4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 13, 2003
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Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
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necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
We need health
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Diplomacy and its doppelganger
LUKE SMITH THERE IS NO I IN COLUMN
E ncouraging fur- nicknames and jokes for everyone ..." cour- armed conflict in Iraq. With patience and votes
ther debate on the tesy of the oh-so-witty New York Times or more likely, some proof of Iraqi non-com-
impending and columnist Maureen Dowd. pliance the United States can leap to war, but
apparently inevitable Heading off this sort of criticism at the without something to incite the immediacy of
Desert Storm Zwei is pass would be a concern of Bush's were he war, the urgency is not necessary.
New York Times colum- not so focused on a resolution in Iraq. Keep That the United States is focusing so vigi-
nist Thomas Friedman's in mind this is the president who once lantly on a retumto a desert storm, when it truly
modest proposal that referred to Hussein as, "the man who tried to should be devoted to rising tensions with North
President Bush - in a kill my dad." This paternal loyalty, while Korea - a nation that announced its reactiva-
last-ditch attempt at touching, should hold (and likely holds) no tion of a nuclear arms program--is erroneous.
diplomacy - fly to France to unite the leaders ground in Bush's actions in Iraq. ' The two-fold effect of these situations'
of France, Russia, China, Britain and the chair It is as foolish to subscribe to the idea that diplomacy should be evidenced in the U.S.
of the Arab League together in an attempt to Bush's actions against Iraq are some facet of foreign policy's treatment of the two poten-
unify a fractured U.N. Security Council. paternally-motivated reciprocity - a personal, tially disastrous scenarios (Iraq and North
It is the French, after all who appear to pre- guttural and juvenile response to the first Gulf Korea). The North Korean accosting of a
sent the greatest roadblock in Bush's path to War and Bush Sr. However, it is equally suspect U.S. spy plane 150 miles off the coast of
war, and Friedman is correct in his suggestion to rely on the American interest in Iraqi oil as a North Korea 11 days ago was a far greater
that bringing the aforementioned leaders central motivator in the U.S. intervention. affront against the United States than any-
together could only strengthen the United What Bush must do, is exercise the thing out of Iraq in the last year.
States' pursuit of legitimacy for its forthcom- diplomacy suggested by Friedman and be Yet, the United States was relatively silent.
ing war in the Middle East. patient. For the last 12 years Iraq has been They aren't necessarily exercising diplomacy,
French President Jacques Chirac, a thorn in jerking around the U.N., bobbing and so much as insolence in their refusal to talk to
the U.N. Security Council vote (from Bush's weaving through sanctions. In reflection, North Koreans, and in the case of North Korea,
perspective) is taking an awful big gamble using Saddam Hussein has admitted to the mis- action would seem to be a more logical
the Iraqi conflict as an opportunity to promote take of invading Kuwait without nuclear approach, than a childish silent treatment.
France as a legitimate world power. Chirac capabilities - a scenario that Gerard The diplomacy, or lack thereof, being used
seems to think through flexing his country's Baker of the Financial Times said would in the en masse commissioning of U.S. troops to
veto power at a Security Council vote he is have made Kuwait and Saudi Arabia the Iraq to depose a dilapidated despot seems far
reflecting the view of a greater world ideal, and 19th and 20th provinces of Iraq, if not for more urgent than the situation warrants. True,
he and his nation will subsequently be lauded the first Persian Gulf War. Iraq has likely been in material breach of U.N.
by the global community for their staunch It is now, under these pretenses (the volatili- resolutions for 12 years, but the focus of U.S.
detraction of military action in Iraq. ty of a nation in a dictatorial vice grip) that the foreign policy must take a two-pronged
As Friedman suggests, should Bush head United States is springing into action, while the approach in the Axis of Evil members.
to France and conduct reasonable negotia- U.N. Security Council lags behind. Australian Iraq should be receiving the silent treatment
tions in search of legitimizing U.S. actions Prime Minister John Howard intelligently noted we are instead giving North Korea, while if
against Iraq - it could only save face for a that, "failure of will by the Security Council there is to be any active talk of regime changes
president being portrayed as a trigger-happy over Iraq will render the handling of North and disarmament, it should be immediately
rogue gunfighter. Or in more flamboyant Korea infinitely more difficult." directed toward Pyongyang and Kim Jong II.
metaphors as "The genial cheerleader and But the Security Council needs more time.
stickball commissioner with the gregarious The urgency being pressed by the Bush admin- Smith can be reached
parents, the frat president who had little istration detracts from the ability to validate an at email@example.com.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Daily headline cornuSes caume lent or non) television in general. Therefore, is ticipants who are bright and talented; just
the poor parenting or the violent TV to blame because they choose not to participate in a
and COrrelation ( o TV siolenCe for aggressive children? voluntary program does not mean that they
DAN COUGHLIN can be involuntarily shut out of University
YSSi Rackham services. An interesting parallel was drawn
between the Honors lounge and special
perquisites given to certain student groups.
To THE DAILY:s commos unecessai Though the school may be tolerant of this,
While I have not had access to the actual rvwds af time and again there is student grumble over
research article, reading the Daily's article, the better food and facilities strictly open to
Study: TV violence causes aggression, athletes. If Honors students recognize the
(03/12/03) as well as other reviews on the To THE DAILY: inherent problem within this system, the last
research implies your headline is mislead- As an Honors student, I completely agree thing they should do is feed into it.
ing. I do not think the authors would claim with the criticisms of the Perlman Honors At heart, several defend the Perlman
that TV violence causes aggression, but Commons. Its velvet rope mentality is nothing Commons on grounds that it is a belated
rather watching violent TV displays correla- short of ostentatious snobbery. The spacious, reward for the academic elite. Yet I'm
tion with future aggression. comfortable room is a great place for intellec- forced to wonder: Isn't a good education its
My reasoning behind this seemingly trivial tual discussion or relaxation. It can and should own reward? My justification for opting
exercise in etymology stems from my belief be enjoyed by everyone. Every day dozens of Honors is the hope that the courses and
that children not properly reared probably students congregate at the aging, noisy bench- requirements will equip me with the skills
watch more violent TV than their counterparts. es near the Fishbowl, but apparently this needed to excel in the real world. Utilizing,
For example, children with parents willing to majority of the student body are simply not as and moreover, expecting separatist benefits
spend time encouraging their children to read, gifted as Honors students and therefore have should not be part of that curriculum.
master a musical instrument or play a sport little use for good facilities. SoWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY
have less time to engage in watching any (vio- In truth, there are several non-Honors par- LSA freshman
Prison arts programs provide windows into lives
BY JESSE JANNETTA
The Prison Creative Arts Project has been
running theater, writing and visual art work-
shops in prisons and juvenile detention cen-
ters throughout Michigan since its inception
in 1990. One of the goals of PCAP's work is
to bring the incarcerated back into communi-
cation with a society from which their voices
have been effectively erased. The Annual
Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners, tak-
ing place right now in the Media Union
Gallery on North Campus, is our most com-
prehensive public event. It is a showcase of
the talent, drive, passion, pain, regret and
humanity that we find in the people we work
with and that inspire and compel us to contin-
ue doing this work. In conjunction with the
exhibition this year, we are presenting some-
thing new and equally compelling: The per-
formance entitled "When Can We Talk?"
Over the years PCAP has accumulated a
tremendous trove of stories, stories of the
men and women, girls and boys with whom
we have collaborated and our own stories of
ly autobiographical, about the difficult and
painful choices each of the former prisoners
have been faced with before, during and after
incarceration, and about the effect that the
work has had on each of us as workshop facili-
tators and human beings. In the nine months
that our theater group has been together, we
have dealt with all the struggles that people
face when coming out of prison. We lost one
member of our company to a drug relapse. An
actor left an abusive home situation. Cars broke
down or were crashed. Jobs were found, lost,
then found again. Babies were born. Actors
found themselves desperate for money. At our
last rehearsal, one of our actors arrived on
crutches. He's uncertain how long it will be,
before he can return to work and he has a son
due in two months.
The title of the performance is the goal of
the performance. We are starting a conversa-
tion. There are 50,000 men and women incar-
cerated in adult state facilities in Michigan.
Through this performance, through the pris-
oner art exhibition, these men and women
come back into relation with society, so that
they are being remembered and engaged with
the play, happening right now. I've also
been astonished by the way that Dave,
Touche, Tracy and Jason are willing to risk
even further in the discussions that follow
each performance, answering direct and
personal questions head-on, without evad-
ing. But perhaps the strength to risc comes
from being in a position for so long in
which no one cared to hear the realities that
they were facing. As Tracy Neal put it,
"This is the first time I have ever been
given the opportunity to tell my story and
my children's story. The impact was a lot of
times overwhelming. I'm a lot more confi-
dent now and realize that the performances
gave me the chance to take so much fear,
pain and anger out of me and give to the
audiences to look at and discuss."
What we ask of the audiences in return is
that they give something of themselves. Their
attention and their willingness to listen before
judging, first and foremost, but also their own
stories and perspectives. We want them to
ask questions, and not hold back any con-
cerns or doubts about what we're doing. We
ask them to challenge us with those issues.