Letters to the Editor 4/4

Check multiple sources to get all facts

The theater of war has become just that — a theater. It is a 24-hour mass propaganda tool, headed by people who use the media to express their personal opinion on the war and treat it as fact.

They stand to gain from this by turning war, death, chaos and destruction into entertainment and money. For example, Bob Wright is chairman and CEO of NBC. He is also vice president of General Electric Co., a company that manufactures military vehicles, engines, weapons and other types of technology. GE will obviously make a huge profit from war — past, present and future. Obviously, it will sell this war in such a way that war is nice, clean and, most of all, a needed, heroic thing.

Besides the military-profit/motive connections, there has been a media blackout on reporting and/or showing civilian casualties. What has been seen has been mere blips of information. Judging from all the major news channels, one would assume that there have been minimal civilian casualties.

However, the foreign media are not as biased, and judging from their information, this war is taking a serious toll on the Iraqi population. In fact, judging from foreign and independent media sources, one can contradict almost all claims by American media and government concerning weapons of mass destruction, civilian targets, who-bombed-who, etc.

Chemical defense suits and training manuals were found, and the media report a cache of weapons of mass destruction was found. Even Hans Blix has said this does not mean weapons of mass destruction (ABC Online). Of course not — they are for protection from our weapons of mass destruction. A Kuwaiti mall rocked by a missile — I haven’t heard the reports that state that it was, in fact, a U.S. cruise missile (New York Times). The list goes on.

I implore you, whether you are for or against this war, to get the facts correct. Please visit , which contains constantly updated links to news stories from around the world. Before you can truly decide, you must get the facts from both sides, not the ones who stand to profit from death and mayhem.

Anthony Schmidt is a sophomore majoring in anthropology.

War in Iraq legal, despite claims

This letter is in response to Jack Huesman’s assertion that former U.N. resolutions provide authorization for our current war in Iraq. Mr. Huesman, there are a few legitimate arguments backing our war in Iraq, but the legality of it is not one of them.

You claim that resolutions 678 and 1441 provide the necessary framework for an invasion. This is contrary to the opinion of most international law experts and lawyers who unanimously agree that military action without a second resolution to 1441 is clearly a violation.

In the case of resolution 678, passed after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, it contained the key phrases “all necessary means” and “all necessary measures” to remove Iraq from Kuwait. Without doubt, this resolution provided the necessary legal language for military action for the removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, but the merits for military action were assumed nullified after the passing of resolution 687. Resolution 687 was a ceasefire agreement that ended the 1991 Gulf War and drew up the conditions under which Iraq had to comply. But nowhere in resolution 687 does it authorize military action for noncompliance. Proper measures of enforcement of 687 would have to be brought before the Security Council for approval. Resolution 687 did not contain the “all necessary means and measures” phrase required to authorize military action.

The same can be said for resolution 1441. Nowhere in 1441 does it permit the use of military action for enforcement. Instead, it uses vague terminology warning of “serious consequences” for noncompliance. France and Russia have strongly stated that they did not mean the threat of “serious consequences” to mean military action without a second resolution.

This is the reason President George W. Bush said he was going back to the United Nations after resolution 1441, for approval of military action to enforce it. But he didn’t do it to avoid the political humiliation and ramifications of its certain dismissal.

Chad Lallemand is a senior majoring in political science.

Technology taking away mechanic choice

While I was getting my car repaired, I discovered the growing trend in the auto industry to force consumers back to the dealership for repairs.

How? Simple. Making EULA (End User License Agreements) for software in “smart cars.” In essence, you will never own the right to make the car operate; hence you will be forced to go to the dealer for repairs.

Why can’t I take it to the family mechanic we have used for years? Because the tools to analyze and repair the vehicles are becoming more and more non-standardized, forcing the small garage to purchase individual software licenses and tools for each model, perhaps each model year, all at inflated prices.

Here’s the scenario — you’re on vacation, driving through a town a few hundred miles from home, and your “service engine soon” light comes on.

For the sake of the discussion, let’s say that your car is two years old with 44,000 miles. You should still be under warranty except that you’ve exceeded the mileage limitation. Understanding the warranty situation, you stop at a store and, using a local phone directory, call the shop with the most attractive advertisement. Upon arrival at the shop, you discover that, except for routine maintenance, the shop you’ve chosen is equipped only to service and repair “Generic Motors” vehicles, and are unable to address the problem with your “high-end” Japanese automobile.

You end up in a rental car, and your 2-year-old “high-end” Japanese car gets towed 45 miles to the nearest dealership. Far-fetched? Not at all.

Situations exactly like this are occurring with more and more frequency due to the withholding of repair information and tools by the manufacturers. This is being perpetrated through political and economic means and threatens to completely reshape the automotive repair industry.

Why haven’t we heard about this before? The automotive industry advertises on almost every newspaper, television and radio station. Do the math.

Kenneth Dieppa is majoring in electrical engineering.