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January 22, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-22

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 22, 2002

OP/ED

ctie flchiigan zilyg

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

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
Reassurance
is good. Cash
is better."
- Ahmad Fawzi, a spokesman for
the United Nations' special envoy to
Afghanistan, as quoted in this week's
Newsweek describing a needed long-term
American commitment to the project.

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Fa 0t -Wilk 3 abtO 'Y t oY10 b~av
Pals Mjo.h 1 iicd O sca li 4~~wthinwa

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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.

a

Y AA44f -

Lawlessness will get us nowhere
PETER CUNNIFFE ONE FOR THE ROAD

This Sunday marked
the first anniversary
of George W.
Bush's ascendance to the
presidency. A .lot has hap-
pened since then. Enough
to make most people forget
about how he came into
office; weaseling, brow-
beating and scheming to
stymie vote-counters until
appointees of his father and his father's patrons
dispensed with the anachronistic system of vot-
ing and elevated him to the presidency. Bush,
like his Supreme Court benefactors, is today
showing that he, too, has little use for the rule of
law or trusts sharing authority with others. He is
proving it, appropriately-enough, in Cuba.
The administration has decided to ignore
one of the most widely accepted and respected
pieces of international law ever created, the
Geneva Convention, declaring captured Taliban
and al-Qaeda fighters are mere "illegal combat-
ants" and not soldiers entitled to its protection.
That technical argument could possibly be
made for the al-Qaeda members, but it's absurd
to say, as the Pentagon has, that Taliban soldiers
weren't really soldiers because they didn't have
uniforms. And in any case, the convention
requires that detainees be protected by it until a
"competent tribunal," which doesn't mean a
declaration from Donald Rumsfeld, determines
their status.
The European press has already been having
a fit over the conditions the prisoners are being
held in at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The hand
ringing over them being exposed to the ele-
ments seems unnecessary. They are, after all,
exposed to the elements of Cuba. We should be
so lucky.
But these should clue us in to the criticism
we are likely to face over what happens to the
prisoners next. Rumblings about more substan-
tive matters are starting to be heard and these are
what pose the real danger for us.
The United States will soon begin interrogat-
ing the prisoners, with no promise of legal repre-

sentation. There are worries that inappropriate
measures will be employed in the interrogations,
which are justified by statements from Rumsfeld
such as "I do not feel the slightest concern at
their treatment." He repeatedly reminds us that
the prisoners are getting more than they deserve.
The possibility of eventually trying the
detainees in military tribunals is also of great
concern. Set up for the purpose of preventing
anyone but the administration from deciding
how to handle these prisoners, they circumvent
regular courts and allow the fates of the prisoners
to be dictated by our self-appointed betters. Our
courts have successfully prosecuted many terror-
ists and foreign criminals, but trusting them
would mean sharing authority, which the admin-
istration has been hell-bent on avoiding.
The reason employing military tribunals is
not a good idea is obvious. No one outside of
this country trusts them. European countries,
which have apprehended many suspects wanted
by the United States, are already refusing to
extradite them because of the possibility they
will be tried in forums that seem to defy every
legal norm of modern society. And they are
absolutely right. Sending people to closed courts
that likely use secret evidence, with uncertain
legal standards, without guaranteed adequate
counsel and that can hand out unappealable
death sentences is something no country should
be willing to do.
And what happens to our credibility on
human rights issues after we try people this way?
What do we say when other countries put their
own citizens or even ours on trial in such unjust
courts?
It's hard to muster sympathy for members of
the Taliban and al-Qaeda, but that isn't neces-
sary to see that our treatment of them has to be
better than the "intense interrogation" and mili-
tary tribunals the administration has made clear
it prefers to use. This isn't about them, but about
us, how"the rest of the world sees the United
States and thus how they will be willing to inter-
act with us. Do we want to squeeze every last
drop of information out of people we found in
Afghanistan and then quickly and easily dispose

of them, or do we want to get the people cap-
tured by other countries too and all the people
they will capture in the future?
When*we diplomatically and militarily
engage in new campaigns against states that
have to be dealt with if we're serious about
fighting terrorism, such as Syria and Iraq, do we
want the support that will require from our allies
or do we want to alienate them with how we
deal with a handful of prisoners?
The federal courts can handle them. That
clever lawyers could get them off or trying them
somehow poses a danger to judges or jurors is
absurd. Our courts have handled dangerous ter-
rorists many times before. Their lawyers didn't
get them off and there haven't been any reprisals
against those who convicted them.
The important thing is that they had lawyers
and their trials had legitimacy. It may seem satis-
fying to deny the protections of civilization to
our often barbarous enemies, but if we don't we
are tying our hands in the future and squandering
what moral authority we have.
The prisoners in Cuba need to have their sta-
tus determined by a competent tribunal, be taken
out of the legal limbo they have been consigned
to and brought to a proper U.S. court (or an inter-
national court if the administration prefers) if we
want to preserve our capability to apprehend
such people in the future.
The administration, from covering up who it
meets with to burying old presidential records
(both in contravention of the law), has made
quite clear its attitude toward being accountable
to anyone but itself. Little complaint was raised
about it ignoring the law in the United States, but
the foreign reaction thus far has to make Bush
realize that our allies won't be so easily rolled
over. Bush's contempt for international law is
well known (he wanted a new strategic arrange-
ment with Russia to be based on a handshake
instead of a treaty), but our ability to act in the
world is at stake. Preserving it is simple:=Just fol-
low the law.

0
I
6

Peter Cunnife can be reached via
e-mail atpcunni(j@umich.edu.

The truth about cats and dogs: Los perros
DUSTIN J. SEIBERT THE MANIFESTO

ttempting to figure
out the inner work-
ings of the males of
our species is probably akin
to the difficulty of a 100-
level sociology class. What
most of us desire on the
whole isn't vast or compli-
cated: Good food, a televi-
sion with cable, some
income coming in ... it
varies, but rarely does it get complex. Of course,
when it comes to matters of the opposite sex, it
is then that things get all convoluted ... imagine
putting a drop of motor oil in a gallon of clean
water and you get the idea. Unfortunately, if the
fellas actually sit and ponder on the weight of
much of our decision making in regards to the
opposite sex, the outcomes will almost always
lean in the same direction ...
Can it all be so simple? Is the basis of the
majority of the decisions that men make depen-
dent on whether it will score us a piece of ass? I
wish that I could say that that is not entirely the
case, but there is absolutely no denying that, at
least at some point in every man's life, our phal-
lic members dictate our actions, often with less
than savory results. It's a crying shame the
amount of money we will spend, the promises
that we will make, or the deplorable amount of
shit we will endure when Sgt. Johnson is stand-
ing at attention. I suppose it was God's cruel
joke just to let those suckers hang there and
make big decisions for us while "big head" is
upstairs trying to play catch up.
Otherwise collected, straight-thinking gen-
tlemen flip the script and turn into macho bone-
heads should the right woman happen to come
into eyesight. Guys, remember when you were
six years old and a pretty lady came into the
room? You would do something silly, like run
headfirst into a wall and bounce off of it like
you were imitating Voltron or something? (Kiss
my ass -- I know I am not the only one!)

Things likethat were okay then, but innocence
is lost in adulthood and our decisions are more
pivotal in determining whether we win the
affections of the girl.
Men are often labeled as obnoxious, sleazy,
doggish men who view women as little more
than sexual objects, wishing to surpass a mean-
ingful relationship for love of the booty. This
may appear to be the case with most of the
dudes that women dismiss as dogs, but I think
that only a small handful of fellas want to actu-
ally stay all mixed up in the game forever ...
most guys are, in fact, in search of wifey materi-
al and not every woman can be that. Men have
"needs" just like women, and there is a good
chance that, if a woman finds herself only hold-
ing a man when her legs are spread open, then
chances are she is only fulfilling that particular
man's "need."
We are sexual creatures by nature, but it is
not at all limited to carnal pleasure ... sex and
physical pleasure can get a relationship going
only so far and that applies to both sides. I can-
not support a man stringing a woman along by
means-of dishonesty, unfortunately it is an all
too common practice. When all is said and done
though, we eventually need to be loved ... men
look for that woman that will make them no
longer desire the chase, because that special,
woman has sane or a number of aspects about
them that the man doesn't-see in all the females
that he messed with in the past. Our promiscuity
will only take us to a certain point in our lives ...
I can almost guarantee that most men will not
find that in a woman who has no reservations
about jumping in bed with him immediately.
Though it should go without saying, most
every man loves his mama. Even the hardest
hard-rock dude walking the streets with several
babymamas and a warrant on his head will
buckle down for his mother. She is the very first
female influence in our lives and for that reason
she is often.the foundation of what men desire
in a significant other; when we say we want a

woman like our mother, we are telling the truth.
It often turns out to be a contradiction of sorts
- call it male chauvinistic "role play" if you
will, but most men are not exactly comfortable
with the idea of the woman being the aggressive
bread-winner in the relationship. This doesn't
mean stay at home and live off of your husband
(that bothers me and many others); the idea is
that we want to take care of you, but we don't
want to have to take care of you.
One aspect that bothers me most about men
is the ease that it takes for a woman to come
between us. Sure it is common for people in
new relationships to find themselves hanging
out with their old friends less and less, but don't
let a woman put a bug in a man's ear ... the lat-
ter get turned so inside out that their better judg-
ment escapes them for moment in time - long
enough to completely ruin a good friendship.
Only later do they come to their senses and real-
ize that they were being mind-fucked, hoping
and praying that Leroy and the fellas will for-
give them.
Indeed, a sound mind is often corrupted by a
member of the opposite sex ... it is only well
into the relationship, or completely following it,
that people realize that they were behaving like
different people, at least for a while. One thing
about fellas is that our friends will usually tell it
like it is - if you are dealing with wifey materi-
al and they approve, then the woman's rating
slyrockets. If they identify her as the walking
"doorknob," then they won't hesitate to let us
know. Even more important? Our mothers. If
we get to the point where we wanna bring you
home, then you are definitely the move. If she
approves? Even better still. Like I said, it ain't
hard to figure us out, but for some reason, things
don't always work out like they should ... so
goes life.
Knowledge.

Dustin Seibert can be reached via
e-mail at dseibert@umich.edu.

V LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Shirvell missed point of
Daily abortion editorial
TCl T= 'LI'lAnI V.

hood receives does not provide funding for abor-
tions. Instead, the monies are used to promote
reproductive choice and health in the form of edu-
cation, contraception, STD prevention, prenatal
and postnatal care, and reproductive health choices

V> - - - - - - -:kIRi t~. !. 1..Wi # 'fi"YIFR

. .......

A

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