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April 08, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-08

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 8, 2003

OP/ED

Ulbe AhdIwu Dau

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

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
( The regime is
finished. It is over,
and liberation is here.
The leadership is now
gone in southern Iraq"

Sir, I've beeni ilonkirt'.

About what, solier?

Well, if we're gonna be ere
for a while maybe we should
start building better relations
with the locals.

"ti"

JOEL HOARD AND SCOTT SERILLA

Are youi serious, son?
I

ail

STR'i FIGUURs Am, i wEsoMEkw

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.

U

Yeah, I mean if we start
doin' nice things (or 'em now,
maybe itpay off in the tong run.

Uke what?

Qzw
0 OD 0

How 'bout a keqer ear, you keep comin' up
at yaddamms palacae with briklant ideas like that,
tonight? you'll make general!

- British forces spokesman, Group Captain
Al Lockwood, on the confirmation of
the death of Ali Hassan al-Majid,
commonly known as "Chemical Ali,"
according to the BBC.

C-grade learning and intro-level hostilities
AUBREY HENRETTY NEUROTICA
A s this rapidly end- the coursepack, and I'm still getting a solid often the most ruthless when it comes to
ing semester B-plus), and with the extra time, I'd study coursework and exams; they want to separate
began, I thought I hard for IntSci, developing a keen under- those in it for the long haul from those who
had finally found the per- standing of its basic concepts, which I could wouldn't be in it if they didn't have to be.
feet balance of classes then apply to other aspects of my education. But Professor Snarky's scoff sounded like
taken and pass/fail options I, like my distribution requirements, would be a cackle to a lot of people, a warning that by
selected, an ideal schedule well-rounded. Worldly. God, the average in this class was going to be
that would allow me to At first, it looked like it was going Ato a C, and anyone who didn't like it was a lazy
explore new (to me) acad- work. The professor - a young, entertain- (or feeble-minded) liberal arts major for whom
emic fronts without letting ingly crass IntSci Ph.D. - was running a excellence in IntSci was humorously out of
my grade point average suffer. I was wrong, tight ship with pretty PowerPoint slides and reach. Many of them took offense and will
and now I'm going to pay for it. Dearly. And engaging assignments. One day (the lecture consequently swear off of the sciences forever.
while I take full responsibility for the grade immediately following the pass/fail dead- There are two problems here - one on
I'm about to get, I think my experience reflects line, if I recall), this all changed. Professor the part of the professor, and one on the part
a University-wide attitude problem seldom Saucy became Professor Snarky in the blink of the students. The trial-by-fire approach
discussed. Perhaps you'll agree. of an eye, grouchily accusing us all of being many professors employ in beginning courses
It started with an intro-level science class I history majors who only took his class so makes it exceedingly difficult for interested
thought sounded intriguing - a class which, we could squirrel away some natural sci- students of other disciplines to branch out,
for the purposes of this column, shall be known ence credits without having to take Boring and it's very sad that so many choose to
as Interesting Science 201 (or IntSci 201). Science (BorSci) 101 like everybody else. express smug disrespect for "easy" degree
Though I had never taken an IntSci class The material got harder. The professor programs as a means of selling their own.
before, the course description sounded like cackled maniacally when asked if he was But students (hello, liberal arts majors)
something I could handle, I was willing to work willing to curve exams. shouldn't run screaming the moment they
hard and - I won't lie - the four natural sci- I'm being unfair. He didn't really cackle. encounter a little antagonism from a professor
ence credits would round out my distribution He just sort of looked at us and scoffed. And in a subject they're not the best at. If one pro-
requirements nicely. I was so intent on master- I guess I would have done the same thing. fessor's disparaging remarks are enough to
ing this IntSci material and so sure that any Teaching intro courses sucks. It's more fun to make you give up a subject you enjoy, then
marginally intelligent student with a zest for have students who understand the harder you need to grow a spine, pronto. Take a class
learning could thrive even beyond the sweet stuff. Students who labor over every assign- that's difficult for you. Take some responsibil-
metaphorical walls of the English department ment not because they're psychotically ity. Create more work for yourself. Sauntering
that I made a very, very stupid mistake. obsessed with their grade point averages, but into class 45 minutes late every day and still
Thinking I'd need to devote more time to because they're genuinely interested. Stu- pulling off an A-minus is not educational.
IntSci classwork in order to do well, I decid- dents who do not say things like, "Will this Earning a C is. If nothing else, you may find
ed to elect a far less interesting social science be on the exam?" and "Huh?" and "What do you've made a valuable mistake.
class pass/fail. I'd do the bare minimum for you mean, D-plus doesn't count as passing?
the (which, for this class, proved to be That's, like, almost 70 percent." It makes Henretty can be reached
astoundingly little - I've barely glanced at sense, then, that teachers of these courses are at ahenrett@umich.edu.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
SAFE provides side of Israeli debate that the vast majority of Ameri- unfortunately for Gerber and his group, it
cans never get to hear - the Palestinian side. also serves to inadvertently highlight the
debate that most This is a noble and valuable cause - to produce grander issue of how lopsided the Arab-
intelligent debate and much-needed discourse Israeli conflict really is.
Americans do not hear about a topic which has acquired more urgency MICHELLE D'Amico
than ever in the post-Sept. 11 world, and during Law student
this war with Iraq. This is the cornerstone of
To THE DAILY: what it means to get a higher education and to APRIL SNOW
In response to Benjamin Gerber's letter last live in a participatory democracy.
Thursday (Radical SAFE should follow lead of Moreover, it strikes me as presumptuous CONFOUNDING YOU?
and arrogant that a call for the resignation of
Michigan Student Zionists ard re-evaluate itself, the leader of the pro-Palestinian group on
04/03/03), I would like to inject a neutral voice campus would come from a pro-Israeli stu-
into the discussion of Students Allied for Free- dent. Instead of making misplaced demands JASON'S FROM MICHIGAN.
dom and Equality and its chair, Fadi of the pro-Palestinian group, while all the HE'LL EXPLAIN.
Kiblawi's, place on this campus. while dismissing their events, members and*
To begin, SAFE is not a "radically pro- arguments as "propaganda" and "hate-filled,"
Palestinian group" with a chair who "has only the pro-Israeli students would do their cause
allowed hate and propaganda to filter through its better by responding meaningfully and pro- WRITE FOR DAILY OPINION
organization." A careful observer will notice that ducing compelling counter-arguments to THIS SUMMER.
SAFE is a group composed of people from vari- SAFE and to the University student body at
ous backgrounds and religions, both Arab and large. Calls for the resignation of a leader of a E-MAIL JASON PESICK AT
non-Arab, with the mission of expanding dia- student group one doesn't agree with does
logue on this campus so that University students nothing but stifle debate and cloud the impor- JZPESICK@UMICHEDU.
can avail themselves of the side of the Arab- tant issues with petty student politics. And
VIEWPOINT
Hey, hey, ho, ho. Where'd the real message go?

0
0

BY JOHN BEAULAURIER
In observing responses to recent anti-war
demonstrations, both on campus and nation-
wide, I was struck by the massive public rela-
tions problem that plagues the protesters. It is
a widely-held view, and one that I cannot
completely disagree with, that a large number
of the demonstrators are simply jumping on
the anti-war bandwagon with little knowledge
of the issues. In addition, an otherwise coher-
ent anti-war message is sometimes shrouded
in a fog of cliched peace songs and oversized
papier-mache puppets.
Being fervently opposed to the war in Iraq,
and thus identifying myself with the popular
anti-war movement, I was determined to pro-
vide a concise and relevant analysis of the two
widely-publicized reasons for war.
1) Iraq is a threat to our national security.
First of all, without being attacked first (Iraq
has not been linked to Sept. 11), this would
obviously require a wealth of evidence prov-
ing that it is, in fact, a serious threat to our
nation. The weapons inspectors found no
such evidence. The Bush administration has
managed no more than overblown specula-
tions of what Iraq possesses. The White
House is not so incompetent as to spend $75

sequence of economic sanctions." Iraq's
economy has also been crippled. According
to a UNICEF report in 1998, the Iraqi dinar
had collapsed from a pre-sanction value of $3
to $0.000667. Iraq is in no economic state to
face the repercussions of an attack on the
most powerful country on the planet.
2) Liberation of the Iraqi people. The fact
that the United States was adamant about the
continuation of the sanctions removes all cre-
dence from our alleged "humanitarian" objec-
tives. Former Secretary Of State Madeleine
Albright claimed that the deaths of 500,000
children were "worth it."
In addition, the U.S. government has a
long history of supporting equally oppressive
regimes that have been friendly to U.S. eco-
nomic interests. In 1977, a report to Congress
from the Carter administration stated this
openly, saying "a number of countries with
deplorable records of human rights obser-
vance are also countries where we have
important security and foreign policy inter-
ests." To name but a few:
-In the early 1980s, the United States sup-
ported an undemocratic regime in El Salvador
with money, weapons and military training. That
regime was responsible for the deaths of tens of
thousands of civilians, including the massacre of
794 villagers in El Mozote, which was carried

ed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. A former
CIA analyst on Iran told The New York
Times that a senior CIA official was involved
in instructing the shah's secret police on tor-
ture techniques to be used on members of
Iran's rapidly growing opposition party.
Is this war about national security? Libera-
tion of the oppressed Iraqi people? Or are there
other, less humanitarian, motives? You decide.
Should Saddam Hussein be removed from
power? Of course. But we must understand
that "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is being sold to
the American people as something that it is
not. When I look at our current predicament, I
see a government exploiting the vulnerability
of an oppressed people in order to extend its
military and economic influence (massive
profits await those U.S. corporations awarded
contracts for rebuilding Iraq) into an extremely
influential part of the world.
My qualms in no way lie with the men and
women in the armed forces, who are undoubt-
edly performing theirs jobs in the most com-
passionate manner possible. My issue lies with
those running the show from Washington.
Whatever your stance on the war, do not
limit your sources to 24-hour news networks.
In a refreshingly candid TV interview, ABC
News correspondent Robert Krulwich said the
following when asked about TV war coverage:

6

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