Letters to the Editor

Palestinian plight not properly addressed

I find it rather odd that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict did not make it into the topic of discussion during the first presidential debate on foreign policy. In many respects this conflict is the tug-of-war (literally war) of over 50 years that President Bush has not even attempted to take a second approach to. The burning issue of Palestinians receiving their own state is on the last page of the president’s agenda. It is sad to say he would rather spend his time proposing an amendment to ban gay marriage than start to solve issues that result in life-and-death situations.

America supports Israel, a nation with a substantial number of nuclear weapons — no questions asked. This administration gives it the green light time and time again to get away with murder while every attack or suicide bombing on the opposing side gets special attention from our media. This conflict is dynamic and deserves the most accurate coverage.

We don’t hear about the 13-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl who got shot with 20 bullets because the Israeli gunman “felt frustrated.”

People need to know what is happening on both sides to be able to make rational decisions. When the torture at Abu Ghraib is downplayed, you tend to wonder who really controls these rules and assumptions that we perceive to be real.

The American people need to take a second approach to rationalize what they see and hear on a daily basis and be more objective instead of simply taking the politicians’ word for it.

Our troops took Bush’s word and fought a nation that was a threat to us because it supposedly had weapons of mass destruction. The fact that there are no weapons does not even enter the minds of most of us because we are drawn into a downward spiral of fear whenever the word “terror” is mentioned by politicians and the media.

These words are used as tools to control the way we think and feel about politics simply to sacrifice our freedoms in their favor. They are used to instill the concept of fear in our minds. We are made to believe that if we don’t re-elect Bush, with all his great experience handling terrorists, then we will leave the door wide open for attack once again. As a future reference, before we act on only the word of our leaders, let us decide first for ourselves what the best option is.

Joumana Saad is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.

Cultural differences make life worth living

I am deeply grateful for being afforded the right of free speech. I am now and will forever be grateful for those who have died to bestow these kinds of freedoms upon me, someone they didn’t even know.

However, I am really disappointed in our country’s leaders for being so arrogant. It seems to me that the United States is always trying to change other countries and homogenize them into “little Americas.” Our culture works for us, but that doesn’t mean it works for everyone. I listen to lots of foreign music such as Spanish, Moroccan, Arabic, Greek, Israeli and African; I would like to continue hearing my favorite music sung by Spanish-, Greek-, Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking people. I really appreciate other cultures for what they are: different from mine. I love it.

I am afraid that if our country continues dominating other countries and imposing our way of life on them that this will become a really boring world to live in.

I can see it coming — Britney Spears in duets with Shlomi Shabat, Ami Diab or Giorgos Lebesis. It’s almost laughable.

There are about 194 countries. They all have their own cultures, their own traditions, and their own beautiful ways of viewing life and how to live it. We are a small piece of this world. What makes us think we are so special that we can prescribe new laws and ways of life to other countries?

Most of them enjoy their lives, and their definition of freedom may be different than ours. Our country has one of the highest rate of murder by firearms in the world and the third-highest divorce rate. Is this what we want the other countries to become? Are these the kinds of morals we are going to impose on other countries? The United States is displaying imperialistic behavior fronted by claims of liberating people. Are we really liberating them? Is this about freeing people or is it about money? I think our government is just full of itself. Our government has done a wonderful job making sure that we know as little as possible. They’re our pacifists, making us believe from childhood that America is the greatest country and filling us with supremacist views of ourselves, and encouraging us to think that our way of life is the only way of life. This assumption is dangerous.

Christina Moyer-Levy is a junior majoring in biology.

BullRunner good effort, needs expansion

I would like to thank the BullRunner drivers and organizers for taking students to and from football games. As a freshman with no car, attending football games seemed almost impossible. Not only can I get a ride to the football games now, I also have the option to go early and tailgate.

I do have one question though: Why not provide transportation to other sporting events as well, like the hockey games? When I found out that USF had an ice hockey club I was ecstatic. My best friend and I love hockey, but we have no transportation to even get to the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon to watch the Icebulls.

I’ll bet there are plenty of hockey fans in the same situation who would love to attend and support the Icebulls if transportation was provided.

Angela Proia is a freshman majoring in elementary education.