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May 07, 2007 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-05-07

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Monday, May 7, 2007
4 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

C, he Micbt-ganDailu


Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

S , Get Me The



The fact
that it's in
it's a bonus."


Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other
signed articlessand illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Worth the wait
Light rail important in region's renaissance
T he long-awaited commuter train connecting
Ann Arbor and Howell inched closer to real-
ity last Wednesday. At the Ann Arbor Ecology
Center Mayor John Hieftje reiterated that the plan is
on a three-year timetable. Although many were hoping
for progress to be made as early as this year, Hieftje's
statement is a reassurance that this important plan is

- Matt Allen, spokesman for
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on
the mayor's week-long conference
about pensions, as reported last
week by the Detroit Free Press.

Keeping promises
Bush goes through with veto; Congress must continue pressure

still a priority.
As planned, the train would
use existing tracks to allow
commuters to park their. cars in
Ann Arbor or Howell and take
the train, instead of the express-
way, to the other city. A similar
plan to connect Ann Arbor with
Detroit is also in the works.
The benefits of the new plan
for Ann Arbor would be two-
fold. First there would be a
reduction in traffic congestion
and standstills. Also, with less
traffic downtown, carbon diox-
ide emissions would be reduced,
something that should always
be a priority - especially for a
city like Ann Arbor. Less carbon
dioxide comes with the obvi-
ous benefit of better air quality,
helping the health of the planet
and city residents.
A commuter transit system
could additionally serve as a
valuahle model for the rest of the

state. If the Ann Arbor-Howell
train is a success, state officials
may finally turn their atten-
tion to building a comprehen-
sive mass-transit system in the
Metro-Detroit area, something
that remains conspicuously
absent in the region.
As Detroit struggles to rein-
vent itself in the aftermath of the
automotive industry's decline,
a commuter train to Ann Arbor
could be key to its recovery. Con-
necting Detroit to Ann Arbor
dually allows Ann Arbor resi-
dents and University students
an easy way to travel to events in
Detroit and brings some of Ann
Arbor's vibrance and youth to a
city that desperately needs it to
attract businesses.
If the Ann Arbor-Howell train
proves that public transit can
work, it mightbejust the thing to
help get Detroit hack on track.

After months of prom-
ising to veto any Iraq
spending bill that
included timetables, President
Bush made good on his prom-
ise last Tuesday. For a war that
has been mismanaged since
the start, the bill attempted for
the first time to bring organi-
zation into Iraq and a sched-
uled withdrawal of American
involvement. While this is the
misguided and counterproduc-
tive action from the president
that we would expect, until the
Democratic Congress finds a
way to end the illegal war that
it is funding, it has to share
part of the blame.
The battle over the Iraq
spending bill began with the
expectation that funds for
American troops in Iraq would
dry up by June of this year.
Although Congress's bill autho-
rized the additional funding
requested, it added a schedule
of goals that need to be met. In
classic form, Bush found this
more organized approach to be
an extra-constitutional micro-
management of the war, calling
the proposal "a prescription for
chaos and confusion." After his
veto, the House failed to get the
necessary two-thirds majority
to override the veto. Now, we're

back where we started.
Despite what the president
and many Republicans think,
there is nothing extraconstitu-
tional about aiming for accom-
plishment by a certain date. It
seems ironic that while many
Republicans argue for a tough-
er approach to the fumbling
Iraqi government, they oppose
a schedule for accomplishing
these goals and tracking Iraqi
If Republicans care so much
about things being extracon-
stitutional, then how about
considering that this war has
lasted more than four years and
cost billions of dollars but never
received a Congressional decla-
ration of war.
Additionally, those opposed
to the timetables argue that
Congress was just schedul-
ing a date for defeat. By their
logic, insurgents would mark
their calendars and wait out
the storm. And we all know
what happens then - the ter-
rorists win. But by Bush's logic,
everyone gets all the time in the
world to meet undefined goals.
That has a name - stagnation.
A fear of defeat should not be
an excuse to allow the U.S. mil-
itary and the Iraqi government
to drag their feet. Timelines

don't restrain the military; they
simply help ensure that prog-
ress isbeing made. You'll under-
stand if that's a foreign concept
to the Bush administration.
This bill has been seen as
a valiant effort to begin end-
ing American involvement in
the war in Iraq. But this isn't
strictly true. After all, Bush's
veto was widely expected. Was
this doomed bill just an election
ploy to make the Democrats
look like the opponents of an
increasingly unpopular war?
America doesn't need more
hollow action from Congress
- we've had plenty of that since
2003 - we need Congress to
force the Bush administration
to end an American involve-
ment that is only worsening
the situation. Sadly, there is no
magical cure to eliminate the
violence, rebuild the infrastruc-
ture and develop a unified Iraq.
And unfortunately, cutting off
funding completely may not be
the answer. But Congress can
continue to push for timetables,
work to internationalize the
effort and patch up the relation-
ships that Bush has destroyed.
Bush made good on his prom-
ise to veto the timetables. Can
Democrats make good on their
promise and end the war?




Editorial Board Members: Mike Eber, Brian Flaherty,
Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Wagner

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