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Letters to the Editor 2/17

Poll results show inadequate bias

How can you infer how an entire nation feels from a survey of just 1,001 adults? Well, you can’t, but ABC news and The Washington Post think you can. In their most recent poll, they have remarkable statistics stating that around 66 percent favor a war, and 74 percent feel good about how President George W. Bush has handled our “War on Terrorism.”

There is an extreme bias here. Besides not telling how these people were contacted, they use an insignificant number of 1,001 people to get the opinions of 280 million plus. Many anti-war activists don’t read corporate-controlled media, so if their sample was randomly based on news customers, the data is skewed.

Assumptions aside, this was a headline grabber. On the front page of last Monday’s St. Petersburg Times, there was a small headline that read something like: Majority support war, read more on 6A. This was meant so that people would read the headline and nothing more. Many other polls are like this, too.

None of these polls account for the millions of Americans who have participated in anti-war events across the country. Before you buy into this war rhetoric of false support, realize that all a 1,001-person survey proves is that 66 percent of these people have been brainwashed into thinking this war is a good thing.

Anthony Schmidt is asophomore majoring in anthropology.

Hussein has made war U.S.’s only option

I had the privilege of attending a lecture given by former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Though Ritter made many unsubstantiated accusations about the current administration and its administrators, he did make many remarks that I do agree with. For instance, Ritter mentioned many times throughout his lecture that the only way weapons inspections are going to be able to work is if inspectors could have unfettered access to all sites at any time that they wish. I completely agree with that profound idea. He also said inspectors need to be able to speak to Iraqi scientists with no Iraqi minder being able to listen in. Of course, this is something that the world community has been asking, for sometime now, and I would agree that those interviews are necessary.

There is just one subject matter that Ritter did not touch upon. That was the declaration that the Iraqi regime gave to the U.N. Security Council last December. It is my belief that there are two steps to the inspection process.

The first step is the declaration. This is where the Iraqi regime was supposed to make known to the world all their present and past weapons of mass destruction programs. After this full and complete declaration was made, then and only then could the second step begin.

The second step is the actual inspections on the ground. The purpose of these inspections is to prove that statements made in the declaration were the truth. The inspectors are not professional private investigators. They are nuclear biologists, scientists, chemists and weapons experts who are supposed to aid the Iraqi government in disarming itself.

If the declaration is not accurate, inspections cannot begin. Hans Blix himself has said that this declaration was not complete. The United Nations will lose all credibility if it allows such countries like Iraq to defy its every order.

Why should we as a world community waste our time negotiating the terms of disarmament with a government that doesn’t want to disarm? It is absurd. Saddam has made war the only option, not President Bush.

It is just a rule of law in my household, I don’t know if it is the same in yours. But I believe that if I wouldn’t trust a man to baby-sit my little sister, we shouldn’t allow him to make the foreign policy of this nation.

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