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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday October 16, 2002

Mideast center forum on Iraq only anti-Semitic propaganda

I was completely appalled with the "Iraq: Perspectives and Responses," or more appropriately, the Democratic National Committee rally that was held Monday night in the social sciences building. I am not a Democrat and did not know there was such a thing as a "liberal revival." The spectacle was truly shocking. I had thought this was to be an informative discussion on Iraq, and the possible consequences of war. This was not a discussion on Iraq; it was a Democratic campaign stop complete with mention of dangling chads (really, isn't it time to move on?) and attacks on anyone who disagreed with their calling President George Bush and his administration flat-out liars ¸ with no proof, I might add ¸ with oil as their only goal.

The pinnacle of the evening, at least for me, was when a frothing audience member started shouting anti-Semitic epithets from the microphone and then cowardly ran from the room. Unfortunately, there was no need to run. I was horrified when the audience began to clap and cheer. To further add insult, the "enlightened" panel of speakers fell silent. Honestly I was expecting some kind of comment discouraging that type of speech as inappropriate and unproductive. Nothing. The silence was just as if the panel had all stood up and cheered themselves. I stood up and went to the microphone to voice my outrage, but the meeting was concluded before all had a turn to speak.

At the end of the rally, "Don't Attack Iraq" leaflets were handed out. Maybe they should have written "Stone The Jews," instead. This was not an impartial discussion; it was anti-Semitic propaganda supported by the university.

I would like to ask all those who clapped and cheered: How can you preach peace with such hate in your hearts? I would also like to ask the panel of professors if they feel any remorse.

This one event has really sealed my political course. Upon applying to the UA, I was warned by my friends that it was very liberal, and I might not like everything I heard. I replied that I am open, and if a particular argument made sense, it would be silly to discount it based on someone's party affiliation. Unfortunately, that opinion was crushed last night. In a meeting held at and sponsored by the UA, racism and hatred were invited in ¸ and no one objected.

Daniel Hatch
media arts sophomore

War protesters seek to take freedoms away from America

It turns my gut inside out to think about the way people scorn the war in Iraq. If we don't do something about it now, history will repeat itself as it always does and regret will fill your hearts, or tombs, as it may apply. The biological and chemical weapons that Saddam possesses threaten us everyday, yet you sit here and reproach a government that was set up to preserve the freedoms that our ancestors died to acquire in the Revolutionary War ¸ the same ones you take for granted today!

I thank God every day that I live in this great country that affords me the natural rights of a human being regardless of my gender, not as a decoration to be seen and not heard. I have fought vigorously to get waivers for the honor to serve in the military to preserve our rights. I would never think twice about giving my life to grant others the ability to live theirs to the fullest. I have three brothers and a boyfriend in different branches of the military placing themselves in harm's way so that you may have the freedom to say what you will, despite your unappreciative comments about their sacrifices for your shallow lives.

I was furious when I read Tylor Brand's statement (Monday, "Saddam steps in at the right time for America") in which he put the word "heroes" in quotation marks when talking about our soldiers who were coming home in boxes. He stated it as though there was no real meaning to the word when applied in that context, speaking of our fallen fellow citizens who sacrificed God's greatest gift so that we may live the lives we are living.

We, as the American populace, need to stand behind our leader, not burn images of him in protest for his efforts to preserve our rights and freedoms. He sees parts of the whole picture we are never intended to see because of your immature and boorish attitudes towards that which you do not understand. You can all rest assured that he is not making these decisions on his own, but with help from many advisors with much more education than many of you will ever attain.

So please, lay down your imprudent interpretations of the current affairs and trust that there are many people with more knowledge on the subject than you who are making these vital decisions about the future of this nation.

J. Farren Burho
psychology junior

U.S. ╬School of the Assassins' squashing world democracy

When I first saw the piece Jessica Lee had written about the School of the Americas (Thursday, "Time to topple the ╬School of the Assassins'"), I was pleasantly surprised to see it was getting some sort of attention from the student body. Unfortunately, after reading the letter from Jim Morford, I was sad to see that it had gotten the wrong kind of attention.

Morford's accusations that Lee's article was not well researched more accurately describe his own letter. He made claims about the "good work" carried out because of the training received at SOA, but doesn't seem to include a single concrete example. That might just be because one doesn't exist!

As an Argentinean citizen, I am personally offended by the characterization Morford made about the need to "educate" Latin Americans to think more like Americans. Contrary to what the U.S. government might believe, its job is not to "educate" the world, and it's definitely not its job to force other countries to have cookie-cutter replicas of what they consider the U.S. model for democracy.

In response to the question he brings up, "How much worse might these people have done if they hadn't been given some sort of education on democracy?" there's really no way of knowing, now, is there? But what has been proven time and time again is that the training received by the military leaders at SOA only resulted in the torture and murder of tens of thousands in countries like Brazil, Panama, Argentina, Chile and Guatemala. The victims in this whole thing were working class individuals, peasants and rural workers, the middle class and university students much like us. Their only objective was to push through social and economic reforms to better the unlivable conditions of some segments of society, obtain a political voice and achieve true equality. Their demands were not much different than the ones Americans with their democracy take for granted.

But the U.S. government and the SOA, out of ignorance and fear, felt these "revolutionaries" posed a serious threat. And as someone who as seen these results first hand, I don't see how it could have turned out any worse without the meddling, financial aid and approval of the U.S. government.

Florencia Chialvo
history and Latin American
studies senior

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