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Letters to the Editor 3/26

An open letter to our commander in chief

Dear Mr. President,

I was intrigued by the size of the supplemental spending bill you submitted to Congress on Tuesday.

You estimate that it will cost $75 billion for the first phase of the war to liberate Iraq (a.k.a. Destruction of the Axis of Evil, Part I). A quick calculation indicates that the “mother of all reality shows” will cost each of America’s 130 million taxpayers about $570 total. What’s more, each monthly installment of Operation Iraqi Freedom is going to cost each of us another $38.

In an effort to help my country, I would like to volunteer to collect these fees from my fellow students at USF. I figure that the collective student body here at Jihad University already owes Uncle Sammy about 21 million bucks, with another 1 1/2 million smackeroos due within 30 days.

By the way, Mr. President, I sure hope you can find some nuc-bio-chem residue somewhere in that ancient and expansive sandbox, or this exercise is going to seem terribly misguided. I’m not even going to mention the needless suffering experienced by both wounded American soldiers and innocent Iraqis who’ve been thrown into harm’s way.

On second thought, Mr. President, let me propose an alternative spending plan. Call off the war, bring our selfless and heroic soldiers home and let each American send you 50 cents. With those two quarters, you’ll be able to beat the $100 million you raised from corporate donors to get elected in 2000, and you won’t even have to promise Exxon-Mobil new oil contracts from a friendly Iraqi regime as part of the bargain.

Enclosed please find 50 cents, Mr. President. End this cowboy charade. I’ll watch Survivor if I want to see reality television.

Jerry Wright is a senior majoring in biology.

All letters strive to make same point

I have been reading the majority of the letters to the editor in The Oracle. In comparing them, I found these issues are less about our freedoms than they ought to be. It is more about anger and trying to impose your own personal beliefs on someone else.

In the name of fighting terrorism, we have slaughtered our Bill of Rights by letting our leaders institute the Patriot Act. Our executive branch is deciding our fate behind closed doors and ignoring the American public.

Instead of worrying about what freedoms we are giving up, we are making accusations based on word-of-mouth. We don’t care why almost everything that our president has done has been cloaked in secrecy. They shout from atop the hill that Saddam is an evildoer and that he has weapons of mass destruction. Why the government has been reluctant to acknowledge how it knows of these weapons is because 150 companies, including most of Europe, the United States and Japan, provided the components and know-how needed by Saddam Hussein in order to build atomic bombs, as well as chemical and biological weapons. What does this have to do with our freedom? We have the freedom to change our government, to voice our opinions and to learn from our mistakes.

The most important thing that we have to remember in these troubled times is that if we differ in opinions, it doesn’t mean we hate each other or that we are wrong. We are all human beings no matter what we say or believe. We all have freedoms, for now. Let’s listen, communicate and treat each other with respect.

Matthew Wills is a junior majoring in engineering.

War supporters have reasons, too

Every American should be completely offended by the political cartoon Thursday, as I was, whether they support the war or not.

By making the generalization that a “true-blue American patriot” does not use his or her brain is just as heinous a stereotypical slur as is calling all Muslims terrorists. The implication that in order to support the war, one must be ignorant, thoughtless and ruled by emotion is just as wrong as the implication that to oppose the war, one must be unpatriotic.

While there are always people who abandon reason for passion, there are also well-informed, thoughtful and patriotic people on both sides of this issue.

The people who do support this war thoughtlessly, based solely on hot-blooded emotions, such as anger and fear, are just as idiotic as the people who oppose the war because “peace is good” and “war is bad” but offer no realistic diplomatic solutions.

What makes all of these people Americans, whether their stance on the war is pro or opposed, well-thought out or based on feelings, is that they have the right to express their opinions. And they have the knowledge that their opinions matter in a democracy and have no fear of governmental retribution should their opinions differ from those of the administration.

That is the only generalization one could make about “true-blue Americans.” A generalization which, I might add, cannot be applied to Iraqi citizens.

Cara Sivils is a senior majoring in biology.