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December 13, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-13

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 13, 2005

OPINION

aIbt £lirbigau ittilu

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALIsON Go
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All
other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their author.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
No, I don't feel
in a bubble."
-President Bush, when asked whether he
lives in a bubble, on NBC's "Today Show," as
reported yesterday by washingtonpost.com.

9
C

COLIN DALY THE MICHIGAN DALY

NYi

The Ides of March
SAM SINGER SAM'S CLUB

9

sraeli defense
officials spent the
better part of Sun-
day afternoon scram-
bling to bury claims
in a reputable British
newspaper that Israel
is readying its armed
forces for preemptive
strikes against nuclear
enrichment facilities
in Iran. According to The Sunday Times,
sources inside Israeli's "special forces com-
mand" said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is
mobilizing air and ground units for an elab-
orate assault on Iranian soil that could begin
as early as March.
Sharon's decision purportedly arrives on
the heels of a long-awaited internal intel-
ligence report that the paper's sources say
documents evidence of secret nuclear pro-
cessing facilities Iran has thus far concealed
from the * International Atomic Energy
Agency. These same officials - once again
alluding to March - warned of a rapidly
approaching "point of no return," whereby
Iran's uranium enrichment program will be
advanced enough to manufacture sufficient
fissile material to equip a nuclear warhead
within two to four years.
The Israeli government's response was
out-and-out denial, first from Deputy Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert, who called the reports
"ridiculous" and "baseless," and later from
a senior defense official, who maintained
that the Defense Ministry had no specific
contingency operations in motion.
It's certainly possible these officials were
being forthright. After all, similar rumors

have surfaced before, only to sputter out mid-
way through the news cycle. That said, the
vast majority of those rumors were specula-
tive; most, if not all, derived from the public
statements of outside analysts and hawkish
members of parliament. This time around,
it's different. This time it's an international-
ly renowned news publication with sources
deep inside Israel's intelligence apparatus.
This time the facts are concrete and for the
most part verifiable. But most importantly,
this time the story makes sense.
Tensions between Tel Aviv and Tehran
appear to be approaching a climax. Novem-
ber brought news that Iran helped broker
negotiations between terrorist leaders from
Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad in an
effort to promote more coordinated violence
against Israel. And last week, Russia sold
Iran a $1 billion anti-ballistic missile sys-
tem, a deal that not surprisingly coincided
with the test launch of Israel's long-range
Arrow missile. Most recently, Iran's Presi-
dent went on yet another poisonous invec-
tive, coming frighteningly close to denying
the Holocaust and suggesting that Israel be
permanently relocated to Europe.
March remains close in the backdrop. Tes-
timony from sources in The Sunday Times
story appear to fall in place with statements
from Israel's military intelligent chief, who
recently told parliament that Israel could
wait no longer than March for the U.N.
Security Council to consider action. March
also marks the release of the IAEA's next
report on Iran, a defining moment for the
European-led diplomatic effort that to this
day remains dead in the water. Most nota-
bly, the timetable laid out in The Sunday

Times story ties neatly into the next round
of Israeli elections set to begin March 28,
when Sharon and his newly minted Kadima
faction will face intense pressure from hard-
liners to address Iran.
By March, all the cards will be on the
table. The IAEA's latest findings will be
public. The Security Council, with full
knowledge of the true extent of Iran's nucle-
ar ambitions, will be under intense pressure
from the United States to draft a resolu-
tion threatening the use of force. Security
Council holdouts Russia and China will
have to stop dancing and face a resolution
condemning Iran, one of their most loyal
economic allies. Meanwhile, Israeli politi-
cians will be under intense pressure from
defense officials to take matters into their
own hands.
Absent a Security Council resolution, any
efforts to bring Israel into a more diplomatic
fold will likely fall short. For sympathizers
in Europe, an Iranian nuclear weapon is an
instrument of regional power projection; for
Israel, it's a radioactive crater in downtown
Jerusalem. Tehran is a hostile neighbor
with long-range missiles and intimate ties
to some of Israel's most vile enemies. We
don't know whether this leak was acciden-
tal, intentional or just completely erroneous.
We do know that there are no circumstances
under which Israel will tolerate a nuclear
Iran. If the United Nations proves impotent
in the face of an increasingly aggressive
Iran, expect an Israeli-sponsored fireworks
display this spring.
Singer can be reached
at singers@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

International student
speaks out against bias
TO THE DAILY:
As an Asian international student, I didn't
pay too much attention to recent racial dis-
crimination issues on campus until last week,
when I encountered some extremely radical,
racially discriminating comments (not by the
student). Therefore I am writing to you with
outmost rage about this matter.
Before I came to this country to pursue
my degree, I was told that freedom, human
rights and, most importantly, individuality
were respected and valued in this country.
Sadly, it seems to me that not everyone
observes this rule, and certainly not every-
one pays basic respect to people of different
colors. Also, I would like to point out that
most international students are not native
English speakers; therefore, they don't
know how to react when they encounter
such situations.
I believe that everyone is created equal.
Why can't everyone just observe this sim-
ple rule? As an international student, I face
more pressure from racial discrimination.
As much as I love Ann Arbor, I am still in
a foreign land. Already bearing pressure
from courseloads, no one wants unneces-
sary trouble.
I did talk back this time; however, I felt
stupid afterward. I don't know how I will
react the next time I encounter a similar sit-
uation. Certainly I will not just stand there
and do nothing, but I am not sure that what I
do will actually solve the problem.
These are just my thoughts; I sincerely
hope that everyone can respect others, no
matter their skin color.
Kaikua Zhang
Rackham
SAFE should not have to
explain its statements
TO THE DAILY:
We were surprised to open up the Daily
a week ago and, among all of the affirma-

First and foremost, the idea that all those
who advocate, for Palestinian rights must
speak to every action a Palestinian takes
is not only ridiculous, it is racist. Nobody
asked whites to apologize for the Oklaho-
ma City bombing. Nobody asked the par-
ents of the Columbine killers to apologize
for their sons' actions. Nor do we ask any
other student organizations to apologize for
the actions of their respective communities.
On that same note, SAFE should not have to
explain itself for an event that was in no way
related to the organization.
Secondly, no organization has the right to
label someone a "traitor" or condemn him
"to rot in hell." These statements are simply
out of the scope of our capabilities as a stu-
dent organization.
While SAFE advocates for peace, we
cannot assume that everyone who carries
out an act of violence is inherently evil. We
must ask ourselves, "Why?" Currently, an
apartheid wall encloses the West Bank, the
Israeli military is in or surrounding every
Palestinian West Bank city and F-16 fighter
jets are breaking the sound barrier over the
Gaza Strip at 4 a.m.
The suicide bombing that happened more
than one week ago is part of the violent
retaliation to that same brutal occupation.
Just as you cannot treat a disease by only
looking at its symptoms, you cannot simply
look at suicide bombings outside the context
of the Israeli army's occupation of Palestin-
ian lands.
No, those people did not deserve to die.
But like them, neither did the Palestinian
fisherman killed by the Israeli navy, neither
did the mentally challenged boy shot by the
Israeli army, neither did the 15-year-old
schoolgirl from Gaza whose murderer was
acquitted. It's not until we start acknowl-
edging the roots of this violence - the rac-
ist occupation - that any progress can be
made.
Rama Sahi
LSA junior
Nafisah Ula
LSA sophomore
The letter writers are the president and vice
president of Students Allied for Freedom and

tion to professional journalism in pushing
its viewpoint.
In that editorial, the Daily addressed
issues of credibility within Students 4
Michigan and the Michigan Student Assem-
bly. That's all well and good; MSA should
be able to take criticism. However, when the
Daily stated and backed Walter Nowinski's
comment, "The harmonica man on the Diag
contributes more to students than the cur-
rent assembly," something went wrong.
Although the concert and parties are big
issues within MSA, plenty of less newswor-
thy accomplishments have come from MSA
this semester.
This semester, MSA successfully estab-
lished an Ann Arbor City Council student
liaison position, formed a joint student-City
Council committee, sponsored the CHANGE
and Congress to Campus programs, hired a
housing attorney at Student Legal Services
and made the hospital retrain its staff on its
minor-in-possession policy. MSA has also
been working to establish a reflection room
on North Campus and has collaborated with
various student groups to raise more than
$18,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief, the
South Asian tsunami and the Niger famine
- and yes, we brought a major concert to
campus.
In addition, individual MSA members have
worked to update Advice Online, put more
students on University committees, increased
available parking at the School of Music and
ensured that all graduate students can see
their graded candidacy exams. AirBus usage
is up by 38 percent, and MSA has sponsored
students attending the Millions More March,
brought a United Nations goodwill ambas-
sador to campus, organized a Toxic Tour of
Detroit and a vigil for Rosa Parks.
My point in all of this? MSA isn't perfect,
but instead of sitting on the sidelines com-
plaining, we're actually working to make
campus better. We could always do better,
and I welcome anyone who's willing to work
toward improving MSA. All I want to do is
point out how atrocious the quote made on
Tuesday was and ask the Daily to base its
opinions on fact in the future.
Mohammed Dar

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Reggie Brown, Gabrielle
D'Angelo, John Davis, Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared
Goldberg, Ashwin Jagannathan, Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Frank Man-

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