Click to read about the best places to eat on campus, freshman packing tips, and how to keep in touch with friends.

Letter to the Editor 10/31

Bin Laden’s actions are ‘irrational,’ ignorant

I feel compelled to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about Al-Arian, bin Laden, and our attacks on the al-Qaeda networks because I feel that certain arguments being made from the left are not rational.

Mr. Walter Lewallen, I would just like to say that I definitely hear what you are saying in your Oct. 22 letter to the editor. Yes, there are some poor decisions and actions being made in terms of certain freedoms (at least on a professional level); however, I would venture to say that the fear of retaliation by ignorant students and faculty is justifiably enough to put Al-Arian on suspended leave with pay. It’s an action of safety, and that’s all it is.

I simply cannot put faith in the thought that this is some conspiracy to have Al-Arian “gagged.” That is simply not the case, as Al-Arian could probably go on discussing the nature of all this elsewhere – with the addendum that his thoughts are not necessarily the views of USF. I think that Al-Arian’s freedom of speech is still free to use, and I simply have heard nothing to the contrary.

But allow me to also tackle a bigger issue at hand – the terrorists themselves. Last week, I read two promising articles of what is the majority of American opinion. These were not articles simply calling for the blood of Afghans.

Anyone who is even marginally humanistic realizes that this is the opinion of neophytes and will not fly with our consenting majority within our democracy.

Trey Powell, in his Tuesday letter to the editor in The Oracle, and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, are expressing what is true about our would-be thwarters.

Powell postulated that bin Laden and the Taliban were “irrational.” Can anyone really present evidence to the contrary?

For the past five years in dealing with bin Laden as a terrorist, America has been informed of bin Laden’s “flavor of the week” excuses on why he has been committed to his terrorism – by the man himself. But as Friedman succinctly expressed about bin Laden, bin Laden “offered no vision of the future” in his prior fatwahs and statements released to Al Jazeera television.

When bin Laden actually expresses what he foresees will happen as Americans – particularly the Christian and Jewish “infidels” – are murdered, I might change my mind. But to this point, what has bin Laden offered as positive effects for his reign of terror?

One can search hard and search deep through the literature and periodicals, but I don’t think one can find one redeeming end to bin Laden’s “mission.”

There are simply no epiphanies to be discovered in a man that lacks all reasonable forms of rhetoric to justify his murders – the bottom line of his intolerable actions.

Osama bin Laden and his constituents who share in his ignorance and lack of vision need to be dealt with swiftly and with tact to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible. He has proven time and time again that he simply will not rest until he has his “way” – whatever cause he is trumpeting at the time.

I ask the readers this one question. If bin Laden, after tremendous acts of terror, has yet to offer any visionary and positively prophetic visions of the future, is this a man that the world wants to “lead” an entire religion? I would hope that many would say that it is time to end the figurative hijacking of a religion that many practice and place faith in properly.

  • Jared Schaeffer is a USF student.