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Letters to the Editor 7/7

Name calling uncalled for

This is in regards to a column written by Ryan Meehan on July 3.

Why is it that when you spoke about the history of this country and the pride one should have on July 4, you slandered the name of the Palestinian people in the process?

For Ryan to say, “as we characterize Palestinian suicide bombers as animals and freedom-hating freaks of nature …,” was undoubtedly irrelevant.

“As we?” Are you speaking for all the American people? Or, is it just you who characterize innocent children and people as “freaks of nature”? There was no need for you to reference anyone or anything that has no specific significance to the article at hand.

The militiamen who opted to fight British forces had no association with what is going on in Palestine. Ryan, did you by any chance stop and ask yourself “what have these people ever done to me?” For you to insult the whole race and single them out shows an unjust bias toward them.

Maybe if you stopped for a couple of minutes and educated yourself about the situation, about the history behind the circumstances, then you probably would have been reluctant to characterize the Palestinian people as “animals”, as well as, “freedom-hating freaks of nature”.

You could have referred to terrorism in general, but instead, you chose to diligently point out and characterize the Palestinian people in a very discriminating manner.

Liana Mubarak is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary social sciences.

Orwell Column was misunderstood

In support of Sebastian Meyer’s article, which parallels America with Orwell’s 1984, I offer these comments.

First, I think the respondents missed the point of his article and argument. They state we can just change the channel for different information, or that no one is forced into buying flags and stickers – and to some degree, they’re right. However, the point is, if we change the channel, then we are just going to get the same ol’ propaganda with different words. It’s rare to flip the channel and hear about Powell’s forged dossier, how Iraqis bought mobile hydrogen labs from England or the 6,000 plus death tolls of innocent civilians.

After 9/11, America was upset and confused – and rightfully so.

Unfortunately, Bush simply pushed the underlying causes aside and whipped the country into a patriotic frenzy. Instead of handling the situation like an international criminal investigation, he handled it as an international witch-hunt, taking everyone down, Americans and non-Americans, without any understanding involved.

The point is, as with Orwell’s Oceania, we are both a desensitized and oversensitive society. We are desensitized to atrocities committed within our borders and without; committed by our nation or by others. We are desensitized to the ongoing loss of freedom and the gaining of access to our very thoughts and actions.

We can’t change the channel because it will just be the same desensitizing message – just like in Oceania. Facts are made up and history is rewritten. Consult foreign or independent media and our “facts” will be contradicted by verifiable truths.

We are oversensitive because the slightest criticism of the government or its actions is considered anti-American, unpatriotic, anti-Bush, pro-Saddam, etc. This is based on pure ignorance, helped along by the Big Brother social institutions that exist.

While the pledge of allegiance is no where near the Two-Minute hate, slowly, we are becoming like Oceania, with Big Brother watching us all the time: Tampa International Airport, Homeland Security, NSA … watching our gait and credit card purchases, pumping it into the supercomputer of security.

Perhaps our motto should be War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery.

Like in Oceania, and Winston’s vision, there is hope for change, it merely consists of waking up. As Winston says, if there is hope, it is in the proles. I am a prole.

Anthony Schmidt is a junior, majoring in anthropology.