Letters to the Editor 10/15
U.S. policiesmust not alienate
In response to Simon Perng’s (Daily Bruin, UCLA) article in Wednesday’s Oracle, I strongly oppose his view that military action is the only way to combat the Sept. 11 tragedies, and I also disagree that “anti-war activists” are insensitive to the death and destruction brought about. If anything, such activists are more in tune with the bloodshed because they do not want to see any more innocent lives lost. The main concern of “peaceniks” is that war only creates more graves without fully addressing the complex policy issues at hand.
Unfortunately, those responsible for the actions took drastic measures to awaken our system to the many contradictory stances that we assume rather than publicly and rationally opposing our policies. U.S. policy must be reformed in a way that does not alienate certain factions to a point of retaliation.For example: bin Laden (the face we are recently associating with evil) and his soldiers have received money, training and equipment from our government; however, when their services were no longer needed they were discarded. Our policy supports China not Cuba, Israel not Palestine, Pakistan not Afghanistan. Where and how do we draw the line?
If we are to take a solid stance on issues such as terror, we must make the directive all encompassing rather than picking and choosing whom we will support rather than on bias alone. All the countries mentioned have severe human rights issues that dramatically differ from our ethical treatment of human life, so how can we even remotely side with one over the other?
I do not sympathize in any way with such organizations that support terrorism, but a broader approach is necessary rather than just dropping bombs. Remember Kosovo?
Ideally, we want to believe that our freedom was attacked; however, this does not justify why other free countries were not. The buildings that were assaulted should be a clue as to what these individuals are opposed to and why they didn’t just indiscriminately cause destruction. These attacks were not carried out by thoughtless people, as Perng claimed, rather by individuals who carefully observed our infrastructure and formulated a plan to attack and cripple our weaknesses while committing these acts in the name of “justice.”
A totally peaceful resolution may be asking too much, but only using military retaliation to respond will not deter events of this nature from occurring in the future. Deeper thought must be enacted by our government and thus spread to the populous.The loss of 7,000 hard-working Americans, who were forced to leave behind families and many friends, is a terrible tragedy and it must be vigorously dealt with, but more innocent death will only temporarily ease the pain while we wait for the next wave of destruction.
Progress on this issue must start at home to prove that the United States is a haven of fair and just thought, followed by actions that will weaken and eliminate all those opposed.
Basic politics and geography important
Every USF student and faculty knows that at the end of every semester, students are required to evaluate anonymously each of their courses without the presence of the instructor. A small number vent their anger in these evaluations. This is more true in required courses outside their majors.
About two years ago, an angry evaluation in my World Ideologies class, classified as an exit requirement course with many College of Business majors, complained in harsh words that the course was a “total waste of his time,” and it would do nothing for his business career.
He said that the professor talked and even tested us about countries “which I could care less about such places as Sir Lankey (means Sri Lanka) and Afbanistant (obviously meant Afghanistan).”
From saying “his,” the student was a male.
I assume this student has now graduated. It would be nice if he has the fortitude to write me an apology. I trust the Sept. 11 tragedy has not affected his life. If it has, I am not to gleam.
There have been a few other students in the past (one this semester) that criticized my courses because they deal with countries of no interest or use to them.
The United States cannot afford a college-educated citizenry that refuses to know and learn basic political events and geography.
On the positive side, for every one of these students, there are many that show a genuine interest and are appreciative of instructors who broaden the students’ horizon beyond the narrow confines of their daily lives.
Charles Arnade is a professor in the International Studies Department.