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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 3, 2003

Israel should grant land to Palestinians if ╬good friend'

Charles Givre claims that Israel is the United States' best and most important ally in the Middle East in yesterday's guest commentary, "America's steadfast Middle Eastern ally." It is incredible how much it costs to have such a good friend: American taxpayers send off nearly $3 billion in aid each year, over half of which supports the Israeli military. Since 1949, the United States has given Israel nearly $92 billion, the flow never ceasing after Israel occupied the Palestinian territories.

Ironically, it is precisely the United States' friendship with Israel and our government's failure to straightforwardly condemn the occupation that has triggered so much anger among Arab nations. While those countries have many problems of their own, Israel's illegal occupation of territory acquired by war is also creating our worst enemies.

The United States should give funding to Israel, and it should support Israel's right to exist within its internationally recognized boundaries. And if Israel really is such a good friend, it will end the occupation and seek a just solution to the question of Palestine, an act that could help to decrease world anger at the United States.

Noah Haiduc-Dale
Near Eastern studies graduate student

War dissenters not socialist; U.S. not altruistic, Mr. Dale

In response to Shane Dale's patriotic call to arms in the March 31 Wildcat, it appears he's flushed me out and I had better confess. As an anti-war Marxist, Mr. Dale has pointed out that there's nothing I would like to see more than Saddam Hussein to remain in power and for his many human rights violations to continue. First, Mr. Dale announces that 80 to 90 percent of war protesters are either socialist, Marxist or Green. How many people have come out against the war? Is the Pope a commie? The Dixie Chicks? It's a leftist liberal conspiracy!

He then illustrates a long list of abuses that happen in Iraq. Indeed, Hussein and his henchmen are monsters. However, if Mr. Dale or any one of his like-minded patriots were to read that well-read "Red Noam Chomsky," they might glean that our rights to express ourselves are really just a buffer from actually stopping an invasion into a country where American business interests are on the line.

Next, Mr. Dale assumes that all leftists (like Saddam Hussein) admire Josef Stalin. The way Bush bought his office looks far more like Stalin fighting his way into power than Hussein's U.S.-supported rise to dictatorship that we are supposedly fighting to end today. He then quotes Iraqi refugees, proving once and for all that America is attempting to free this poor, backwards country. However, he fails to mention the people of Iraq who have been starving and dying from U.S-enforced sanctions since the prequel to this action-packed epic, years ago.

Now they're fighting one of the most expensive militaries in the world and somehow managing to hold this massive force back. How does a so-called backwards country of peasants do this? Imagine an army invading your city; how would you react?

It's horrifying that otherwise intelligent people buy this rhetoric, despite the fact that there is a human rights-violating dictator in every less marketable corner of the world, scheming to end the way of life of the world's largest empire, the United States of America, Inc. Really, if we were to use more accurate words to describe our actions in Iraq, we would have to use big communist words, like "imperialism."

Bobby Carlson
NAU extended history senior, Flagstaff

Check America's war motives; don't fall into ╬sinking mud'

In regard to Brandon Smith's letter to the editor on Tuesday: Thanks for looking up the word "patriot" and saving the rest of us a trip to the dictionary.

What Mr. Smith and others fail to realize is the reason why we are going to war with Saddam Hussein is not because he is a horrible dictator, but because he violated Security Council Resolution 1441. Hussein is not even that big of a threat, but we wanted to stop him before he potentially became one. If we cared about dictators and what they do to their own people, then we would not place them in government or give them billions of dollars, both of which we did with Hussein. Also, if we truly cared about others' misfortune, we would not only attempt to liberate Iraqis, but people in North Korea, Africa and perhaps even China because they all suffer from repressive regimes.

The thing is, we don't care. This war is not about the Iraqi people. It is about serving the United States' interest. All the operation names filled to the brim with false patriotism like "Operation Iraqi Freedom" or "Operation Liberty Shield" are simply meant to give the public a false sense of purpose, and in turn continue to support this misguided war. The operations' literal meaning does not exist, but their figurative importance is blatantly obvious when people like Mr. Smith write to the editor naming the reasons why we are at war, one being that we are saving thousands of suffering Iraqis. I am sure Mr. Smith, as well as others, have faith the government is doing the right thing when operation names make the war agenda so clear. I, on the other hand, am slightly skeptical and refuse to fall into the sinking mud pit our government has set up for the public.

People need to be more critical of what they hear and what they see strewn about on corporate media. They should also compare the original reasons the president gave for going to war with Iraq against the current motives (or excuses) and see how they add up. I have a feeling it might equal nothing.

Rachel Theron
NAU journalism sophomore, Flagstaff

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