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March 06, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-06

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 6, 2003

OP/ED

Ulbe £itck t u tag

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

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

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
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 a
QUOTABLE
Its not going to be
Bush and his cronies
in business suits on the
front lines. They're
going to take people of
color and poor people."
- Stanford University sophomore Manon
Terrell, who skipped classes yesterday in
protest of the possible war with Iraq as part of
the nationwide "Books not Bombs "protest, as
reported yesterday by The Washington Post.

Wait 4 THE f UZrAXI

JOEL HOARD & SCOTT SERILLA STcx FIGURES ARE AWESOME

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1

Apocalypse then, now and tomorrow
JOHN HONKALA Too EARLY IN THE SUN
he apocalypse dency, the urge to turn the present into our tember: "We owe it to future generations
sirens are very own doomsday, but not being of that to deal with (the situation in Iraq)." And
s c r e a m i n g pursuasion, I cannot begin to speculate. warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair
again. Loudly. And Suffice to say, humans have felt Armaged- in January: "The consequences of our
as much as we try to don's presence for centuries. weakness will haunt future generations."
scoff or laugh at And so again we have entered such a These are nice things to say, and effective.
them, they are diffi- period. In the 18 months since Sept. 11, we Nobody wants to be complicit in the haunt-
cult to ignore. Pick Americans have moved beyond FOX 2 ing of their grandchildren.
E 3up a newspaper, turn Problem Solvers (Is your mechanic siphon- But we have seen in Panama, El Sal-
on the television, talk ing off your gasoline?!) to Fox News' grim vador, Afghanistan, etc., that the United
to your neighbor, you will find the world is queries (Does your washing machine sup- States is simply not committed to "nation-
ending - war, dirty water, nuclear port terrorism?!). Waiting out the commer- building." History has shown that when we
weapons, "The Bachelorette." Any time cial break doesn't just save you money or a fear the worst, we react knee-jerkedly, with
now, the seas will boil and retch, or at the few pounds any more, it will save your life. little appreciation for either history or con-
very least there will metal detectors at our Sadly, these notions aren't exclusively sequence. Afraid of communism? Send in
PTA meetings. found on television news sets. They flutter the military. Think alcohol is poisoning
And while all these things are indeed off the tongues of our neighbors, my waiter society? Amend the Constitution to make it
troublesome, I must say that I am positive- last week, our classmates. illegal. But for the love of God, whatever
ly whelmed. If the world is about to fall I can't help but believe that this inflated you do, be quick about it.
apart now, it has been for hundreds of anxiety and the urgency that it instills in us The state of global affairs is indeed
years. From the Great Pestilence to the causes us to act rashly. It encourages us to worrisome, frightening even. But there is
Nuclear Age, populations have articulated eschew patience and rationality for instant- much to be optimistic about - an increas-
their epochs as if they are teetering on the ly gratifying solutions. Nowhere is this ingly politicized populace, an invigorated
edge, nearer the end than the beginning. outlook more detrimental than in the cur- anti-war movement. In communities across
We snicker now at the self-flagellation-as- rent march toward war in Iraq. the country, organizations dedicated to
penance of post-plague Italians or subur- Viewing the present as if we are on the combating poverty and inequality.
ban American families with bomb shelters brink often precludes us from taking a long Unfortunately, the culture in which we
in the 1950s, but those people represent view of our present problems. While war in live - sensational and urgent to say the
very real, if exaggerated, segments of the Iraq may seem the only way to ensure our least - inclines us to believe that going to
societies in which they lived. One need security, the reprecussions of a bungled war in Iraq is both necessary and incontro-
only to read a'few comic books from the operation would only lead us down roads vertible. But history tells us otherwise. We
1950s to sense that decade's anxiety. that seem even more apocalyptic and anx- will not be swept away by blood and bile if
Periods like these have led variously to ious - an increase in the already broad- we do not use military force in Iraq. The
unfettered sexual promiscuity, war, dicta- based zealous anti-American sentiment death knell is not tolling. We are further
tors, revolution. But whatever they have around the world, more terrorist attacks, a from the brink than many of us believe.
wrought, they have reappeared year after more acutely live-wire Middle East.
year on every continent. I imagine there Today's warhawks pay endless lip ser- Honkala can be reached at
are psychological explanations for this ten- vice to posterity. President Bush in Sep- jhonkala@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

S
9

Nation might need a 'slap in
the face', citizens are obligated
to stand up and raise voices
TO THE DAILY:
Robert DeVore's letter to the editor (Stu-
dent opposition to US. government 'a slap in
the face', 03/05/03) was based upon misguided
thinking. DeVore claims that we are not justi-
fled in protesting the actions of the govern-
ment since it has allowed us so many
freedoms. It is wrong to say that citizens must
earn their right to speak their mind.
The flaw of DeVore's argument is that he
assumes that the citizens of a country are oblig-
ated to serve their government. This is not the
case. The existence of government is based
upon the consent of the governed. For this rea-
son, it is important to voice your opinions so
that the government knows how to best serve its
people. If the government is not acting in its
own citizens' best interests, it is the responsibili-
ty of the people to demand change. Maybe a
"slap in the face" is just what our government
needs..
ADAM WHITE
LSA freshman
Citizens don't earn rights,
they are born with them
TO THE DAILY:
As a fellow veteran of this country's armed
forces (commissioned December 1996, Army)
and an alumnus of this fine University (BSE 96,
Aero), I believe I have, in Robert DeVore's
terms, "moral justification" in responding to his
argument (Student opposition to U.S. govern-
ment 'a slap in the face', 03/05/03).
DeVore makes it clear his belief that one
should have to earn the right, as he did, to speak
out against the government and it's actions. To
do so without earning that right is a slap in the
face to those who have made the ultimate sacri-
fice for their country.
I have two issues with his position. As far as
having to earn your rights, I have to admit, that I
side with Thomas Jefferson on this issue. It was
Jefferson's belief that we are all born with the
rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happi-
ness. While he was of the mind that one must
have to fight for those rights from time to time,
he made no such mention of a "litmus test"
wherby citizens were granted certain rights only
if they met certain criteria. (I know. I know. At
the time those rights didn't really apply to non-
land-owners. nearo sIves nor women hut that

In the current chapter of our nation's history,
where we have been told explicitly to "watch
what we say, and watch what we do," I tend to
admire these protesters. No, nobody is shooting
at them and it doesn't look like they are making
many sacrifices right now, but a govenment
without a "loyal opposition" will slowly but
surely descend into tyranny. I know the found-
ing fathers felt this way.
MARTY MCLAUGHLIN
Alumnus
Intelligent, two-sided debate
needed to educate students on
real issues concerning Iraq
TO THE DAILY:
While I'm glad to see that there seems to be
some attempt at education in "Books not
Bombs: Nationwide Student Strike Against the
War," I have suspicion that the panels and lec-
tures are going to be completely one-sided. The
possibility of war in Iraq is not a simple matter,
despite what many protests have you believe.
There are very good arguments against
going to war, but there are also very good argu-
ments for going to war. From what I have seen,
most protests or demonstrations by either side
have made no attempt to help people make
intelligent decisions about a war with Iraq. In an
issue as important and complex as this, unbi-
ased education is needed, not partisan rhetoric.
Because of this, I do not feel that it is justified to
skip classes, which are much better equipped to
lead an unbiased debate, than to attend protest
that will probably not enlighten me at all.
However, if an intelligent two-sided debate
were provided, that would be something that
would be worth attending for everyone.
DANIEL BAXTER
LSA senior
SAFE guest lecturer is insult
to Holocaust remembrances
TO THE DAILY:
Next week signals the return of Hillel's
annual Conference on the Holocaust. With sev-
eral events planned around the education and
history of the slaughter of millions of Jews,
gays, blacks and other minorities, the Students
Allied for Freedom and Equality have chosen to
tarnish their already stained name by sponsoring
a lecture given by Norman Finkelstein during
this month. Finkelstein, a Jew born of two

Additionally, Finkelstein has on numerous
occasion not hesitated to call Elie Wiesel, a
prominent professor, author and survivor of the
Holocaust, "the head of the Holocaust circus,"
simply because Wiesel charges a speaker's fee
to lecture at other universities. "Wiesel not only
gives Jews a bad name, but sheisters as well,"
Finkelstein said in a lecture given in Toronto. Is
teaching the Holocaust now considered a
crime? Must we remove it from history text-
books, so that it may occur again? I would glad-
ly pay any fee to a survivor to relay their
experiences of suffering during the Holocaust. I
haven't the faintest clue what SAFE intends on
accomplishing by bringing in this disrespectful
bigot, especially at such an insensitive time. I
don't think that anyone will argue that Palestini-
ans suffer under their current conditions; there
are several explanations and theories as to how
to rectify the situation. Blasphemizing the expo-
sure, even overexposure of the Holocaust is cer-
tainly not one of them.
Finkelstein should be lambasted for the
same crime he speaks out against: making
money on the Holocaust. The shameful timing
of this event should not be forgiven.
BRAD SUGAR
LSA sophomore
The letter writer is an MSA representative
and Orthodox Minyan co-chair.
Despite his faws, Bush is
carrying out duties of job weU
TO THE DAILY:
Every week I read Joseph Litman's articles
and can't help but laugh at the conclusions he
reaches about our president. It seems to me
that Litman cannot argue against George W.
Bush's actions, and therefore mocks his char-
acter instead, thinking that if there is some-
thing wrong with the character, there must be
something wrong with the actions.
Over the last year and a half, the president
has gone to great lengths to do his job well.
As commander in chief he has taken extensive
measures to protect his people. As chief legis-
lator, he had pursued a huge tax cut to boost
the economy, as chief executive he has arrest-
ed numerous threats to national security and
as chief of state and commander in chief he is
trying to take whatever measures necessary to
make sure terrorist organizations do not get
their hands on weapons of mass annihilation.
Additionally, as a leader he has surrounded
himself with excellent personnel; one of the
smartest moves a leader can make. It seems to
me that Bush. although not the best oublic

THE BOONDOCKS

A
AARON MC('IRI..!fl)l.-,,R

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