4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 23, 2003
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors
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.
Today, we lack
metrics to know if we are
winning or losing the
global war on terror."
- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
in an Oct. 16 memo to senior defense
officials questioning the effectiveness of
the efforts to prevent terrorism, as quoted
yesterday by USA Today.
President Bush, why did
Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin
say that the war is "because
we're a Christian nation ...
our roots are Judeo-Christian ...
and the enemy is a guy named
STEVEN COTNER AND JOEL HOARD OPERATION PUSSYCAT
his name is Saddam,
Do you think maybe
he just got his
T's and D's mixed up,
and his M's and N's?
Because that would
explain it, you know.
I mean, anyone could do it.
"I knew that my God was bigger than his.
I knew that my God was a real God,
and his was an idol." .
Doctoring a woman's right to choose
LAUREN STRAYER N THEi ACTIVEjC
W hen I opened
evening, I found a sar-
donic pair of forwards.
The first bore the title
"It's good to be a
k = woman" and the second
the headline "Senate
passes 'partial birth'
abortion ban." While the
former was a clich6-ridden list of reasons the X
chromosome is preferable to the Y - appar-
ently there really are times when chocolate can
solve all my problems - the latter was a bitter
reminder that navigating life as a woman is not
always easy or fair.
The Senate's passage of this long-debated
and twice-vetoed abortion ban is a regrettable
step backward for reproductive rights. When
President Bush signs the bill into law, as he has
piously sworn to do, the right to chose will be
severely restricted. For the first time since the
landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in which the
Supreme Court cautiously protected reproduc-
tive rights, a president will criminalize an abor-
tion procedure and doctors performing
so-called "partial birth" abortions will be sub-
ject to a two-year prison term.
Aside from a clear intent to undermine
reproductive rights beyond this particular pro-
cedure, this ban commits three predictable
offenses. First, the bill legitimizes a politically
fabricated and alarmist term for a recognized
medical procedure. Few doctors - other than
the one in the Senate - use the term "partial
birth abortion" as it was created to rouse gra-
tuitous emotion from the American public.
While every political coalition uses rhetoric to
advance its agendas, our elected officials
ought to refrain from propagating such mis-
leading language in legislation.
Accordingly, the second common com-
plaint about this bill rises from its inadequate
definition of "partial birth." Many doctors
have complained that Congress' definition is
imprecise and, ultimately, ineffective. In using
rousing but simplistic language, authors of the
ban have created more questions than answers.
The third standard critique of this bill is
that it does not include an exception for the
health of the mother. The ban's proponents
argue that extensive evidence shows how the
banned procedure is never used to ensure the
life and health of the mother. If that were so,
why wouldn't the bill's sponsors include an
exception just to make moderates and the
U.S. Supreme Court happy? Given that the
U.S. Supreme Court will likely find the law
unconstitutional because of the lack of an
exception, I can't help but wonder what pro-
lifers gain in taking the hard line and in
demonstrating an utter lack of interest in the
mother's well being.
Though these three critiques are
arguably the most prominent in the discus-
sion surrounding this ban, they are just dis-
tractions. They are common complaints and
they have common rebuttals. These issues
effectively divert the attention of pro-
choicers from a more substantial challenge
that ought to be presented to pro-lifers:
Why aren't you trying to punish women? If
abortion is so egregious a crime, why aren't
you going after those who demand it?
I cannot decipher how pro-lifers reconcile
their need to end abortion with their refusal to
condemn those who seek and obtain it. In the
War on Drugs, law enforcement officers arrest
and prosecute users and addicts along with
their providers, the dealers. We know that only
targeting the dealers won't stop the drug trade,
so how can targeting only doctors stop abor-
tion? Maybe the pro-life coalition believes
women need not be prosecuted because of
they've already suffered so much and must
deal with the daily guilt - but I think not.
They aren't irrational enough to believe that
every woman who has abortion has a spiritual
reformation the next day.
The truth is that pro-lifers know they are
fighting a losing battle and they know the
American public would never accept a law
that condemned women for making difficult
decisions. Thus, today, we have a bill that
attacks the less sympathetic of the actors -
the doctors - because they are the only
people left to attack.
Pro-lifers can see in the collective American
subconscious what many of us cannot. They see
that Americans won't condemn their mothers,
sisters, aunts, wives and friends for acting out of
necessity. They see that reproductive rights are
closer to the hearts of Americans than even the
pro-choicers recognize. They see that reproduc-
tive rights are, thankfully, here to stay.
It looks like I won't need that chocolate
bar after all.
Strayer can be reached at
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
LOUIE MEIZLISH / IN PRINT_
Bush loses the 'Dearborn' vote
It's not unusual for several of a journalist's receivedo
interviewees to share the same sentiments, percent
but it's scary weird those with very strong America
opinions are extremely understanding of equiv- 2000, but
ocating politicians. same said
That's what happened last week when the Bush. Giv
Arab American Institute held a forum for presi- the curren
dential candidates in Dearborn. Only a few can- expect tha
didates made it: Howard Dean, Joseph even furth
Lieberman and Carol Moseley Braun. The oth- The ma
ers sent emissaries or participated by satellite ers seemed
hook-up. President Bush sent his campaign stay involv
chairman, Marc Racicot. er Grover
Lieberman got heckled Friday, but that's appearance
explainable, considering he's the Democratic whether a
candidate whose views on Israel are closest to the radar s
those of Bush, of whom many of the attendees AAI Pr
clearly disapproved. the confere
Dean's speech Saturday was pretty good - low Arab A
he danced around some of the more controver- "They'
sial issues, but overall pretty good. want to he
One of Dean's better lines: "We've had said. "Th
enough of a president who says, 'I'm the only from candi
one who can save you from terror,' ... yellow- have choic
orange-orange-yellow," referring to the threat- It's not1
level colors. omy that's
Asked about the "security wall" Israel is the preside
building, Dean answered guardedly, "In the 1) It's t
long term, the wall can't be permanent." Not let's-just-s
exactly a clear answer. policy with
So I asked a few attendees what they 2) the secr
thought generally about the former Vermont not hundre
governor. All of them seemed to like him, but the United
they prefaced their answers with interesting Arabs to c
statements. local U.S.a
"He is a politician and you can't come "We ne
down hard on one side (Israeli or Palestinian), Yusaf, theA
without alienating the other," said Anika Yusaf, Some a
a Michigan State University student. total cond
"There's certain limits on candidates," said others wan
Nasser Khanafer of Dearborn, an engineer. of right tor
AAI's constituents, it seems, are looking Zogby kn(
for ABB - Anybody But Bush - and recent year witha
polling supports that notion. So they're more idea is to p
tolerant of any candidate that seems in any way worst can
more moderate than Bush. semi-close
An EPIC/MRA study of Arab Americans It's ve
from May, just after the second gulf war- and governme
when the war still seemed to be a large success is not new.
- showed a 55-percent negative rating of the
only about 20 x;
of the Arab
n vote in
just this May, 38 percent of the
d they'd definitely vote to replace
ven the state of the economy and
nt situation in Iraq, one can only
at Bush's support has gone down
ain focus of the conference organiz-
dto be convincing Arab Americans to
ved in politics, and, as anti-tax crusad-
Norquist argued, to avoid sudden
es and disappearances depending on
issue perceived as important is hot on
creen or not.
resident James Zogby, who emceed
ence, preached pragmatism to his fel-
re not going to hear everything they
ar from (any) one candidate," Zogby
ey're hearing enough good things
idates who make them feel like they
es this time."
the war in Iraq and it's not the econ-
causing Arab Americans to dislike
the Bush administration's hands-off-
h the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and
et, unexplained detentions of tens, if
ds, of Muslims and Arabs living in
States. Asking other Muslims and
come in for "interviews" with their
attorneys didn't help either.
eed to bring civil rights back," said
Michigan State student.
attendees, of course, wanted to hear a
emnation of Israel's security wall,
ted a candidate to come out in favor
return for all exiled Palestinians. But
ows that's not going to happen this
any of the serious candidates, so the
ick the least-worst candidate, and the
didate is Bush, with Lieberman a
ry simple: If you don't trust the
nt, you vote it out. The concept
Case for divestment from Israel
compelling; Israel very similar
to apartheid South Africa
TO THE DAILY:
In response to Michael Kieval (Coverage
of Said event biased, SAFE 'wants to destroy
Israel,' 10/21/03), I'd like to point out that the
decades-old conflict does not revolve around
Kieval, Students Allied for Freedom and
Equality or Joseph Massad, professor of
intellectual history at Columbia University.
To misrepresent Massad, who is widely
respected in his field even among some
Israeli academic circles, in order to launch
attacks on SAFE is a hollow attempt to avoid
at all costs substantively discussing the actual
conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Equally, Kieval's support of a Palestinian
state is precious, but again, Kieval's opinion
is not at issue here.
Moreover, it would be beneficial to the
student body at large if opponents of divest-
ment did not simply throw negative labels at
it, but actually explained what is wrong with
the campaign. There have been compelling
arguments made that would strongly indicate
that Israel's rule over the Palestinians is remi-
niscent of South African apartheid. That
South African anti-apartheid heroes, from
Nelson Mandela to Ronnie Kasrils, have
remarked on this parallel is also compelling.
Even Archbishop Desmond Tutu has actively
supported the global divestment campaign
A few weeks ago, former Israeli Knesset
Speaker Avraham Burg chastised the Israeli
structure arguing, "We cannot keep a Pales-
tinian majority under an Israeli boot and at
the same time think ourselves the only
democracy in the Middle East." This to me
appears to be the central point of discussion,
and would give credence to the principles
underlying the divestment campaign.
Daily should give equal
coverage to Christian groups
arid events like UWorship
TO THE DAILY:
I found the article on Islamic conver-
sions published in the Daily, Islam converts
speak on how they found religion, '10/22/03)
to be very interesting and intriguing. Actu-
ally, I think the Daily should further
explore the topic of spirituality in greater
depth. Not only because it is politically
relevant, but also because it hits the core
of many students on campus.
Many students arrive on campus with deep
spiritual questions that have yet to be fully
explored. For example, on Oct. 26, there will be
a gathering of many campus Christian groups at
the Power Center called UWorship. Having
been to this event before, I know that it is a time
where many Christians are strengthened in their
Christian identity on campus. I believe UWor-
ship has been covered in the past by the Daily,
but from a different angle and with less attention
than the recent article on Islam. The University
has a rich heritage deeply rooted in Christianity.
I think it would be powerful to explore those
roots and let students know some of the founda-
tions this University was built upon. If the Daily
is open to that, I would love to help in any way.
Other religions, too, are slowly finding their way
on campus. It would be great to educate the Uni-
versity community on the different worldviews
of our student population.
JOIN DAILY OPINION.
OUR HALLOWEEN COSTUMES
ARE POLITICALLY THEMED.
THIS YEAR'S THEME?
Borders management's statement full of inaccuracies
BY IRFAN NoORUDDIN
Management propaganda should be best
ignored, but I find myself unable to resist
writing a response to the odious union-bust-
ing rhetoric being spewed by Dan Smith of
Borders Group Inc. (Borders treats employees
fairly, acting in 'good faith,' 10/22/03).
Smith doesn't seem to understand the
concept of unions when he writes that Bor-
ders wishes to treat all its employees the
same. Unions can bargain only on behalf of
their own members, which precludes the
workers at Store 001 from making demands
for across-the-board changes to the way Bor-
wage on the grounds that if workers don't
want those jobs they should get another. Such
a claim is naive and irresponsible for it
ignores the reality of an American economy
in which most jobs are in the retail sector.
(Oh! That sound you just heard was another
batch of high-tech engineering jobs being
outsourced to India by a corporation claiming
"competitive pressures.") No responsible
union member will deny the difficulties of
competing in a sluggish market, but the fact
is that Borders succeeded by having a work-
force it once treated as professionals within
the company rather than as pawns in a nar-
row-minded effort to maximize profit.
Finally, the "facts" Smith purports to
rennrt a re not 4'ntc Nit ol tern at,, ra ntere-a..
answered at the front info desk, the hold
desk, the second floor desk, two separate
locations in the music store?) and fewer
workers assigned to those desks than ever
before. The result is that fewer workers are
expected to do more work and customers
get the shaft. Yes, Smith will undoubtedly
tell you that the number of workers in the
store is the same as before the vote but
don't be deceived by his trickeration. Bor-
ders is hiring workers but it hires few
booksellers each time and replace them
with cash register clerks, many of whom
are kept at part-time hours so that Borders
doesn't have to provide them with benefits.
Despite Smith's protestations, the facts
are cle~ar inthis cme.Theme are rnt sefish