Letters to the Editor 2/24

United States should examine own terror

This is in response to Gary Stanley’s letter Wednesday. Saddam Hussein is a monster, no doubt. Iraq has one-tenth the resources it did before the Gulf War. The “sanctions” you speak of are working, perhaps, not for their intended purpose. Or maybe they are. Iraqi citizens aren’t allowed vaccines, basic medicines, books, erasers. The list goes on, and it is disgusting.

This isn’t an effective way to stop Hussein. It is a form of silent genocide against the Iraqi population. How can a population rise up when we destroy its ability to survive? Murder is not an American ideal.

In 1988 Iraq gassed parts of its Kurdish population while Turkey slaughtered thousands of the same Kurds on its southern border. Yet Turkey continues to be one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid (think guns and ammo). It will also be used as a strategic army base in the looming war. Where is the U.S. outcry?

Your assessment of the war with Japan is interesting. The United States dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan, and when they surrendered we continued to bomb for days. Government estimates reached 80,000 dead per day. Nagasaki, Hiroshima and areas carpet-bombed by warplanes contained almost entirely civilian populations. Please don’t talk about the sanctity of American lives when we slaughter children, mothers and the innocent.

The best way to stop terrorism is to stop committing it ourselves. Think Latin America and the Philippines, to name a few. It is critical that the United States stops acting like it is the only power on Earth that matters. We do not own the world, no matter how many nations we annex or military bases we build around the globe.

It is time the United States adopted some genuine human fellowship, or in our lifetimes we will see tragedies that make the Sept. 11 attacks pale in comparison. This is not a threat; it is simply a reality.

Tyler Tolbert is a junior majoring in political science and studio art.

Conservatives aren’t necessarily wealthy

I’ll take mine in small denominations, please. I did not realize that being conservative meant I had loads of money. By the way, where’s my SUV? The only thing that “all of us conservatives” are fearful of is the way that some of you bleeding-heart liberals constantly try to push your socialistic, big government, high tax rate, weak national defense agenda on the rest of us.

But that’s okay, because I know you are shaking in your flip-flops. You see a conservative shift in our country, and it’s killing you. You see us push family values, and you cringe. You see us cutting taxes, and you weep. Frankly, I have aspirations of a better financial situation for my family and myself, but you would rather I stay in a lower income bracket because it means more dependence on you and the Democratic Party.

I sit and I listen to “some” liberals complain every day in every class. It is non-stop and gets to the point sometimes that the lecture (the education for which I am paying) goes by the wayside. It is interesting, though, that as soon as “we conservatives” bring up the facts, the subject changes. And as far as Iraq is concerned, what good is a U.N. resolution if it is not enforced? As Colin Powell said, “Force is a last resort, but it has to be a resort.”

I must end this now, as I need to meet with my financial advisor to review my extensive portfolio. Now where did I park my Excursion? Have you seen it? It’s the one with the gun rack in the back.

Scott Laster is a junior majoring in political science.

The time has come for Al-Arian to be fired

It is now fairly clear that there is some evidence that Sami Al-Arian is involved in supporting terrorism. I’m sure many people will stand up to say what an upstanding guy he is and how this is not possible. These comments sound vaguely familiar. Many times we have heard interviews from friends of the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer or the Columbine killers who all say, “He was a nice kid, kept to himself, didn’t bother anyone.”

I do feel sorry for Al-Arian’s family, because they did not choose this path, but are the ones most affected by this mess. My heart goes out to them. “But there is no evidence.” Yes there is. There must be evidence for him to be arrested and indicted. No matter how much you distrust the government or believe in conspiracies, people are not arrested in this country for no reason.

Here is my real complaint. Taxpayers’ dollars and your student tuition are paying for his salary and benefits. Let’s stop and think for a minute about that. Sami Al-Terrorist is getting a very nice salary, medical coverage for his family, a retirement package, and other benefits while many of the hardest workers on this campus get none of that. What do graduate students get? A very meager stipend and no benefits.

What do other personnel service employees (these include people with Ph.D.s as well as support staff who provide some of the most essential services to this university) receive? An hourly wage, no health coverage, no retirement, and no vacation or sick time. However, Al-Arian’s terrorist “charity” is funded by the surplus he receives from our payments to this university.

And do we have the guts to fire him? Maybe the faculty union is afraid that if Al-Arian gets fired, they could be next. Maybe they are protecting their own interests. People will scream and cry about “academic freedom” and their First Amendment rights. Those provisions allow for the freedom of ideas, not the freedom to break the law. Those provisions allow the protection from being jailed for voicing unpopular opinions. They do not protect you from being fired. If you called your boss a “big, fat, SOB,” you will be fired. Your First Amendment rights protect you from being imprisoned, but not from being fired. A job is a benefit, not a right. So let’s offer Dr. Al-Arian the opportunity to practice his terror somewhere else.

Bryan Tims is a USFalumnus who works in the biology department.