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June 10, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-06-10

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Monday, June 10, 2002 - The Michigan Daily - 5

VIEWPOINT
Did Sharon have it right?

Slashing divides into the bioethics debate
ZAC PESKOWITZ TiH LOWER FRE)QNCIES

In th
largest
years, n
been ra
negotiat
human ri
issues of
cussed in
esting to
the medi
been lar
that has
a detailt
cesses an
of Opera
discussic
warrante
siderabl
Israel fac
commun
effort an
tion nect
why the
sive Shi
addresse
will lead
conclude
we do n
Sharon N
are used
nate, the
warmon
can't ad
Sharon's
months,
tional lot
tions, ha
both mili
fronm
operatin
fled site
arrest hu
also dest
terrorist
seizing
While Is
out that I
inate all
moation
complex
ment of
mention t
Operatio
ago the
well as s
has decr
siice the
ago. It al
277 attei
Israel su
third of
March. A
considere
Defensiv
Many
analysis,
tion suff
the milit
future te
persuasiv
the situ
largely in
cesses g
campaig
high leve
fature. A
cess Israi
politica
adopted
toward te

Operation Defensive Shield. For the
BY DAviD Livsiz first time, moderate Arab states have
stopped inciting violence. In fact, in
he aftermath of Israel's the past month the government
military operation in 20 sponsored newspapers of both Egypt
umerous questions have and Saudi Arabia (which until
ited. As expected future recently raised money for families
ions, peace conferences, of suicide bombers) that have edito-
ights, as well as many other rialized about the teed to immedi-
importance have been dis- ately stop Palestinian terrorism -
n the media. What is inter- something that would have been
note is what has escaped unthinkable before the operation.
a's radar and has therefore Without incitement from the Arab
gely overlooked. A topic world, it is unlikely that Palestinians
been especially neglected is will remain committed to the path of
ed analysis of Israeli suc- terror as they have heen in the past.
nd failures in the aftermath Arother example if political
tion Defensive Shield. This success obtained by Israel as a result
an would seem especially of the operation is that there is final-
d in light of hoth the con-tly a chance for democratic reform in
e adount of criticism that the Palestinian Authority - some-
icd from the international thing that until recently was consid-
d as well as the amomit of ered impossible. Israel's military
d resources that the opera- success seems to have convinced
ritated. A possihle reason ordinary Palestinians of the futility
results of Operation Dfen- of armed resistance and the need for
eld have not heis widely negotiations, an assertion that is
most reasonahle people to siupported by recent polls produced
sten that as a society by Palestitian researchers. Closely
'something thatdmit: Aiey related to the rapidly decreasing
tot wagt.tA admit: Ariel support for terrorism are the ever-
ad it right. As a society we inresig emnands for deirtocrati-
to viewing Sharon as obsti- iscreasig d
"barrier to peace," and a zation and reform inside the PA.
rger t- maybe we simply These calls for reform have resulted
mnit the simple fact that in a reshuffling of the Palestinian
policies over the past two cabinet, as well as new elections
while defying both conven- that will likely be held within the
gic and reasonable expecta- ext six months. Moreover, now that
ve proven to be a success both the United States and Europe
tarily and politically. understand that a fundamental
the military standpoint, the reform itt the IA is necessaty for
nproved to he ati unqtiali- future negotiatitons to succeed, it is
ccxx. Not only did Israel unlikely that Arafat will be able to
indreds of terrorists, but it postpone elections indefinitely.
rayed the infrastructure that Since it is likely that new elections
groups need to thrive, while will produce a more moderate Pales-
large quantities of arms. tinian leadership, it is likely that
raes critics correctly point they will result it less terrorism and
srael's actions did not elim- more compromise making peace
acts of terrorism, this infor- more likely.
is only a part of a more Let me be clear d I do not always
story. This crude assess. support Israel s mlitary iitiatives .
Israeli actions neglects to Sometimes they are reactionary and
that since the conclusion of counterproductive. But the operation
n Defensive Shield a month was not one of these. This operation
numbers of attempted (as had clear strategic goals designed to
uccessful) terrorist attacks reduce the level of violence and cre-
'eased to its lowest point ate a climate suitable for negotia-
Intifada began 21 months tions, Both of which it achieved. As
so fails to mention that the German Foreign Minister ixoschka
tipted terrorist attacks that Fischer recently noted: By substan-
ffered in May are not even a tial reducing terrorism, Operation
what it faced as recently as Defensive Shield created an oppor-
hnd when these factors are tunity for a negotiated settlement to
ed, the success of Operation the conflict, something that was oth-
e Shield becomes clear. erwise unlikely.
y might challenge this Considering the fact that terror-
arguing that the hunilia- ism is down, the Arab world is final-
ered by Palestinians during ly taking action to eliminate the
ary action in April makes terror incitement that it produces
rrorist acts likely. While and European diplomats are praising
ve at first, this analysis of Israeli actions as those that bring the
ation is incomplete and two sides closer to peace, it seems
ncorrect. The political suc- obvious that Operation Defensive
ained by Israel during the Shield was a success. And if it is,
n reduce the likelihood of then we should admit something that
Is of terrorist activity in the we should have admitted long ago:
good example of the suc- This time Ariel Sharon had it right.

ith one bill
currently
before the
Senate and another
that is nearly finished
being drafted, many
Americans may think
that the problems of
human cloning and
' bioengineering are
enduring careful scrutiny from the Bill.
The two bills, Brownback-Landrieu and
Feinstein-Kennedy, would both ban human
oning, but Feinstein-Kennedy would per-
mit therapeutic cloning research to contin-
ue. While the bills only tackle a very
specific concern, it is clear that the passage
of either bill will satisfy few and continue
the expansion of the burgeoning rift on all
issues related to bioethics.
The stringent debate on this issue illus-
trates that the forthcoming developments
in genetics will only generate more con-
tention and misunderstandings. While
many caricaturize the opponents of cloning
and genetic engineering as inhumane reac-
tionaries, many of the arguments that
undergird their position reflect a respect
for the uniqueness of humanity and the
sovereignty of the individual. Simultane-
ously, humans are faced with another
threat to their humanity: The suppression
of the creative instinct. It is clear that there
are two ways that humans can irreparably
lose their humanity through either permit-
ting or restricting genetic engineering:
Changing ourselves through objectifica-
tion and shying away from scientific dis-
covery.

Although the possibility of human
cloning is almost universally unpalatable
and creates visceral opposition across the
political spectrum, genetic enhancement
does not generate similar revulsion.
Instead, many believe that. increasing
human mental capacities, physical abilities
and extending the human life span will be
only a boon for humaity. However, genet-
ic enhancement does not exist to heal the
ill, a trait indicative of human compassion,
but exists to improve our species. Unlike
compassion, the desire to improve and per-
fect future generations is misplaced.
The desire to enhance human traits
turns offspring into a product to improve
society. The specifically produced skills
and abilities of the genetically enhanced
child will become the sole values through
which they are judged. The child would
exist not for itself, but in servitude to both
parental and societal goals. I fear that as
this technology become feasible and peo-
ple begin to accept it, these concerns will
varnish. U.S. society's adherence to utilitar-
ianism will make these concerns appear
inconsequential when confronted with the
possibility of human "progress." Another
cause for concern is that parents will
select the traits for their children that are
culturally acceptable. As political econo-
m1ist Francis Fukuyama argues, very few if
any parents would choose homosexual
children or children with aggressive
behavior. The elimination of these and
other traits would create a stagnant society
unable to dynamically respond to its chal-
lenges and will limit creativity.
While these are a few of the corn-

pelling arguments against genetic enhance-
msent, there are reasons to reject this rea-
soning. Isn't the reorganization and
ultimate perfection of humanity the ulti-
mate end of our species? Shouldn't
humans continue to persist in their efforts
to break the bonds of mortality? No matter
how an individual judges these concerns,
government cannot simply stifle this influ-
ence and hope it will vanish. The scientific
pursuit is what has defined our species.
If legislation is passed in this nation to
prevent cloning or genetic enhancement,
research will inevitably move to another
country. The insuppresability of human
curiosity assures this. While legislation
may delay the development of these tech-
nologies, society will eventually confront
the awesome brunt of these possibilities.
As a society, we need to collectively
assess these values and broaden this novel
debate. It will require a vigorous assess-
ment of our present values, the goals of
society and the uniqueness of the human
organism.
This is a debate that cannot be
pigeonholed into the stale and increas-
ingly useless Left-Right paradigm. Lib-
eral opponents of genetically modified
food products and pro-lifers are often on
the same side of the debate, while lais-
sez-faire proponents of free markets and
libertarians oppose them. The questions
are too complex, too subtle and far too
important to be represented by plodding
and static ideology.
Zac Peskow'itz can be reached at
- apsk i'ife/msxnich.ea.

The unpopular plght of the Lithuanian people
L U K E S M I TH C ix i s I SN :m E V IF .y ..AN D
risis in the plights of nations less savory in the broad- horrendous Lithuanian national team.
Holy L and cast and print journalistic dust. My people are being discriminated
heating up! That ends now. against by being marginalized in the
texsxcns boil between The unfortunately ignored nation of FIFA rankings.
Israel and Palestine! Lithuania - ty fatherland. sty home, my Further, does the world market hold
uedlines like these saving grace has weighed on my- soul for somaxething against countries that start with
have graced the U.S. almost two years now. Since my grandpar- the letter I as in the cases of Lithuania
media for months eats on my mother's side came over fleeing and Lebanon? Am I going to be discrimi-
ow, even longer on- te heartland our family, our clan has been ated against doubly in life because my
and-off. But, ex yxst steeped in Lithuanian culture. The food of name starts with an ss Uh and I'm L.ithuan-
9/1 1- America has become decidedly Lithuania, I sosure tastes wonderful, it is ian? Questions like this have been racing
more interested in all matters in the Middle like the mead and nectar of the gods Iam through m xmind as I've watched the
East, wondering how much, if at all, the sure. My blood bleeds the colors of the unpopular plight of the Lithuanians be
events in the Holy Land will reach their uIxithuanianf 1ag, whatever, in fact those col overlooked on a global scale. Even now,
soil. And there is no doubt the mss media ors are, for I have not been privy to the for- the United States is contemplating ship-
will be these to cover the events. And tune of gazing upon its tremendous visage ping '500 million to Africa to help them
inevitably over-cover thei. in my 21 years. But I hope to go there, out with some stuff Why not ship some of
The popularization of certain plights of when it is safe. For every terrible instant that fat cat of cash to Lithuania so they
specific groups occurs as a direct result of and inoculation of horror that occurs in can buy themselves a soccer team and.
media-related propaganda making larger Lithuania feels like one of my limbs is global respectability?
news stories out of events than they truly being torn off and dragged behind a raging Palestine and Israel's plight may not
are. In-depth coverage of certain events stallion. My Lithuanian colored blood be bringing them World Cup champi-
inevitably excludes other notable events and stains the ground as my arm is towed by a onships or incredible ratings in the digital
situations. The Coalition to Defend Affir- wild steed. Oh, the stains and horror. garming emporium, but it is bringing them
mative Action and Fight for Equality By The crisis in Lithuania first came to ink and plenty oit.
Any Means Necessary truly deserves no my attuned senses in the Fall of 2000, Now is the time to champion a new
more press than anything else, yet through and the burden has been resting on my cause, the cause of the Lithuanians, the
constant whining, complaining and heart heavily since then, squeezing at my cry of a nation whose FIFA team managed
bemoaning, they find themselves being soul. While playing FIFA 2001 by EA a paltry 0-6-2 record in the World Cup
written about often. Too often. Similarly, Sports, I naturally gravitated toward my qualifying season. Raise your arms and
the level of crisis occurring in the Holy home people, the Lithuanian national praise the glorious colors of the Lithuan-
Land leads to its own overexposure destroy- team, only to find that they (along with ian flag and feel the mercurial beating of
ing the plights of other countries deemed Lebanon) were rated horribly. In fact, the heart of a nation and a plight less than
not as important' by the powers that be. Lithuania and Lebanon were the two popular.
And so the plight of the Palestinian people lowest ranking teams in FIFA 2001. Even Follow me, follow me to freedom!
gets popularized, much like the beguiled after I had created Grandpa Rasikas to be
moaning of BAMN locally and exposure the Lithuanian team's star mid-fielder, Lukeulih ccxx heruechedut
increases to a frenzied pitch, leaving true there was still no hope for the dastardly lukems~um(riiich.edu.

el was able to achieve in the
I arena are the attitudes
by various Arab states
rrorism in the aftermath of

I irvhiz is a fitiucersit ehaum
u mdrnceen/ir Of'isxiran.
Movuenment /ior-[vsxael.

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