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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcat columnists weigh in Venezuelan voting

    Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has been waging a campaign for his country to gain Latin America’s open seat on the United Nations Security Council. His ambitions were crushed after U.S.-favored Guatemala took the first round of balloting Monday and is expected to maintain its lead. What does this defeat mean for the Security Council and the U.N. itself?

    Venezuela on the Security Council? That’s a wonderful idea! While we’re at it, why don’t we let China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia join the Human Rights Council? What’s that you say? The grandees over at the U.N. already let this happen? Let’s get real. The U.N. is a corrupt and mostly inept institution. The fact that Venezuela was even a contender for this seat demonstrates just how out of touch with reality the diplocrats at Turtle Bay really are. I keep hoping the U.N. will earn some respect and credibility. With news like this, I’m not gonna hold my breath.

    – Jon Riches is a third-year law student

    Thank God. Sure, it probably wouldn’t have made much difference if Venezuela had won a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council – with no veto, the nonpermanent seats really don’t mean anything anyway. But at least it was refreshing to see that the world community hasn’t turned on the U.S. so much that they would vote for a maniac like Hugo Chavez, nor been suckered into the tyrant’s anti-Western rhetoric enough to forget that by denying Venezuela a seat, the global community has reminded our neighbors to the south that it is decidedly not in their best interest to keep Chavez around. Thank you world, you have proved resilient and wise.

    – Stan Molever is a senior majoring in philosophy

    Venezuela on the Security Council? No need to waste time worrying about it. Though the U.N. itself is vital, the Security Council in its current form is a defunct institution, bereft of legitimacy and political muscle. But its concept is a sound one, and the need for reform is pressing. Five permanent members wield a veto, effectively jamming the council into iron pants. How about we give Japan and India permanent seats and veto power and then stipulate that it will require two vetoes for any resolution to be shot down, not the current single veto? Some unorthodox thinking may help the Security Council regain its stature. Until then, Venezuela’s hypocritical bluster will continue to fall on deaf ears.

    – Matt Stone is a senior majoring in international studies and economics

    Duke Lacrosse players go public – too soon?
    Three members of the Duke University lacrosse team accused last year of a highly publicized rape appeared Monday on CBS’ “”60 Minutes”” to discuss how the accusations that they had raped a dancer hired to appear at a team party had “”ruined their lives.”” The rape trial is still pending an outcome. Was an appearance on such a show before the conclusion of their case appropriate, given the nature of the accusations? Do the accused players deserve the opportunity to attempt to publicly clear their names?

    The issue here doesn’t really center on the facts of the case or the guilt of the defendants, both of which should eventually be settled in the courtroom. The real injustice is the players’ inappropriate use of the media, selfishly suggesting to crazed reporters that their lives are somehow the only ones that have been ruined in this debacle. The fact of the matter is that the great majority of sexual assaults go unreported, and the prospect of a slanderous media feeding frenzy surely dims any hope that victims will be more willing to come forward in the future. There’s a time and a place to air grievances, and the Duke players needn’t worry – they’ll get their book deal and their day on “”Oprah.”” But let’s wait until after the trial to start the finger pointing.

    – Damion LeeNatali is a senior majoring in political science and history

    Rape is never a trivial issue, but the degree to which this case has dragged on and on lends credence to the notion that it is motivated by little more than district attorney Mike Nifong’s political ambitions. The accused had been convicted in the court of public opinion in Durham, and Nifong had his re-election to think about – so he followed suit. According to Duke law professor James Coleman, who led an internal investigation of the incident, “”it appears that this prosecutor has set out to develop whatever evidence he could to convict people he already concluded were guilty.”” As public as this case has already been, the accused deserve to clear their names.

    – David Francis is a pre-business sophomore.

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