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Letters to the Editor 4/9

Replacing one police state with another

Pardon my French, or shall I say, pardon my freedom?

Let me speak of the American spirit, the American way and pre-emptive intervention being the foundation of our society. Anti-American protesters fill the streets and grounds of our campus. Some call them anti-war, but I see them as disrespectful to the founders of this country.

After all, the United States was built by paving over the Native American civilization. So, tell me, what is so un-American about going into another country occupied mostly by people of non-European descent and over-throwing their government, only to establish a much superior U.S. oil regime? Nothing.

The United States is the intervening member of the world’s body. Pre-emptive intervention, to me, is the military term for rape.

I support my troops, and I appreciate the sense of security. Without them, we might have all perished in Saddam’s human grinder. God save us all.

Dave Gilbert is a freshman.

Phrase ‘anti-war’ has many meanings

People still do not understand that the peace movement is not pro-Saddam and anti-America. Making a claim like this is absurd and reflects one’s level of intelligence. We are against war because it is targeting innocent people, killing and maiming them. We are against this war because there are other solutions.

Saddam Hussein is a horrible leader, but he has not threatened us, and he was actually complying with inspections. But it takes time (two years for South Africa), and our president seemed to be in a rush for war. America’s impatience is sickening.

Some people face torture in Iraq, and the peace movement wants to see this end. Yet, people are also being tortured by our depleted uranium, our cluster bombs, our nightly air raids. These weapons are ripping people to shreds and shattering lives forever. I hope that for each drop of innocent blood spilled, a new terrorist isn’t born. The peace movement wants to see this end, too.

We could have toppled Saddam in the past by supporting the revolution, but we stood by and watched it get crushed. An oil-opoly is better than true Iraqi rule, and this is what’s hindering real social change in Iraq. That coupled with sanctions that empower Saddam and destroy the people.

I am an American, but I can’t be proud as long as I live in a country where bombing innocent people is seen as a heroic thing. They are not protecting my freedoms — this war only hinders them. I can’t be proud of being in a country that promotes terrorism. But, I won’t leave, because staying here is the only way to create a true change, and it’s only a matter of time before more and more people wake up. Please visit and

Anthony Schmidt is a sophomore majoring in anthropology.

Remarks from opposition unfair

I am writing to respond to the letter posted in this space last week by a campaign worker for one of my opponents. Last week, Mary Hodgson made comments in regard to my opinion of how USF has handled the Sami Al-Arian situation. She asked the rhetorical question “… is he saying that anyone who has dark skin or an accent that is not like his deserves to be taken off campus?”

I’ve been a leader on our campus for two years, the past one as your SG Senate President. I’m a member of the Black Student Union. I helped the NAACP organization on campus through a difficult budget crisis because of accounting issues. I worked with our current student body president to help develop a diversity task force in response to concerns from many of our Muslim, Jewish and African-American students in a post-9-11 world. I have worked so diligently over my time to help celebrate the wonderful tradition of diversity we have at our university. Words cannot begin to express my level of disgust at this statement, and the implication — it paints me as a person who I am not.

I have repeatedly tried to avoid a negative debate with my opponents and will not engage in the same smear and slander tactics they have used to deface my running mate and me. I write today to assure the students of this university of my commitment to a campus culture that works to build bridges, not walls. If elected, we will work diligently to fight for our students on the issues that matter to them. Issues such as parking, campus security, the need for better marketing of campus events, allocating A & S dollars to best serve our student body, celebrating the diversity of our institution, keeping tuition increases fair, saving the Bright Futures program and getting the Bulls’ voices heard in Tallahassee.

For what Ronda and I feel about all issues, visit our Web site or please come talk to us. We want to hear your concerns and what we can do to make this an even better place to receive an education.

Mike Berman is the current Student Government Senate president.