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November 03, 2004 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-03

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OPINION

+W+ 420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, Ml 48109
tothedaily@michigandilycom

SAM BUTLER :s.ax

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
''This means
we can rest assured
that what happened
in Massachusetts
will never happen in
Michigan."
- Tom McMillin, chairman of the Oak-
land Citizens to Protect Marriage, referring
to the passage of Proposal 2, which amends
the state constitution to ban gay marriage, as
reported yesterday by The Detroit News.

4

Inertia or energy?
ZAC PESKOWITZ TIE LOwER FREQUENCIES

4

econd terms are a
chance at redemp-
tion and ifPresident
Bush is re-elected to a sec-
ond term his experience
will be no different. One
-.'x unintended consequence
of the 22nd Amendment is
- the opportunity for a life-
long politician to renounce
finally and completely
political calculation. Ronald Reagan floating a
zero-nukes proposal to Mikhail Gorbachev at
the Reykjavik summit in 1986, Dwight Eisen-
hower dispatching the 101st Airborne Division
to Little Rock Central High in 1957 and Bill
Clinton's decision to bomb Belgrade in 1999
are a few examples of political, courage that
probably wouldn't have occurred in a first term.
A second term with no prospect of re-election
gives a politician a rare luxury: the opportunity
to do what he thinks is right. Of course, most
aspects of the second term have continued to
obey the master of political calculus. Either out
of habit or the allure of passing the presidency
to his chosen successor, the instinct to lean with
the polls dies hard.
Bush is an unrepentant political animal. As
John DiIliuo, the former head of Bush's faith-
based initiative, told Esquire magazine two years
ago, "There is no precedent in any modern White
House for what is going on in this one: a complete
lack of a policy apparatus ... What you've got is
everything - and I mean everything - being

run by the political arm. It's the reign of the May-
berry Machiavellis." He rejoices in the trench
warfare of politics while the dreams of his chief
strategist Karl Rove to remake the Republican
Party as the dominant force in American politics
suggest that the second term may not be marked
by policy purity. The hopes of this presidency do
not end in 2008.
Majorities inboth chambers of Congress and
the opportunity to transform the U.S. Supreme
Court will give Bush both a wide latitude to
achieve his policy goals and a historic chance
to form a lasting legacy. But there's little evi-
dence that Bush will actually use this chance.
The most provocative proposals of Bush's
platform from four years ago have largely
gone neglected. The privatization of Social
Security, major tax reform and his faith-based
initiative were essentially discarded. The need
to place foreign policy at the top of his presi-
dential agenda can explain part of this failure,
but there is another more fundamental reason
for his refusal to bring his most radical ideas
before the Congress.
Despite the widespread belief that the Bush
administration is a radical clique of ideologues,
Bush is content to adjust and bend his beliefs
for political benefit. Tragically, Bush has
repeatedly shown that he is willing to succumb
to the pressures of political expediency on
critical issues. Despite his.professed belief in
open markets and tax reform, Bush has imple-
mented tariffs on foreign steel, Chinese bras
and Canadian lumber and signed a pork-laden

corporate tax bill. He is a fiscal conservative
who has never vetoed an appropriations bill,
even during an era of structural deficits. Time
and time again, first principles are subordinate
to the crude calculations of focus groups, polls
and swing states.
Bush's second term agenda, as he presented
it at the Republican National Convention in
September, is a haphazard repackaging of the
loose ends from the 2000 campaign. Some of
these policies attempt to solve the long-term
structural challenges that the United States
faces as a result of the Baby Boomers leaving
the labor force, but Bush's track record gives
little evidence that he has the courage to con-
front these problems with vigor.
The rise and continued strength of the contem-
porary Republican Party is a story of ideas. Ideas
that were deemed outlandish at the height of the
Great Society have slowly migrated to the center
of political discourse. The Republicans have built
an idea factory in Washington that Democrats
have only begun to realize is a key to the con-
tinued dynamism of their political rivals. There
are lots of ideas floating around the conserva-
tive think tanks and the halls of Congress, from
a national consumption tax to new policy levers
to reform the health care system, but it's unlikely
that the courageous ones will find an ally in a sec-
ond Bush presidency - the stakes are too high
and true victory is too far off in the future.
Peskowitz can be reached at
zpeskowi@umich.edu.

'Exterminate all the brutes'
SRAVYA CHIRUMAMILLA WEAVING TE HANDBASKET

In December of 2001,
several militant sui-
cide bombers stormed
the Indian parliament in
f New Delhi. The Indian
government, elected to rep-
resent the most populous
democracy in the world,
recognized the terrorists
as members of Jaish-e-
Mohammad, a group that
worked out of Pakistan while attacking areas of
Indian-controlled Kashmir. Following the prec-
edent setby the mighty Americans after the Sept.
11 attacks, India wanted to retaliate against Paki-
stan much as America had attacked Afghanistan.
While the two countries' million or so soldiers
began forming across the fragileborder, America
stepped in and made it clear that when it decides
to make up excuses for striking a country, it sets
the precedent for America only.
Similarly, when Premier Mohammad Mossa-
degh was chosen to rule Iran in 1951, he decided
to nationalize the oil industry. This, of course,
did not please America's bed partner, Britain,
which was the major share-holder in the Anglo-
Iranian Oil Company, which was being deprived
of the oil it had so conveniently taken for itself.
Faced with a lawsuit by the British, Mossa-
degh successfully defended his decision to let his
country control its oil before the International
Court of Justice at the Hague in the Netherlands.
This is when the CIA and Kermit Roosevelt
were commissioned to overthrow the democrati-

cally chosen leaders. After the U.S. government
overthrew the government by pumping millions
of dollars into the opposition, it decided to re-
instate an authoritarian regime. Embarrassed,
Iranians began to resent the Americans, who felt
the Iranians' wrath in 1979.
There are many such examples of the American
government interfering with a democracy's deci-
sion to lead its people. This stance in foreign policy
is not limited to Republican administrations as the
fear propagated during the Cold War has manifest-
ed itself in the jingoistic war on terrorism.
Very few Americans oppose this war on ter-
rorism, which allowed President Bush to enter
Afghanistan. Even those who oppose the war
in Iraq were mostly in favor of the invasion in
Afghanistan. They justified this overthrow of
an oppressive regime, which they believed was
in cahoots with al-Qaida. However, it is well
recognized that Taliban leaders, such as Mullah
Mohammed Omar, did not get along with al-
Qaida and Osama bin Laden. If people were in
support of the war in Afghanistan because of an
ideological belief, they should be similarly sup-
portive of the warin Iraq, which removed a much
harsher dictator from power.
Americans like to forget that they provided the
Taliban with the funds and guns to fight the Rus-
sians. They also ignore the fact that the Taliban
was an elected party, which brought much need-
ed order to a country ruled by sparring warlords.
Some like to point out the Taliban leadership's
lack of support of women's suffrage as a lack of
democratic values; it is similarly telling that this

country was not officially a democracy 144 years
after it declared independence.
I realize that after such a pivotal election, a
column should extol the virtues of a candidate or
criticize the failings of another. However, I see no
difference in the two candidates in their foreign
policy approach. Both would continue the U.S.
tradition of hypocrisy and arrogance.
It is this hypocrisy that allows America to set
double standards. America can hold certain sus-
pects indefinitely, torture its prisoners and will
not join the International Criminal Court because
Americans might actually be held responsible for
their actions. While America would rather not hear
from France and othersin the United Nations about
the war in Iraq, it had no qualms about pressuring
the European Union to accept Turkey in order to
add the Turks' support of the Iraqi occupation.
Americans hardly hear about their govern-
ment's actions and are more than content in their
ignorance, which in turn adds to their arrogance.
Americans have rarely been attacked; however, it
should not surprise America when it is attacked:
America has meddled in every country and has
created a distinct hatred for this country. It is this
nationalistic belief that all who "aren't with us"
are uneducated brutes, that supports Joseph Con-
rad's proposal to "Exterminate all the brutes!"
Chirumamilla can be reached
at schiruma@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I

Carr responsible for team's ball's turnaround.
performance, deserves credit
for recent successes

TO THE DAILY:
A couple days after the football team's
dismal loss to Notre Dame, a letter I wrote
was published in the Daily (Alum 'embar-
rassed' about loss to Notre Dame, 09/15/04)
condemning the team's loss to a lack of
aggressiveness and will by Lloyd Carr.
Since that ugly loss, the team has rattled
off seven consecutive wins, several of them
coming from behind, such as against Minne-
sota, Purdue and this weekend's spectacular
win against in-state rival Michigan State.
I said that Carr needed to be held account-
able for playing well with all the talent he
had to work with, and for the most part, Carr
has done just that. He has gotten the team to
the point where it is contention for a BCS
bowl, and no one is going to question the
team and coaching staff's heart after com-
ing back from 17 down against State.
If blame is going to be thrown at the
coach when the team is down, then credit
should also be given when the team does
just that, and I think Carr has earned all
the credit in the world for Michigan foot-

Lee misrepresent
record, positions
TO THE DAILY:
It seems clear that D.C. Lee
wrong country, wrong time, 11
fallen victim to political manipu
be unfair with the readers of TI
By simply regurgitating thec
unsubstantiated rhetoric of thel
poignantly heard in three presid
fails to establish any meaning
issues at hand in this election. L
he seems not to realize that altho
to use aggressive criticisms, labe
attempt to influence voters, it is n
(apparently too difficult) to prov
ficient reasons for the positions
criticisms one makes.
To call John Kerry a "shor
"flip-flopper) in response to his1
in Iraq is both a misjudgmentc
misunderstanding of the fund
nature of public office. Kerry su
a last result, asking that U.N. w
be carried out thoroughly andc

engaging in any military action. By expressing this
Nelson Lopez condition, he hoped to evidentially establish alegiti-
Alum mate justification for the warbefore pursuing it and
in turn, assure that in the long term, we would not
s Kerry's find ourselves having to explain a war which,by our
.s Kery's own conditions, turned out to be unjustified. Unfor-
on issues tunately, the Bush administration chose to rush into
the war without such evidence. We now find our-
selves in a bloody quagmire with no clear end in
(Wrong Candidate, sight and have not only created a terrorist hotbed
/01/04) has either that did not exisi before, but have given terrorist
lation or wishes to organizations a first-rate recruiting tool. How can
he Michigan Daily. Lee tout Bush's "long-term approach to the war in
oversimplified and Iraq, andmorebroadly,thewaronterrorism,"inthe
Bush campaign so face of such reckless short-sightedness?
ential debates, Lee Furthermore, the claim that "The most obvious,
ful analysis of the urgent, and 'doable' rathole was Baghdad," is sim-
ike President Bush, ply not factual. At the time America went to warin
ugh it maybe easy Iraq, there were numerous such "rat holes"that were
ls and keywords to at least, if not more, urgent than Iraq - most nota-
much more difficult bly North Korea. To continue to suggest that Iraq
vide sound and suf- was an imminent threat to America after having
one holds and the found no WMDs is pure folly. What about the "rat
hole" we so shoddily plugged up in Afghanistan,
t-term" thinker (or a country that has been forgotten by most of the
position on the war American public, but is still in turmoil today? The
of his views and a best way to keep rats from infesting your house, to
lamental dynamic use Lee's analogy, is to get rid of the rotten cheese
pported the war as in your cupboards.
eapons inspections Sebastien Lounis
conclusively before LSA sophomore

THE BOONDOCKS
WL SE 1VEEECIN sNALLY
CAME ANt WET.
YOO tEsRNa SOTIC HTPOLITICAL
COMICS ORE ALWAYS AT LEASTA
WEEKBEIND E THE NEWS?

T'S AFOT TMLE. 'M tELTNE
UT 'M SIK OF TATKING AFOOT IT.
15051 TOW/ ABOUT lTE ELTIN
FORMONTHS, ANt NOW THYVE
JUST 0ANGE THES JECT

mI
I'

A AITON McliRUDE IAT
NO MORE tSH/KERRY
TALK UNTL A0 A CUPt St
MSNIOS'S FROM NOW'
MAYBE CARTOOINIETS OSNT
KEEP UP WITH THt NEWS. INEAR
THEY'RE A LAZY UNCH

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