4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 24, 2003
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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.
Iraq is on
the brink of an
- UNICEF spokeswoman Wivina Belmonte,
on the impending humanitarian crisis
in Iraq, as quoted by MSNBC.com.
SAM BUTLER Ti m SOBX
UP'orn 2 assa-C o
UCon y~'Od, ,, .S't 'as
+Ve ar s telocor P x N
Give intercession a chance
JON SCHWARTZ Two SiDEs To EVERY SCHWXARTZ
At a bar this past
Thursday night, I ran
into a friend who
serves in Michigan's division
of the Navy's R.O.T.C. Hav-
ing spent the past day with
mixed emotions of concern
about the war and my brack-
ets' miserable performances
in the first day of the NCAA
Tournament, I was interested in hearing his per-
spective on the situation in Iraq.
We spoke for a few minutes, his side of
the conversation a mix of concern and confi-
dence. Eventually, I asked him how he felt
about the anti-war protests that had taken
over our campus earlier in the day. Without
even giving it a moment's thought, he
responded in a manner that impressed me:
"Isn't that what we fight for?"
I told him that I disagreed and the conversation
moved to how long it would take before Kansas is
once again exposed as the ultimate tournament
choke team. (My guess, for the record, is this
weekend against the weakest Duke team in recent
Looking back, I do respect his opinion. But it
irks me that the anti-war community on this cam-
pus is so determined to ignorantly dismiss the
courageous actions taken by our troops, in this war
and those that preceded it.
I am not pro-war. I am not a conservative.
I hope that President Bush's diplomatic fail-
ures that made this war a necessity will be the
death knell to his re-election hopes. These are
beliefs I hold firmly. And rarely, if ever, do I
feel the need to reject them in any way.
Thursday, however, was one of those days.
Watc'hing'as the bombs started falling Wednes-
day night, I began to thank God and everything
holy that we don't live in our parents' genera-
tion; that graduating in a month does not mean
that my draft card is on its way. I'm embar-
rassed to think this way, and it only makes me
respect our troops even more.
A few weeks ago, a columnist on this page
voiced what I consider to be a disgraceful
opinion that our troops, who undertake
actions that some don't support, should as a
result not be supported themselves.
Simply ludicrous. There are soldiers dying
as we speak; kids our age, who probably are
more like us than we can ever know. They're
dying because they raised their hand and
asked their country to count them. They did
what the rest of us wouldn't.
This isn't Vietnam, where hundreds of
thousands of unwilling men were sent into
the mess. These are patriots, who have vol-
untarily taken an oath to fight for this coun-
try, to fight for every one of us.
My God, if you can't support that, what
Maybe this war could have been avoided, I'll
never know for sure. But whether Saddam Hussein
was removed by bombs or diplomacy, the one cer-
tainty in this matter is that the world is a much
safer place with a new Iraqi regime. Despite my
disdain for our president's efforts in the past
months, I have no trouble supporting that claim.
The anti-war protesters on this campus, though,
are too caught up in organizing their rallies and
making their signs to examine the way that issues
change. Being "anti-war" is not an excuse for
opposing every single thing about every single
war. When America wins this war and Saddam is
deposed, these people will hopefully never know
the dangers that they have been saved from.
They'll never know what would have happeled if
Bush had listened when they told him to make
love, not war. It's disappointing that people get too
caught up hating Bush, hating war or hating the
idea of fighting at all to realize the justifications
that do exist for this conflict.
Moreover, having an anti-war rallying group
does not automatically mean that the first day of
a war demands protest to the highest degree.
These people are trying too hard to do what
their parents did when they protested. But this is
purely ignorant. Look at the history books -
with Vietnam, it wasn't really until 1970, years
after the conflict started, that students began
organizing en masse to end the war. It was only
when it became completely clear that the war
was hopeless and wrong. Why are we so unwill-
ing to give this intercession a chance? Are we
so desperate to live up to our parents?
The 38,000 of us who chose the University to
receive our education are among the luckiest peo-
ple in the world. We have rights and abilities that
people our age in Middle Eastern countries haven't
even heard of. And as my friend astutely pointed
out, one of those rights is the right to protest, the
right to speak our minds against the actions taken
by our government.
So I say protest all you want. Show the people
who make up our government what you think
about them. But I can't accept doing it on the first
day of a war. I can't accept doing it less than 24
hours after kids like us stationed across the world
got the order that would forever change their lives.
It's about respect, about putting yourself in that
position. My friend, who is as close to that position
as anyone I know found a positive reaction. He
told me that that's what they fight for.
But what would you say? Hopefully, that's a
question you'll never have to answer.
Schwartz can be reached
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Cutting class will definitely
not solve world's problems
TO THE DAILY:
In reading the viewpoint by Zac Peskowitz
and Jess Piskor (Now is our time, 03/20/03) I
came across the following sentence: "Moments
spent in class today are moments wasted."
I fully disagree with this statement. I am the
first person in my family to go to college. My
parents spend a great deal of money every
month to be able to send me here. I also have to
pay a fair share and have to work work study in
one of the residence hall cafeterias to help with
my monetary situation. A moment I don't spend
in class, for which I pay a great deal, is a
moments wasted. A moment that I could be
learning, and making my future better.
Some may not agree with the state of world
affairs but to tell them to cut class is not making
America a better place. I say moments spent in
class today are moments that will help the United
States in the future, with our fture leaders gain-
ing knowledge to help this country in that future.
Daily helps spread
'cheap propaganda' via
TO THE DAILY:
Thursday's ad regarding the "truth" about
Israel and Palestine was incredibly insensitive to
the complexity of the issue taking place in the
holy land. I hope that people see it for what it is:
cheap propaganda. Propaganda which the Daily
has helped spread. It baffles me that the Daily
would allow such things to be published.
Ads offensive, inflammatory,
'do not depict truth'
To THE DAILY:
I would like to express my disappointment
in an advertisement in Thurday's Daily. The
advertisement was sponsored by campus-
truth.org. I understand the constitutional con-
straints on limiting the press, but I believe
such ads are offensive and inflammatory.
Moreover, they do not depict the "truth" or
work to solve the conflict. I do not know
whether the Daily exercises any discretion
over its ads, but I would hope that such ads
would be disallowed.
It is an unfortunate reality that such messages
will inherently be associated with the Daily.
Such association will undermine the impartiality
of the Daily and its coverage.
All we got was a war
BY AYMAR JEAN
We needed an historical milestone, and all
we got was a war.
OK, the terrorist attacks of about a year and
half ago were mind-boggling, world-changing,
and undeniably significant. Living so close to
New York, I knew as the day progressed that
the events of that day would ring in my mind
for as long as I should live. Yet, as time pro-
gressed, the public knew that more historical
milestones were on the way, that other dates and
events would resonate as intensely as Sept. 11.
On March 19, 2003, our war with Iraq
began. The statement lacks the fervor and
emotion evident in the statement "On
December 7th, the Japanese attacked Pearl
Harbor." Certainly, last Wednesday was an
important date, one that will shape the
course of history, but, in the years to come,
will anyone except historians and political
scientists remember it as such?
Though it is hard to discount students' feel-
ings of fear, anticipation and anger on March
19 and hard to predict their feelings in the
future, it is undeniable that amid the student
body and the nation there is a noticeable air of
shock and disconnection. Misguided by the
nrAonect of T N nostnonement and ill-
haze, see the power of March 19?
Of course, all the signs were there. Head-
lines across the country underscored the words
"imminent" and "war" as if they were inextri-
cably linked. Political theorists familiar with
Bush's disposition and mindful of the political
problems with "backing down" predicted this
outcome ever since the U.N. Security Council
presentations began. Yet, President Bush took
away our security blanket, eliminated the
prospect of a vote and pushed the nation into
war with only 48 hours notice.
All over the nation, the people are feeling
disconnected. In a recent New York Times
report, Californians say that they particularly
feel the unreality of this war. Of course, their
geographical location provides one explana-
tion, but the state has contributed more
reservists and National Guard units than any
other state. In Michigan, according to two
Detroit Free Press staff writers, the concern for
the war is intangible; it is a peripheral issue for
the average citizen. Where is the ardency?
It may be in the anti-war movement. Con-
spicuously, most of those who are pro-war are
silent, choosing to rally much less than those
against the war, if at all. The anti-war rally on
Thursday, here on campus, is evidence that
people do care and have strong feelings about
the war Yet this is anlle c amunsn known
minority action anesthetizes the public; it per-
petuates uncertainty and restrains zeal.
Jaded by the peaceful and prosperous '90s,
this nation grew accustomed to the separation
between the state and the populace. Two years
ago, these divorcees, the government and popu-
lation, got remarried under the condition that
the state would open the field of communica-
tion and be more attentive to the populace's
needs. Today, the United States is an unsure
married couple, not on good terms and not on
Most disturbing is the ideological blandness
of this war. Continually, ever since World War
II, this country has searched for a purpose, a
fervency or a sense of immediacy in its wars;
wartime fervor shows the population and gov-
ernment have the same goals and intentions. In
Korea, these feelings were incomparable to
those of World War II and muted by domestic
prosperity. In Vietnam, it was nonexistent,
except for the anti-war movement that took
years to effect change. In the Persian Gulf, it
was stymied by skepticism. After the events in
New York, it seemed that maybe the War on
Terror would incite that ever evasive feeling,
and it did to some extent. But that war was
more amorphous, since no particular country
was responsible. Now, .with the opposing coun-
trv defined the cnue has enm Inaieai flaws
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