Letters to the Editor 2/10

It’s time to realize Iraq won’t cooperate

I think it is about time people use their heads and realize that Iraq is never going to cooperate with the United Nations inspectors and is in material breach of U.N. Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441, which was unanimously voted upon by the U.N. Security Council, called for severe consequences if Iraq were to be found obstructing inspections, or were not fully truthful in their declarations.

Hans Blix has said in previous months that Iraq’s declaration was not complete. It neglected to show that they had destroyed any of the chemical or biological weapons that the United Nations knew they had some five years ago.

This declaration proves nothing more than Iraq and Saddam’s consistent attempts to put a blindfold over the eyes of the world community when trying to view the weapons of mass destruction that they have at their fingertips.

Secretary Powell made the case for the world to see. Iraq is and has been in material breach of Resolution 1441 since the day it was adopted. France wants the United Nations to raise the bar for inspections even higher and give Iraq another month or so to come clean.

What France is asking for is absurd. Basically what they are saying is, let him try to jump over a bar 12 feet high when they couldn’t even jump over a 3-foot bar in the first place. I applaud the French and Germans for trying to promote peace in the world, but they need to wake up. Iraq is only going to use those extra months to hide their chemical weapon stockpiles even further.

Iraq, in their own defense, could only stoop so low as to call Secretary of State Powell, one of the most well-respected men in the world, a liar, saying that the information he presented was fabricated.

I find it absolutely insulting that Mohamad Alduri, the Iraqi U.N. Representative, could refer to Saddam Hussein as “his excellency” and to Colin Powell as a liar in the same sentence.

Samuel J. Nirenberg is a senior majoring in political science.

Tampa should have postponed Gasparilla

I am saddened by the tragic events of the space shuttle Columbia. The space shuttle represents a symbol of America and how far we have come. Today, we take space travel for granted. Just about 50 years ago, it was unheard of. We hear about space travel regularly and yet we ignore it until something tragic happens. Astronauts are some of America’s great heroes. I pray for the families and those seven astronauts who lost their lives, and I pray more for those people who attended Gasparilla. You see, Gasparilla was on the same day of the shuttle explosion, a day where “pirates” invade Tampa Bay and people who attend get drunk, yell and show their breasts for an eight-cent “Made in China” string of beads.

That’s fine with me, but I am angered that the event still went on. Feb. 1 should have been honored as a day of mourning a great loss to this nation. I am ashamed how the mayor of Tampa, Dick Greco, handled the situation.

I am not against the event by any means, but any celebration on the same day as a national disaster is inappropriate. At the same time debris was falling over the state of Texas, confetti was dropping over Tampa. What bothers me more is Greco’s response to the event. He claims that the parade already started and that the event could not be stopped. So let me get this straight, if a man has sexual intercourse with a woman and the woman says “no” during the middle, then it’s okay. Come on people. Then, there were the worries of riots occurring. Don’t we have more class than that? We showed the nation how we handled a Super Bowl win, but we can’t show some respect on a day of tragedy? Gasparilla should not have been portrayed as being a more important event, but it was. The parade should have been rescheduled for another day, but the only thing on Dick Greco’s mind is money. The parade has insurance for weather purposes, but not for a “natural disaster,”and Greco didn’t want to lose all the money invested in the city.

What irks me more is the foolish responses of people who attended the event. Such as “the disaster happened in the morning” or “who cares, it’s Gasparilla.” Give me a break. Have we lost our dignity? I believed that Tampa was a city that had class. Boy, was I wrong. What makes matters worse is that Greco stated that “moments of silence” were to be made every 30 minutes. People didn’t even know there were “moments of silence.” Why? Because there weren’t any. The tragedy was not announced at all during the entire event.

Vicken Mouradian is a junior majoring in managing information strategies.

INS regulations segregate immigrants

The current Immigration and Naturalization Service’s regulations and rules that apply only to people of Muslim, Middle Eastern and South East Asian nations are neither civil nor equal.

Our nation needs us now to remind it what civil rights and equality truly mean. Currently our government, the Bush administration, is “fighting terror.” Consequently, so are the media.

We see constant images of an uncivilized, underdeveloped mass of third world citizens whose only wishes are to raise children to blow themselves up. If you agreed with any of these stereotypes, you are prejudiced.

Sadly, the United States government is not much better informed about Islam and Arabs than some of its citizens. This may be why, if you are Muslim or Arab, your unalienable civil rights are currently unavailable and inapplicable.

The current INS regulations are segregation at its best. The prejudice of the INS agents “who are just doing their jobs” of humiliating, discriminating and stereotyping all those with olive skin or a Muslim name is hypocrisy at its best.

What about our USF colleague from Syria who was arrested when he registered with the INS only one day late? Will we deport him?

I hope we give him the chance to learn the democracy and justice we are trying to spread in his heart and nation. It’s the same democracy that we are willing to enforce around the world, sending our loved ones off to die. But we are suddenly unwilling to teach democracy.

It’s the responsibility of the host nation to communicate its desires effectively. The INS has only created fear and anxiety among law-abiding citizens and guests. May we never experience feeling unwelcome in our nation founded on liberty and equality for all. Why then was this great nation of immigrants built?

Aya Batraway is a junior majoring in mass communications.