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September 25, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-25

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 25, 2002


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. SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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.

" His evidence is a
hotchpotch of half
truths, lies,
short-sighted and
naive allegations
which will not hold
after a brief
- Iraq's General and adviser to Saddam
Hussein Amir Sadi, on Tony Blair's
announcement yesterday that the threat of
nuclear weapons in Iraq was growing.

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Me? A hypocrite? I protest
It is with barely station. I shake Morton Salt and squeeze Heinz know they are being left by the wayside. They
restrained glee that ketchup. The fact of modem life is that to func- live with the faulty policies of the World Bank
P.J. O'Rourke, writ- tion within our society, branded goods are and see false promises of improved lifestyles
ing in the July/August unavoidable. There are no local watchmakers trap them in bad jobs that drag them deeper
issue of the Atlantic and few cobblers, let alone auto manufacturers, into debt. They might not be as visible a part of
Monthly, attacks last making affordable alternatives. Certainly with the movement, since their class and status don't
April's protests in some effort Icould live a self-sustaining often afford them the luxury of media coverage
Washington. Reported lifestyle that would separate me entirely from or political attention, but those being screwed
as the largest pro-Pales- brands, but to do so would be a full time job, by the current form of economic globalization
tinian demonstration in requiring monkish devotion. far outnumber any other demographic.
the history on the Unites States, the protests I was not protesting brands; the flag I These two groups know as well as any
were really an amalgamation of numerous waved represented the blatant pro-corporate about the current shape of the world and to
causes: Various Mid-East issues; our eroding ideology of our government. Despite campaign assume, as O'Rourke does, that they are fools
civil rights; economic policies of the World finance reform legislation and post-Enron cau- reveals a deep misunderstanding of the depth of
Bank and International Monetary Fund. These tion, large corporations still have the ear of these issues. While my message was not hypo-
different (often conflicting) opinions provide U.S. leadership - Democrat and Republican critical in my mind, perhaps I bear some
fertile ground for O'Rourke's attack. He plays alike. The corporate flag, with logos for stars, is responsibility for my message being seen as
up divisions amongst the marchers and accuses a statement concerning the direction of our hypocrisy. Surely in this age where image is
protesters of being confused, uninformed hyp- country and makes a valid point - in our everything demonstrators need to be doubly
ocrites. He attempts to discredit the protests as country it seems the 50 largest companies are careful that their message is not lost because of
a meaningless mishmash of impotent action more important than the states the stars are sup- conflicting appearances. I can wear logos and
and empty rhetoric. posed to represent. We watch the rise and fall still protest brands influence. That it seems
His column began with the following teaser of the stock market closer than we do our fail- hypocritical is nonsense.
quote: "A kid waved an American flag that had ing schools and inner cities. I don't want a world without brands, I want
corporate logos instead of stars on the blue field. The anti-globalization (probably better corporations that are good global citizens and
He was wearing Adidas shoes, a Swiss Army called "the alternative-globalization") move- don't exploit their labor. I'm not against inter-
watch and a Mountainsmith backpack." I wore ment is misunderstood by a majority of its crit- national trade bodies; I just want ones that also
that outfit. Yes, that "hypocrite" was me. I even ics, many of whom seem to think protesters are factor in environmental and labor concerns. I'm
remember a man asking me what brand of idiots. The movement is composed primarily of not opposed to the World Bank; I just wish it
backpack I was wearing since my flag covered two groups. One part is a well-educated body always had the best intentions of developing
up the logo. O'Rourke points out what appears of students, activists and academics who have nations at heart.
to be hypocrisy, plain and simple. Well, it's not. read the books and studied the economics and I'll be in Washington again this weekend
I was not protesting the existence of brands. have the privilege of class and the economic to protest a joint meeting of the World Bank
To do so in any seriousness in our con- wherewithal that allows them to attend marches and IMF. I'll wave my flag. It's the right
sumer driven world is an effort in futility. and face mass-arrest. thing to do.
Brands are practically inescapable. I could just Of greater importance are the working poor
as easily been targeted for driving down in a of the world who don't need to read the books Jess Piskor can be reached
Chrysler Minivan or filling up at a Shell gas or understand the intricacies of trade law to atjpiskor@umich.edu.


Men's club soccer team
apologizes to 'U' for possible
As members of the 2002 University's
Men's Club Soccer Team, we would like to
respond to the article published featuring our
club on Sept. 23 (Soccer club thrives in spite of
varsity success). The article incorrectly high-
lighted various aspects of our team. We are a
serious and competitive club sport and we
strive to represent the University well in all of
our endeavors.
We would like to apologize to the Recre-
ational Sports Department, the Michigan Ath-
letic Department, and the Varsity Soccer Team
for any misrepresentation that may have
occurred as a result. We would also like to
invite all members of the University communi-
ty to attend one of our games or practices to see
what our team is really about.
Savbeiasfahani's viewpoint
misleading; Palestinian state
would threaten security
I am writing in response to Mozhgan
Savbeiasfahani's deceptive and confused view-
point entitled Carpaign for Divestment is not
anti-Semitic (9124/02). The whole viewpoint is
ridiculous as it is based on the assumption that
divestment, by weakening Israel's military
power, will actually improve the lives of
Israelis. Israelis have been living in a state of
war from the inception of the state in 1948.
Throughout the last 50-plus years, the only
thing that has prevented the neighboring Arab
nations and the Palestinians from massacring
the inhabitants of the Jewish State and toppling
its democratic institutions has been Israel's mil-
itary superiority.
Savbeiasfahani manipulatively emphasizes
the harsh conditions imposed on Palestinians
without explaining the context in which these
policies were enacted.
Israel is now again engaged in a war for its
survival - this time against the orchestrated
campaign of terror led by the Palestinian
Authority and its terrorist leader, Yasir Arafat.
In the years after the Oslo Peace Accords,
Palestinians were given limited self-rule and

West Bank and Gaza.
When Palestinians realize that the only way
to achieve a state of there own is to convince
the Israeli population that they support democ-
racy and peaceful coexistence, a resolution to
the conflict will become a possibility. Until this
realization occurs, the reality will be bloodshed
and tears in the Middle East for Israelis and
Palestinians alike.
LSA senior
Anti-Semitic or not, calls
for U' divestment from
Israel baseless, uninformed
I was greatly disturbed by Mozhgan Sav-
abieasfahani's viewpoint, Campaign for divest-
ment is not anti-Semitic in the yesterday's Daily.
As usual, the people on campus advocating for
divestment don't have a clear understanding of
the issues. While Savabieasfahani's viewpoint
fails to address a number of the issues sur-
rounding the current conflict, there are three
important points that she misses.
First, the Israeli troops currently in the West
Bank and the conditions of Palestinian life
there because of Israeli presence are the conse-
quence of something - not the instigating
event. Before the current intifada the majority
of the West Bank and Gaza were under Pales-
tinian control and it is only now because of the
huge amount of terrorist attacks that the Israeli
army is once again in the "occupied territories."
This leads me to my second point: Divest-
ment will not help in this situation whatsoever.
All it will do is give Palestinian terrorists the
freedom to kill more Israeli civilians, because
Israel will no longer have the means to defend
The most disturbing part of this article is
that at no point does Savabieasfahani ever take
a stand against the Palestinian suicide bombers
or even advocate a way to hold them responsi-
ble for the suffering and pain that they cause
daily. Savabieasfahani tries to say that divest-
ment is not anti-Semitism but this is irrelevant,
anti-Semitic or not there is absolutely no basis
for the University's divestment from Israel.
LSA junior
Political debates not worth
voters' time; Daily editorial
illogical, self-defeating

First, I seem to have missed the logic in
how yesterday's editorial can in one sentence
make the claim that "those who tune in have
already made up their minds as to which candi-
date they will vote for" and then jump to the
conclusion in the next sentence that somehow
more debates would lessen this phenomenon.
Furthermore, thanks to modern technology,
when a program taped from one location can be
broadcast live around the world, let alone
around the state of Michigan, taking candidates
into every media market to do eight or more
debates is completely nonsensical.
Second, anyone who has watched a tele-
vised debate of candidates running for any
political office knows that every answer is
rehearsed, every gesture contemplated and
every emotion manufactured. Sure, they pro-
vide some sort of condensed set of information
about candidates positions on the narrow set of
issues chosen by the moderator or panel, but
rarely amount to more than a slugfest. More
attention is paid in the press to the candidates
speaking style, clothes and hair than the actual
articulation of their platforms.
Finally, while I agree that public officials
should be accountable to the voting public, why
are debates the only or best way doing just that
- especially enough to be required? Candi-
dates and campaigns should be allowed to
make strategic decisions on which debates to
and not to do, how many, and in what format. If
gubernatorial candidates make unpopular deci-
sions about how to connect with voters, then
voters, not state legislatures, should hold them
accountable when they cast their ballots at the
voting booth.
Don't,get me wrong - I think that a neu-
tral, third party organization in Michigan simi-
lar to the Commission on Presidential Debates
for the Presidential races would serve us well. I
am skeptical, however, that legislatively man-
dated plan forced upon the candidates would
LSA senior
The letter writer is the political director of the
University's branch of College Democrats:
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters from all
of its readers. Letters from University students,
faculty, staff and administrators will be given
priority over others. Letters should include the
writer's name, college and school year or other
University affiliation. The Daily will not print
any letter containing statements that cannot be
Letters should be kept to approximately 300


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