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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 20, 2005
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U.S. nuclear policies put global survival at risk

Matt Stone, in his column "Russian Roulette," is correct in demanding urgent action against the continuing nuclear threat that hangs over the world even in this post-Cold War era. Furthermore, he is right to emphasize the need to dismantle Russia's nuclear arsenal, with its deteriorating safety and security measures. However, while Stone mentioned the nuclear capabilities, or suspected capabilities, of Russian, Iran and North Korea, he failed to mention America's dangerous nuclear policies.

In a Time international poll of 2003, when responding to the question ,"Which country really poses the greatest danger to world peace?" an overwhelming 87.9 percent of respondents said that the U.S. posed the biggest threat. These feelings do not stem from illogical "anti-Americanism," rather they reflect international outrage at the current administration's dangerous policies, including its nuclear strategy.

Since George W. Bush took office, his administration has been pushing for a new generation of nuclear weapons called "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrators," the so-called mini-nukes, despite bipartisan congressional and popular opposition to such weapons. Furthermore, in 2001 Bush abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in favor of a much weaker agreement that does not require the destruction of warheads (thereby making greater the possibility that these warheads might fall into the hands of international terrorists.) Finally, Bush's policy of preventative war, which holds that merely the intent or capacity to develop WMDs are sufficient causes for war, encourages states to develop nuclear weapons to deter an American assault.

If Stone can get a copy of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists while in Moscow, he would be wise to do so as the latest edition deals with many of these issues. If not, he should at least read Bush's National Security Strategy outlined in September 2002. If Stone intends to "get serious" about nuclear weapons, he may want to start thinking critically about the only country in the history of the world that has ever used nuclear weapons against another country and how the policies of our government are putting the survival of our species at risk.

Sandy Marshall

near Eastern studies graduate student

UAPD should revise procedures for sexual assault cases

I am responding to the article "Two Students Report Assaults: Unclear Whether They Denied Sexual Advances." Specifically I would like to comment on the statement made by UAPD spokesman Sgt. Eugene Mejia. I found his comments were, at best, uninformed.

I find it appalling that in today's society, where it is estimated that less than one in three rapes are reported to the authorities, an authority figure would mislead victims of sexual assault into believing that non-consent must be "clearly communicated." By simply reading the Arizona statue (A.R.S. 13-1401) pertaining to sexual offenses and consent, it is clear that communication of consent, rather than communication of non-consent is the decisive factor in determining the occurrence of a sexual assault.

Under the statue, one definition of "without consent" is when the victim is "incapable of consent by reason of (d)rugs, alcohol, sleep or any other similar impairment of cognition and such condition is known or should have reasonably been known" to the assailant. In cases where alcohol is a factor, if the assailant is aware that the victim is drunk or is in anyway unable to consent to sexual conduct, further engagement in sexual activity constitutes a sexual assault.

The statement made by Mejia reflects an antiquated view of women and sexual offenses. As a spokesperson for the university's police department, I find it unacceptable that Mejia has conveyed to victims of sexual assault that the assault is somehow their own fault for not verbalizing their wishes not to participate in sexual conduct. By turning away victims of sexual assault, UAPD is doing nothing more than advancing stereotypical views of sexual assault victims. I suggest that Mejia, along with all other UAPD officers, reexamine their procedure for handling reports of sexual assault.

Jessica Hanawalt
second-year law student

Bennett comments a throwback to pre-Civil War era

This letter is response to Scott Patterson's column "Bennett owes no apology." I cannot help but be offended that Mr. Patterson's article attempts to rationalize and justify William Bennett's racist theory that if the U.S. would like to reduce the crime rate, then we should proceed to abort every black baby.

While some may say that Mr. Patterson's and Mr. Bennett's comments are protected under the freedom of speech/press clauses of the First Amendment, there are certain phrases, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, that fall outside those protections: national security, obscenity, and words that inspire hatred and violence. And Mr. Bennett's comments most definitely fall outside First Amendment protection, especially in light of the near-riot that took place over the weekend in Toledo, Ohio, because of a neo-Nazi rally/demonstration.

Mr. Patterson also gives the reader statistics in an attempt to validate his defense for Mr. Bennett comments. After giving us these stats, he says, "we find that blacks are still more likely to commit a crime." There is no statistic great enough to justify a comment that centers on a mass genocide of one race, Mr. Patterson. I say to you that minorities are more likely to be targeted for crimes, not commit them.

If one thinks about this, the majority of police officers are primarily found to be patrolling the inner city where a vast amount of minorities reside. When was the last time police officers patrolled up in the foothills of Tucson looking for a crime besides speeding? People only see what they want to see and officers are no different. They see only the crimes they want to see and they automatically and unjustifiably target minorities, whether it is downtown Detroit or the South Side of Tucson.

People before us have worked too hard and too long to give minorities the same rights and privileges that whites have, and Mr. Bennett's comments do nothing but inspire scorn and hatred and attempt to set this country back to a pre-Civil War era.

Michael Dunk
political science senior

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