Letters to the Editor 2/27

Genshaft makes wrong decision

Surprise, surprise. The wicked witch of the south, a.k.a. Judy Genshaft, has broken her silence and once and for all “severed” ties with Al-Arian. She seems to have been waiting for this for a long time and, ironically, a few days after his arrest, she magically feels she has the moral authority to finally carry out her orders.

I have news for you Genshaft, or shall I call you Gensure, people see through your rehearsed rhetoric and hold you responsible for your decision. You may have thought that this indictment was your golden opportunity, but you have misconstrued the implications of your actions. The professor is still innocent until proven guilty, and what you did today will have horrible consequences for the university and also your moral conscience.

I find it hard to believe that I am living in America where people are convicted by the government and the media before they even get a trial. I find it hard to believe that I am living in America when there are obvious and malicious conspiracies by the government and its henchmen to silence and intimidate those who speak out against injustice.

I shed tears for the children of the detained men who ask “what was my father’s crime?” I shed tears for the wives of the detained men who are left cold and alone, now without a father figure and breadwinner for their children. I shed tears for the erosion of our civil liberties in this country that is supposed to be so great.

I call out to justice–loving people to stand in solidarity against Genshaft’s decision and realize that people’s lives, aspirations and dignity are being directly affected by this. Anyone who knows the families of these men is also confident of their innocence and has shown the utmost compassion and concern for them.

I think Sebastian Meyer’s column summed it up best when he raised the question about Genshaft’s role in all this: “Could it be possible that somebody in the U.S. government told her to keep it quiet while they investigate the matter? If so, it was no wonder that she did not want to talk to us.”

Layelle Saad is a junior double majoring in mass communications andinternational studies.

North Korea needs U.S. attention

The crux of the pro-war argument is this: Iraq is a threat that cannot be ignored. We are told that Iraq somehow threatens us and that we must neutralize this looming threat before we face consequences of greater horror than the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. My purpose in this letter is to raise a simple question: How is Iraq a threat? Are we really on the verge of being attacked with weapons of mass destruction by an impoverished country halfway around the world? Or are we being scared into pursuing a war that’s only benefit is to enrich the wealthy?

Can Iraq attack us directly with weapons of mass destruction? The answer to this question is a simple no. Iraq does not possess the missiles to deliver weapons across continents. Nor does Iraq have any incentive to do so. Directly attacking the United States would only invite massive retaliation and would certainly result in Saddam Hussein’s demise.

Then, can Iraq pass weapons of mass destruction on to terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, which could then use such weapons against the United States? It is possible that Iraq can supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. It is also possible that the United Kingdom can attack New York with nuclear weapons. The relevant question in both these cases is: How likely are these scenarios? Iraq is ruled by a secular nationalist dictatorship that abhors Islamism. All Arab countries, including Iraq, have, for decades, been fending off challenges by Islamist movements within their borders. How likely is it then, that Iraq would supply its opponents with weapons that it has spent years developing?

Colin Powell and other U.S. officials alleged that the most recent bin Laden tape confirmed a Saddam-Osama connection. The absurdity of these remarks is clear to anybody who listened to the tape. Bin Laden condemned Saddam and his regime as disbelievers — outside the fold of Islam. But, he also called upon all Muslims to resist an attack on Iraq, even if that means fighting with the disbelieving socialists of Saddam’s regime. The point here is clear:

Any connection between Saddam and Osama is not the result of a pre-existing alliance between the two, but rather a result of U.S. warmongering against Iraq.

A flimsy connection between Iraq and al-Qaida is no basis to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and kill tens of thousands of people.

In fact, an attack on Iraq is not likely to make us any safer, as it only lends credence to Osama bin Laden’s claim that the United States is engaging in a new crusade against the Islamic world. Attacking Iraq would only invite more terrorist attacks against us and would strengthen the support that these terrorist groups have in the Arab world.

Far more important these days is the threat posed by North Korea. Our diplomatic efforts should be focused on averting another Korean war which, most experts believe, would easily result in the death of at least 5 million people. In fact, intelligence experts also believe that North Korea may possess missiles that can reach the West coast of the United States. Imagine the devastation if a nuclear device was detonated over the city of Los Angeles? Clearly, there are more important things we should be focusing on.

Bisher Tarabishy is a senior majoring in biology.

Parking problem needs to be fixed

As a USF student who pays tuition and the $105 fee to park on campus, it angers me to see that our few spaces are being wasted on events having nothing to do with USF. Half of the Sun Dome parking lot is being used for a Hillsborough County science fair and, as a result, students who usually rely on parking in the Sun Dome lot are forced to find other spaces across campus.

This brings me to another problem: the lack of parking lots on campus. In the Cooper Hall/Sun Dome area, there are only three student parking lots, which do not come remotely close to holding the capacity that they should. Meanwhile, we have practically acres of land on Fowler Avenue serving no purpose except to grow sand dunes (which, by the way, looks so classy) and for old men to shoot golf balls.

I understand parking lots cost a lot of money to make, but don’t you think we could take some of the money we make on writing endless tickets to our students and possibly add another parking garage?

And while we’re on the parking ticket situation, it angers me to see that when I get to school everyday, there is someone always writing tickets. If students park in the wrong area because of the lack of spaces, we shouldn’t be forced to pay for a parking ticket because of this inconvenience. However, it appears USF is more in the business of making money than educating.

Kyle Simon is a freshman majoring in mass communications.