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October 18, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-18

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.4

4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 18, 2001

OP/ED

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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
When things were
in our control, we used
to love to think that
they were out of our
control.... Now that
things are outside our
control, they tell us to
take control.
I'm trying. I'm trying."
- Maureen Dowd in her Wednesday column
in The New York Times.

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Those BAM-N commies! They're FBI operatives, says I
JOSH WICKERHAM THIs wpm WORLD

0

've got this little tape of
Che Guevara songs I
brought back from
Mexico. I listen to it practi-
cally nightly, one because I
want to keep up my Span-
ish, two because it reminds
me of Che's steadfast inde-
pendence and idealism and
three because it's a pleasant
distraction. As a cultural production, this cele-
bratory and mournful eulogy to one fallen revo-
lutionary is too far removed from my modes of
behavior to seem real. Communism? "Chuh,"
says the Gen-Y package opener.
Che talked about mass movements, militan-
cy and revolutionizing the established order.
That's something I'd be in favor of, but it's just
too much work. It's something BAM-N (the By
Any Means Necessary affirmative action group,
for those who've been in a hole) talks about too.
But it's just so much silliness. In the words of
Homer Simpson, "You know our Bart's a little
miracle, with his little button nose, his fat little
stomach. He reminds me of me before the
weight of the world crushed my spirit."
I have no problem with socialists. Commu-
nists don't really bother me either. They're like
flies on the wall. If we wanted to eradicate every
last one of them, it wouldn't be that tough.
It was a little harder to kill communists in
Che's days. His revolutionary ideals seemed
much more potent and simple back then. But no
one seems quite up to seizing the means of pro-
duction these days, and with good reason. Com-
munists squandered their chance. No one seems
threatened by them. If anything, we University
students get practically orgasmic knowing there
are still commie operatives out there fighting the
class war.
So what are the communists doing trying to
steal the show away from affirmative action

supporters?
Those communists. It seems all we hear
about are the communists and their ties to the
Revolutionary Worker's League. I say, to quote
The Michigan Review's great El Senor Guipe,
"Fooey!"
There is something much more sinister
going on here.
It's clear that BAMN has greater motives than
simply bringing affirmative action to its rightful
place in higher education. I say the top dogs in this
"student organization" are not really communists,
nor do they really care about affirmative action. It
becomes obvious to anyone who's watched as
many "X-Files" episodes as I did in my youth
(gee, I sound old) that some of BAM-N's leading
members are working for the FBI.
Luke non-student, mic-grabbing, "I'll-
challenge-you-to-a-debate-any-time" Massie of
the Detroit-based RWL and one of the intricate-
ly-tied BAM-N higher-ups on campus, has been
arrested many times over the years, yet has got-
ten off every time. His daddy isn't a judge. How
does he do it?
Massie said he volunteers 60 hours a week
for BAM-N, but doesn't get paid. He told the
Daily he lives off an inheritance and occasional-
ly works as an investigator for the Detroit law
firm Scheff & Washington. "Shuh!," says I!
That sounds like what Arnold Schwarzenegger
said to his wife in "True Lies" when he was
really going off to fight neo-Commie scuzzle-
bugs for the government.
Luke's sister Miranda works, but one
would think she'd benefit from the inheritance
just like her brother and wouldn't have to work.
Why doesn't Mr. Massie have to work?
BAM-N leader Jessica Curtin has been a
student here for at least five years. I hear FBI
scholarships pay well.
A Jessica Curtin is not human. I'm utterly
convinced she's from the same planet as Steve

Forbes. Just as Michael Moore pointed out in
"The Big One" that Forbes regularly speaks for
two minutes or more without blinking, Curtin
regularly speaks for two minutes or more with-
out breathing. Confronting her in conversation
is like confronting a projectile vomitist who has
just downed a bottle of syrup of ipecac.
This much I know to be true: The FBI, or
the NSA, or any other acronym-guided gov-
ernment agency with clearance, has a legiti-
mate interest in discrediting leftist
organizations. They have an interest in burrow-
ing themselves deep and reporting back to the
Dick Cheneys of the world. And from BAM-
N's history, it's obvious that they're quite
adept at breaking up student group meetings,
something else law enforcement takes an inter-
est in. Just look at Michigan State, which last
year put in a full-time cop just to monitor stu-
dent groups. We have no reason not to think
we're already being watched.
I see through BAM-N and their rhetoric.
What century do they think they're in? Commu-
nists had their chance and U.S. history makers
selected them for extinction. The U.S. govern-
ment wouldn't so blatantly fund a communist
organization unless it was just a front for their
own needs. Marxism makes sense only when
applied in a purely theoretical world where
power relations aren't involved. Giving a Marx-
ist power makes as much sense as handing the
constitution over to a right-wing theocracy.
Oh crap. I forgot. That already happened.
When it's all fantasy, the government can be
as tyrannical as our minds will allow. As soon
as it becomes real, we've already capitulated.
Josh Wickerham can be reached
via e-mail atjwickerh@umich.edu.Tune in
next week for: "How one more terrorist action
will send us spiraling into martial law, "or,
"How the airlines got me to visit a boyfriend in
New York with $90 plane fare. "

V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Albright's 'half-truth'
really full truth
To THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to Tara Javidi and
Idin Motedayen-Aval's "Albright deliberately
deceptive" contribution to Wednesday's Daily
(10/17/01). They refer to Madeline Albright's
use of a "subtle half-truth" in reference to
Albright's mention of the Iraqi government's
use of chemical weapons against its own Kur-
dish citizens. They cite the fact that this atrocity
occurred during the Iran-Iraq war, when the
United States was actively supporting Iraq. I fail
to see how the omission of this fact (I don't con-
test that it is a fact), renders Albright's mention
of it a "half-truth." Not having attended the lec-
ture, I am confused by how the mention of an
established fact can be a "subtle half-truth."
They also say that the American media was
barely visible during this period, citing the
appearance of only four New York Times sto-
ries between 1984 and 1987 on such crimes.
While this may be true of the Times, I specifi-
cally remember a Time cover story about the
gassing of Kurdish villages in northern Iraq
right after the worst of these attacks. I believe it
was 1987, although I was young, so I can't
recall with certainty. What I do recall with cer-

tainty, were the pictures, particularly one of a
Kurdish women, dead in the street, holding her
baby. Both lay in the gutter, faces swollen and
sickly green, struck down by mustard gas deliv-
ered by their own government. This image was
burned into my memory, and it's what I think of
every time I see Saddam Hussein. And I knew
perfectly well that the American government
supported his government, a fact the American
.media managed to communicate to me at the
age of twelve.
Regardless of what deception Albright may
have used regarding the role of American sanc-
tions, no stretching of the truth is necessary to
show that the current government of Iraq has
butchered legions of its own people.
JESSE JANNETTA
Alumnus
Kung-fu movies
aren't about plot
To THE DAILY:
I am writing the Daily to address Tricia
Donelan's misguided review of "Iron Monkey"
as printed in the October 16th issue. While a
review is purely a subjective viewpoint, and any
person is entitled to not like a film, Donelan

does not do the substance of the film justice in
her writing. While a review should highlight the
strong and weak points of a film, over half of
the article is a summary of the plot. Now, any
regular viewer of Hong Kong-made martial arts
films knows the plot is, for the most part,
insignificant. The entertainment lies in the
action and excitement of the physics-defying
kung-fu, made famous to American audiences
in "Crouching Tiger," and to a lesser degree,
"The Matrix." On this point, Iron Monkey sur-
passes almost any other film of the genre. The
martial arts are fantastic, and the wire-work is
unparalleled. Donelan fails to address this, men-
tioning the action in passing as "not enough to
make the viewing experience of 'Iron Monkey'
worthwhile." Why else does one go see a mar-
tial arts movie? Furthermore, the humor and
tone of the film is purely intentional, contrary to
Donelan's sarcastic criticism of the film's
lighter moments. The headline says "'Iron Mon-
key' corrupts the martial arts Genre." This is
tantamount to saying "'The Godfather' does a
disservice to the gangster genre." I urge readers
to dismiss Tricia Donelan's uninformed, disin-
terested, and misguided review of "Iron Mon-
key" and see it, as it stands to this very day on
its own self-evident merits as one of the best
kung-fu films ever made.
DAVID VICTOR
NCFD senior

V VIEWPOINT
Hatred of U.S. stems from hate in schools

BY DAVID LIVSHIZ
In the aftermath of the tragedy in New York
and Washington many attempts have been made
to show that the root causes of this terror were
the U.S. policies in the Middle East. Unfortu-
nately, these arguments fail to grasp at the real
source of terror emerging from the Middle East:
The hate that is propagated in the Middle East
through schools, the press and the leaders of
these countires. While I agree that U.S. sanc-
tions on Iraq or support of autocratic regimes
represent flaws in U.S. policy, it is also impor-
tant to note that U.S. policies raise concerns and
anger all over the world. For example, citizens
of Eastern Europe, and especially those of Rus-
sia and Serbia were incensed by the U.S. actions
in Serbia/Kosovo and similarly, citizens of east

textbooks, which preach the virtues of jihad and
hatred of the Anerucab infidel. A report pre-
pared by the Center for Monitoring the Impact
of Peace points out that with the educational
materials such as those used in Syrian and the
Palestinian Authority's schools it is little won-
der that people from these countries hate the
U.S. or that they are willing to blow themselves
up in an effort to kill Americans. In fact, the
textbooks are so poisonous that a member of the
European Parliament is taking action against
countries which have financed the publications
of these textbooks because the textbooks violate
European anti-Racism laws. It is precisely this
message of hate, which is taught to Arab chil-
dren from the earliest possible age that leads to
acts like the massacres of Sept. 11, not some
miniscule flaws in U.S. policies.

The unfortunate fact that there is no freedom of
press in the Arab Middle East means that these
messages of hate are the only ones available to
the millions of citizens residing in these
regimes. These citizens are often flustered with
the corruption of the regime under which they
live and need someone to blame. Understanding
this, the shrewd Arab regimes use their monop-
oly over the media to demonize the U.S. and
deflect critisism of their own countries. It is
these messages of hate that make the Middle
East different from the rest of the world, not
U.S. policies in that region.
With these messages of hate being prevalent
through the Middle East, is it any wonder that
people there cheer when 6,000 Americans die?
Moreover, as long as these messages continue
to be displayed at every opportunity by the

I

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