Letters to the Editor 2/14

War not good for America’s future

The future of American people is at stake. Iraq poses a great threat to peace. If action is not taken on Iraq, Americans will not have peace or security now or in the future, according to Colin Powell’s address to the United Nations. If America stands by, the outcome could be frightening. Invading and bombing Iraq will guarantee peace and security for the future of Americans.

Contradictorily, Powell’s address named Saddam Hussein’s violation of human rights as one of several reasons for attack. This statement entirely disregarded the thousands of civilians who will be killed and the numerous human rights violations that will occur if the United States proceeds to take action against Iraq.

Suspicions regarding Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction have led the iron fist of the U.S. Army toward preparation for attack, which the United Nations and several other countries heavily oppose.

Noteworthy enough, Hussein has never expressed concern for this issue or threats regarding the fact that the United States possesses weapons of mass destruction. First, the nation had to recover from the Sept. 11 attacks and the consistent thought of terrorist attacks. Then, the search for Osama bin Laden swept over the country until it was placed on the back burner and Hussein became the target of America.

The American people have endured enough, yet alone another war with an economic cost between 200 billion and two trillion. What about the future of America then? Germany and France are diligently working toward a peaceful resolution, an option the Bush administration seemed to skip. Iraq has agreed to further steps toward disarmament, but Powell and President Bush refuse to accept it. If peace is so important, why is it being refused?

The possibilities of terrorist attacks have heightened while the oppositions heat up. Powell stated the obligation of peace and security the United States has to its citizens, but will the U.S. Army achieve peace through bloodshed? If Iraq is invaded and Hussein and his regime are destroyed, will America and its future really be secure?

In his address to the United Nations, Powell said, “Saddam Hussein will stop at nothing until something stops him.” Sound like anyone else?

Stephanie Bolling is a junior majoring in mass communications.


Plus/minus system disservice to students

As a student at USF, I am outraged when it comes to the grading system.

In many other students’ opinions, the grading needs to be on a standard scale with no minuses or pluses. All of the negative and positive signs do nothing more than hurt the majority of USF students. For example, A’s get 3.67 points, whereas an A+ remains a 4.0. Yet, if one were to get a B- they could balance it out with a B+. Therefore, not helping A students at all. How fair is that?

Keeping the grading scale strictly to regular grades will help out everyone. It will make every class equal because not every teacher uses the plus and minus system, and it will keep grade point averages from sky rocketing, therefore, making everyone happy.

So, keeping to a standard scale will benefit everyone, and many people will back me up on that.

Amanda Evanicky is a freshman majoringin secondary education.


Diplomacy is way to avoid war

After reading the article on the front page of Thursday’s Oracle, I felt misrepresented in my portrayal as a pro-war demonstrator. While I support the Bush administration’s proposed handling of the Iraq situation, I am by no means an advocate of war as a means of settling disputes.

Obviously, diplomacy must be exercised and exhausted, lest the world revert back to a pre-historic stone age. However, there is a time and a place for diplomacy to end — that time is now, and the place is Iraq.

Twelve years of inspections (minus the four years beginning in 1998 when the inspectors were kicked out) have proved to have little impact on Saddam Hussein; he has not complied and must be dealt with militarily. War is not the first alternative. Rather, it is a last resort.

I attended the anti-war protest Wednesday, along with some of my peers, to show that the pacifists are not the only ones with an opinion on this campus.

Moreover, it would behoove the rest of this university’s students to take an active role in the politics of today by attending rallies or demonstrations to voice their opinions.

Jeffrey D. Oliveira is a junior majoring in political science.


Police know the laws and the definitions

I am writing in response to Thursday’s letter to the editor titled “MLK Vandalism more than mischief” written by Georgia Thompson. Thompson asserts that University Police did not take the vandalism of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. bust seriously and implies that such vandalism should have constituted a hate crime.

I am appalled that Thompson is attacking the position of the University Police and Sgt. Mike Klingebiel. I believe her feelings are misplaced and misguided. University Police have no reason to have taken this crime lightly. While this vandalism was most likely committed “to somehow show disregard for Dr. King and what he stood for,” this crime was against property, not a person. To question University Police for classifying a crime as a criminal mischief is wrong.

According to Florida Statute 806.13 §(1)(a), “A person commits the offense of criminal mischief if he or she willfully and maliciously injures or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism thereto.” It appears obvious that, by definition, the crime committed against the MLK bust — real property — was correctly classified as a criminal mischief.

Furthermore, Thompson is incorrect by saying that criminal mischief is a lightly taken crime. In fact, Florida Statute 806.13 §(1)(b) states that the punishment for such a crime can be as harsh as up to five years in prison, depending on the cost of the damage [FS 775.082 §(3)(d)]. I think spending up to five years in prison is certainly something not taken lightly.

Do not get me wrong, I agree with Thompson’s belief that the desecration of this bust is unfortunate and disrespectful. However, because the crime was committed against property, not a person, the law does not consider this a hate crime. Perhaps, instead of attacking the position of the University Police, Thompson should consider contacting her congressman and try to get the law changed so that hate crimes can be applied to crimes committed against symbolic property, such as the MLK bust.

Justin Keen is a senior majoring in business economics.

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