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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday September 12, 2003

Bir Zeit ╬only option for many Palestinian students'

As a former UA student who attended Bir Zeit University specifically to study Arabic, I found Yariv Ovadia's comments regarding Bir Zeit University ("Bir Zeit students go to school to learn how to build bombsĚ") insulting and demeaning. Bir Zeit is the best university in the West Bank, and it is the only option for many Palestinian students wanting a university education. Since when has wanting an education counted as terrorism?

When I attended Bir Zeit, I was on a federal grant because our government recognized the program that I was in as an effective one for learning Arabic. I have since graduated from the UA and am pursuing my Ph.D. at Princeton University. If Princeton and the UA are also terrorist training camps, perhaps someone should let Mr. Ovadia know.

Karen Bauer
'01 alumna

Mayor used 9/11 ceremony for own political purposes

On Thursday, the second anniversary of 9/11, I scurried over to attend the moment of silence and commemoration on the UA Mall. When I arrived, I saw Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup defending the city's emergency preparedness on the actual day of the tragic event. UA President Likins was at the rear of the stage. The notion of hearing our mayor ¸ who faces a tough reelection campaign against UA professor Tom Volgy in less than two months ¸ politicking on campus on this near-sacred day made me sick to my stomach. I'm sure this subtlety was not overlooked by the scores of people in attendance.

Stuart Williams
accounting graduate student

Sept. 11 best memorialized by memory, perseverance

As I read all of the Wildcat columnists' respective opinions on how the 2-year anniversary of 9/11 should be handled, I found that I did not wholly agree with any of them, but rather tidbits of each, and here is why: for many at the UA, the tragic day was images on TV of planes crashing, towers falling (looped repeatedly), mourners, rubble and memorials. After that fateful Tuesday I was in Manhattan by Friday night, and the two glaring spaces in the skyline hit me like a ton of bricks as I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge. My two favorite buildings buckled to their knees by a few unscrupulous bastards? Cowardice. I met my family and the next day I was able to go on the rubble, past the police barriers, past National Guard, next to the firefighters and volunteers who worked though the brutal conditions as best they could to find survivors. With the rubble still burning, death's haunted essence polluted the air. The signs of struggle, fatality, and survival were everywhere ¸ bloody handprints on deli doors, bloody clothes that had been used as filters and discarded and, most ominous, the smoldering pyre of thousands of carelessly lost lives. You don't forget this. You can nurse it with tears, work, alcohol, rage, drugs, creative outlets etc., but you never forget ¸ you can't. That being said, the best way for us to handle this 9/11, and all those that will follow is to simply observe a moment of silence and reflection out of respect for the brave and the dead, and then move on. We don't need great fanfare and perpetual mourning, (as the media would like us to believe) nor should we show impertinence to those who lost their life. A minute or more of meditation or prayer will do it justice. This is America ¸ we have business to take care of, classes to pass, jobs to do and fun to enjoy and dwelling on the matter forever is ridiculous and futile. I can honestly say that I doubt any of those who were in the buildings and could feel death creeping worried about whether they would be properly memorialized, and I think now they would appreciate personal reflection more than anything.

Rudy Randa
economics and Italian senior

Greenspan letter's analogy reveals ╬skewed perspective'

This letter is in response to Daniel Greenspan's article in the Sept. 10 Wildcat, "Tucson police akin to Gestapo for enforcing anti-drug laws." In said article, Mr. Greenspan states that, "all police departments, including the Tucson Police Department, oppress the innocent." Contrary to his skewed perspective, Tucson is not a police state and the TPD is not Big Brother. The men and women of the TPD are out there everyday making this city safe and are not guilty of "oppressing the innocent."

I am deeply sorry that you cannot enjoy your favorite drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, but you must understand that we live in a society of law and if you do not agree with the law, you may either a) break the law and take responsibility for your actions or b) leave the country. You also state that illegal drugs need to be "recognized as morally permissible." It is not the government, but the individual that determines what is moral or immoral.

Furthermore, inciting riots and revolutions is not the way to get things done. Leave it to the anti-intellectual anarchists to use brute force rather than rational and civil methods to institute change. As an aside, Mr. Greenspan, exclamation points lose their effectiveness when used after every sentence.

Nick Smith
marketing and journalism junior

Touseull too easy to offend; ╬Sarape's Grill' not racist

I was highly amazed at the opinion of Charlie Touseull in his letter commenting on the comic strip "Sarape's Grill." It seems that Mr. Touseull is more worried about a comic strip offending people than making people laugh. Come on, it's a COMIC strip. I highly doubt that Arnie Bermudez has any intentions of turning "Sarape's Grill" into a racist platform. I and many people I know like the comics drawn by Mr. Bermudez. In a world that has grown increasingly more afraid of offending a specific race, "Sarape's Grill" does not conform to being "politically correct." So what? It's not there to be "PC," only to entertain. It's unfortunate to know that there are people on this campus who cannot and will not take a comic strip for what it is. I personally, along with many others, look forward to the humor found in the comics drawn by Arnie Bermudez for many more years to come.

Paul Lopez
psychology freshman

Contributions of Ken Foster will be missed

Over the years I have watched Ken Foster change a lackluster program into UAPresents, a great asset to the university and to Tucson. Now that he is moving on to greener pastures, it will be interesting to see if the university rises to the challenge of adequately replacing him (hardly likely) or sinks back into the sea of mediocrity where it had languished for so long. I for one will miss Ken and his ability to bring outstanding artists to Tucson.

Sam Marion
physiology research specialist

TPD only kills buzz, not innocent victims

This letter is in regards to the raid on Jefferson Star Ranch, and most notably Daniel Greenspan's rant about police officers being "the bad guy" when it comes to the war on drugs. First of all, the raid on Star Ranch was in no way akin to the behavior of the Gestapo. The Gestapo violated laws of humanity. They performed unspeakable atrocities to millions of men women and children. The only thing these police officers did was kill a few buzzes, or perhaps prevent a few dates with the toilet.

Second, although I do not disagree with Greenspan that it is ridiculous that drugs such as marijuana are illegal, I find it difficult to blame the police officers for this. They are simply doing a job. They didn't create the laws. Mr. Greenspan, we live in the U.S., and if you want the laws changed, you should run for office and change them. And next time you think that getting a small fine for possession of marijuana is some "police master plan" to discriminate against the drug users, think about the people in Saudi Arabia. If they are caught smoking a joint, they can be hung.

Third, regarding the people who argue about it costing the taxpayers money: 127 people were arrested. Each of these people will likely face a fine of about $100. I am pretty sure this will offset the cost.

Basically, the police just did their jobs. If you are going to drink underage, don't be stupid. Having a fake ID and showing it to the cops is stupid. I won't take pity on you if you get arrested. Being at a huge party that is obviously going to get busted by the cops is stupid. I won't take pity on you. If you want to drink, you know the risk. That's just reality. If you don't want to be made an example of, then wait until you are 21.

Jakob Schanzer
chemistry senior

U.S. should not fund, arm terrorist states

In response to Chad Mills thoughts about Sept. 11 and terrorism: I agree that terrorism and the people that perpetrate terrorist activities need to be dealt with in a swift and decisive manner. However, perhaps the people of the United States and its government could do a lot to effectively reduce the world of terror by refusing to participate and refusing to fund known terrorist nations around the world. It's no secret that the U.S. supported and aided Saddam Hussein throughout some of his worst atrocities and aided him with weapons that killed Kurds and other Iraqis. The hypocrisy of American government towards terror is not something new; it's been happening for years. The American government supported horrific acts of state-sponsored terror in the ╬80s in Central American countries, as well as countries like Turkey, Colombia and Bosnia that all lost civilians to brutal attacks either carried out by the U.S. or by regimes funded by the U.S. And it would be wrong of me to leave out a brutal Israeli military responsible for the deaths of thousands of Palestinian civilians each year and supported by American tax dollars. The sad thing regarding the situation is that most Americans don't know about these acts, and if they do, it doesn't bother them because it happens somewhere else in the world. In fact, to most of the world, the events of Sept. 11 were nothing new, they differed only in where they occurred, and the means used to carry them. I don't mean to be an apologist for the terrorists who were responsible for the loss of American lives; the attack was a deplorable act that deserves solemn remembrance. Therefore, I will continue to pray for those affected by the events of 9/11, my peers who risk their lives on the front line in the Middle East, as well as families in Iraq who have lost innocent lives at the hands of American bombs.

Christian Felix
finance senior

╬Women's basic rights' violated by Gag Rule

A big hand to Kendrick Wilson. It's unfortunate that so many students are unaware of the Gag Rule. While UA students sit in the stadium to cheer on the Wildcats, they have no idea that the money used to build the stadium is suppressing women's basic rights. While women have the right to choose thanks to Roe v. Wade, their choice in a health care professional with the proper credentials is dwindling. Thank you so much, UA, for adding to the list of non-supporters.

Allison Baron

Snodgrass unfairly compared to terrorist

I don't know what message the Wildcat is trying to send by printing ludicrous comparisons such as those stated by Yariv Ovadia (of the Consul for Communications and Public Affairs at the Israeli Consulate). Ovadia blindly states of the school that former UA student Paul Snodgrass chose to attend, "Bir Zeit students go to school to learn how to build bombs. The only thing coming out of there is a terrorist." Wow ¸ so everyone who attends that school is seeking to blow up the world? That's almost as clever as Danny Bobman's statement, "We pretty much live 9/11 everyday..." Hmm Ě I was unaware that 3,OOO citizens died every day in Israel as a result of an Al-Qaida attack. Maybe Bobman thinks that referring to 9/11 will turn the attention away from his false, derogatory statements, as a means to justify the Israeli government's mysterious deportation of anyone who decides to educate himself about the occupation.

Yusra Tekbali
molecular and cellular biology freshman

Benefits should be for all partners, or none

Columnist Chad Mills' logic concerning employee benefits for UA employees and their domestic partners is extremely flawed. I do agree with him on one point, however: Either extend all benefits equally to all employees, or extend no benefits at all. Let the heterosexuals lose their benefits and see how they feel about it.

Jeff Ofstedahl
Tucson, Arizona

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