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Letters to the Editor 2/26

President is trying to sell war

President George W. Bush is attempting to sell the public a “War on Iraq” on the premise of national security. His assertion is that Iraq creates an imminent threat, due to its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction.

However, the truth behind the advertisement is that Bush needs a way to boost the nation’s economy for re-election in 2004. America will not willingly send its sons and daughters to fight and die so that we can drive our gas-guzzling SUVs at affordable prices and seize control of the global oil industry. As one of my professors so bluntly put it, “Unless you are willing to be drafted and go fight in Iraq, you shouldn’t support a war and expect others to fight it for you.”

A simple fact check of Bush’s story would make any person think twice about his motives. Senator Chuck Hagel says the CIA has, “absolutely no evidence,” that Iraq possesses or will possess nuclear weapons. All propaganda efforts by right-wing officials, such as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, to link Iraq to the Sept. 11 attacks have failed.

Henry Kissinger says, “The notion of justified pre-emption runs counter to modern international law, which sanctions the use of force in self defense only against actual — not potential — threats.”

Scott Ritter, the former marine who led extensive U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq, is “nearly certain that Iraq does not possess chemical or biological weapons.” Moreover, Iraq does not possess long-range missiles to deliver such weapons. The recent attack on Ritter’s character just happened to surface at a time when he’s publicizing his anti-war views. Coincidentally, the alleged Osama bin Laden tape surfaces to heighten our nation’s fears of terrorism and boost public opinion and support for Bush’s war.

Is power over the global oil reserve and Bush’s re-election worth the cost of war? Two hundred and fifty thousand United States’ troops could be deployed, risking thousands of American casualties and widespread illness from toxic chemical releases. Tens of thousands of Gulf War veterans are still suffering from the unexplained Gulf War Syndrome.

Here’s my take: If Bush’s intentions are sincere in his quest to ensure national security and rid the world of evil dictators then he would wait until the United Nations can prove these allegations instead of rushing into a war to meet his re-election deadline.

Whitney Serna is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.

Letter misrepresents Turks and actions

This is in response to Tyler Tolbert’s Monday letter to the editor. In his letter, Mr. Tolbert wrongfully claims that Turks slaughtered thousands of Kurds on their southern border in 1988. As a Turkish student, I would like to have couple of words on that.

First, he got the geography wrong. Turkey does not border any country on the south, but has a shore on the Mediterranean Sea. Second, I would like to ask Mr. Tolbert if he has ever been to Turkey, if he has seen a Kurd being slaughtered by a Turk and if he has credible evidence to make such claims. Let me be brief; my brother-in-law is a Kurd, and I have a little niece. So Mr. Tolbert, we Turks do not slaughter Kurds because they happen to be our brothers and sisters.

Concerning the U.S. aid to Turkey, you are wrong again. The $15 billion or so in U.S. currency is not totally aid. Only a tiny portion is aid, the rest is a loan. Recent estimates point out that Turkey will lose at least $20 billion in case of a war with Iraq, because its economy majorly depends on tourism.

Even though the terms of negotiation are currently being discussed in the Turkish parliament, I need not wait until a response comes out, because Turkey has already paid its dues in the Korean War, the Gulf War, and the war against Afghanistan by sending Turkish troops to support U.S. soldiers.

Finally, I leave it to the responsible American citizens to respond to your equally ugly accusations about the United States of America.

Aydin Can Aral is a Ph.D. student majoring in chemical engineering.

Al-Arian arrest seems long overdue

It has been nearly a year and a half since Sami Al-Arian first appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to address his alleged ties to terrorism, sending USF to the forefront of national attention. For that same period of time, we, as a university community, have been perpetually lied to by a man who claims to have no terrorist ties and to be a model professor exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. The quote “Damn Israel, death to all Israelis,” does not constitute academic freedom. It is racist propaganda.

We all have been told by Al-Arian’s supporters that Al-Arian is a good man and that the FBI has an agenda against him. Anti-Al-Arian advocates, people such as ourselves, have pointed to various tapes made by the FBI and evidence the FBI has collected for well over a decade to make the claim that he was, and is, anything but a good man. Al-Arian and his supporters have made the claim that if the FBI had such evidence, they would have arrested him years ago.

The truth of the matter is that if the FBI wants its charges to stick, it has to be willing to bide its time so as to not only get the “John Gotti,” but the whole family, i.e., the terror network, as well.

The time has come and the indictment is in. We are sorry, Sami, but the game is up. The only jewelry you will be wearing for the rest of your life is a prison bracelet and some shackles and rightly so because you are and always were a terrorist.

A spineless man who pays others to give their lives to take others.’ A man who will pay for his actions.

Al-Arian, meet the general population; general population, Al-Arian. Do us all a favor. Continue your hunger strike and save the taxpaying, freedom-loving population of this country some money. In the end, justice will be served. God bless America.

Samuel J. Nirenberg is a senior majoring in political science and Jeffrey D. Oliveira is a junior majoring in political science.