despite his valiant efforts, being in
Engineer-Land is still like hitting yourself
with a hammer: You feel a whole better
once its over.
WHAT A WAY TO PACK A RESUME
An anti-war proposal got pushed through
the Michigan Student Assembly Tuesday, in an
obvious coup for the progressives on campus..
Justice for all!
Oh wait ... it was the other way around.
Now that is a problem. Really.
Last night the members of the Daily's edito-
rial board heard earnest arguments from both
sides of an issue that will affect no one on cam-
pus. "Leaders," drunk on their own power, pon-
tificated' for an hour and a half to a board that
stopped caring when it became an apparent
mud-slinging fest. What we witnessed was a
display of the kind of student politicking that
gave MSA its reputation for ineffectualness in
the first place. MSA's continued sense of
worldly importance isn't fooling anyone.
- Josh Wickerham, Manish Raiji
and Aubrey Henretty
HOPE FOR DETROIT
While Americans have rightly given money
to help the nation recover from the recent
attacks, it is important to remember that there
are other issues and causes that still require
urgent attention. This weekend in Detroit, for
example, Focus: Hope is organizing a walk to
help revitalize the Detroit area and to fight
against economic and social injustice. I encour-
age all who can to go beyond just donating
money, and take the time to improve communi-
ty by walking on Sunday.
Focus: Hope started after the 1967 Detroit
race riots as an organization to improve the city
by fostering diversity, fighting hunger and
improving its educational and economic sys-
tems. Those walking with Focus: Hope not
only help to raise needed funds for these causes
but also send an important symbolic message
that will help change pessimism and apathy
into hope and activism.
Though much of our attention is currently
focused to national and International issues, we
can't forget that we can create positive change
on a local level. Go to Focus: Hope's Web
page, www.focushope.edu, for information, and
join them for Sunday's walk.
- Kevin Clune
MSA OUT OF TOUCH, AGAIN
On Tuesday night, MSA leaders who wished
to pass a pro-war resolution apparently adopted
many of the BAMN-style tactics of name-calling
and outright lying, as they manipulated proce-
dure and expedited an uninformed vote.
Protesting assembly members who
walked out of the meeting in an effort to
break quorum and delay a vote on the con-
troversial resolution were told by the Stu-
dent General Counsel John Carter that they
should return and vote since there was in
fact enough members present. As it turns
out, Carter's statement was a lie. The five
voting members who had walked out had in
fact broken quorum, and succeeded in their
own cynical plot to kill the resolution.
Should MSA voice an anti- or pro-war
stance, or any war stance at all? Unfortu-
nately, even though MSA is mostly ineffec-
tive, this move will garner national attention
and change the perception of our being anti-
war to that of our being pro-war. The truth,
it seems, is that we are neither. What stu-
dents desire is open and intelligent debate,
not necessarily war stances by our student
assembly. MSA has sadly done its part to
kill this spirit.
-Amer G. Zahr
In Passing views are those of individual
members of the Daily's editorial board,
and do not necessarily represent the
opinion of The Michigan Daily.
BY JEREMY MENCHIK
An atrocity occurred this week although it
was barely mentioned in the Afghanistan-centric
news media. I am not speaking of the train colli-
sion in South Africa, nor the tragic explosion of
a Russian airliner, nor the devastation wrought
by Hurricane Iris - though these are tragic
No, the atrocity I am speaking of is tragic for
its implications on world politics. It is the elec-
tion of Syria to a spot on the United Nations
Security Council. Although in itself this is not a
human atrocity, it is a surefire indication of the
slaughter to come.
Those on the right on American politics
should be incensed that a totalitarian regime of
little political or economic importance is be
granted a powerful voice alongside the legiti-
mate world powers. Those on the left of Ameri-
can politics should be appalled that a nation with
a horrid human rights record has been given a
simply put, the United Nations is now being dri-
ven by a terrorist state.
Syria has spent the past 15 years on the U.S.
State department's list of sponsors of terrorism.
Syria backs Hizbollah (The Party of God),
Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement),
The Peoples Front for the Liberation of Palestine
(PFLP) and nearly one dozen other groups in
attacking soldiers, settlers and civilians within
Israel. In 1982 Hafez Assad slaughtered more
than.20,000 people in a four-day campaign of
murder in the town of Hama. In addition, Syrian
military troops currently occupy and effectively
control the once-sovereign state of Lebanon.
Yet this ongoing practice of terror is appar-
ently insufficient to prohibit Syria from taking a
seat on the U.N. Security Council. Even the fact
that Syria's election violates Article 23 of the
U.N. Charter, which posits that states are to be
voted onto the council based on their "contribu-
tion to international peace and security," has
been overlooked in the election of a state that
acknowledging that the U.S. cannot act alone in
the world and has an obligation to work with the
international community. What is problematic is
the states Bush chooses to work with. Specifical-
ly, Bush's courting of Syria, Iran, and the Pales-
tinian Authority is indicative of a trend towards
aligning with terrorist governments in fighting
global terrorism. This policy is not only absurd,
it is dangerous. If the U.S. gives support to states
that back terror, they legitimize murder as a
means to accomplishing political goals.
President Bush committed this very mistake
in referencing his support for a Palestinian state
at a time when armed Palestinians attack and kill
Israelis on an almost daily basis. Certainly the
Palestinian people deserve their own state but
their sovereignty is not a bargaining chip for
Bush to pursue his agenda. The very goals of the
U.S. fight against global terrorism should not be
undermined while the administration creates the
broadest coalition possible.
Understandably the UN is in a different posi-