Letters to the Editor

Freedom preferred over anarchy
Re: “No country ‘deserves’ acts of terrorism” March 22

I whole-heartedly acknowledge the views given by Dan Bertwell and Jeremy Huffman; however, there are some things that I disagree with in their reference to the importance of ousting Saddam.

I agree that there may be no direct connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, but there is still reason enough to go to Iraq. President George W. Bush’s entire plan is to root out terrorism, and Hussein is definitely a source of terrorist activities. Iraq’s regime is, as quoted, within Bush’s “Axis of Evil.” And sure Saddam may not be an “imminent threat,” but does that mean that he is not a threat? Even though it does not affect you now, it does affect us in the future.

Bush plans to stop it now, not to leave things for the next president or the one to follow afterwards. If something happens in the future, you would then say that Bush could have protected everyone against whatever happened but chose not to do a thing about it.

And, in reference to Huffman’s letter, to “stop the nonsense in Iraq and let the Iraqi people control their own nation,” is false in its own right. The problem is that the Iraqi people didn’t control their own nation. Those within Iraq who would try to overturn the regime were hunted like rats and murdered before they could lift a finger.

Saddam then tried to conquer neighboring nations and bring them under his thumb. Bush stopped that and they are in the process of setting up a government that gives power to the people.

Sure their government may end up like our own democracies, where a lot of people hate the president, but it is better to have the right to hate the president then to be murdered for doing so.

Landon Green is a freshman majoring in electrical engineering.

U.S. should condemn sheik’s assassination

I am sure that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is proud after giving the green light to and supervising the assassination of the 70-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sheik Ahmed Yassin. This crime is just another example of the Zionist regime’s sponsored terrorism and barbarism.

Killing Yassin on Monday topped half a century of assassinations, one of the most heavily used weapons in the Israeli arsenal. History can tell.

The assassination, which was referenced by a senior Israeli security official as the beginning of the “hunting season,” showed the true intentions of Israel toward the peace plans. Israel’s government knows that its extra-judicial killing of an Islamic religious leader does not contribute at all to create the conditions of peace. It will only serve to perpetuate the cycle of violence throughout the region. It will trigger an even more serious struggle by the oppressed Palestinians against the Israeli terrorist occupiers and the United States, which supports Israel.

I call on the United States to join its allies in condemning this political assassination and to make that condemnation meaningful by cutting the flow of American-taxpayer dollars to Israel. It is these tax dollars that paid for the U.S.-made F16 jet fighters and Apache helicopters that Israel uses to carry out such illegal attacks. American repudiation of Israel’s brutal policies must also be demonstrated by the cancellation of Ariel Sharon’s upcoming visit to Washington.

The government should also cut off all ties with Israel until Israel views Palestinians as human beings and not just animals to be “marked for death” and slaughtered at will during “hunting season.”

Finally, I believe the U.S. government should join the rest of the world’s leaders who have been uniform in their condemnation of Sheik Yassin’s assassination. The bland administration statements urging “restraint by all parties” will only be viewed internationally as tacit approval of Israel’s actions and will undermine our moral and legal basis for the war on terrorism.

Yahia Megahed is a senior majoring in computer science.

Not illegal to help the unfortunate

Since when is it trespassing to go to a public park? And is it really illegal to share food with the homeless? Apparently it is in downtown Tampa!

A group of friends from the Food Not Bombs organization were harassed by numerous police officers on Sunday during their usual weekend picnic at Massey Park. Two of the people picnicking were detained in a police car and one was arrested. This arrest, and the events leading up to it, are warnings.

Our neighbors are losing their homes, so the city passes ordinances and approves policies to hide the problem. They blame business failure on the homeless, but it’s really another symptom of a sick society.

Now people are being arrested for sharing and working together to come up with a solution. Please do not allow the police to turn their force on the people. That is the most severe symptom of a decaying society.

Lily Lewis is a sophomore majoring in environmental science and policy.