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August 04, 2003 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-08-04

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 4, 2003 - 5
When the "caf' is away

Memo does not
belong to Kauffman
I wish to clarify what I said
when asked by a reporter about
the original memo that seems to
have started much of this (Intel-
lectual fraud trial against 'U' post-
poned, 7/28/03). I agreed that the
original draft was written by Pro-
fessor Kauffman. By the time it

reached me I said that "I had
madeno substantial changes in
the memo." I understand that my
other two colleagues that signed
the final memo made changes. In
any case the memo was not, in
my opinion, a proprietary pro-
posal belonging to Professor
Kauffman and certainly not after
the other three of us signed the
final memo.

Bush botches war on terror

Bush cha
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Syria asd
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sneaked t
ligence o
does not
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Saudi Ara
the 9/11
those who
words, th(
really con
neither wi
began to
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an explos
the 5th F
heaps of i
in custody
and Osam
them ove

BY JOSEPH TORIGI A e declined. Why? Because the Iranians
wanted in exchange the handover of
ng 'em on." And so President members of Mujahedeen Khalq, an anti-
allenged Fedayeen and Qaida Iranian terrorist cell. The United States
n Iraq to fight against U.S. labeled them terrorists, and the group
Vhile brazen enough to inspire targeted Americans, but the United
fate accepting this hubristic States chose to leave them be because of
of the gauntlet, itsis unsurpris- a desire to have another tool against
he context of a conservative Iran. Where is the "moral clarity" of
ration that prides its lack of using terrorists against a regime that
toward human nature and a offers help? Apparently the administra-
almost theological tempera- tion's right/wrong ideology only counts
ts war on terror. Yet an admin- if the policy is wrong.
hat seems to be pulling out all The administration has yet to par-
on its anti-terror quest made take in the "idea" war. The Islamist
rrors that stem from interna- scholar Sayyid Qutb developed a serious
sperceptions and a consequen- terrorist ideology. Madrasas spout hate-
pplication of overly simplified ful rhetoric in the absence of a secular
while exercising almost crimi- response. As the writer T. H. White
igence and unconstitutional writes, "Jesus did not turn the disciples
on the homefront. into stormtroopers, burn down the tem-
itform of the anti-terror foreign ple at Jerusalem, and fix the blame on
de is the black/white claim of Pilate." Ideas are cheaper and more
with us or against us." The moral thanmilitary solutions.
tration has also claimed that Os to the homeland. The ways I
acy is essential to a stable have been asked to personally fight ter-
relationship. But the admin- ror are to follow the Smokey-the-Bear-
sbee coddling sinister dic- like color system and spy on others for
Scompromised by terror in suspicious activity. The administration
g and Saudi Arabia, while should be requesting money. The Trans-
potentially valuable support portation Safety Administration cut bag-
m gage screeners and air marshals. The
Iran. n-Afghaista, the - Director of the Emergency Responders:
ed a corridor for Pakistanis 5 Drastically Underfunded, Dangerously
shile thousands of al-Qaida Unprepared Project said, "The United
indicates that Pakistan's intel- States is not doing enough, and it would
rganization has been able to be a terrible, terrible tragedy if it took
rizadeniorhasobesabeu5t another disaster like 9/11 to drive that
inLaeformtheU ntdhStas, point home." Dan Benjamin, a former
inform the United States National Security Agency aide, has said
concessions they swindle for Bush has done no "bureaucratic head-
he "search." The section on banging" to end interagency rifts. The
ibian support for terrorism in lack of an intelligence center led U.S.
report was censored by the Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas) to say, " .
ration, despite statements by there is more confusion than clarity.
have seen it that no sensitive
is present. Eves with harsh Surely almost two years after 9/st ... we
is administration has yetsto could come up with one consistent
frot these countries who are watch list." Yet amidst this negligence,
ithus nor against us. Kate Martin of the Center for National
9/11 the Syrians, who have Security Studies still says, "Major anti-
yad infiltration of al-Qaida terrorism resources have been used to
upply the United States with identify, intimidate and deport thou-
of files on the group, hoping sands ... no more than a handful ... had
new chapter in relations. Its any connection to terrorism."
nce chief offered to limit As for Osama bin Forgotten, who
in exchange for a back chan- escaped capture at Tora Bora
he CIA. Syria even helped stop because of the administration's fear
ive-laced glider from hitting of putting boots on the ground, still
leet headquarters. Yet the runs free. Bush's response? "I truly
tion chose confrontation over am not that concerned about him."
ntel. on Qaida agents. Iran has Bring 'em on. Uhoh.

m hey say that if
you want to suc-
ceed in Wash-
ington, you should
show up to work first
and leave last. I think
there's a few reasons
for this: First, hard
work does pay off. Sec-
ond, there might actual-
ly be some truth to the saying that 90 percent
of success in life is just showing up. But the
third reason is that Washington is a city
where power matters more than in any other.
I've only been to the nation's capital twice,
but I have a feeling that when you're not at
the office there, your co-workers and under-
lings are more likely to commit Machiavel-
lian acts to gain leverage and power.
All this probably applies to workplaces
across the country to a certain extent, but I
think things are more serious in Washington
than the rest of the country, seeing as it is full
of ambitious, powerful people who love poli-
tics. All of this is even more applicable to the
White House. In any administration, it's a
tough building to work in, and you always
have to be on your toes. But things have got
to be nuts in the Bush White House. Neocon-
servatives, traditional conservatives, realists
- people extremely obsessed with power -
populate this White House. There are no
touchy-feely liberals at 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue right now. Everyone has sharp teeth,
and no matter who you are, you should
always be keeping track of how things stand.
The president is starting a month-long
working vacation at his ranch in Texas. This

bothers some people because they feel that
the president doesn't deserve such a long
break. President Clinton worked like a gradu-
ate student 365 days a year. While Bush's rel-
atively easy schedule that permits time for
daily exercise stands in sharp contrast to his
predecessor's, his aides are correct in saying
that because of modern communication tech-
nology, the president can conductpresidential
business from the Crawford ranch. The prob-
lem is that while the ranch probably has great
phone service, when the president is there,
he's not in the office. And a month is a long
time to be out of the office, especially if your
office is in the White House. Some of Bush's
officials are really creepy and need to be
watched at all times. Condoleeza Rice and
Colin Powell can't even keep control of Rove,
Ashcroft, Rumsfeld and especially Cheney
when Bush is in town. That's why he's so
much weaker than President Clinton was.
Despite an unfriendly Congress, Clinton
was able to avoid imposing the damaging
steel tariffs or signing anything as ridiculous
as that farm bill. I had the sense that he actu-
ally ran the country. Even though Bush
should be a giant now because he's a wartime
president, he's never been able to exercise his
veto - even when he's wanted to.
Then there's the vice president. Let's not
forget how he became the vice president. He
was supposed to find Bush a running mate,
and he chose himself. Before Sept. 11, he did
things like crafting the nation's energy policy
in secret. Only a few days after the attacks,
The New York Times reported that on Sept.
11, the vice president "told Bush to stay away
from Washington, ordered the Congressional

leadership evacuated, dispersed cabinet mem-
bers to emergency shelters, and urged Mr.
Bush to direct fighter jets to shoot down any
rogue airliner that threatened the Capitol or
the White House."
What I found most significant about the
Niger-Iraq nuclear flap is that Cheney knew
the 16 words weren't true because he told the
CIA to go check it out. He was the one visit-
ing the agency and intimidating its agents
into finding (or manufacturing) evidence to
support the administration's case for war. I
can't for the life of me imagine a situation
where Bill Clinton would allow Al Gore to
have such influence over a decision to go to
war. Some people say that Clinton was a
micromanager; I think he just wanted to
know what was going on.
In his book "From Beirut to Jerusalem,"
the oft-quoted journalist extraordinaire
turned columnist extraordinaire Thomas
Friedman writes that he learned that in the
Middle East, the people he was able to talk to
often weren't worth talking to. He says, "It's
the people who won't talk to me whom Ireal-
ly want to meet" During his recent press con-
ferences, Bush has babbled a lot of nonsense,
such as blaming the bad economy on the
cable networks because they talked so much
about the war in raq- a war that many cyn-
ics felt was partly waged to distract people
from the bad economy. This silliness is not
important, but what is important is who does-
n't speak to the press - the vice president.
He doesn't take month-long vacations either.
Pesickcan be reached at

The passionate centrist

t the end of
summer and
onset of fall,
pundits are gearing up
for the Democratic
presidential primaries.
Recently, columnists
have churned out a
slew of articles profil-
ing, criticizing and praising the candi-
dates. Rating the candidates, writers have
given the health insurance gold medal to
Kerry, the centrist medal to Lieberman
and the leftist medal to Dean.
Absent from all this politicking, howev-
er, is discussion on the Democratic strategy.
Aside from TIME magazine's "How to
Build a Better Democrat' no columnist has
provided a comprehensive or innovative
view of the identity Democrats need to
assume in the coming election.
It seems each party is having an identity
crisis. George Will, the conservative colum-
nist for the Washington Post, stated, "For-
eign and domestic developments constitute
an identity crisis of conservatism, which is
being recast - and perhaps rendered inco-
herent." In an effort to broaden their image,
Republicans created an unassailable fagade
of "compassion," claiming to be "for" all
those typically overlooked by the system:
the elderly, minorities, the poor.
A cue for Democrats: To broaden your
image, embrace the idea of passionate cen-
trism. A 1997 USA Today story quoted
then Governor of Vermont Howard Dean as
calling himself a "passionate centrist." A

cursory look at his governorship proves this
to be true. And so, Dean's success, both as
a governor (he's won five consecutive elec-
tions) and a presidential candidate, is based
on impassioned moderation.
Uncannily, pundits label Dean both as
a moderate and also an inflammatory
zealot. And this has been the key to his
success, his ability to reject the claim that
liberals are quixotic coupled with his abil-
ity to inspire party activists.
Currently, Dean's leftism has brought
him notoriety, but be prepared to see the real
Dean stand up soon. His call for universal
healthcare, a call that has liberals lining up
to support him, is actually based on a system
of tax breaks and "buying into a government
plan." Dean supports tax breaks for corpora-
tions to pay for employee health insurance:
"Business tax deductions [are] part of a
compact between American taxpayers and
corporate America." Other Democrats, like
John Kerry, have followed suit in an effort to
control costs while purporting the idealistic
notion of universal healthcare. (Dean's
healthcare efforts have largely worked in
Vermont, which can tout one of the nation's
best health insurance programs.)
Consider Dean's statement on the death
penalty: "I believe the death penalty
should be available for extreme and
heinous crimes, such as terrorism or the
killing of police officers or young chil-
dren." Capital punishment does not receive
Dean's unfettered support; he backs the
Innocence Protection Act, intended to raise
the bar on prosecution procedures. But he
remains passionate about his pragmatic

approach, appealing to the emotional side
of the death penalty (note the reference to
national security and family values in the
aforementioned quote) but realizing the
reality of our judicial proceedings.
During his tenure, Howard Dean has
cut taxes and proclaimed states' rights in
gun control. Yet, he has remained a true
Democrat on time-honored issues, on
expanding a broad slate of social programs
and endorsing paid family leave. He has
balanced the budget and maintained popu-
larity. How? "By engaging moderates,
Democratic and Republican. By rejecting
the agenda of the extremes, including his
own party," according to a 2000 editorial
in the Burlington Free Press.
This is not an endorsement of Howard
Dean. He, like any politician, has his
flaws. Itsis very likely that John Edward's
appeal to the working class (Dean hails
from a heritage of investment bankers and
was raised on Park Avenue) or John
Kerry's strong stance on national security
are more politically advantageous.
Clearly though, Dean has been doing
something right, and this, if nothing else, is
a cue for Democrats to appropriate some of
his political mojo. A challenge for Democ-
rats: How do you speak in ideals (universal
healthcare, human rights, an improved edu-
cation system) and still retain those virtues
afforded to conservatives (resolute, fiscally
responsible and scrupulous)? Walk like a
pragmatist, but talk with passion.
Jeancan be reachedat

al-Qaida's 3rd-in-command
ia's son. Iran offered to turn
r, but the administration

Torigian is an LSA sophomore and a
member of theDaily's editorialboard.

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