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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mail Bag

    U.S. should not cut and run or stay the course in Iraq

    Advocates of an American withdrawal from Iraq frequently argue by analogy to the Vietnam War. However, one of the darkest chapters of this war was the invasion and bombing of Cambodia, which should have taught us a lesson about leaving a country to its own devices after destabilizing it.

    On April 30, 1970, Nixon announced that the United States was invading Cambodia on the rationale that North Vietnamese troops were entering the South via the neighboring country. Nixon had actually ordered bombing of Cambodia since March of 1969, and had secretly sent troops into the country without the consent of its government. Congress – which had never authorized such action – soon ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from Cambodia and Laos (where military operations had also been under way).

    However, the bombing continued.

    Nixon’s war in Cambodia pushed North Vietnamese troops further into the country. There, they trained Communist rebels called the Khmer Rouge, who were staging a low-level insurgency against the Cambodian government. The Khmer Rouge used American bombings – which continued until 1973 and killed hundreds of thousands – to gain support for their cause. By 1975, they were enough of a force to topple the American-backed Cambodian government.

    Led by Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge banned money and all religions. They enslaved their entire country, clearing cities and sending people to toil at gunpoint in forced labor camps in the countryside. They instantly shot anyone suspected of opposing them and sought to kill all intellectuals in Cambodia. Anyone who spoke a foreign language or even wore glasses was assumed to be part of the intelligentsia. Out of a population of 8 million, the Khmer Rouge worked to death, executed and starved between 1.7 and 2.5 million. The people of Cambodia never had a chance to remove the regime from power; ironically, it got deposed by the Vietnamese military in 1979.

    The United States helped destabilize Cambodia, a country whose situation continued to spiral down after American intervention ended. Today, we are responsible for destabilizing Iraq. It is naive to believe that rogue Shiite militias – committed to torturing and slaughtering Sunnis in reprisal for bombings – will turn in their guns as soon as we leave Iraq, or that attacks on Shiite mosques and markets will suddenly stop. Iraq is long past the point where an occupying army is the dominant aggravating factor.

    If we do not want to be responsible for a calamity on a far larger scale than what has already unfolded in Iraq, we must not walk out before the country can fend for itself. This is not to say that the U.S. presence has been benign; this occupation has been brutally heavy-handed, and it is the reason that the insurgency started. Both staying the current course and leaving prematurely are dead ends. We must make a serious commitment to Iraq, and learn to act as a peacekeeper rather than an occupier. We must put the interest of peace above our own political agenda in the country.

    Sky Bauman
    physics graduate student

    Arizona, the dumbest state, needs leadership change

    I was not surprised at Arizona’s ranking of dead last in Morgan Quitno’s “”Smartest States”” report. Whether or not the report, as some argue, is filled with flaws, it is not far from the truth, and Arizona is truly the “”dumbest”” state. Education in Arizona is undeniably sub-par, and Gov. Janet Napolitano has had plenty of time to do something about this and nothing has been done. Her time is up. What Arizona truly needs is a change in leadership, a change that will yield growth and improvement, a change for the better. This is why I am voting for Len Munsil on Nov. 7.

    Bethany Fourmy
    veterinary science sophomore

    Prop 103. would unify Arizona

    I feel the Arizona Daily Wildcat’s Tuesday editorial “”Prop. 103 deserves a ‘no’ vote”” missed several key points. Besides the obvious reasons, Proposition 103 is an important move forward for all Arizona residents, English-speaking and non-English-speaking alike. The article stated that the proposition would promote division because it “”makes the speakers of non-English languages second-class citizens,”” when it is evident the opposite is true. Not speaking English in America is actually what makes a person a second-class citizen. It relegates these non-English speakers to menial jobs with little to no hope for advancement because they lack the communication skills to advance. The authors even stipulate that “”not knowing English is already harmful for those who don’t speak it.”” It is astounding to me that anyone supporting rights for immigrants would encourage a system that keeps immigrants at the bottom of the wage scale solely because they cannot speak English. Making sure all residents of Arizona learn English will only help promote economic equality among different ethnic groups.

    The authors also equate cultural diversity with language diversity. However, these are not the same or even similar. While cultural diversity is beneficial, diversity in language only divides further. Look no further than Quebec to see an example of this. When different people speak different languages, they tend to cluster with people who speak the same language. This, combined with the obvious fact that speaking different languages leads to less communication, results in less sharing of culture. Language was not developed as a way to differentiate culture but rather a means of communication.

    While both sides of the illegal immigration debate have taken sides on this topic, this is not even an immigration issue. The issue is about communication and to stop the fragmenting occurring in Arizona. Referring to supporters of Prop. 103 as “”xenophobic”” only trivializes an important issue. Regardless of where you stand on the topic of illegal immigration, Prop. 103 makes sense for all of Arizona.

    Donny Nelson
    animal sciences junior

    Course availability disappointment

    Last week, the Wildcat ran a two-part series on course availability and registration issues. When asked about class availability, President Robert Shelton is quoted as saying, “”There is always some flexibility. You have to get people into their classes.”” Shelton, as a physiology major, this school has failed me. In this major, a person is required to take physiology 201 and 202 before he can take any of the other physiology classes. Ever since anyone can remember, physiology 202 is only offered once a year, in the spring at 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Physiology majors are also required to take first- and second-semester physics. Generally, students take first-semester physics in the fall and second-semester physics in the spring. This year, the only class of second-semester physics conflicts with physiology 202. I intend on taking the MCATs and graduating next school year. Out of my physiology class of nearly 500 students, there are many others in my same situation.

    During my advising appointment, I was told that I was the fourth student that day with the same issue. I decided to take my frustration to the next level by contacting the physics department, which in turn forwarded my complaint on to the director of undergraduate studies. His response to me was, “”We’re sorry that this is very inconvenient for you. We will offer physics 103 during the summer.””

    What he does not understand is that this is not only inconvenient for me but to a good portion of my class. This university often forgets that its prime responsibility is to its students. I will admit that not only do I not understand this university’s financial situation, I simply do not care. I pay tuition, deal with price increases, new fees and any other way this school can think to nickel and dime me. I do not complain; I only expect that this school give me the opportunity to graduate on time. I find it hard to believe that out of a school of 35,000 students, that we cannot offer more than one second-semester physics class when Pima Community College can offer nine.

    The correct solution is not that we take the class at PCC or during the summer. I am offended that this director even suggested it to me. I have already paid for this education and committed my time for the regular school year. Since this affects so many people, the proper solution is to either move the physics class so that it does not conflict or create another class. No room availability or funding excuses are acceptable. I urge anyone who has this problem or thinks that this injustice should not go overlooked to contact the physics department.

    Jack Keenan
    pre-physiology junior

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