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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday March 24, 2003

Time for anti-war protesters to accept the war and move on

Well, it's done: the war has begun. For those of you who were against the war, it's time to move on.

Don't get me wrong ÷ I opposed this war, too. I was especially appalled at the intersection of corporate and other interests that conspired to start it, by the facade of disarmament and ties to al-Qaeda that fueled it, and with the inept diplomacy that has failed to avert it. I believe our action is setting a dangerous precedent that it is inexcusable that we should act nearly alone with so much of world opinion against us. It is likely that we may yet pay dearly for our arrogance and hubris.

But, one thing has always been clear. Does this sound familiar? No, I don't support Saddam, but [insert standard argument here]. The man has murdered hundreds of thousands, imprisoned hundred of thousands, tortured many of those, and the list of atrocities reads like horror fiction. The Iraqi people certainly do deserve better.

Given that Saddam will most certainly be deposed as a result of our military action, it is not a huge surprise to see Iraqis cheering our troops. It makes for an uncomfortable juxtaposition with the protests in San Francisco. At this point, if we are true to our ideals, we must hope for as quick and bloodless a conflict as possible, and one that lives up to its humanitarian promise.

The war is on, and it is unimaginable that this administration would just stop it all of the sudden. I think our vigorous anti-war voices have been faintly registered and utterly disregarded, and that's that: bombs are falling. What is needed now is to make sure this government lives up to our ideals ÷ the same liberal and humanist ideals that fueled our anti-war protests must now be put to the service of making sure that freedom really does come at the end of our guns.

It is true that we have a abysmal record when it comes to walking that walk ÷ Afghanistan is hardly a shining beacon of democracy since we stopped by ÷ but we must have hope for the future or what's the point of doing anything at all? It may be too late to stop this war, but our descent into empire is not yet complete and can still be countered. On to the next battles!

This is not backing down, it is moving on.

Ethan Cox
cognitive science doctoral student

Patriotic Americans can hate the war, still love the warrior

"Support our troops!" Some pundits claim that this is an American tradition. I have heard jingoist politicians and other loudmouths call those who fail to do so "unpatriotic." This phrase is a euphemism for something surely, because without context it means nothing.

Does it mean praying for our troops and wishing them success? This cannot be; there would be nobody to accuse of failure. Nobody wishes the troops to come to harm. To keep the troops out of harm's way is a principle reason to protest war. War protesters do not wish military action to be unsuccessful; they wish it not to occur.

Does it mean do not vilify the troops for the violence they commit? No, that simply doesn't happen anymore. One of the reasons Vietnam was divisive was troops returning from serving their country found that some despised them for their service. Americans have learned from that experience to hate the war and love the warrior.

The best clue as to the meaning of this platitude is found in a similar phrase, to "close ranks behind the troops." The phrase suggests the debate over war is done. The opposition should capitulate and present a unified front to the "enemy."

These innocuous sounding phrases are not about supporting our troops, they are a cynical code for "shut up and accept the judgment of your betters." Those using these phrases either haven't considered their real purpose, or they are using them as a weapon to silence dissent against Bush's war.

Peace activists do not refuse to "support our troops." Claiming it's so is rhetorical drivel; counter the nonsense with an invitation to "SAVE our troops" by stopping Bush's War.

Michael David Bryan
Second year law student and volunteer

Couch potatoes should stay tuned so they don't miss war

With war imminent, why not mitigate the psychological assessment of our deranged political leaders and figure out what it will take to save Iraqi lives? My main problem with this war is the definition of "innocents." Are the people driving the tanks for Saddam innocent? What if it's a 15-year-old boy forced to protect his country by a seemingly omnipresent dictator? I think the most important facet of this confrontation will be how well we fabricate, advertise, and provide an avenue of protection and dignity for Iraqi defectors/surrenderers. And cheers to the Belgian who mocks the war-couch-potatoes: "For all those taking the firm stance, and yap-yapping on about inevitable war: Have you considered grabbing a gun and fighting for world-wide democracy far from home yourself? High ideals, right? Be sure the remote doesn't slip from your fingers, as you Īlive' the war from the safety of your living room" ÷ Marc Hutsebaut, Belgium ( Well spoken. This will no doubt be another blockbuster media event. Isn't it obvious with CNN's title: "Showdown with Iraq!" Starring Clint Eastwood as Qatar. God, (whoever you are) help us all.

Chris Ward
UA Alumnus Class 1995
Raytheon Missile Engineer

Bush follows Clinton with his war in the Middle East

Last month, a prominent American told NBC's "Today" co-host Katie Couric that Saddam Hussein is a murderer, a liar and a thug who is going to have to disarm if he wants to avoid war. He also said, "I don't think the president needs another Security Council resolution, as a matter of international law." To CNN's Larry King, he said Bush is doing the right thing now. And, he recently supported the British-proposed six-point declaration including a short deadline for Iraqi compliance.

One would expect these words from a Bush appointee sent forward to lend support for the President's position. But that is not the source. These are all quotes from former President Bill Clinton. And they are consistent with Clinton's actions as president.

As president, Clinton ordered the unilateral bombing of a Sudanese chemical plant. The New York Times reported Clinton's justification based on soil samples taken near the plant, evidence of funding by Osama bin Laden, and intelligence of Iraqi orders for VX nerve gas. It seems President Clinton recognized and acted on a circumstantial connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda.

Clinton ordered the U.S. to lead a NATO force in Bosnia. NATO took the lead without U.N. Security Council approval because the Russians would have vetoed such a vote.

And former President Clinton conducted an intense four-day bombing of Iraq in 1998, in conjunction with the British and without U.N. authorization. At that time, Senator Barbara Boxer and other Democrats supported President Clinton's decision to act in defense of United States interests. Justification included Iraqi development of weapons of mass destruction.

The United States and Britain share a history of close intelligence cooperation dating back to World War II. President Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair would have had common intelligence in 1998. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair share that relationship today. This further explains why Blair, who is not ideologically aligned with President Bush, has stood so strongly with the United States even while paying a huge personal political cost at home.

It is comforting that on this gravest of matters, the fundamental principle of Iraqi regime change has remained consistent in both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Jim Rodriguez
first year law student

Steve Campbell dead on about anti-war protesters

In regard to Steve Campbell's column "Demonstrators should spend more time in the classroom" on Tuesday, March 11, I just want to salute Mr. Campbell for writing a column that was nothing but the truth. Too many people in the United States of America are naive to the fact the Saddam Hussein is an evil man who needs to removed. Mr. Campbell also made a veiled point that the people of Iraq are not protesting the impending war because they know first hand what it is like to have an evil man as a dictator.

Finally, I would like to ask these protesters a question. If you had a loved one die on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 would you be protesting?

By the way, the date of the letter was the 18-month anniversary since that horrible day. Congrats, Mr. Campbell, for showing what a true American is.

Gabriel Mark Bustamante
pre-health sophomore

U.S. needs to promote its interests more carefully

I applaud Ali Scotten's guest commentary on Thursday, March 13. Now that the U.S. has begun another war in the Middle East, it is essential to consider why there is much distrust of any U.S. efforts to effect democratic change. The sad fact is the United States has never successfully promoted democracy or even human rights for the majority of people in the Middle East. And yes, this includes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that Mr. Scotten rightly claims is a central issue for most who have valid reasons to dislike U.S. policy in the region.

Since we have failed in this conflict, we have no business destroying another Arab country and expecting them to believe we will rebuild it and bring Iraqis democracy.

I must, however, disagree with Avi Margolin's Friday, March 14 letter arguing that the U.S. and Israel are the only partners for peace in the Middle East. Furthermore, Mr. Margolin would have us leave criticism of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories out of the discussion of what is wrong with U.S. policy in the Middle East. This is simply impossible.

Although Mr. Margolin claims that U.S. support for Israel is only benign economic aid, the fact is all aid to Israel allows it to continue to kill innocent Palestinians with U.S. weapons, and expand illegal settlements in the territories.

Both of these acts have consistently been condemned by the United States. This week, Israel even killed two of its own soldiers the IDF mistook for "suspicious" characters.

The IDF fired a mere 200 bullets at one Israeli guard in a car who was simply "suspicious." This is not justice, and this does not guarantee security. If they are doing this in the name of security, it is clearly not working.

There are many victims in the Middle East ÷ the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Iraqis and, yes, Americans. Perhaps it is time for us to do as Mr. Scotten suggests, and "promote American values through our actions." Maybe then more people will begin to trust America's intentions in the world.

Carrie Brown
Near Eastern studies graduate student

Pac-10 loss prepares team for rigor of NCAA tourney

I love Lute. Really. He's a great coach and a great man (unlike many Division I coaches who have received attention in the media as of late). However, I do disagree with him on his recent position concerning the Pac-10 Tournament. At first I agreed with his take that the reinstated tourney could serve no other purpose than to tire out a team which could use a refresher before the round of 65 gets underway next week.

Then I remembered the spring of 1993. Do you? Damon and Khalid seemed unstoppable. We had an inside presence with Stokes (although he tended to dog it) and the sweet touch of Owes. Arizona was jazzed and ready to roll to the Final Four, right?

Fifteenth-seeded Santa Clara didn't think so as they beat us 64-61. I was in L.A. at the game for the start of the Madness and the loss hurt ÷ a lot. INSERT HERE your own painful memory here of first-round losses that arguably shouldn't have happened: E. Tenn. St. (seeded 14) in '92, Miami of Ohio (12) in '95, and Oklahoma (13) in '99.

The point is this: It's been awhile since the guys have tasted the bitter sting of a loss. Getting it handed to us by UCLA is a timely reality check (with the side bonus of providing some rest before next week) that will hopefully prevent another early exit from the Dance. Whether you like the tourney or not, Lute, use this loss to show them you're mortal, use it to inspire them.

Jeff Burritt
UA Alumnus Class of 1996

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