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October 21, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-21

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4

4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 21, 2004

OPINION

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

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

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority
of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
He is brain dead."
- U.S. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), while
speaking at a union hall on Tuesday, referring
to President Bush - as reported by
delawareonline.com, a service of The News
Journal, a Delaware newspaper.

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Polishing the American image
JOEL HOARD OH YEAH?
e've had some that because our military is the most powerful war at the drop of a hat. We need to be reason-
great empires in the world, why should we bother listening able and thoughtful for a change.
here on Earth to anyone else? We can't go invading a coun- But what if we don't change? What if we go
over the past few millen- try every time someone gives us the evil eye. on invading, occupying and ruining countries
nia - the Romans, the Not only will that make even more people that were otherwise doing fairly well on their
Greeks, the Byzantines, hate us, but in practical terms, our military own? For one, we'll be turning out more and
the Ming Dynasty and will be spread too thin. more terrorists. Just look at what happened this
the British, to name a few. Our enemies have some valid claims, and it week in Iraq. Part of the reason we went to war
But as the saying goes, all would do us some good to listen to them for in the first place is that we assumed the Iraqis
good things come to an once. They call us arrogant bullies. They say were allied with al-Qaida. If they weren't then,
end. No matter how mighty, each and every our steadfast support of Israel is out of line. they sure as hell are now. Over the weekend,
empire eventually fell to a ragtag enemy. They claim we're waging a silent war on the insurgent Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Iraqi
But how can something as powerful and Arab world. And they're right on all counts. followers pledged their allegiance to Osama
awe-inspiring as a globe-spanning empire But we're so set in our ways that we could bin Laden.
succumb to lesser forces? Without excep- never consider dropping our imperialist ways By no means does the current group of folks
tion, it's because they failed to respect their or reconsidering our sponsorship of Israel. who oppose America have the military power
enemies. Their hubris was so great that they Chances are even John Kerry isn't willing to compete with America, but they've already
were never willing to compromise, to yield to admit these flaws, and in President Bush's exposed chinks in our armor. If we don't
or to admit flaws. eyes, the only mistake America could make is change how we go about the terrorist problem,
The way things are going now, the American not re-electing him. they'll only gain in strength. There will never
Empire will be no exception. We're making The American image is so tarnished that be a point when we've killed off all of the ter-
the same mistakes that every other empire has, the French have turned against us - and we rorists. Kill one group, and another comes up
and we're on a collision course with destiny. bailed them out twice when empires tried to in its place.
Conditions are ripe for America's downfall. take them over. Things are so bad that our only So what are we to do? There are two options
The United States has more enemies than ever, true allies in Iraq are Britain, Italy, Poland available when dealing with people who hate
and we're not showing any of them respect. (don't forget Poland) and a handful of coun- you: 1) You can kill them, but we know that's
We're always right, and we have more weapons tries with military forces that number only in only a temporary solution. Or, 2) You can
than they do, so don't fuck with us. the dozens. make them hate you less - the long-term solu-
When America comes under direct attack Forming stronger alliances is a good step tion. The best way to solve this problem is at its
- Sept. 11 for example - I'm all for hunt- in improving our image. At least Kerry under- root. We need to take a peaceful approach and
ing down the attackers, smoking them out of stands this much. But the only problem with make people hate us less. Maybe I'm just opti-
their holes and all that crap. But only a very the way we create alliances is that our allies mistic, but I think it's possible. Hell, if we're
small faction of the America-hating world end up being our partners in crime. lucky, people might actually like us for once.
has attacked us, and for those who haven't Before we can form a true, solid alliance, we
attacked, pre-emptive strikes aren't the need to establish ourselves as a peaceful and Hoard can be reached at
answer. The dominant thought in America is accepting nation. We can't be bullies who go to j.ho@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
MISA can and does get diated. The creation of a four-day holiday would suspect the regents of wanting to
things done with support understandably sparked some worries of remove the break for any reason, but mere-
from the student body increased drinking, hospital visits, etc., but ly as an insurance policy, we hope that this
the regents' trust in our proposal and claims letter and other voicing by students to the
has been shown to be well founded. Regents and administration of our approval
TO THE DAILY: After three years, overwhelmingly positive of fall break's implementation will keep us
Being in law school and the working changes (as we predicted) have happened. from having to fight for a re-institution of
world means we don't enjoy the neighbors Campus was dead quiet this weekend. Stu- fall break as well.
blasting the stereo and drunkenly running dents are developing patterns/habits/routines Fall break has been a tremendously suc-
into things as much as we did a couple years of either locking themselves into libraries or cessful addition to the University calendar,
ago. This past weekend, one of us was treat- traveling home for the extended break, and especially for first-year students trying to
ed to the first Friday and Saturday nights of we wouldn't doubt that our collective mental get home during a changing time and stands
the year without a dance mix blaring 15 feet health/performance on exams/papers have today as proof that MSA can effect positive
from our bedroom window until 3 a.m., and improved correspondingly. change for campus. Thanks to all of our fel-
that silence wasn't a random occurrence. We write this letter to note this fact today low students for backing up our claims to
It was fall break. because sometimes the lack of recognition the administration with your usage of the
After three years of having two days off for improvements leads to their demise. break, and here's to decades more to come.
during the busiest time of the fall for stu- Last fall, Entree Plus usage was removed Matt Nolan
dents, smack in the middle of midterms, we from the Big House temporarily because Jessica Cash
can clearly say that the fears (despite their the Michigan Student Assembly and the Nolan is a student in the University's Law
8-0 vote in passing the fall break) held by student body failed to keep pressure on the School. He and Cash were the president and
some members of the University Board of athletic department to show how much it vice president, respectively, of the Michigan
Regents three years ago have proven repu- was appreciated and utilized. Not that we Student Assembly from 2001 to 2002.
VIEWPOINT
Following through

I

4

4

BY WALID EL-ASMAR
In the last two weeks, more than 140
companies visited the College of Engineer-
ing for the annual career fair. More than
half of them (77 to be exact) only accepted
resumes from U.S. citizens. This, I believe,
is a deplorable act of discrimination. To
those readers who are shocked by the use
of such a strong term, -I would remind them
of the definition of this word: It is the act
of making a difference in treatment or favor
on a basis other than individual merit.
Merit. Not much observation is needed to
see that the international community at the
University is far from being academically
inferior to the U.S. community. Also, many
foreign students are native English speakers,
like most Indians, Nigerians or Ghanaians.
Thus, one can safely assert that the "U.S-
only" policy doesn't match any technical or
linguistic measure of skills or merit.
However, this reality is only symptom-
atic of a much more fundamental problem:

To start with the second question, I would say
that companies are only partially responsible.
They have simply chosen to avoid the admin-
istrative burden of hiring foreigners. It may
be less ethical, but it is cheaper.
The reason why such procedures are so
rarely questioned is that they are just a
minuscule part of a global system in which
we have all been raised and that we have
naturally come to accept as the norm. No
country has ever had a same-for-all policy.
Everywhere in the world, individuals are
treated unequally, according to their citi-
zenship (among a host of other things). This
is institutional discrimination, except that
the word "discrimination" is very well hid-
den behind more politically correct terms
such as "aliens' rights," "work authoriza-
tion," "single-entry visa," etc.
The security of the nation is one of the
most frequent motives invoked to justify the
unequal treatment of individuals. But these
protective measures are the cause of the
very problems they have been put in place

ship. No matter how peaceful you are, no
matter how much merit you possess, if you
come from Gaza, Khartoum or Tehran, the
road to dignity is (very) long and full of
obstacles and humiliations: long lines at
the doors of consulates, rejection, intimi-
dating men in uniform at the airport, rejec-
tion, German shepherds sniffing in your
suitcase, rejection, recruiters telling you
you're not American, rejection, applica-
tions to immigration, rejection and no one
has even asked you yet about your skills.
What's worse, no one will question the fair-
ness of your treatment, for it is justified by
the policies that "secure the nation."
For those who don't even have the chance
to go through this path (yes, even this path
is a chance), there's unfortunately an alter-
native that will give you a sense of dignity,
albeit a false "one: the guru - a terrible
trap that will make you commit the most
ignorant, cruel and racist acts, like suicide
bombings.
So what should be done? Abolish all fron- a

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