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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday October 23, 2002

Pro-peace events deserve more prominent coverage

I am concerned with the unbalanced coverage of campus events pertaining to the Middle East. This weekend's gathering of nearly 1,500 people who rallied for peace deserved a front-page photo. Many students and professors joined other members of the community to show their frustration with the government's call to war.

A student, Sheila Bapat of the Progressive Alliance, ran the portion of the rally at De Anza Park. Instead of the rally, Monday's front page showed a couple of guys jumping on a Slip-N-Slide toy a bit less important than a peace rally in my opinion.

Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a series of events that has been overlooked or inaccurately reported by the Wildcat. The Alliance for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (APJME) informed the Wildcat of a film on Desert Storm and about a visit by a Palestinian peace activist, but neither was covered. A photographer also took pictures of APJME's table on the UA Mall last week, but the pictures were not used. I am also aware of several letters to the editor submitted in recent weeks that were not published, perhaps because they were well-researched rather than simple ad-hominem arguments. It was also unfortunate that last week's article on the Iraq forum reported claims that were not made, and the editorial board published an opinion that misrepresented the intentions of the event.

In contrast, a small group of Israeli drummers obtained a color photograph on the cover of the Wildcat a couple weeks ago. While this event was described as a cultural event, anyone who attempted to listen to the "peace drumming" was handed a political and very biased brochure about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I commend the Wildcat for this valuable coverage of a Middle East-related event, but question why other perspectives are not covered, as well.

Again, it is the relegation of this weekend's rally to Page 6 that is most disturbing. Hopefully you will find the APJME-sponsored rally this Thursday at noon on the Mall to be worthy of Wildcat coverage.

Noah Haiduc-Dale
vice president, APJME
Near Eastern studies
graduate student

Instead of ousting Saddam, U.S. should give up SUVs

I really enjoyed reading Shane Dale's column "You might be a socialist if " from Oct. 21. It made me laugh. However, I was not laughing at what was said, but at the way some people think. To think that war against Iraq would actually be more beneficial to Iraqi citizens and lead to fewer innocent lives lost than not going to war is not only absurd, but simple-minded.

If we wanted to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam, it wouldn't take long; but what happens afterward? If we destroy Iraq, we have the responsibility to rebuild it. War would cost thousands of innocent men, women and children their lives, and the aftermath would most likely have the same effect. Iraq is a country with long-divided, resentful ethnic groups the Kurds in the north, the Shiites in the south and the Sunnis in the center. Putting Iraq together again would be a monstrous mess taking an unknown amount of time and causing more innocent casualties.

What Americans need to realize is that this war is not only about terrorism, but oil as well. Bush is supported by big oil in America, so he is not going to do anything to upset them. This means not giving up the SUVs Mr. Dale speaks of. I don't know of anyone blaming "the extinction of dinosaurs" on SUVs, but people should realize by driving these gas-happy cars we give oil countries like Iraq money, which probably funds terrorism.

SUVs also emit harmful chemicals adding to the already large problem of global warming. At the rate global warming is occurring, Bush's ranch will look like a moonscape in 20 years. Not giving up your SUV is fine, Mr. Dale, but it's also selfish to not recognize the consequences of your and many other people's actions, especially when they affect the rest of the world.

Michael Frank
communication junior

U.S. inconsistent to target Iraq, but not North Korea

The recent revelation that North Korea most likely possesses nuclear weapons reveals the illogic of the U.S. government's argument to attack Iraq. First, it is both strange and disturbing that the U.S., while attempting to prove its case that Iraq is very near to acquiring nuclear weapons, should have somehow overlooked North Korea's own nuclear weapons program.

One would think that being a part of an Axis of Evil would grant North Korea special status in more than just rhetorical terms, assuming the term itself was not applied capriciously. Second, given its desire to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of "rogue" states, it would appear that the U.S. government is logically committed to undertaking a similar campaign in North Korea to dismantle that country's nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. government has been quick to respond that it has no immediate intention of embarking on such a campaign, because North Korea does not have a history of using weapons of mass destruction, unlike Saddam Hussein. Questions about the continuing relevance of the Axis of Evil title as it applies to North Korea aside, it is equally strange and disturbing that the U.S. government has not acknowledged the central role it had in enabling Saddam Hussein to use those weapons.

The U.S. government is certainly not known for outlining, much less adhering to, a consistent foreign policy, but its current stance vis-a-vis Iraq and North Korea, along with its zeal to topple the one and overlook the other, lacks even the most basic standards of intelligent thought.

Mark A. Rivera
classics graduate student


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