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Letters to the Editor

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Thursday September 13, 2001

Irrational retribution will not be tolerated

I have been receiving reports that my fears of irrational retribution against members of our community are being realized in the form of death threats and harassment of Islamic students. This behavior is a disgrace to our university and will not be tolerated.

I am requesting that any threats of violence be reported to the Police Department (by calling 911) for prompt response. I must also rely on every responsible member of the campus community to speak out against this misdirection of anger that is properly focused on the specific villains who committed these atrocities.

Dr. Peter Likins

UA President

We should not jump into war

I would like to respond to the letter written by Matt Slechta about the need for war. I wish he would realize that there are others out there that share his anger and disgust for what happens. Deep down, I know I want to see those terrorists hanging on meat-hooks ala Mussolini. But I think the reason why people are opting for peace right now (as well as tolerance) is that we just saw what could have been ten thousand Americans just like us die in one day. Why would we want to immediately send ten thousand more American men and women to die as well? I, for one, do not want to waste any more lives right now. I think I've had my fill for today.

Sara Paige

political science senior

The WTC tragedy can be educational tool

Right now is an important time for us as a university to look at this tragedy as an educational tool. In every major, in every class, there is a chance to learn from what has happened in New York and Washington. I think that professors, teachers and graduate students should look into ways in which this can apply to their classes, because I am positive that this can relate to every field. If we can take advantage of this event and start to understand why it happened and what the effects are going to be from every angle, we have succeeded in what our university is here to do: educate.

Cristin Carey

psychology senior

UA students in Spain are safe, suggest unity

As a student of the University of Arizona and a citizen of the United States, I hope that everyone reflects upon why this awful tragedy may have occurred. Many of our fellow classmates here in Spain were incredibly upset and scared by yesterday's events. But we must not become reactionary and retaliate immediately at whomever or whatever entity, such as another country, did this. Perhaps there is more reason to this rhyme than we realize at this point.

If we think about the past 60 years and what conflicts and situations the United States has been involved in, especially in the Middle East, it is not hard to imagine retaliation from those countries. Yesterday we saw our own people killed - innocent people, young and old, rich and poor alike - and it has affected us all in the most awful way. Yet people in the Middle East, Vietnam, Korea, and other places, have watched our troops kill their wives and children and destroy their businesses, while we here in the United States remained untouched. It is natural that once attacked, we feel we must defend. I urge people to be rational.

Maybe it is time our interests move back to the United States. Instead of patrolling no-fly zones, maybe we should come up with alternate fuel sources, so that we don't need to depend on countries for our fuel. I speak for everyone here when I give our most sincere condolences to anyone who lost a loved one yesterday. It is awful that humanity has regressed to this point. This is a time to come together - all countries, all people - so that something such as this never happens again.

Everyone in the UA Spain programs is safe, and we have been contacted by the Embassy on how to conduct ourselves over the next few months.

Will Harris

history senior

The profundity of this day should not be dismissed

If history classes haven't lied, then nearly every society has had a predominant philosophy marked by a significant historical event. Besides the still untold loss of life and possibility of war, the thing that concerns me the most after this generation-defining event is where we will choose to go with our own way of thought.

We could easily relapse to a World War II mentality: jump to conclusions and blame people based on their ethnicity. Churches of Islam all around the country are already under protection in preparation for a backlash. Just because a small group of Palestinians are celebrating, doesn't mean everyone is. If someone there saw footage of a Ku Klux Klan rally, they'd assume everyone here was racist. We have fought long and hard to avoid this type of thinking, let's not relapse.

One of the most profound statements I've ever had the pleasure to read came from Bob Costas, of all people, in a Playboy interview, of all places. He said that when tragedy strikes, it shouldn't "stop and make you think," you should already be thinking. We have had enough moments in our recent history that should already have us always thinking to value life, appreciate the relationships we take for granted, and be happy to be alive. After the Holocaust, after Vietnam, after Oklahoma City; we should have taken all those events and put them to good use, but it seems that it took another horrible tragedy to remind us again. The profundity of that day should not be dismissed.

There will not be a silver lining to all of the clouds, but if we can take away a ceaseless predilection towards mutual respect then at least some good can come of it.

Travis D. Thomas

journalism sophomore

We must be good to each other

In this time of sadness, anger and suspicion, there are many who are quick to state what should be obvious and what we shouldn't waste time in doing-usually in terms of warfare. Several have denounced university students for praying for peace and love and hope. These unfortunates fail to realize the difference between peace and love and hope among ourselves and our citizens, and the hatred and loathing against a common enemy that will come in the next few weeks.

Are we not human? Are we not allowed to grieve and hope for the best while preparing for the worst? Pessimists and hard-liners can denounce us pacifists, optimists and patriots all they want; but they should know that it is their viewpoints--and not the viewpoints of anyone who expressed their sadness on the Mall on Tuesday--that create unneeded bigotry and racism.

Be good to each other. We will not go quietly into the night.

Seth Peck

computer science senior

Bush deserves nation's support

Let me start by noting that I am not a huge Bush fan. I don't think he'll turn out to be the best or the worst President that we have ever had in this nation, and, truthfully, I was rather indifferent towards him up until yesterday. In the past 24 hours, I have heard more than a few people lament the fact that he is the Oval Office's current occupant. These people are wishing for someone different, anyone but George W., who has little experience with such affairs, and, while they're at it, maybe someone that doesn't appear so young and vulnerable. They say things like, "I can't believe we have HIM to lead us through this!" and, "Who voted for HIM anyway?" It is to these folks that this letter is addressed.

Like it or not, George W. Bush is the President of the United States, and he will be the person that will lead our nation through the crisis that is presently at hand. He has a huge cadre of advisors and specialists, and he will certainly not be making decisions on his own. That being said, what is called for now is not name-calling or wailing and gnashing of teeth that he is our President. Rather, what is called for is individual and public support for the President as a person and as our leader. This is just one way that we need to try and foster unity in this nation, something that has been a substantial challenge in recent years.

Am I suggesting that you have to agree with all the choices that Bush makes? No way. Should you express your own opinion about what you feel should be done? Absolutely-shout it from the rooftops. What I would plead with each and every one of us, though, is to be intelligent and reasonable in this frightening time for our nation. If you want to call someone names or blithely insult them, look me up. I can take it. But please, leave the President out of that fray for now- he has enough on his plate already.

Justin L. Sewell

first-year medical student

Palestinian celebrations are disgusting

Until yesterday the United States of America enjoyed a time of peace akin to the pax romana. On September 11, the United States was viciously attacked in the most grievous and deplorable act of terrorism in our nation's history. In the aftermath of the tragedy the world was witness to two reactions, those of sympathy and compassion, and those of celebration.

In weeks and months past I was sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians, and vehemently defended their course in light of their villainous portrayal in the U.S. media. As millions mourned throughout the world, thousands in the west bank celebrated. Arafat condemned the acts of terrorism as well as those of celebration, but as he spoke his people cheered. Actions speak louder than words. Until yesterday I was sure that no actions could so disgust me that I would feel nothing but rage. Until yesterday I was sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. Until yesterday I was sure they were not the villains they were portrayed as-until yesterday.

Until yesterday the people of the United States sought nothing but peace, today we seek peace at any cost. (editors note: no one knows!) la

Patrick Munoz

atmospheric science senior


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