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Letters to the Editor

Monday September 17, 2001

U.S. not always the good guys

In his piece, "It's time to take it personally," (Friday) Shane Dale exemplifies perfectly the na•ve assumptions about U.S. foreign policy that most Americans maintain. Neither our educational system nor our corporate media ever let us know what's really going on overseas, although all the evidence is there if you somehow, spontaneously develop a desire to seek the information yourself.

Reflecting on the phrase "taking it personally," I could not help but think about some other people who might take U.S. overt and covert actions overseas personally. Among them are the following:

The Guatemalans, for one, whose democratically elected government was overthrown in a U.S.-sponsored coup in 1954, which plunged them into 30 years of disappearances, torture and genocide. Clinton admitted our role in this a couple of years ago, after we were found culpable by the Truth Commission in Guatemala.

Vietnam, where we carpet-bombed villages based on the recommendations of South Vietnamese military generals who considered peasants expendable, irrespective of their political leanings-if any.

Afghanistan, where in 1979 the United States covertly funded radical Islamic groups against the Soviets, plunging them into a series of brutal wars that continue today. The United States was there about six months before the Soviets invaded so that we could give the USSR its "own Vietnam," according to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser at the time. Now the United States wants to torture the Afghanis even more.

These are just a few examples among many. The Unites States has toppled democratic governments in the name of freedom, and fostered violent, genocidal environments in the name of liberty. Sometimes we even attack overtly, if they feel your knowledge poses no threat to "national interests."

Do you think the people from these countries might "take it personally?"

In writing this, I do no dishonor to those killed at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I doubt they would wish upon any other innocent civilian what happened to them. It's time to solve this problem at its root. Let's not continue the policies that fertilize the emergence of terrorism. And let's have the courage not to pretend we're always the good guys.

Patrick A. Bolger

Ph.D. program in second language acquisition and teaching

Dale's column hits home

Shane — I just wanted to let you know that your article in Friday's Wildcat was very well written and very expressive of how I feel. I experienced classmates talking about the arrogance of Americans as well, and it upset me. Your last few paragraphs, beginning with the detailed description of a man going to work this past Tuesday in the WTC, gave me chills.

It made me feel so much better about the university knowing that at least one other person feels the way I do, and feels that we should take it personally. I don't have family in New York or Washington, or on any of the flights...I do have a friend in New York, but across the state. Still, I have been greatly affected by Tuesday's happenings, and certain songs or stories will bring tears to my eyes. Until I read your article, I was embarrassed to be crying in front of others, because I haven't lost anyone - directly. Now that I know that I'm not alone in how I feel, it will help me deal with all that's happened in the past few days, and all that will continue to happen. Thank you for a wonderful piece.

Darlene Danehy

engineering sophomore

Spiller column sums up common emotions

Since I have often criticized Cory Spiller's writing (as recently as last week, which seems an eternity ago) I would be remiss if I did not now congratulate him for his Friday column. Spiller's column, "There is before and after - and nothing else" summed up quite eloquently the feelings of many of us. We are changed and we cannot be as we were.

Well done, Mr. Spiller, and thanks.

Gordon Zaft

electrical and chemical engineering graduate student

Spiller column is upsetting

I would just like to say that Cory Spiller is wrong. Just because you hoped the worst for President Bush does not mean the rest of the country did. Possibly the political misfortune you hoped for was one of the many that came into the Clinton administration? In what way does former Vice President Gore represent you more than President Bush? Are you also a stiff that likes to cheat people? I don't want to start an uproar, but those are upsetting comments.

It is time now that we all gather together and support President Bush. Thankfully, you say this a few sentences later. It is now President Bush's turn to show that he is the leader we all have known he was from the beginning. Congress would not have given him the power to declare war on his own if they did not believe in his abilities. This is a sad time, but a time when Republicans and Democrats throughout the United States, and most especially right here on the UA campus, can join together and do what we can to help out from here in Tucson.

Pete Seat

theatre arts freshman

Spiller column enjoyable for a change

Mr. Spiller, I apologize for not getting this off to you as soon as I had hoped, like right after I read the paper this morning. My dad (78 years) had been in Los Angeles over the weekend celebrating a cousin's 50th wedding anniversary - his return was to have been Tuesday. I spent hours at the airport yesterday expecting him, but was not able to retrieve him until having spent another three hours waiting this evening.

The reason for this note to you is to commend you on the fine and moving commentary in today's Wildcat. Other times, your columns have incensed me so, I have often wondered how anyone could be could possibly be so full of himself. Today, you delivered a beautifully mature piece and I just want to let you know that I enjoyed your words and I thank you. I look forward to more.

Renee Villani

history senior

U.S. should resist militarization

We, the Coalici—n de Derechos Humanos (Human Rights Coalition) condemn the recent terrorist actions against innocent people and express our deepest condolences to the victims, their families and friends. At a time when emotions run high, it is important that we stay firm in the principles that are at the core of our democracy. We hope that we may use this tragedy to come together as a human family to heal and condemn all forms of violence.

As an organization that has always worked against racism and xenophobia, we denounce any racist sentiments and attacks on the Arab and Muslim community. We oppose any form of discrimination based on religious practices, the color of skin, sex or gender. We call upon our community to begin a dialogue and protest any escalation of aggression.

The military-industrial complex and our government leadership will surely use this tragedy to increase militarization and interventionism around the world and in our communities at the expense of education, health care, social services and our civil liberties. We call on the US government to review and halt its military and economic intervention, which has contributed greatly to our current situation.

As members of the U.S.-Mexico border region, we struggle daily with the impact of brutal and unjust border policies that have caused hundreds of deaths. We cannot allow this tragic incident to increase militarization of our border, nor racist sentiments against immigrants and people of color.

We must stand together against any further violence, whether in the form of retaliatory military attacks, further militarization, attacks on civil liberties, escalated government repression, or policies that cause more violence.

Again, we offer our condolences and hope that all will unite against oppression and violence.

Coalici—n de Derechos Humanos

U.S. must end selfishness

I just have to say why? Osama bin Laden says that the United States is the great Satan. We say that he is evil. Who is right? Are any of us right? If we all believe we are acting in God's best interests, why aren't we friends? The problem is that both sides think so strongly that they are in the right, that they are unwilling to see the other's point of view. As a civilized world, are we so stubborn and blind to all but our own viewpoints that we are willing to fight to the death to prove it?! Perhaps we need to be more open and receptive to other people's interests before we go messing around in affairs outside of our country. In the past we have turned a deaf ear to the "little guy" to better serve our own self interests. This pattern of action of the United States needs to stop!! If we take care of business in our own home, namely reduce our dependency on foreign oil, we can wash our hands of much of the problems we have. Unfortunately, this is an area in which we are failing miserably, and for no other reason than just plain laziness!

Much of our current problems stem from what we do in the Mideast to protect our interests in oil. This has, for the most part, angered many peoples abroad. We must stop disguising our own selfishness with lies!

Bernie Coates

renewable natural resources junior

Someone must pay the price

Most people I've talked to agree that this tragedy is the worst thing we've ever seen in our lives. Even though I'm angry about it, I'm still in shock. I've heard hundreds of people talk about various things, but I'd like to point out something that some people may not have thought about.

The architectural designer of the World Trade Center towers should be praised. I saw those buildings collapse straight down. If those towers had fallen sideways crashing down over several New York City blocks, the death toll would have been astronomical.

I feel terrible for the families and friends of victims, and I do find myself wanting retaliation. I read a letter in Friday's Wildcat about stopping the violence and that a military retaliation would not stop terrorism. Terrorism will not stop either way. If this tragedy holds no punishment, what is to stop it from happening again anyway? At least getting rid of one terrorist group will stop them from killing more innocent people. There must be a price to pay for this.

Frank Black

criminal justice junior

UA officials should have cancelled classes

Many who woke up on Tuesday morning and turned on their televisions were shocked and saddened to see the horrible images of all the lives being so wrongfully taken, too early. Now I could go into how I think that the United States should go and bomb the crap out of Osama bin Laden and whoever else is responsible for terrorism in this world, but I think enough people are taking care of that right now.

What I would like to talk about is the fact that school was still held in session on the day that our nation and our very right to freedom was attacked. Now I'm not complaining that I had to go sit through boring and at the same time meaningless class, but when our great nation is attacked by terrorists, I don't think that I am alone when I say that I would have rather stayed at home and watched the events unfold and try and find some enlightenment or hope throughout the day. So as I walked through campus, I did notice that it was ultimately empty as one could guess everyone was probably at home watching the TV and calling loved ones who might have been in New York City at that time.

It just seems to me that in a time of national crisis, school should've been canceled. Now, I know the people of Arizona think that just because we're 2300 miles away from New York and D.C., that we're safe and that we won't be affected. We will all be affected by this tragedy, in fact we already have been affected by the pointless acts of terrorism on our great nation. School was just one thing that should have been put on the back burner and put on hold while the rest of us prayed and mourned for the loss of thousands of our brothers and sisters.

This will all trickle down to each and every one of us. This tragic event should not be overlooked nor taken lightly, but to Mr. Likins and the rest of the administration, have a heart. You should've been more sympathetic to the student body and let them take in this very tragic turn of events. God Bless America. Be proud to be an American, we will prevail and win this war on terrorism and restore the faith and freedom which makes this nation so great....

Drew Raber

classics Major

Know Afghanistan's location before bashing

CNN has posted a poll on its Web site today stating that 77 percent of respondents wanted to bomb Afghanistan if that country would not surrender Osama bin Laden. Given the dismal state of American's geographical knowledge, most Americans would have said the same about Pawtucket, R.I. They could not find either on a map. However, I will send one additional dollar to the Red Cross for every letter in the Wildcat from a war hawk who can correctly label a map and list three distinctions between Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq.

If you don't know any-thing about these countries, you probably don't even realize that we Americans have been carrying out a war on Iraq and killed many civilians... and maybe we should not be so quick to condemn and massacre an entire country for the acts of a few men (as it is a rare woman who kills so indiscriminately) who have yet to be identified with anything like proof. Seek justice and knowledge, not revenge.

Steve Marks

family studies doctoral student


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