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November 04, 2002 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-04

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4A -- TheMichigan Daily - Monday, November 4, 2002


OJiie £krbijia ti d


SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

('Secure beneath the
watchful eyes."


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.

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- The message on the new posters
appearing along London's bus routes,
sponsored by the Metropolitan police. The
posters are meant to prevent crime, but an
overhwleming response has been that the
posters are acutely Orwell's 1984-esque.

A PlayStation for Bush (and gamepad for Cheney)

he last time that I
invested more
than 20 minutes
in a video game was in
1991.I stayed home sick
from third grade that day
and beat Super Mario
Bros. (No. 1) straight
through (no warping).
Now, more than a
decade later, I might as well be 60 years
old to account for my complete ignorance
of the latest in video gaming technology. I
held on, though at a considerable distance,
for a few years after my 8-bit Nintendo vic-
tory, but in 1996 Nintendo-64 came out and
I realized that I had far less of a stomach
for 3-D video games than I do for roller-
coasters. Apart from about a week-long,
crush-induced and clearly feigned interest
in Bond last winter (oh the shame), video
games and I have existed in very different
So maybe the gut reaction I felt against
the commercial for "Conflict: Desert Storm"
that I saw during this weekend's Saturday
Night Live was an overreaction. The game is
Gulf War inspired; the player(s)'s mission
begins on Aug. 2, 1990, the day that Iraq
invaded Kuwait. Most of the game's mis-
sions involve securing and "neutralizing" ter-
ritories in the Persian Gulf. This X-Box
game, brought to us by Pivotal Games, has
been touted for its graphics and visual
effects, its multiplayer accessibility and arti-
ficial intelligence capabilities.
What's been amazing to me as I've read
reviews of this game is the application of the
unbiased, scientific tone (to be fair, the
expected tone) of the reviewer to a game that
is about destroying Saddam Hussein, perhaps

now more than when it first came out.
Take this excerpt from ign.com, the
largest gaming site on the Internet: "As (the
sound effects) stand now, you can tell the
difference between the American and Iraqi
heavy machine guns for example but there
still seems to be a lot of emptiness in the
audio department."
But the commercial that I saw for this
game surely didn't make any claims about its
audio capacities. Instead, it presented the
game to the reviewer as such (paraphrased):
Would you like to kill Saddam Hussein? Do
so by proxy with your purchase of "Conflict:
Desert Storm!"
The commercial is so aggressive and
egregious, so genuinely surprising, that
upon conferring with a friend of mine I
found that, at first, he had even thought that
the commercial was a joke - the first time
that he saw it, he had been watching Come-
dy Central.
The people at Pivotal Games, I feel fairly
confident in venturing, aren't too upset about
the impending strike against Iraq. Or if they
are, they've made the proverbial lemonade
with one hell of an advantage-taking adver-
tising campaign.
This is an amazing sociological phenome-
non. So much of the appeal of this game, at
least from the marketing end, is now
wrapped up in the common man - yes, man
- taking Saddam Hussein a little too per-
sonally and seeking catharsis through anima-
tion. The challenge now: What can there be
possibly left to do to further trivialize Ameri-
can military action? How can we make it
even more appealing to the oh-so-crucial 12-
24 year-old male demographic? Show me a
lower lowest common denominator.
Whether you're supportive of the war -

especially if you're supportive of the war -
it's time that we started taking it a little more
seriously. We have a lot less at stake than the
real people who live in those computer gen-
erated houses, and for every President
Bush's "He tried to kill my father" comment,
there are a lot of people (including American
servicemen and women) whose lives have
been cheapened.
Maybe the best way to react to misplaced
trivialization is by one-upping it. I was happy
to find that the good people who supported
the "Buy Bush a PlayStation" campaign have
reached their goal of $370.
Enclosed with the PlayStation 2 game
console, copies of "SOCOM: U.S. Navy
SEALs" and "Conflict: Desert Storm" (as
well as an extra controller for Mr. Cheney's
use - bought when donations to the cam-
paign exceeded the goal), was a letter
addressed to the President:.
" ... It seems to us as though you are
more interested in playing commando than in
fighting in a war with actual human casual-
ties ... We ask that you accept these gifts and
use them, rather than the lives of Iraqi civil-
ians and our U.S. servicemen, to fulfill any
militaristic fantasies."
If Conflict: Desert Storm is someone's
idea of making international politics and the
nuance of foreign entanglements accessible to
the masses, I'm glad to be content with my
Super Mario Bros. memories; memories of
when the object was to defeat Bowser (a char-
acter not based on any real foreign leaders, I
hope) and rescue the Princess - sans the
(again from ign.com) "nice touches anima-
tion-wise, like the soldiers writhing in pain."

Johanna Hanink can be reached at


Abdelall's analogy between
Chechenya and Palestinians
misconstrued, 'crude'
In response to Brenda Abdelall's column
(Do as we say, not as we do, 10/31/02) I
wish to reply (not that a newspaper as anti-
Israel as the Daily is likely to print this).
Abdelall's column draws a crude analogy
between the Russian-Chechen dispute and
the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Yet, unlike
Russia, Israel must exist in daily fear that the
so-called "Palestinians" and the nearby Arab
states, namely Egypt, Syria and Iraq will
attempt to destroy their entire country. The
Egyptians simulate invasions in the Sinai
peninsula, the Syrians sponsor the Hizbollah,
and the Iraqis ... well, that story is on the
front page every day.
Second, Abdelall states that "The Pales-
tinians are treated the way that they are sim-
ply because they are Arab." If this is so, then
why are Arab-Israelis given the rights of citi-
zenship and given representation in Parlia-
ment? The Palestinians are treated the way
they are because they have chosen not they
way of other historic leaders who have led
their people to peaceful solution, but because
the leaders of the Palestinian people (to dis-
tinguish them from the Palestinian popula-
tion at large) have chosen a violent,
anti-Semitic path, the results of which the
Palestinian people must bear.
Law school
Abdelall has fallen prey
to 'blame game' despite
pure intentions
I don't think anyone can argue with
Brenda Abdelall's view that suffering should
be stopped, more specifically pertaining to
the Palestinians in Israel (Do as we say, not
as we do, 10/31/02). In fact, I think she
would be hard pressed to find anyone that
agrees that Palestinians should suffer ...
other than maybe some Arab regimes in the
Middle East.
While Abdelall's intentions are I'm sure
nait mie h osa fan nrev o the hime

Nothing can justify the razing of an innocent
family's home - no one argues this. How-1
ever, when the IDF constantly finds myriad1
bomb factories and illegal weaponry out- ;
posts, they destroy these buildings. As a,
result, sometimes there are unfortunate casu-
alties that occur. For Abdelall to assume the
Israeli government is comprised of sadists is
unfortunate and misguided.-
Occupation is terrible, and occupation is
brutal. However, who ever said it wasn't justi-
fied? Just the other day, a study was released in
Israel that has proven that new Palestinian text-
books deny the existence of Israel, blame Jews ,
for all Palestinian hardships, and classify those
who support Israel as infidels. If the PA plans;
on raising a new generation of Jew-haters, how
can the world expect them to govern its' peo-
ple? Sadly, there is no choice but for Israel to
remain where it is.
I am willing to criticize Israel when it is
warranted. I will concur with Abdelall that
something needs to be done to help the Pales-
tinian people. I think, though, that something
needs to be done together. Israel needs to shape
up in respect to its human rights, but in order
for that to take place, corrupt Arab regimes, like
those of Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein,
must be overthrown in order to prevent raising
another generation of baseless Israel- or Jew-
hating children.
LSA sophomore
Depiction of Latinos shows
Daily staff's immorality

"Let's briefly assume that I will never be able
to understand what it is like to be a minority in
this nation." Peskowitz feels that he can relate
and empathize with anyone and to any personal
experience. What he fails to acknowledge is
that understanding the viewpoint of another
person is not merely an academic exercise.
Experience, emotions, relationships: All of
these factor in to the every day life of each indi-
vidual, and is something that you cannot under-
stand by mere rational means.
Peskowitz accuses the left of not wanting to
live in a world where everyone is equal, every-
one can relate, everyone can participate in a
global community with no societal barriers or
where certain groups don't feel excluded from
the mainstream culture. But in fact the left is
fighting for all of these things, by the expansion
of social programs and ideology value and
enable each person in our society to more fully
realize her/his individuality.
Peskowitz takes a very ridiculous position
in simply dismissing this concern as a problem
that unnecessarily divides society. He attacks
liberals for recognizing problems in today's
society, but what he doesn't realize is that you
first have to recognize and explore problems
before you can find the solution.
LSA freshman
Bush should be consistent
in handling proliferation
It is of greatest concern how President
Bush is handling the North Korean refusal
to disarm its nuclear program, as stated in
the story North Korea has no plans to halt
nuclear program. What concerns me, how-
ever, is not that they are trying to manufac-
ture nuclear bombs, but how the ambiguity
of President Bush is misleading the Ameri-
can people. Clearly, President Bush is for
strict and immediate removal of.weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq, even though
we are yet to see concrete proof that such
weapons exist. Just a few weeks ago North
Korea admitted to the world that they pos-
sess such weapons capabilities and Presi-
dent Bush wants a peaceful negotiation? It
is ridiculous how our foreign policy is
skewed in such a way that a more heinous
crime is being dealt with peacefully, yet an



"I am going to wear sandals, a poncho, a
rope for a belt, and am going to carry around
a sack of oranges. I also have a sombrero
that I am planning on wearing. The entire
costume cost me $3.99." This quote from
the Daily ('U' prepares for Halloween,
MSU gameday festivities,10/31/2002) is
quite disturbing to me as an African Ameri-
can woman. This racist stereotype of a Lati-
no living in the United States should not
grace the pages of The Michigan Daily. Per-
sons of Latin descent are people (not charac-
ters for amusement purposes) and should be
respected as such. Prejudiced and racist
depictions such as these make me wonder
what kind of education students at the Uni-
versity are receiving and display the paucity




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