Clemm’s claims flawedThanks to Rob Clemm for reviving my favorite false dichotomy of President Bush, the “with us or against us” logic that shows all the deep thinking of a seven-year-old. While I personally do not agree with the actions of either the Canadian protesters or Saddam Hussein, I also do not agree with the crass militarism of George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

When they are not avoiding military service of their own or slurring drafted veterans along with Rumsfeld, they simply do an utterly incompetent job by failing to catch Bin Laden or Mullah Omar, failing to respond intelligently to North Korea — which represents a much bigger threat than Iraq — and yes, letting oil executives influence their policy. Yet, like Orwell, I am also not a fan of outright pacifism.

It is interesting, though, that a conservative would quote a man who volunteered to fight evil in Spain when his own conservative government in Britain — along with its American allies — preferred not to fight and instead simply made money selling supplies to Franco’s fascist regime.

As I’m sure Orwell would tell you, it is simply true that sometimes America’s leaders do not lead wisely, and it’s great when those who disagree use their freedoms and speak or act out on an issue such as Iraq, as have our NATO allies Germany and France.

In fact, France — when it is not doing much more than our Republican administration to stop the violence of “state-sponsored thugs” in Africa — holds a Security Council veto, and like the majority of the United Nations, opposes a war on Iraq, making it unlikely those Canadians are “hurting the U.N. forces” as Clemm claims.

It’s the plain truth that many more disagree than agree with the Bush administration on foreign policy issues like Iraq. Yes, some of them hate America, but not all. I wonder why? Pushing through what is an unpopular and perceived to be unjustified war may only increase their number and hurt not the U.N. but all of us in America.

Therefore it is not anti-American to think this issue through for yourself, even if Rob Clemm, Fox News or Ari Fleischer pressure you to “watch what you say,” because it’s what we do now that has important consequences for your future.–SEAN CROSTONCLASS OF 2004

Sex column out of lineI have been at this university for 4 years and have watched the addition and progression of the sex column. I have read a few that were borderline in appropriateness, but passed them off, because I believe in freedom of expression. However, the sex column in the last CT was entirely too graphic. It is one thing to point out medical terms and definitions, such as “vaginismus”, but it is going too far to give play-by-play instructions to masturbation and sexual positioning. I am the last one to say enough is enough, but if we go any further, I’ll be seeing photos and diagrams. In your efforts to educate and inform without censorship, please remember decency.–WYNESHA McDOWELLCLASS OF 2003

Peaceful solutionsThe article entitled, “Hatred of the U.S. real motivation for peace groups,” in the Thursday, January 23, 2003 Campus Times makes faulty parallels. The author complains that “peaceniks” did not take to the streets during Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, or when Scuds were raining over Tel Aviv. Why would “peaceniks” in the U.S. protest either event? Political protest and free assembly — both are pillars of any free, democratic society.

Protests almost always are centered about domestic grievances, like when the protesters’ government threatens action in disagreement with the protesters’ beliefs. They usually are not aimed at actions other governments or groups take. Why should it be any other way?

Using the author’s convoluted logic, any protester at a rally for peace in the Middle East must go also to all other peace rallies, must organize and assemble in the streets whenever peace is breached in the world. This logic is flawed. Protests, civil disobedience — they most often arise when the people are directly affected — as by military engagement by the U.S. in Iraq could spark more terrorist response, erode our international support and solidarity in the war against terror, etc.

As the article continues, it loses specificity. Is the author against all those protesting for a peaceful solution regarding Iraq? Does he deplore anyone refusing to work in a factory producing bombs to be used in possible war with Iraq? Does he mean all these people “hate” the U.S.?

Yes, I understand the author’s argument — that by protesting against a possible war in Iraq the “peaceniks” may help, or be useful to, Saddam Hussein, a ruthless dictator. But because someone protests invasion of Iraq, he is not de facto pro-Saddam. The article fails to examine why “peaceniks” protest, and instead leaps to the easy conclusion that anyone who is not with “us” — meaning supporting an invasion of Iraq — is for “them,” or Saddam Hussein and his camp.

The concluding remark, “It’s not oppression that motivates these groups, it’s simply hatred of the U.S.,” is most erroneous. The sweeping simplicity reveals ignorance, or closed-minded apathy, at a time when open debate is most needed, especially when thousands of lives may hang in the balance.–STEVE O’DONNELLCLASS OF 2003

Diverse viewsI am writing this to state an opinion on behalf of the Black Students’ Union. I have had some difficulty putting together the thoughts for BSU because we all don’t think alike. It is hard to generalize the views and perspectives of the people in this organization because they are all different. I would like to share with the campus community the fact that our membership doesn’t think alike, want the same things, and in fact not all of us are black. Instead of trying to put into words what the Black Students’ Union is, I am extending an invitation to other students and organizations to find out what we are about. BSU is holding a community dialogue on February 27 at 7 p.m. in the Welles-Brown Room. Contact BSU at anytime at urbsu@hotmail.com.–SHARIFA STEWARTEDUCATIONAL AND POLITICAL CHAIR, BSUCLASS OF 2004



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