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January 26, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-26

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 26, 2005

OPINION

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

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE

SAM BUTLER Tigi SOAPBOX

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.

4 GIf you look at
Senator Clinton's
voting record on this
issue, it's like Planned
Parenthood's condoms
- it's defective."

Q
. CA N MAKE x-r F'ZT

-

01

t.

- Family Research Council President Tony
Perkins, reacting to Sen. Hillary Clinton's
(D-NY) recent speech on abortion, as reported
yesterday by The New York Times.

.owu_

.. ... .-.- A._.. ..-... ~

Death by a thousand cuts
DANIEL ADAMS H)RSESHOES AND HANDGRENADES

Funny, aren't Republi-
cans supposed to be
better at this whole
commander-in- chief
thing? After eight years of
hearing from them how bad
Clinton was at it, you'd cer-
tainly think so. They called
him a draft-dodger. They
said he underfunded and
overdeployed the armed
forces. They talked about
sagging morale and poor readiness.
But five years later, the army that Clinton had
underfunded and overdeployed proved more than
capable of destroying the Taliban regime and the
Iraqi armed forces.
The trial-and-error leadership of President
Bush, however, is proving much more difficult for
our armed forces to survive.
Last week, in a rare display of honest reflection,
Bush apologized for his remarks two years ago, in
which he, in reference to a growing insurgency in
Iraq, said "Bring em' on." "Sometimes," he said,
"words have consequences you don't intend them
to mean."
Budding statesmen and women among you take
note: When the president of the United States defi-
antly asks an armed insurgency to bring it on, the
aforementioned insurgency will likely respond by:
a) Backing down
b) Bringing it on.
If you answered "b," then congratulations:
You needed one less try than President Bush to
get it right.
But back in 2000, running the army sounded
just neato to G.W. and Dick. They were going to
come in with a new vision: Right the wrongs of
the previous administration. In a 2000 appearance

on NBC's "Meet the Press," then-vice presidential
candidate Dick Cheney got right to it: "What the
Clinton/Gore administration has done is to short-
change the military, continue to impose significant
burdens on them and not made the kind of invest-
ments that need to be made."
Fast-forward to today.
Shortchange the military? Try proposing $900-
million cuts in veterans benefits in the middle of a
war - a proposal that the Commander-in-Chief
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars early last year
called "a disgrace and a sham."
Significant burdens? How about deposing two
regimes, maintaining a credible threat over at least
two more, both defending the nation against ter-
rorism while chasing the terrorists themselves
across the globe, helping the tsunami-ravaged
areas of Asia/Africa and backing up Bush when
he runs off his mouth to a group of reporters, dar-
ing a confident and aggressive insurgency to bring
it on?
Not make the kind of investments that need
to be made? After in-house experts like Army
Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki estimated that
it would take "several hundred thousand troops"
to secure a post-war Iraq, Defense Secretary Don-
ald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
Wolfowitz fired the experts, sent a much smaller
force regardless and sent it without enough body
armor and properly armored vehicles. I wonder:
How many soldiers have died thus far because the
greatest military machine in the world didn't go to
war with enough flak jackets?
The point of this isn't to say that Clinton would
have performed any better after Sept. 11 than the
Bush/Cheney team - though I have my suspi-
cions, such exercises are pointless. Nor is it to say
that Clinton's defense record was particularly stel-
lar - it was not.

But Clinton did leave the office as he found it -
with a manageable foreign policy and an entirely
capable military. The way things are going now, it
does not appear that Bush will leave his successor
with the same.
Both the National Guard and Army Reserve
are reporting some difficulty meeting the
demands of the war on terror. Earlier this
month, the chief of the army reserve reported
that due to the policies of the Bush administra-
tion, the Reserve was "degenerating into a 'bro-
ken' force."
Saturday, The Detroit Free Press ran a story
on the current conditions in Iraq. The news isn't
good. Despite some recent success against the
insurgents in the Fallujah campaign, U.S. military
deaths and injuries due to hostile acts, insurgent
attacks and mass-casualty bombings are all on
the rise. Domestic support for the war is falling.
Make no mistake, we are losing this war.
It's time to start asking ourselves: How much
longer are we willing to stay? Given current condi-
tions, what is the best scenario that we can reason-
ably expect to achieve in Iraq? I'm no expert, but
I can only see another year in Iraq yielding one of
two things:
1) An embarrassing, meaningless, painful vic-
tory
2) Or defeat by a thousand cuts
Quite frankly, I'm not comfortable asking our
volunteer army to sacrifice for that.
One thing is certain - while Bush, Rumsfeld
and Wolfowitz take their sweet time learning
how to run a war, this nation and its soldiers are
in it deep.

40

Adams can be reached
at dnadams@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Columnist's rhetoric
hides nature of tyranny
TO THE DAILY:
Jasmine Clair's article America's paradox:
selling democracy for tyranny (01/25/2005) was
so full of inaccuracies and glaring failures in
reasoning that I find it shameful that it made
it to print.
Her most egregious error comes in her defense
of absolutist governments. Apparently, we have
been "brainwashed to despise absolutist tyranni-
cal governments." Clair seems to be making the
case that absolutist tyrannical governments are
things not to be despised. To my utter amaze-
ment, she went on to cite Adolf Hitler him-
self as an instrument of our brainwashing into
thinking absolutist governments are negative
things because of their "seemingly oppressive
and immoral natures." I would argue that there
was nothing seemingly oppressive or immoral
about the Third Reich, and that instead, it may
be history's most instructive example of the
actual abusive and dangerous nature of abso-
lutist governments. After these baffling (and
to many, offensive) statements, Clair concludes
her paragraph with the statement that tyranny
is in fact the sibling of democracy, which then
leads one to ponder the identity of the progeni-
tor of these disparate offspring. I truly hope
that the strange conclusions one can draw from
Clair's argument are the result of a failure to
articulate her point clearly, and not reflective of
her actual views. Whatever the case, I think that
this is the single worst paragraph in journalism
that I have ever read and am disappointed that it
made it to print.
In addition to the aforementioned abomina-
tion, she also paints suicide bombers as valiant
freedom fighters, "strapping themselves up
with explosives...hoping that one day they will
be free and able to handle their own affairs."
My question is, free how? Free as in enjoying
freedom of press, speech and self government?
This sounds like democracy to me. Assert-
ing that the suicide bombers are dying for the
cause of freedom (and not deluded religious
fanaticism, desperation and a hatred of democ-
racy) demonstrates a gross misunderstanding
of the political situation.
I think it would do Clair well to spend more
time thinking her statements through before
committing them to paper, and it would do the
Daily editors well to more closely monitor the
quality of the work that they publish.
Andrew Pytiak

versity, it seems logical the writers would be
overjoyed with the prospect of an black and
a Latino in Bush's cabinet. This is in addi-
tion to Alphonso Jackson, the black secretary
of Housing and Urban Development, Elaine
Chao, the Asian American secretary of Labor
and Norman Mineta, the Asian American sec-
retary of Transportation. And this is after two
blacks, Colin Powell and Rod Paige, stepped
down from their positions as secretary of state
and secretary of education. The way I look at
it, Bush is trying to create "diversity" in his
administration just as the University's admis-
sions policies are supposed to create "diver-
sity" in the classroom.
It's funny how the Daily can't accept
Bush's "diverse" cabinet! There might not be a
"diversity of ideas" at the top positions of our
government, but there is certainly the type of
"diversity" the University and the Daily have
championed for years. It actually mirrors the
University if you think about it! There's many
different skin colors, but there's not much
"diversity of thought."
You may think this sounds ridiculous, but
just imagine how conservative students feel
when this institution says there's "diversity"
on this campus. Until the University appoints a
few more conservatives to administrative and
faculty positions, or lectures are taught in an
unbiased manner, the Daily should lay off this
subject before it gets tied up in blatant double
standards.
Michael Vasell
LSA senior
Society finally turning
against abortion
TO THE DAILY:
Monday marked the 32nd year that men
and women from around the country par-
ticipated in the March for Life in Washington
D.C. Because coverage of the event did not
appear in the Daily, I decided that a reminder
was in order. Since 1973, our legal system has
turned a blind eye to the protection of the most
innocent and helpless members of our society
- the unborn. Instead of debating the funda-
mental issue at hand - the status of the fetus
- we pat ourselves on the back over the rep-
rehensible "freedom to choose" that is avail-
able here in the United States. We equivocate
about "recognized medical procedures" to
assuage the guilt of ending the lives of these

a blight on our society. I can only hope that, in
the near future, the U.S. Supreme Court will
do the same.

Michael Saltsman
LSA senior

0I

Stadium renovation would
split student section
TO THE DAILY:
Reading the proposed plans to transform
Michigan Stadium, I joined the growing
surge of alumni in outrage, disappointment
and disgust.
Home football games are emblematic of the
Michigan experience and should remain so. As
a school that celebrates diversity and equal-
izing opportunities for students, our football
games function as an occasion to come togeth-
er as a community with one common interest.
The stadium plays favorites to nobody - each
seat similar to the next, no unnecessary frills,
unique yet equal views.
Michigan Stadium is a strong foundation
for our football tradition and the spirit of the
University as a whole. Not only is equality so
clearly demonstrated, but so is cohesion and
togetherness. How will the wave work with lux-
ury boxes? What about the opposing chant of
"Go!" and "Blue!"? Will spoiled students seg-
regate themselves from scholarship students?
Current and future University students
should be able to reflect on their times in Mich-
igan Stadium with the same fondness as those
before them. I urge the athletic department to
continue embracing the essence of the Univer-
sity by leaving Michigan Stadium alone.
Richard P. Mumby
Alum
OPINIONATED?
WANT TO WRITE FOR THE
LARGEST PUBLICATION
ON CAMPUS?
WE'RE LOOKING FOR
NlW. COLUMNISTS

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