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October 31, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-31

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 31, 2002

OP/ED

Thje atjchtoan 143atwig

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
Canadians who were
born in the above
countries or who may be
citizens of these countries
(should) consider carefully
whether they should
attempt to enter the
United States for any
reason."
- Canadian travel advisory, expressing
concern over a US. policy that singles out
travelers from Iraq, Syria, Libya and Sudan
for special investigation as reported
yesterday in The Washington Post.

E-ALLOWTI
(cCft c nid eA1vS ...
N~cc
rTennifcGene

T
y

JENNIFER GREENE JE NNS CORNER

Do as we say, not as we do
BRENDA ABDELALL TIE TOKEN GEM

0

thnic cleansing
may seem like an
archaic term, but
its traces are still evi-
dent in the 21st century.
All across the world we
;. find various groups of
people that have been
oppressed and targeted
with the sole aim of
annihilating their existence. We have come
to the point in our society where particular
groups of people can be obliterated and not
a word of criticism is mentioned.
Yulia Demovsky wrote a viewpoint yester-
day as a Russian Jew, speaking of terrorism in
Russia and Israel (Moscow hostage crisis: a shock
that isn't shocking, 10/30/02). Let me write, not
from the perspective of an Arab Muslim, but
rather as an individual human being. Chechnya
is a region in which the civilian population has
been dominated by the brutal force of the occu-
pying Russian troops. Out of fear of the ruling
Kremlin, the Russian press rarely reports on the
savagery of the Russian troops. Few bold jour-
nalists, risking imprisonment, have reported on
the plight of the Chechen civilians. These jour-
nalists have written of the decade-long oppres-
sion of the innocent regarding the summary
executions, rape and looting that take place
under the auspices of the Kremlin force.
In the Western press, we rarely hear
these harrowing tales and instead hear of the
"Islamic fundamentalist terrorists." Any
human rights organization will tell the
plague that the Chechens have suffered. The
human rights situation is deteriorating as
more and more abuses are committed by the
Kremlin forces. Hundreds of Chechens are
detained without charges and many of them
suspiciously disappear. President Vladimir
Putin has not held the Russian forces

accountable for their delinquency.
We can also parallel this to the brutal
occupation of the Israeli army in Palestine.
Rarely does the media report on the daily
lives of Palestinians and the effects of living
under occupation. We rarely hear in the West
about the Palestinian child shot, the family's
home that was bulldozed or of the lack of
basic sustenance. For over 35 years, the occu-
pation has continued in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. Millions of people, women and
children included, have suffered the repercus-
sions of this. The statistics regarding the dis-
ease and famine that are a direct result of the
occupation are sadly mounting.
Since 1987, Israeli authorities have demol-
ished and bulldozed over 3,250 homes, with
over an estimated 16,000 Palestinians left
homeless as a result. Since the current upris-
ing in 2000, the checkpoints have severely
restricted access for Palestinians to move from
village to village, not only severely destabiliz-
ing any sense of economic infrastructure, but
also leading to the death and humiliation of
many. The Palestinians are forced to stop at
checkpoints, arbitrarily pushed around and
then denied access to the roads. The excessive
use of force upon the Palestinians goes unrep-
rimanded by the Israeli government. I implore
you all to read the harrowing testimonials
from B'tselem, an Israeli Human Rights Orga-
nization. The daily inhumane treatment of
Palestinians is the reality of occupation.
Neither Yulia nor myself can ever under-
stand the realities of living under the occupa-
tion of an army. The Palestinians are treated
the way that are simply because they are
Arab; whether or not they are.-Christian or
Muslim makes no difference. The Chechens
are treated the way that they are solely
because they are Chechen or Muslim. The
Palestinians are denied access to roads

because they are Palestinian, while their
Israeli neighbors boastfully drive on their own
roads. The Chechens are raped and their cases
are never brought to justice because they are
Chechen.
Last week, I came across an ad from the
Michigan Committee for a Safe Israel. The
heading stated, "What Palestinians? What
Rights?" What kind of society do we live
in which human beings can be humiliated
in such a degrading manner? How can this
sort of malevolence print freely? The com-
plete denial of the existence of an entire
population of people with a heritage, soci-
ety and history is ludicrous.
We cannot let the entire population of
Palestinians suffer any longer, nor can we let
the entire population of Chechens suffer
either. Let us not turn our backs on the inno-
cent people of the world. The Palestinians and
Chechens are terrorized on a daily basis by the
occupying forces and have been for decades.
Terrorism from both sides must stop, as it has
left many innocent dead and a stalemate
towards any positive solutions. What hap-
pened in Russia shouldn't have happened; the
loss of innocent life anywhere is tragic.
It is clear that the occupation of these
lands has resulted in the deaths of thou-
sands. Ethnic cleansing was attempted in
Bosnia by the Serbians and is occurring in a
different form in Chechnya and Palestine. It
is not OK for our society to continue their
apathy and to diminish the horrors of their
suffering. People of conscious must contin-
ue to speak up for the innocent civilians
killed on both sides of these conflicts and
hopefully the occupations will end, result-
ing in just and viable solutions.

0

Brenda Abdelall can be reached at
babdelal@umich.edu.

It's OK, but just this once
DAVID ENDERS VEIRD SCIENCE
t's Halloween and subjected to state-sanctioned raping. Use ment." Where has the dissent gone? Why
because I waited to your imagination to deduce the likely all the reverence for this sense of mili-
start my midterm penalties for a number of other crimes.) taristic justice and state-sanctioned mur-
papers until two days So it can only follow that if you support der? There is no lack of irreverence in our
after they were due, the death penalty, you support the sniper. country. (Could it be that the same culture
thinking about a cos- One life is not worth more than another. that makes "Jackass" a No. 1 movie is
tume wasn't my first But if that is even remotely true, why is it unwilling to apply that same attitude
priority this week. So I so many states have the death penalty? It's toward politics? We know we shouldn't
need a costume, quick- because people are often unwilling to com- light fireworks in our parents' bedroom,
ly. Is it too soon to go as a sniper? mit absolutely to an ideal. I find many but isn't dissent an essential part of
I can only assume at least a few party- death penalty "opponents" fall into the democracy?)
goers (probably students from the D.C. camp of being against the death penalty "in I am taking a class this semester that
area) would be offended. But doesn't general" yet acceptant of it "in extreme cir- focuses on the U.S. prison industry. For
everyone's Halloween need a little contro- cumstances." They cite things like victim's nearly the first two months of class, no one
versy? (Last year the debate was whether rights or the unbelievably horrific nature of addressed the subject of race in discussions
it was too soon to go as Osama bin Laden, a particular crime. Those middling feelings on incarceration. Poverty had been
but the idea was scrapped as a threat to my are as responsible for the carnage that goes addressed at length, sans race. Was the
safety.) Of course, I would ask anyone on as National Rifle Association lobbyists class (comprised largely of white students)
taking issue with my costume to justify and people who openly support the death afraid of bringing up the subject? Were we
their sense of aesthetics. I expect anyone penalty. Every time the execution of a so naive as to think it is not an issue sur-
offended would also be in favor of stricter Timothy McVeigh is justified, the justice rounding the justice system in our country?
gun control. Murders are going to happen system that allows unjust punishment to be Or were we afraid of being forced to admit
when your country is full of easy-to- unevenly applied is legitimized. something we don't want to believe is
obtain, hard-to-trace guns. But, as the It should be noted that such waffling true? (A classmate finally brought it up
argument against stricter gun laws goes, it prevents progress in other arenas. A num- near the end of the hour Tuesday. I'm
is your constitutional right to be shot in ber of people have let themselves fall into waiting to find out the answer.)
the back while loading groceries into your the trap of "normally I'm against going to There is hope. Last weekend's anti-war
car in a suburban parking lot. (On a posi- war, but Saddam Hussein is such a bad demonstrations in Washington D.C. were
tive note, I understand the friends and man that it's justifiable," in remaining the largest since the Vietnam War. The
family of Charlton Heston are all a little quiet in the face of a U.S. invasion of Iraq. march drew a cross section of demonstra-
safer now that he can no longer remember In a war that could result in the same tors united by a single goal, unlike in
where he left his gun.) number of reservists being called up as in April, when a number of different demon-
If you're offended by the notion of the Gulf War, there would be a number of strations were lumped casually into one
senseless killing, then you should be U.S.-caused, civilian casualties. What is ball under the guise of being pro-Palestin-
offended by the early push to try sniping the difference between an Iraqi citizen ian. But again, those that did not march
suspect Lee Malvo in Virginia because killed by a U.S. missile and an Iraqi killed speak louder than those who did.
capital punishment laws there allow the by Hussein's regime for political reasons? I wonder if I'd be getting too far ahead of
execution of 17-year-olds. (Capital punish- Once again, the voices too afraid to things if I dressed up as Saddam Hussein.
ment is a pointless, vengeful solution to an dissent are just as complicit as those hasti-
irreparable crime. If one follows the logic ly making plans for war or those who tow David Enders can be reached at
that supports it, convicted rapists should be the line "we have to trust our govern- denders@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Boston Globe covers Men's
Crew Team; Daily doesn't
even mention them
TO THE DAILY:
I have a grudge. In Monday's Daily,
there is an article on the second page of

Men's Lacrosse, were supposedly granted
"Club Varsity" status about a year ago -
which, as I understood it, entitles them to
increased press coverage among other
things. Isn't the title across the top of page
2B "Club Sports Weekly?"
On the previous weekend, the Men's
Crew Team (along with the women's) com-
peted in the Head of the Charles Regatta in
Boston - an event drawing an estimated

On top of it all, last year the men's team
finished higher at the national champi-
onships than did the women's team - a
fully funded, University Varsity program.
The Men's Crew Team is not asking for
much - only recognition. They're proud to
be the team that they are - they've come
out of nowhere to be one of the most com-
petitive rowing teams in the country. Each
athlete pays upwards of $1200 just to be on

THE BOONDOCKS

AARON NACC' RTJT.) -R

Ami

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