Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Nuclear policy needlessly endangers civilians
I would like to commend Scott Patterson for drawing attention to the ramifications of the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations ("How new U.S. nuclear policy will ignite WWIII"). This document, which can be viewed online at www. globalsecurity.org, represents an unprecedented threat toward national and global security.
In addition to allowing for the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons under ambiguous, subjective conditions, the doctrine makes assumptions that could prove deadly. For one, the United States in this case is not facing a centralized enemy. Because terror cells operate outside the context of states, it is impossible to target every possible threat, and it is likewise impossible to avoid massive, horrific civilian casualties.
The doctrine also allows for the use of nuclear weapons against conventional forces under circumstances that could be interpreted to mean almost anything, which due to the increasing role of urban combat, also means civilian casualties on a mass scale. Most importantly, a pre-emptive nuclear attack leaves enemies with the sense that there may be nothing left to lose, destroying any rationality that may prevent full-scale retaliation. It is crucial that the American people stay informed about this, because the consequences are profound.
Near Eastern Studies graduate student
detrimental to Wildcat
I just wanted to second Jeremy Palmer's comments on the pornographic nature of some of your pages ("Wildcat pornographic, does disservice to the UA"). I find it very uncomfortable to be sitting in class, trying to cultivate myself into an educated, intellectual woman, when the guy in the seat next to me is reading an article with a 1-foot tall topless dancer sprawled across the opposite page.
I understand that strip club advertisements are a large source of income for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, so I'm not asking you to remove them altogether. But please require the graphic to be more tasteful (a pretty, seductive face) or only have text in the advertisement. I would very much appreciate not having a woman's crotch in the same line of sight as my daily news.
political science sophomore
Dalai Lama a symbol of hypocrisy
I find it troubling that the Wildcat has chosen to uncritically convey the Dalai Lama's "message of compassion" ("Dalai Lama delivers message of compassion to 8,000 at TCC") when he is undoubtedly one of the world's leading hypocrites.
As spiritual ruler of Tibet, the Dalai Lama presided over a brutal and feudalistic society, where women were viewed as property, the vast majority of people were kept illiterate and chattel slavery was a state supported institution. Still more, the Dalai Lama benefited directly from these horrors through vast landholdings and personal ownership of several hundred slaves. Life in Lhasa prior to the Chinese invasion in 1952 cannot and should not in anyway be characterized as enlightened, and though I do not support Sino-dominance of Tibet, the Dalai Lama has always shown willingness to be party to other nations' imperialism.
Members of the Tibetan exile community, including the Dalai Lama, are known to have worked with the CIA in their attempts to destabilize the Chinese government and were the driving force behind a brief counterinsurgency in the region, aimed at returning the religious hierarchy to power. Anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of history or international affairs knows that the CIA is not an organization whose goal is "inner disarmament," but rather one whose aim has always been to reinforce U.S. global hegemony by any means necessary.
That having been said, I do agree with him that young people need to be working for peace. The problem is that people like the Dalai Lama only want peace on their terms. It's the peace of the powerful.
NASA best agency to tackle space travel
Kara Karlson's column ("It would be a great day if NASA had to have bake sales") made a great point about space exploration. A government-funded space program spurred technological advances that would not have occurred otherwise. However, the rest of the article was less inspired.
The United States is not pursuing Mars to demonstrate superiority as Karlson suggests. The frontier of space is no longer a competition but a field for global cooperation. I work for the UA-headed Phoenix Mars Lander Mission, which is funded by NASA and has partners around the globe. That precedent of global cooperation stretches back nearly seven years to the International Space Station.
A major portion of NASA's 2006 proposed fiscal budget is dedicated to education and public outreach, a fact not included in Karlson's article. From NASA's $386-million grant to the UA, $5.7 million of that is earmarked for that purpose. NASA's budget could not even begin to pay interest on a $7.9-trillion deficit, and dissolving NASA would also put over 18,000 employees out of work and cripple the companies contracted by NASA, including Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
Karlson's claim that the pursuit of Mars could be undertaken by the private sector is unfounded. Private ventures are under-funded and have only ever achieved flight in suborbital space, 62 miles above the Earth's surface compared to the average 48 million miles between Earth and Mars. The private sector is massively behind NASA in terms of space exploration of the moon, not to mention Mars.
Karlson also told us that 4Frontiers Corp. plans to have a human settlement on Mars in 20 years, an ambitious claim for a company launched less than a year ago. Space Adventures Ltd., another company cited by Karlson, was launched in 1998 and still has not traversed the 240,000 miles to the moon that NASA achieved in 1969. The Mars frontier is best left to the organization that has been the foremost presence in space exploration since the first lunar landing 36 years ago - NASA.
criminal justice administration sophomore
ASUA senators don't need conference money
While I am neither upset nor surprised that ASUA senators would consider themselves before the rest of the campus they supposedly represent, I would like to comment on the Wildcat's article "Senate has spent a quarter of budget."
It is interesting to me that 60 percent of ASUA's operating budget goes to their salaries and that they will increase that percentage to 66 percent with their trip to Denver. Additionally, isn't it odd and/or bothersome that the senators feel they need to attend a leadership conference to better hone their leadership skills? As elected officials, aren't the senators already supposed to be great leaders? Don't the senators care enough about their positions to have gone to conferences such as this one over the summer, so they could immediately step up to the plate with the beginning of the school year?
business administration graduate student
More than locks needed for real safety
In response to the Sept. 20 editorial ("Sex assault safety key: lock door, be aware"), I find it disheartening that the mindset of so many members of the UA and Tucson communities, students and authorities alike, give the same response to sexual assault - lock your doors.
I cannot deny that such an act can prevent the occurrence of sexual assault; however, making this claim is akin to blaming victims of rape for dressing in a way that "provokes" or "asks" to be raped. Faulting an individual who is the victim of a crime provides an excuse for morally reprehensible behavior. A locked door may prevent a criminal from entering one's home, but it does not eliminate the criminal behavior on a societal scale.
The claim of the editorial board that individuals "can nearly eradicate the possibility of sexual assaults if they focus on preventing opportunities for predators" treats the symptoms and not the myriad causes of sexual crimes.
There is a need for communitywide response to the prevalence of sexual assault that will eliminate the threat. This may come in the form of neighborhood watch programs, a UA or Tucson police initiative against sexual crimes, or in a wide array of other programs to reduce the threat that sexual criminals pose.
Instead, the response has reduced the sense of security each community member should experience, especially while at home and asleep at 3 a.m. The relevant authorities, including the voice expressed through our media, ought to act to make us all truly safer, rather than driving us to live in fear behind locked doors.
hydrology and water resources graduate student