Letters to the Editor 2/20

Story wasn’t accuratein reporting facts

I very much appreciate your reporters covering the Latin American and Caribbean lunch talks that are providing a forum for discussing issues in that region. Ms. Suiters appeared to be a very conscientious journalist, but it turns out that in her final story, things that I did not say and that she apparently did not write appeared in print.

I did not say that discontented Peruvians now use “terrorism” instead of rebellion to combat bad government, although some would see it this way. I was also careful to draw a distinction between the actions of Sendero Luminoso and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), the latter being much less vicious in their behavior. The MRTA, an armed revolutionary group, tried to appeal to people’s sense of social justice, even if they did not find a great deal of support for their movement in the wake of Luminoso’s brutal use of violence.

Ward Stavig is an associate professor in the history department.

War protesters should stand behind words

To all the anti-war protesters on this campus: It’s time to put up or shut up. I am not an advocate of this war, as I truly believe countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan are doing a perfectly good job of destroying themselves and do not need our help in that matter. The leaders of these countries are delighted by genocide, mass torture, religious intolerance and love to play “terrorism tag” with each other.

The citizens of these countries are kept ignorant and poor. They are fed messages of non-national hatred by their governments from birth. The citizens who do, by sheer force of will, educate themselves on matters outside their country must keep their knowledge secret or risk being hunted down and executed. They do not have the option of vacationing in London, France or America, even if the trip did cost more than the average family in these countries makes in 10 years.

Now let’s look at what these citizens would have to offer the world if they were allowed to: a culture with a pure sense of decency and modesty, knowledge of how to make the best use of limited resources, exotic foods and sweets and colorful clothing made of simple materials and fine silks. If allowed, these men and women would be able to educate themselves and form their own opinions.

If they still think the rest of the world stinks, then good for them — it would at least be their opinion. Oh, but the anti-war protesters do not want to go to war because some people are going to die. Yes, this is true, but they are all going to die if the situation continues.Their inhumane leaders have weapons at their disposal that they do not want us to find out about.

And for the few who really believe this war is about oil and not the freedom of the people (I am talking about those of you prancing around campus giving speeches with bullet holes drawn on your chests): Make the difference. Get rid of your gas-powered car, stop using electricity in your home, stop using anything made of plastic and buy nothing unless it was made by hand (in the dark).

Or you can finish school and make a difference. Make a hydrogen or electric-powered car that does not look like a cartoon reject. Put it in a Firebird or a Mustang body. People will buy it. Push solar-generated electricity through the old-guard bureaucracy. Then you will impress me.

Anna Smelley is a junior majoring in biology.

Fox’s reality TV actually entertains

Reality TV isn’t so bad after all. In my opinion, Fox producers did a wonderful job in their latest work, Joe Millionaire. They thought of this great idea for a hit show, and America proved them right. The 20 ladies thought they were competing for a multi-millionaire, but actually the bachelor was quite the opposite. I thought that Melissa M. was after the money.

She did mention that “money talks” and as she didn’t know what garlic looks like, it seems she would not be fit for a simple lifestyle. Zora is very down-to-earth and gorgeous. She believed in miracles and in the end, her fairy tale had a happy ending. But we’ll have to watch the interview next week to see if Evan and Zora are really soul mates who found each other on a TV show.

Duc Luong is a senior majoring in accounting.

Students should treat campus with respect

I’ve been a student at USF for a little more than three years. I really enjoy attending this university, regardless of all the politics. In comparison to a lot of other universities, I think we have a lot to be grateful for.

There is one thing, however, that constantly bothers me, and that’s the way we treat our campus. It really disgusts me to walk around campus and see how dirty it can be.

The prime example is the Library. There has not been a single day that I’ve walked into the men’s bathroom or the cafeteria and found them clean. Every day, paper towels are thrown on the floor, toilet seats are stained and someone feels that it is incumbent to write the revelations he received the night before on the walls.

As a student and citizen of this campus (remember, this is Bulls Country), I ask all those who read this to kindly treat our USF with a bit of dignity and respect. Keep our campus clean. In the end, those who have been given the task of maintaining our campus, as well as everyone else, will be happier. Thank you, and God bless.

Musab Al-Yahia is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary sciences and chemistry.

War media coverage needs balancing

A few days ago, I heard that a group of Palestinians blew up an Israeli army tank, killing four soldiers. However, I was disappointed when I heard how the Israeli army retaliated. The Israeli army killed more than a dozen Palestinians and bulldozed several houses, forcing families out onto the streets. I didn’t hear any media outlet calling Israel’s actions acts of “terror.” The United Nations’ definition of terrorism is “killing civilians for a political cause.”

Using this definition, how could the media call any action by Palestinians terrorism when many incidents, such as the one above, target the military? By the same token, it is documented that Israel deliberately killed hundreds of (Palestinian) civilians including many children. Shouldn’t that be called terrorism?

Many media outlets, such as Fox and CNN, focus more on the Israeli victims than on the Palestinian victims, despite the fact that for every Israeli killed there are four Palestinians killed. Even in interview segments, we see more people who are pro-Israeli and anti-Arab (or anti-Muslim).

I encourage people to start doing some homework and realize that not everything the media tell us is true. Once people do that, they’ll start demanding more balanced coverage from the media.

Hamzah Mubrark is a freshman majoring in journalism.