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February 20, 2006 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-20

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 20, 2006


albe irbigaiu n:DatiI

Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors

Managing Editor


44 Cheney is a
terrorist. He terrorizes
our enemies abroad
and innocent citizens
here at home
- Actor Alec Baldwin, blogging at
the Huffington Post, posted last Friday.


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.

Between Hamas and a hard place

n the heels of
a landslide
election vic-
tory in January, the
militant Islamic group
Hamas has publicly
RSVP-ed to Russia's
invitation, extended
in early February by
President Vladimir
Putin, to formally
open diplomatic channels at a summit next
month in Moscow. The engagement itself
will be ceremonial, a routine meet-and-
greet certain to prove far less momentous
than the initial gesture of recognition, which
marks the first of its kind from a major world
Had President Bush known back in March
2004 - when Hamas terrorists murdered
10 Israelis and injured 12 more in twin sui-
cide bombings near Israel's port of Ashdod
- that precisely two years later a delegation
of popularly elected party officials would be
congregating in a five-star hotel in Moscow,
sipping chilled Stolichnaya and shooting the
breeze with Russian dignitaries, he probably
would have thought twice about resting his
presidential legacy on the success of promot-
ing democracy in the Middle East.
But hindsight has never been friendly to
President Bush, and this won't be the first
time he's been forced to eat his democracy-
as-peace maxim. (Given the political land-
scape in Iraq, it probably won't be the last.)
Bush shifted ground when voters in Lebanon
effectively handed Hezbollah terrorists their
own government ministry. He retreated when
parties affiliated with the radical Muslim
Brotherhood routed moderates in Saudi Ara-
bia. And last year, when U.S.-backed local
elections elevated militant Islamist groups

in Egypt, the White House was caught back-
pedaling again. Bush marketed democracy
to the Arab masses as a mouthpiece for
the region's moderate silent majorities. But
almost without exception, the fanatical ele-
ments he hoped to shut out have retooled and
consolidated, and many now operate with
popular mandates and new levels of influ-
ence in local government. His vision, for all
intents and purposes, has come full circle.
That's not to say his legacy is lost. While
I wouldn't expect to see his face on the $50
bill anytime soon, Bush still has three years
to play lion-tamer. Which direction he goes
from here - in particular, how he chooses
to approach Hamas - will ultimately influ-
ence whether he will be able to claim that he
left the Middle East in better shape than he
found it.
Established doctrine prohibits the United
States from officially recognizing Hamas,
which is still correctly classified as a foreign
terrorist organization. The State Depart-
ment, however, still has considerable leeway
over the level of humanitarian assistance it
provides for the Palestinian Authority.
As anyone who's picked up a newspaper
in the last month can attest, the issue is a
lightning rod for controversy, and the White
House has been understandably reluctant to
firm up its position. .
The pro-Israel lobby, already fuming
over Bush's decision to support the elec-
tions in the first place, will tolerate nothing
short of complete diplomatic isolation. This
approach, which would combine aid depri-
vation and economic sanctions, would aim
to bleed the already-bankrupt Palestinian
Authority into submission. If the Palestin-
ian government is even half as dependent on
aid as it was under Yasser Arafat, this strat-
egy may actually work. At the very least, it

would shore up the State Department's zero-
tolerance policy for acknowledging terrorist
groups while sending a compelling message
to Palestinian voters: Welcome to interna-
tional politics. Now stop voting for murder-
ers or starve.
Of course, whether Palestinians were
actually voting for murderers when they
went to the polls in January is another
question entirely. Some exit polls suggest
that far from a popular endorsement of the
Hamas brand of armed resistance, the elec-
tion can be more accurately described as a
referendum on Palestinian President Mah-
moud Abbas and his hopelessly corrupt
Fatah movement. Poll analysis from the
Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey
Research shows that three-quarters of those
who voted in January support negotiations
toward a two-state solution. Other polls
have revealed similar divisions between
the battle-weary Hamas - a movement that
would swallow glass before surrendering
any more territory - and its more temperate
constituency. These sentiments hardly seem
grounds for punishment, especially since
they were expressed through an electoral
process encouraged, financed and moni-
tored by the United States.
Caught between two fires, the Bush admin-
istration must now decide whether to recoil
from a democratic process it impatiently
promoted or to stomach its outcome and
engage one of its most ruthless enemies in
the process. Whichever direction the White
House chooses, of this we can be certain:
The Hamas debacle will stretch the Bush
administration's foreign policy to its logical


Singer can be reached
at singers@umich.edu

Students 4 Michigan outlines accomplishments

The members of the Students 4 Michigan
Party would like to applaud other parties
who have demonstrated an interest in stu-
dent government by organizing to increase
competition in this winter's election. S4M
believes that having a competitive election is
the only effective way to ensure the best can-
didates are elected to represent all students,
as well as to increase voter turnout. While
we appreciate the increased involvement in
Michigan Student Assembly, S4M will enjoy
the opportunity to defend both our genuine
commitment to campus and our track record
of real results.
While the Michigan Progressive Party has
been very good at saying what needs to be
done, Students 4 Michigan members of the
MSA and LSA Student Government have
been actively working on these issues and
have achieved tangible results.
Since the party's conception, members
of S4M have been responsible for great
improvements on this campus that continue
to improve the lives of students each and
every day.
We have made great strides in the realm
of academics - creating an international
studies minor and an LSAT familiarization
course through the Career Center, increasing
students' study abroad options, improving the
course design of Engineering 101, improv-
ing graduate student instructor consistency
in various departments and increasing the
hours of the undergraduate and graduate
libraries during exams. Additionally, S4M

members are single-handedly the reason that
Advice Online is operational today, and they
are continuing to improve it.
Students 4 Michigan has worked hard to
reach out to student organizations and help
them as much as possible. We have allocated
more than $200,000 per semester to student
groups across the spectrum and continue to
do so. In addition, we have reached out to
individual students through an application
process to join MSA's committees and com-
missions and gotten hundreds more students
involved in helping improve student life
through MSA.
One of Student 4 Michigan's most,
prized accomplishments comes in the field
of student-city relations. In the past year,
S4M members have created the position of
City Council Liaison. This has been vital in
our fight to push back lease-signing dates.
S4M has led this crucial fight for more than
four months. When the ordinance passes on
March 6, it will be a huge victory for stu-
dents and our party alike. Additionally, in the
past month we successfully lobbied the Uni-
versity to increase parking for students on
North Campus, working to get the University
administration to change its mind.
Finally, Students 4 Michigan led the
way in improving transportation for stu-
dents. We have seen roughly a 38-percent
increase in AirBus trips for students, which
has greatly helped students wishing to get to
and from Metro Airport. In addition, S4M
worked with the Ann Arbor Transportation
Authority to make its services free for stu-
dents. Finally, we fund the Ginsburg Center

in its efforts to lend vans to student groups
wising to engage in off-campus community
While we cannot mention every accom-
plishment that we have had during our tenure
in office, additional accomplishments include
putting on an informational MCRI forum
with speakers both for and against the ballot
initiative, hosting a "Raise the Wage" forum,
adding a housing and immigration attorney
to Student Legal Services and creating a
housing website to help educate students on
potential landlords. We are truly a party of
students for Michigan.
It has been said that we do not have a plat-
form or ideology. In fact, what we don't have
is a political agenda. What we believe in is
action, not ideology, and we will continue
to work to improve the campus. We chal-
lenge members of other parties to share their
record of accomplishments as we have done
here. In the coming weeks, S4M will look
forward to continuing to defend our excellent
track record, as well as detailing our vision
for the future of both MSA and LSA-SG.
If you have a problem with how something
on campus works you can always e-mail
ThisSucks@umich.edu, which was created
and is run by S4M members of LSA-SG, or
for party-specific questions, please contact
Stallings is an LSA junior and MSA vice presi-
dent. Slott is an LSA junior and LSA-SG counsel.
They're the S4M presidential candidates for
MSA and LSA-SG respectively, and are writing
on behalf of the Students 4 Michigan party.



Send all letters to the editor to
tot hedaily@rnichigandaily. corn.

Immaculate conception
should play bigger role in
abortion debate

Maybe King thinks this was just a one-time
thing. But there are many other tales of immacu-
late conception. Dionysus, for example, was born
from Zeus's thigh. Last I checked, thighs serve
no reproductive function (aside from providing
leverage in bed), so sex was clearly not involved.

because God can always intervene - even if you
have your womb removed. Never forget that.
Andy Petrovich
LSA junior
Coleman's suitor
1 9, 1 ,.

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Kevin Bunkley, Gabrielle D'Angelo,
Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared Goldberg, Ashwin Jagan-
nathan. Mark Kuehn. Frank Manley. Kirstv McNamara, Raiiv Prabhakar. Katherine Seid, Ben


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