Letters to the Editor 2/21

Politicking doesn’t work with Hussein

The following is an open letter to Joe Roma:

Before the Gulf War, President George H. Bush got a U.N. mandate to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. He was not authorized to take out Saddam Hussein. Had Bush attempted to do so, he would have violated U.N. charter. Several congressional Democrats threatened to impeach him if he tried. A reporter hinted to the president that not taking out Hussein could come back to haunt him politically. Bush said he doubted that anyone would attack him politically for abiding by international law.

He was wrong.

Many Democrats criticized him in the months after the war, including then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton. Today, with Gulf War II looming, the Democrats and you, Mr. Roma, are at it again: You hypocritically blame the first Bush administration for not illegally taking out Hussein and oppose the current Bush administration for wanting to do so legally. Why don’t you remind your readers that your stated goal in life is to be a $40,000-a-year shill for the Democrats?

You agree that Hussein is a monster who should be removed from power. You ask why it hasn’t happened sooner and the answer is, it should have. However, George H. Bush didn’t have U.N. approval. Clinton threatened to invade Iraq and the United Nations, including France and Germany, praised him precisely because they knew he wouldn’t follow through.

George W. Bush has U.N. approval, but now France and Germany are trying to renege, because they know W. would do it alone, if necessary, and this hurts their feelings. How do I know this? Bill Clinton said so. Besides, the French are buying cheap oil from Iraq and are selling Hussein military hardware.

A wise person said of the Sept. 11 hijackers, “Their hatred of us was greater than their will to live.” Mr. Roma, you claim to care about the lives of thousands of innocent Iraqis. I don’t believe you. I believe your hatred of the president is greater than your concern for millions of innocent Iraqis, Kurds, Turks, Israelis, even Americans. I believe that you, like many Democrats, can’t wait for the next terrorist attack so you can blame Bush –regardless of whether we are at war. There is nothing George W. Bush can do to convince you that war is necessary, just as there is nothing he can do to prevent you from bashing him later if he doesn’t carry out this necessary and justifiable war.

Scott Bernard is a senior majoring in electrical engineering.

Education money should stay in schools

Don’t get me wrong, I value classical music and think everyone should have the chance to enjoy one of the Florida Orchestra’s wonderful concerts. However, when the money for those concerts comes from the pockets of starvation-wage high school teachers, I find the music rather flat.

According to the Florida Orchestra’s flashy program brochure, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County public schools have each donated somewhere between $100,000 and $500,000 to the Florida Orchestra. Money that could have funded smaller class sizes or bought new textbooks has instead gone to entertain a mostly leisure-class audience of retired persons.

Should our public school administrators be spending a million tax-payer dollars on such projects? I counted fewer than five children at Sunday’s Dvorak concert. It’s a shame that more kids aren’t taking advantage of the orchestra, especially when it’s being funded at the expense of desperately needed classroom materials.

I hate to think how many other ways our education dollars are being spent.

Matt Barton is a graduate student.

Analysis is really just an opinion

This is in response to the article “Protesters don’t sway Bush’s stance,” published Wednesday, written by Rob Brannon.

The article was classified as a “news analysis.” I feel it would have been more appropriately printed on the Opinion page, as it is clearly biased against the peace movement.

The article is filled with incorrect information. Mr. Brannon states that the president has a good reason to dismiss protests because, “polls show most Americans are still in support of the president.”

I urge everyone to remember that statistics should rarely be accepted at face value. I’ve heard reports of a 54 percent approval rating for the president.

A little more than half is not most. Obviously, there are many different figures flying around here, so these polls don’t mean much.

Most people I talk to, both young and old, are at the very least suspicious of the president’s motives for war.

Mr. Brannon also quotes the President as saying that he “respectfully disagrees” with the protesters.

Apparently the president’s idea of respecting a difference of opinion is to strip us of our right to dissent at all. If you aren’t already aware of the Patriot Act, the Total Information Awareness System and the proposed National Security Enhancement Act, please do a quick Internet search to find out what’s happening to our rights.

Next, Mr. Brannon points out that, “even if five million Americans were to take to the streets, that still leaves about 275 million sitting at home.” This is a very weak argument. Just because people aren’t out on the streets, doesn’t mean they support the war.

Most people can’t afford to take time off from their jobs and families to travel to D.C. or New York to protest.

I know of many people, myself included, who strongly oppose the war but could not make it to a protest for whatever reason.

However, hundreds of thousands of Americans have, and no matter how you try to rationalize it away, that fact remains.

In response to the paragraph about Ari Fleischer pointing to protests that opposed administrative decisions that later turned out to be appropriate, such as World War II, all I have to say is Vietnam.

People are going to suffer and die in this war. Generations of both Iraqis and Americans will suffer the effects of nerve gas and radiation poisoning via cancer and horrible birth defects.

Rest assured, it will be our sons, brothers and friends coming home in body bags. Not Bush’s, Cheney’s or Rusmfeld’s.

For what? So that the oil executives who are among the wealthiest 1 percent of this nation can profit from the resources of a new American-military-controlled Iraq? They’ve already begun talks on how they’ll divide up the oil.

It makes me think of that bumper sticker that says, “If you’re not outraged, you aren’t paying attention.”

Kim Buckley is a senior majoring in environmental science and policy.