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October 25, 2001 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-25

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 25, 2001

OP/ED

Thle wtrb4t'oan awtild

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
' The adults that were the
20-year-olds in the '60s have all
turned into what we were
supposed to be saving ourselves
from: Asking for the '60s to come
back with the Beatles and the
Kennedys - they probably even
want a war so's we can have an
anti-war movement.... We don't
need the '60s and we don't need
the Beatles and we don't need the
Kennedys. Let's leave them where
they are, in a nice memory."
- John Lennon on Sept. 29, 1980
in an interview with Vanity Fair's
Lisa Robinson that appears in the
this November's edition of the magazine.

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Nine things to be happy about
DAVID HORN HORNOGRAPHY

n 1990, the brains at
I the Workman Pub-
Slishing Company
published a book entitled,
"14,000 things to be
h happy about." For some
un-Godly reason, there
was a copy of the book in
my house, belonging (I
believe) to my sister.
Even at age nine I couldn't quite conceive
of why anybody would buy such a disgust-
ing example of pop self-help. The book is
literally a list of ... mmm, there's really no
nice way to say it ... sentimental bullshit.
One review of the book by a Swiss gentle-
man on Amazon.com reads, "Don't know
why I bought this book - must have been
depressed or something - and I definitely
was after I discovered what I'd spent my
money on. Save your money and make up
your own list. Think you need to be Ameri-
can to understand it."
American indeed. Another book fol-
lowed in reaction to "14,000 things to be
happy about," entitled, "1,401 Things That
P*ss Me Off."
So the newspaper pages over the past
month have been full of items that might be
included in the latter book. Terrorism pisses
me off. Anthrax pisses me off. John
Ashcroft pisses me off. And this editorial
page has been pretty disheartening too. Cer-
tainly I haven't (yet) used this column to
make anybody feel better. So I am going to
(not without irony) submit to writing my

own version of things to be happy about.
Maybe it will be published and I can be
deemed a "self-help guru." That would be
sweet.
So without wasting any more precious
newspaper space, my list of things to be
happy about, in the midst of all that is
going on in the world.
Colin Powell - In a room full of men
in dark suits who you don't quite trust, the
Secretary gives us the assurance that some-
one is thinking and acting responsibly.
24-hour cable news coverage - Some
say they get sick of watching. Turn it off,
genius. For my own part, I can't help but be
attracted to the soothing voices of Bernard
Shaw, Brian Williams and the'rest of the
cable news crew. Back in the day, you
heard about wars via messengers on horse-
back. Andrew Jackson didn't know the War
of 1812 was over when he fought the
famous Battle of New Orleans. He should
have turned on MSNBC in his hotel room
on Bourbon Street.
The New York Yankees - As much
as I hate to admit it, the Bronx Bombers are
going to win the World Series as a healthy
f-you to the cave-dwelling, woman-hating
terrorists, Most Wonderful City in the
World-attacking terrorists who don't know
quite what to make of our odd little "Amer-
ican way of life." I'm buying into all the
romanticism surrounding the team and its
city. There's something very cool about
them winning.
Bill Maher, Susan Sontag, et al. -

They make it onto the list not because they
publicly say what they believe, but because
they draw media attention for it, exposing
the real un-Americans in those who would
restrict free speech.
Tony Blair - I don't know if it's the
accent or what, but it's nice to at least think
that the British P.M. is whispering sweet
somethings into Dubya's ear.
* Rock stars - Oh, give them a break.
Yeah they take themselves too seriously.
Yeah their benefits are ultimately as self-
serving as they are altruistic. Yeah they
couldn't locate New York on the map for
all the leather pants in the world. But at
'least their hearts are (sort of) in the right
place.
The Christian Right - Ha ha ha ha
ha! You morons! If you don't have any-
thing nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Blaming lesbians and doctors who perform
abortions for the Sept. 11 attack is nothing
short of idiocy. They make the list for
exposing themselves as the lunatics they
are.
Hornography - A beacon of light in a
world of confused darkness.
Self-promotion - As American as the
blues.
This was fun to write - follow Swiss
Mister's advice and write your own list.
Make self-help a self-contained activity,
and enjoy the American circus.
David Horn can be reached via
e-mail at hornd@umich.edu.

S

V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Government money
doesn't hinder 'U''
department teaching
TO THE DAILY:
I just read the higher education note "'U'
offered money by National Security Education
Program" (10/24/01). As a major in the Near
Eastern Studies Department, and as someone in
an Arabic language course, I would fully sup-
port the department working with NSEP to
grant scholarships to help people study Arabic.
As I see it, the goal of the department in this
regard is to teach Arabic. This goal in no way
conflicts with what the NSEP is, namely a pro-
gram to help people who want to use it learn
Arabic. It is the individuals choice whether to
participate, and I for one most likely would. I&
see it as a chance to help pay for my education,
and to give something back to my country. The
goal of Near Eastern Studies as an educational
department can only be to teach, and this pro-
gram in no way hinders that goal. It only pro-
vides for more people to be able to get an
opportunity to study Arabic, and that does most
certainly fit in with the role of this department. .
MATT RANDALL
LSA junior
Islamic law decreases
oppression in Mid East
TO THE DAILY:
I just wanted to respond to Manish Raiji's
latest column, "Foreign policy and the unin-
formed American" (10/24/01). As an American
Muslim who majored in Islamic Studies at the
University, I can safely say that there is a seri-
ous misconception among many that the Mus-
lim world represents Islamic values, as
evidenced by what Raiji purports in his article:
That Islamic law, the shari'ah, is supposedly the
major cause for oppression in the Middle East.
The interesting point here is that most Muslims
today actually consider the oppression being
practiced in the Muslim world as being evidence
that the shari'ah is not being implemented.
Besides the fact that the Qur'an clearly says
"fear tumult or oppression" (8:25), the manner
by which many of the leaders of the Muslim
world rule can be considered by many Muslims
to be anything but Islamic. On the other hand,
Islamic law does not allow any room for terror-
ism, an extreme response to these corrupt gov-
ernments. What people need to realize is that the

U.S. should take second
look at Arab allied coalition

To THE DAILY:
Since the tragedy of Sept. 11, the world
has come together to fight terrorism. The
media constantly pounds on the close coop-
eration between the United States and many
of the Arab states. These world political
rivals united to fight a common enemy for a
common cause. But what is so common
about this cause?
As of now, the Bush administration
stresses its cause in its war in Afganistan as
the fight for democracy, a war on those who
hate our basic freedoms. Moreover, in one
of the speeches before Congress, Bush
pointed out that the war was on those who
want to overthrow the existing governments
in Muslim states such Saudi Arabia and
Egypt.
Well, all I have to say for that is: And
that is bad for the reason of ... Why?
As far as international politics go, the
United States wants to defend freedom and
democracy everywhere; but, none of the
Muslim states in the Middle East have
democracy. Jordan and Saudi Arabia are
hereditary monarchies. In Egypt, the victory
of the party in power is highly suspicious,
since the strongest opposition party is not
allowed to participate in the elections. And
in all of these states basic freedoms are
absent. So why is it that the United States
wants these authoritarian regimes to remain
intact?
It is true that U.S. needs as much help
from the Muslim states as it can get in order
to defeat Osama bin Laden, but at the same
time what is the sacrifice in this union for
the long term goals for democracy. As his-
tory indicates, U.S. policy in some of the
Muslim states in the past has been the
breeding ground for terrorism. Starting with
the pro-western Shah Mohammed Reza
Pahlavi of Iran, who was intolerable to any
challenge within his regime, U.S. support of
certain regimes in these states has caused
outbursts of protest that resulted in numer-
ous terrorist acts. Even Osama bin Laden
himself was a trainee of the CIA in order to
fight the Soviets in Afganistan. Currently;
many of the opposition parties in the Mus-
lim states are becoming angrier and angrier
with the fact that they have no say in the
affairs of the state. It is this anger at being
silenced that can be cited as one of the roots
of rrnrkima

AP PHOTO
Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's ambassador to
the United States once criticized military
govemments as a newspaper editor in
Pakistan. Now, she's defending the government
of General Pervez Musharraf.
dealt with severely. I do believe, however,
that we should not protect the authoritarian
regimes. They are autocratic and oppressive.
People have no voice. Soon they will not
even have minds of their own due to the
efforts of these regimes to indoctrinate them
with hate, as in case of their hate against the
state of Israel.
In seeking alliance with those Arab states
that are oppressive, the United States under-
mines its goals of liberty for people every-
where. These oppressive states do not have
the goals of democracy at heart. They say
they are afraid of the extremist Islamic terror-
ists coming to power if these states were to
institute free elections. But did they bother to
think that maybe its their own harsh undemo-
cratic policies that breed the monsters they
are so eager to fight today?
And these are the states that Mr. Bush is
so proud of having in the American coalition
against Osama bin Laden. I think it's time to
reevaluate our "common cause" in our part-
nership with the authoritarian Arab states of
the Middle East. There is no "us" in this
fight. It's them and the United States. We
fight for democracy. They fight for survival

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