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February 02, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-02

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4 -Friday, February 2, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
tothedaily@umich.edu

I
I

DONN M. FRESARD
EDITOR IN CHIEF

EMILY BEAM
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS

JEFFREY BLOOMER
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.

The lion's share
Lecturers increase demands for new contract
ontract negotiations between the Lecturers' Employee Orga-
nization and the University began last week, and both orga-
nizations have the opportunity to reach a settlement before
the critical month of April, traditionally the season of threats to
withhold grades or picket graduation. Although the contract won't
expire until July, both parties - and students - stand to benefit from
an agreement reached well before then. The University administra-
tion should agree to a contract with LEO that acknowledges the vital
roles that lecturers play at the University.

A prerequisite for winning the Nobel Peace
Prize is making a difference, and Al Gore has
made a difference."
- BOERGE BRENDE, Norway's former environment minister and current member of parliament, speaking about former
Vice President Gore's recent nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize, as reported yesterday by The Associated Press.
RYAN JABER
y c Ai aeir esc a e
ounAr r cro\ r~uee n+ olo u
Onekc\ e - C o, julses

4
4

In defense ofthe surge

Union negotiations have had a strident
showing in the legacy of a campus dedicat-
ed to student activism, but the contentious
nature of lecturer walkouts and strikes can
pit loyal students against their own academ-
ic interests in the name of solidarity.
LEO's demands target practices that rel-
egate lecturers to a position of inferiority. The
landmark 2004 contract raised base salaries,
extended health benefits through the sum-
mer and improved job security. But the past
two years have made clear that the contract,
though significant, was far from perfect. LEO
and the University continue to clash over job
misclassifications, and lecturers still do not
receive the benefits their qualifications and
roles merit.
Members have long complained that the
public designation of four classes of lecturer
only works to further the festering aura of
lecturers as "second-class citizens" on cam-
pus. Although the internal structure of the
four-tiered hierarchy of lecturers may help
organize the University, the public nature of
the classification exacerbates a stigma that
already divides University faculty. Reevalu-
ating the current system of lecturer classifi-
cations could help avoid conflicts under the
next contract.
The jarring disparity in salaries for lec-
turers at the University in Ann Arbor and

its satellite campuses has created an even
less excusable division of educators who
have labored for years - and have invested
the corresponding amount of money - to
become committed and competent educa-
tors. At $31,000, minimum salaries are low
at the Ann Arbor campus - but they're even
lower at Dearborn and Flint. Contractual lim-
itations on the number and nature of second
jobs that LEO members can work - primarily
other teaching positions to supplement their
income -piles insult on top of injury.
The University may not have spare cash to
throw at its lecturers, but it must also recog-
nize the integral role its lecturers play in edu-
cating students. These coming months will
be crucial to consider LEO's demands and put
together a plan acceptable to both sides.
Most students do not intend to get an edu-
cation in labor relations when they enter
the University. However, we owe a certain
amount of respect and empathy to those
instructors who make less in a yearthan many
out-of-state students pay to be here. Lecturers
teach nearly a third of undergraduate courses
on Ann Arbor's campus, and students have a
vested interest in seeing the demands of LEO
met by the University. If that doesn't come
down to solidarity at strike time, it certainly
should come in the form of support during
these early months of negotiation.

s someonev
the war in
ning, I have
interest the roller c(
port for it. A large
went along with th
it went down the w
absence of an Iraqi
dence of Iraq's nucl
dam Hussein's
agreement to
comply with
U.N. regulations.
Public support
peaked as Amer-
ica declared war
onIraqcomplete-
ly disregarding
the U.N. Security
Council's lack
of authorization
and the weapons
inspectors' pleas
for additional
time. The inex-
plicable disappearas
the administration'
around the idea of
little to damage pui
went on to win his r(
his job for another f
It was only grads
alties mounted and
- that public supbi
Faced with the pro
world of an evil S
ing the Iraqis, ms
few problems with
Iraq. But now that
reconstruction and
started, everyone
troops back home.
After meeting w
of Staff a few week
maximum troop
Bush announced h
the troop levels in
stabilize the countr

who was opposed to war. With the announcement, Bush's
Iraq from its begin- critics have been forced to take a stand
watched with great and call for the hastened withdrawal of
oaster of public sup- all American troops from Iraq, even in
part of the country the face of growing sectarian violence
.e administration as and instability.
earpath, despite the Disturbingly, most critics are willing
link to Sept. 11, evi- to write off the entire war in Iraq as one
lear threat and Sad- of Bush's mistakes that America itself
is innocent of and shouldn't be held
accountable for. The sad truth, howev-
er, is that the warin Iraq is just as much
America's responsibility. The president
was democratically elected into office.
Twice. The war itself would never have
been possible without authorization
from congress, the support of the public
and the approval of leading Democrats
like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
However unpopular the war is now, it's
RAJIV important to keep in mind that this isn't
just Bush's war - it's America's war.
PRABHIAKAR With the rising number of casualties
in Iraq, the desire to extricate ourselves
from the mess is understandable. With
nce of all WMDs and thegrowingsectarianviolenceandthreat
s reselling the war of civil war, though, Iraq is in avery per-
regime change did ilous situation. Even with 100,000 U.S.
blic support - Bush troops in the country, it is embroiled in
eelection and secure civil war. Its capital is in disarray. And
our years. with the Iraqi army's inexperience, the
ually - as U.S. casu- growing Sunni/Shia hostilities and the
civil war escalated threat of Iran and Syria gettinginvolved,
ort began to erode. the Iraqis are in no position to defend
spect of ridding the their newborn democracy.,
addam and liberat- An American withdrawal in the near
ost Americans had future would almost certainly result in
sending troops into open civil war with body counts that
the job of post-war would dwarf today's numbers. The
nation-building has current democratic government would
wants to bring the likely be replaced by a Taliban-esque
regime, and Iraq would soon produce
ith the Joint Chiefs yet another Saddam Hussein or Osama
s ago to discuss the Bin Laden. The world would not be a
increase possible, safer place and the war against ter-
is decision to surge rorism would face its greatest setback.
Iraq in an effort to Even more tragically, tens of thousands
y and quell the civil of more Iraqis would likely die in the

midst of power struggles between Shia
and Sunni extremists.
When India gained independence
from the British 60 years ago, religious
tensions forced a partition into two sep-
arate nations - India and Pakistan -
and millions were either killed or made
homeless in the process. There is no
reason to believe that Iraq won't suffer
a similar fate if American troops start
pulling out. With Iraqi civilian casu-
alties already in the range of 100,000
over the past four years, America owes
it to the Iraqis to ensure that such a fate
doesn't befall them.
With all the bad news that we hear
The war in Iraq
is bad. Leaving
would be worse.
from Iraq everyday, it is easy to write
off the situation as being unwinnable.
Such an attitude is inherently defeatist.
With proper military security to quell
sectarian violence, economic efforts
to reduce unemployment and political
efforts to foster goodwill among the
Iraqis, Iraq can certainly be stabilized
and promoted as a beacon of democracy
in the Middle East.
The war in Iraq was a blunder from
the very start, and Iraq has certainly
been worse off for it. But now that the
existing regime has been toppled, there
are only two real options available
- own-up to the responsibility and do
what it takes to stabilize Iraq or admit
defeat, bring the troops back home and
wash our hands of the bloodbath that
will follow.
RajivPrabhakar can be
reached at rajivp@umich.edu.

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU

Daily misrepresents date
auction with 'editorial rant'
TO THE DAILY:
In yesterday's article (Date auction courts
controversy, 02/01/07), a Daily reporter
intentionally swindled Project Suyana mem-
bers into what was thought to be an unbiased
news article but turned out to be a reporter's
editorial rant. It seems the reporter left out
key parts of the fundraiser like a 58 Greene
and ComCo performance as well as date
escorts to supervise the dinner. There is
even a written contract all participants sign
that gives safety tips and precautions that
the reporter coincidentally left out. In addi-
tion, Project Suyana has not been notified
of any disapproval of the event by faculty,
staff, administrators or students. If there is
a controversy, it would stem from the report-
er's gross juxtaposition of the term "slave
trade" with championing a humanitarian
aid cause.
Dean Ho
LSA senior
Faultyfocus of date auction
story shows lazy reporting
TO THE DAILY:
I cannot believe the complete lack of jour-
nalistic integrity that the Daily showed in an
article only peripherally related to Project
Suyana's Date Auction (Date auction courts
controversy, 02/01/2007). As someone who
knows how hard the group's members have
worked to make the event possible, I know
that the concept has been met with nothing
but positive responses from students, faculty
and administration.
It's shameful that instead of focusing on
the positive aspects of the event. the reporter
makes frivolous claims that the administration
is outraged, even though there has not been an
ounce of public outcry.
What's most disappointing is that there is
so much good that's going unnoticed. Could
the reporter have spent more than four words
describing Project Suyana's mission to build an

entire self-sustaining clinic for the poorest of
the poor? Could she have mentioned the fact
that, in a time of much campus division, the
organizers are bringing in a diverse group of
representatives from every single campus com-
munity together in order to support that noble
cause? Could she even have mentioned thatthe
Facebook.com folk hero and college connois-
seur Johnny Lechner is coming to host?
Instead, the article has a telltale sign of ter-
rible journalism - relying on contrived con-
troversy and negativity to draw the reader.
The only thing missing from this message of
doom was a comparison to Nazi Germany.
Oh wait, that's in there too from a University
administrator.
Swastikas aside, it's clear that the reporter
simply researched an obscure online state-
ment in order to add some spice. She should
have used that time researching the date of the
event: The auction is tonight, not Thursday,
Ryan Jaber
The letter writer is an LSA senior and a cartoonistfor
the Daily.
Daily misrepresents date
auction with 'editorial rant'
TO THE DAILY:
In Thursday's article Date auction courts
controversy (02/01/07), the Daily yet again
showed us that it values drawing in readers
through unsubstantiated claims of controver-
sy as opposed to displaying a sense of quality
investigative journalism. The reporter tried to
claim a controversy between University offi-
cials and Project Suyana but never established
any direct interaction between the two bod-
ies. Based on this article, there is no evidence
that any University official has taken action
towards Project Suyana or contacted Proj-
ect Suyana about the advisory policy. Maybe
the reporter should have done more research
before framing this issue as controversial. By
the way, from our own research, the event is on
Friday, not Thursday.
Jamie Shenk and Shana Shoem
Shenk is an Engineering senior and Shoei is an
LSA junior

RADHIKA UPADHYAYA
They were terrorists

How often does a girl like me get the opportunity to
mingle with ex-terrorists? Not often. This is precisely
why I was so excited to hear the three ex-terrorists who
came to speak at Rackham Auditorium on Tuesday.
I came at least a half hour early to the presentation,
and I was only half surprised to see a group of protesters
standing outside. Their signs had phrases like "Zionism
is Racism." On my way in, I received a handout discredit-
ing the speakers as "Israeli propagandists" and another
yellow handout advertising a walkout. I was sure the pro-
testers had some merit in whatever they were trying to
do, but at this point, I was just eager to get in.
The function began with an introduction by Ryan Fan-
tuzzi, the vice president of the University's chapter of the
Young Americans for Freedom. He informed the crowd
that he was aware that "members of far left, Arab and
Muslim organizations" were present to stage a walkout
and Fantuzzi requested they kindly disrupt the presenta-
tion early on so that the rest of the audience would be able
to peacefully enjoy the remainder.
Fantuzzi then claimed that the protesters were wear-
ing the color yellow as the color yellow is associated with
Hezbollah. Somewhere between the boos of the crowd,
the shock of the Hezbollah comment and the cheers from
a small man wearing an American flag as a cape, I sud-
denly became extremely uncomfortable and aware of the
hostility suffocating the room.
After a few moments, Fantuzzi had thankfully left
the stage and the first speaker, Kamal Saleem, began to
speak. Saleem was an overly confident middle-aged man
who boasted of the danger he endured asa 7-year-old ter-
rorist. His stories were actually pretty interesting until he
started to explain how his Islamic background bred him
with the hatred to kill infidels like Americans, Jews and
Christians. I was having difficulty hearing his complete
explanations due to the heckling from the back. Sure, Sal-
eem was offensive, but I was annoyed that the speaker
had to strain so much to spitout a few words over the rude
interruptions.
As Zachariah Anani, the second speaker, was about
to share his story about why he rejected the Quran, the
protesters walked out. The idea of a walkout at such a
significant event seemed kind of disrespectful to me at

first, but for the most part, their silent walkout actually
appeared pretty sophisticated. There were, of course, a
few obnoxious hecklers who made the exit seem a little
less graceful, but all in all it was a successful statement
made by the departure of about a third of the audience. As
the protesters departed, the third speaker, Walid Shoebat,
announced in a disgustingly patronizing tone that Ameri-
can Idol would be starting in 20 minutes.
I cringed at his comment, but that was only the start
of Shoebat's theatrical antics. Shoebat loved belittling
the protestors. He challenged them with comments like
"You know I would love to debate you and squish you
like a worm" and "You're chickenshit." What was worse,
though, was how the crowd just ate it up.
The audience broke out into thunderous applause and
gleeful uproar anytime a protestor was verbally attacked.
I swear that when one heckler had to be escorted out of
the auditorium, the ground shook like it does in the Big
House.
I have to give Shoebat credit, though, for being such a
crowd-pleaser. He too began his speech with anecdotes
about being a Muslim with dreams of bringing skulls of
his Jewishand Christian victims to the gates of heaven.
To demonstrate his reform, he began acting as a devout
evangelist on stage. He denounced Middle Eastern cul-
ture while singing praises of Western ideals. The crowd
loved him for letting Jesus and America save him from
the dark side.
By this time, I was tired of all the preaching and Islam-
bashing. Kudos to another offensive hit Shoebat made,
however, when he mentioned a "Hindu Sikh" in one of his
stories. Perhaps the saved ex-terrorist forgot Hinduism
and Sikhism were different religions.
All in all, the presentation was disappointing because
Saleem, Anani and Shoebat have so much potential to
enlighten audiences with experiences from their past and
their personal views of the world. Instead, the speakers
just stood there kissing American butt and making broad
offensive generalizations. The poor guys felt like puppets
of the Islam faith and terrorism, but I guess they didn't
realize they were puppets for YAF, too.
Radhika Upadhyaya is an LSA freshman.

JOHN OQUIST I
LOKIT'$ iUKE TOLD YOU T4E OTHER DAY, WLL, WITH TE NEW SUPERPOWER NN EEVEN?" psmt-
Y ONE ituEVES it i c n nT EVEA P tIANNED 9/1 "
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Editorial Board Members: Kevin Bunkley, Amanda Burns, Sam Butler, Ben Caleca, Brian Flaherty,
Gary Graca, Jared Goldberg, Jessi Holler, Emmarie Huetteman, Toby Mitchell, Rajiv Prabhakar, David
Russell, Gavin Stern, John Stiglich, Jennifer Sussex, Neil Tambe, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Wagner.

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