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October 30, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 30, 2002

OP/ED

(Tbe A9ibgnia~

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

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

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
The economy
has to be the
prime suspect."
- American University professor
James Lynch on what to blame for
the rise in violent crime in 2001,
as quoted by the Associated Press.

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

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Where the true internationalists stand
ZAC PESKOWITZ THE LOWPRFREQUENCIs
S aturday morning, One of the last speakers in the Diag cited as an historical anomaly, just a blip on the
the graying leftists Immanuel Kant and Woodrow Wilson in his long expanse of history or are they more fun-
and their children arguments against war in Iraq. These men damental? When it comes down to it, can
walked the misty streets should be the liberal icons of our era, but legitimate understanding exist between indi-
of Ann Arbor. Through they are rarely invoked. viduals of different cultural and geographical
the sleeping streets of Earlier in the rally, James Justin Wilson, origins or are we destined to engage in
downtown, the beating editor in chief of the Michigan Review, got provincial tribalism?
of drums and sound of himself into a brusque tete-a-tte with one of I'm not going to accept the premises of
chants trickled into the the protestors. As a speaker on the steps of this argument against universalism, the con-
air. In lockstep, the anti- the Grad Library expounded on the tripartite clusions that are the inevitable result of these
war movement descended upon Ann Arbor - plagues of "racism, extreme materialism and assumptions are too stark. As the Left has
and once again the spirit of '68 was alive in militarism," Wilson snickered that racism moved away from internationalism and
our Midwestern hamlet. had nothing to do with Iraq. His comments toward relativism, the imperative to create a
I sat in the back of the Diag, watching were immediately met with the complaint global society has been rejected for the neo-
the surreal morning pass by. Crowds of that Wilson could never comprehend the medievalism of identities warring ceaselessly
freshman in maize and blue walked from experiences of a minority in the United against one another.
the Hill through the Diag and toward Michi- States. This argument, which has become a The formation of a viable global polity
gan Stadium as the collective force of common refrain among liberals, poses a seri- should be the liberals' main concern and
Southeast Michigan's liberal community ous problem for those liberals who seek these racialized barriers to understanding
milled about aimlessly. Wilsonian solutions to conflict. prevent that polity from coming into exis-
It was genuinely sad to see the beginning Let's briefly assume that I will never be tence. Liberal internationalism is not without
of our parents' generation last gasp on the able to understand what it is like to be a its faults, but it is based on the possibility
political stage. Sadder still, was the realiza- minority in this nation. What are the reper- and hope of a universal culture. This should
tion, becoming clearer every day, that the cussions of this assumption? Is it impossible be the progressives' goal and monomaniacal-
Left as it is presently constituted is going to to experience genuine compassion and empa- ly attacking the supporters of universal civi-
expire shortly. The activist Left is trapped thy between groups? lization shows that influential Leftists have
and stammering, like a confused animal These questions have profound implica- decided to reject globalism.
uncertain of its future and clinging to its tion for not only the domestic political If these beliefs are no longer a central
mythical past. The few students who shook environment, but the entire international tenet of the post-Orientalism Left than let
off their hangovers and actually made it to system. If the Left has committed itself to it die. Let those arguments drown in the
the rally are stuck in another age. imagining the world community as a strug- sea of relativism that they have created for
Under the banners of inclusivity and gle between the imperialist West and the themselves. The real quagmire will not be
consensus, the Left has paralyzed itself and victimized East or, as it has chosen more in the streets of Baghdad, but is right now
prevented itself from criticizing the weak recently, the North versus the South, then under our noses as we attempt to wade
ideas that have attached themselves to the there is no reason to even attempt to bridge through the hypocrisy.
contemporary Left. There are two events these divides. We will inevitably be drawn Free Kurdistan.
that I witnessed on Saturday morning that to conflict and there is nothing that can be
can help explain how the Left is working done to arrest its development. Zac Peskowitz can be reached
to destroy itself. Does the Left perceive these differences atzpeskowi@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Daily's choice not to Affairs (faculty government) meeting. I've Quantity of 'asinine'
been to more Regents' meetings (three)
endorse Petering for 'U' than any of my competitors, except incum- resolutions passed makes
Regent outright 'hilarious' bent Andrea Fisher Newman. I'm the only MSA irrelevant
candidate who tells it like it is and has the
guts to take a stand for students. At the
Sept. 19 meeting, I told President Coleman
TO THE DAILY: and the top executives of the University TO THE DAILY:
It is outright hilarious that the Daily has that, "Funds must be shifted away from Sarah Boot and Dana Glassel were
chosen not to endorse me for University administration and back to teaching." partially right when they said the resolu-
Regent! I am Matt Petering, the student No other candidate has been that bold- tion to support the Daily boycott does not
candidate for Regent who was endorsed by ly honest. I love the University of Michi- make the Michigan Student Assembly
The Detroit News on Oct. 17. I might be gan and I want it to be the best it can be. "irrelevant" (MSA executives clarify Daily
the first student candidate ever to receive a I worked previously as a cryptologic boycott resolution, 10/29/02).
major news endorsement for Board of mathematician at the National Security What really showed how "irrelevant"
Regents. And I can't even get an endorse- Agency. Clearly, I'm ready and qualified MSA is was the fact that they passed not
ment from my own paper, the Daily? to be Regent. one, but five asinine resolutions in one
This is ridiculous! It's ridiculous Is the Daily ready to have me as the meeting!
because I've been reaching out to the next Regent of the University of Michi- If Glassel and Boot are looking for
community more than any other candi- gan? Maybe not, but the rest of the student more useless things to vote on perhaps
date in my race. I'm the only candidate body is. they could vote to support the continued
who's been to a Michigan Student MATT PETERING use of the block M as the University's
Assembly meeting. School of Education logo.
I'm the only candidate who's been to a The letter writer is a Green Party candidate JOEL WOLLBORG
Senate Advisory Committee on University for the University Board of Regents Engineering senior
VIEWPOINT
Moscow hostage crisis: a shock that isn't shocking

S

.

By YULIA DERNOVSKY
Last week 50 Chechen terrorists held
hostage nearly 800 innocent civilians in the
Moscow theater. After 58 hours of stand-
off, Russian troops stormed the theater and
the crisis ended. As of now, the death toll
is at 118 and it's likely to grow. The
tragedy came as a shock to the Americans
... or at least to those who heard about it.
The deaths of Senator Wellstone and seven
others aboard his private jet as well the
model of the arrested "snipers"' gun domi-
nated the news most of the weekend.
What came as a surprise to the Ameri-
can public shouldn't have been so shock-
ing. Despite the relative calm in Russia and
Chechnya, the Chechen rebels are still wag-
ing a terrorism war against Russia. The
hostage crisis is far from being the first ter-
rorist attack perpetrated by the Chechnyans.
Moscow subways, trains and apartment
building have been targeted in the past. In
1999, a wave of apartment bombings in
three Russian cities, including Moscow,
took the lives of nearly 300 people.
The hostage crisis in Moscow forms a
sad parallel to the current crisis in the Mid-

time or another, but how little coverage
this tragedy received and how unconcerned
the American government. While President
Bush expressed concern and blamed the
terrorists for the deaths of the hostages,
neither the administration nor the media
took the time to start thinking how to
address terrorism stemming from Chech-
nya. Aren't we fighting the war against ter-
rorism right now? Or is it the war for the
United States?
As an American, as a Russian and as a
Jew, I have vested interests in the United
States' fight against terrorism. Reading the
critics of the war against Iraq, I now see
those same critics loudly criticizing Presi-
dent Putin for the way the hostage crisis was
handled and for his unwillingness to talk to
the Chechen rebels. Does that mean that the
American media is now advancing the idea
that it is OK to negotiate with terrorists?
Those same critics continuously criticize
Israel for trying to establish safe and secure
borders for its citizens and criticize America
for trying to dethrone Saddam Hussein's ter-
rorist regime. Apparently the best solution
right now is to give in to the terrorists'
threats and let them have what they want.

bin Landen continue to terrorize the world.
When Israel agrees to pull out of the West
Bank under U.S. pressure, a suicide
bomber kills 20 people on a bus. When the
Indonesian government and U.S. govern-
ment continuously ignore Islamic funda-
mentalists; a 182 die in a bombing in Bali.
The truth is it is time to stop giving into
terrorist threats. This sounds awfully famil-
iar from the headlines that were on the
front pages of the newspapers a little more
than a year ago, but this is the reality that
we live in. It's time face it. What happened
in Moscow should not have happened. It is
sad and tragic that so many innocent lives
were taken. It is possible that the Russian
government made a tragic mistake during
the siege, but asking the Russian president
to negotiate with the terrorists is beyond
ridiculous and strategically idiotic.
Terrorism works because we give in to
the terrorist demands or we never attack the
terrorists. The terrorists only partially suc-
ceeded in the Moscow hostage crisis. Negoti-
ating with them will give them complete
success. Terrorists are out there for one rea-
son and one reason only: to kill. Russians
saved 700 hostages in half an hour before

A

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