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March 07, 2006 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-03-07

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 7, 2006

OPINION

able Sirbfgat "4aUi

DoNN M. FRESARD
Editor in Chief

EMILY BEAM
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK
Editorial Page Editors

ASHLEY DINGES
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
Wehad
really hoped that
the governor would
weigh women's
health as more
important than
politics."
- Cecile Richards, president of the Planned
Parenthood Federation of America, on
South Dakota Gov. Michael Rounds signing
a bill banning nearly all abortions yester-
day, as reported today by nytimes.com.

COLIN IDALY 11Hl",'1it -IIIGAN 1DAlay
TaliN INC, Ae ,tOv [ P Q R TtIS.

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.

0

6
6

Admitting a mistake
DAVID BETTS PONTIFICATIONS
've always won- tially being fired, stipulating that he follow I hadn't gained anything from the con-
dered about the through on making the improvements he had versation because my dating preferences
ability of an suggested. The arrangement seemed rea- are already set, which is true. However, I
American public fig- sonable enough to me, although I had never failed to mention that I reached this con-
ure to recover from heard of such an agreement being used. clusion after multiple conversations over
a mistake. I sup- As a result of signing this agreement, the the course of my life. Those conversations
pose there are tons RA had to deal with more harassment than were the equivalent of the dialogue that
of stories in popular any of his co-workers. He was constantly I criticized. Actually, dialogue is a good
culture about people monitored by his supervisors, and he had to thing - I'll spare you the clichd reasons
given second chanc- attend more individual meetings than any as to why.
es, but convicted fel- of his peers. Now, this RA was no worse For someone who has not had the same
ons can't vote - even after they've paid than any other RA in University housing conversations that I had, a dialogue on
their debt to society - and Jimmy Swag- history - in fact, he was better than many interracial dating could be very produc-
gart will always have credibility issues. I've come across. He just made the mistake tive. It's a chance to for an individual to
Of course, President Bush was doing just of admitting his faults to the wrong people. share his or her own biases, to hear the
fine even after admitting that his original While relaying this story to me, he made biases of other people and to meet people.
reasons for going to war in Iraq could no the comment: "I was always told not to I mentioned in my last column that getting
longer be considered applicable. I wonder admit my mistakes so I don't give anyone to know individuals is better than getting
how far his approval ratings will plummet any ammunition." I could tell by his somber to know generalizations of people. I stand
when everybody figures out his adminis- tone and wearied expression that he wished by that claim. Many times, group conver-
tration was warned about the severity of he had listened to that advice. sations can degenerate into conversations
Hurricane Katrina. The story of that RA has just reinforced about generalizations.- But group discus-
Society is filled with sayings like "honesty my lack of trust in people. In my 22 years, sions are also an easy way to meet people,
is the best policy," "thou shalt not lie" and "the I have come across only a couple of social and the conversations that spill over after
truth will set you free." But, really, how much situations where I can freely admit mistakes group dialogues usually end up being the
does society value truth? How much does our and not have those admissions come back to most substantive and informative. When
campus even value the truth? haunt me. This may be par for the course in writing my last column, I never intended
I have a friend who used to be a resident life, but it still bothers me a bit. to misrepresent a specific event or to criti-
advisor. In an evaluation meeting with his In my last column, I wrote about the cize dialogue in general. So for criticizing
supervisors, he confessed that there were uselessness of conversations about rela- a dialogue without thoroughly explaining
many things he could improve upon in the tionships. I mentioned how I didn't gain myself, I apologize. Hopefully, that apology
course of associating with his hall and the anything from a particular dialogue about won't come back to haunt me some day.
rest of the residents of his building. After interracial dating, which is true. However,
this evaluation, he was encouraged to sign I failed to fully clarify why the conversa- Betts can be reached at
an agreement, under the pressure of poten- tion wasn't productive. I mentioned that- djmbetts@umich.edu
VIEWPOINT
Moving beyond righteous indignation about Iraq
BY BRYAN KELLY America has created a hotbed of terror- tion, might have planned not only to depose
ism in Iraq by decapitating its leadership Iraq's dictator, but also saw that, with Iraq
A good friend and I recently had a discus- and destabilizing the entire region. But is gone, Iran would make itself a viable tar-
sion that I believe went quite differently than this a bad thing? Consider that instead, the get for a second invasion, one that would
most discussions on America's war in Iraq. administration was not one but two steps secure American-style democracy in the
We first accepted that the Bush admin- ahead - and that the reason for war lies in Middle East not once, but twice - in not
istration knew there was no credible evi- this jump. one, but two countries making up President
dence of weapons of mass destruction of Hatred and anger, and even violence and Bush's "Axis of Evil."
any functional capacity anywhere within death, go back many years between Iraq Clearly, this idea would have been unpop-
Iraq's borders. We expressed no righteous and Iran, and America's affiliations at any ular to the common man. We do not think
indignation at this finding. We knew that given time have been ambiguous. I had to like foreign policy strategists in our day-to-
righteous indignation would only bog us laugh like hell when I saw the footage of day lives. What we needed to hear was dan-
down and would leave us, like the rest of a younger-looking Donald Rumsfeld shak- ger, not a complex, cause-and-effect analysis
America's critical discussion on the war, to ing hands with Saddam. If we were to find of the cold war between Iran and Iraq.
be ignored, mocked or ridiculed. weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we What the Bush administration probably
Instead, we took this idea on its face: The might have been able to exclaim out loud, did not plan on was the extent to which an
administration went to war knowing it was "So there's where these went!" American presence was needed in Iraq.
shooting fish in a barrel. The question is However, we must consider the effect a Perhaps they saw the Iraqi countryside as
still, why? destabilized Iraq has had on Iran. more willing. Perhaps they felt that, with
If Iraq had no weapons of mass destruc- Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadine- Saddam gone, and the fear- of weapons of
tion, then it posed no immediate threat to jad, has gone berserk recently, practically mass destruction abated, other countries
Israel. It is unreasonable to assume that the declaring war on Israel and America and may help out more with the peacekeeping
invasion of Iraq represented an attempt to saying an apocalypse is in the near future mission. All of these assumptions turned
reaffirm America's interests in Israel or to if Iran wants it bad enough. Remember: out wrong - the first because of lingering
keep Israel safe. Just because our administration knew that American resentment that became hatred
Similarly, to those who say the war repre- Saddam possessed no capable weapons of and, finally, all-out war; the second because
sented a personal vendetta of the Bush family mass destruction does not mean Iran did. the blow to American credibility caused by
against Saddam Hussein, then might it have Iran was being held in check by Saddam's the initial lie was worth more to other coun-
been easier for the adniinistration to spin secrecy, his corpulent lies and his arro- tries than Iraq's stability.
this into a moral imperative to protect and gance. Now that the secret is out, that Iraq Decide what you want about these suppo-
liberate the people of Iraq? But the principal was lamed, had been declawed years ago, sitions. I believe the only way to truly cri-
reason given was weapons, not morality. Iran feels safe both from Iraq and - as a tique the administration's decisions on Iraq
The reason, then, must have been one result of the insurgency bogging down our is to not be drawn into indignation and hurt
that would be unpopular with America, that military - America as well. feelings about the WMD lie, but instead to
might have faced more opposition in Con- So we are now the first step down the point out logical faults made in the admin-
gress - one, even, that would have made road: Iraq is now not only declawed but istration's actual reasoning. The one is to
the administration more unpopular than decapitated. Iran is making declarations of tell on the bully for lying. The other is to
if it went to war for fictitious reasons that a religious apocalypse and, with no Saddam fight back against him, to try and get even.
would later be found out as fictitious, as to the west to fear, is now free to prolifer-
turned out to be the case. ate. The administration, in a better situa- Kelly is an LSA sophomore.
L E Send all letters to the editor to
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR tothedailylmiheigandaily. corn.

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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, Kirsty McNamara, Rajiv Prabhakar, Katherine Seid, Gavin
Stern, Ben Taylor, Jessica Teng, Rachel Wagner.

Boycott and lawsuit against
University are frivolous'
TO THE DAILY:
With budget cuts affecting every aspect
of the University and yet with the enroll-
ment of underrepresented groups always a

plaintiff added to suit against U,' 02/23/2006)
and as I agree, the University maintains that
the lawsuit has no merit and intends to seek
a dismissal.
Thank you, faculty of the Native Ameri-
can Studies program who will oppose the
boycott and hopefully the lawsuit. Thank
you, national Native American organiza-

Far from being vague, bill
ensures right to self-defense
TO THE DAILY:
I strongly disagree with the Daily's view on the
self-defense bill in the state Senate (Stand down.
03/06/2006). The bill is not vague, as the Daily

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