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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Khatami is no moderate

    Shurid Sen makes some excellent points in his Sept. 13 column on the hostile welcome American politicians and pundits shown to former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami during his visit here last week. It goes without saying that, as adherents of free speech and democracy, we should lead by example and be willing to hear opinions at odds with our own. In Sen’s view, this willingness to “”dialogue with more moderate officials,”” as Khatami is purported to be, may result in better relations between the U.S. and Iran. This is wishful thinking at its worst. Here are several reasons why: When Khatami was the Ayatolla Khomeini’s propaganda minister, he publicly supported Khomeini’s decree that novelist Salman Rushdie be executed for writing “”The Satanic Verses.”” During his eight-year presidency, the government arrested, detained, tortured and murdered opposition leaders, journalists and student protesters, mainly because they voiced mild opinions contrary to those of the theocrats in power. Iranian religious minorities – Bahais, Christians, Jews and others – often suffered the same treatment, mainly because they were, well, religious minorities. With moderates like these, who needs enemies?

    Recent Iranian history offers ample proof that dialogue with Khatami and his crowd has the tendency to turn into a monologue in a Tehran minute. Given this background, I think it is reasonable to believe that a more productive dialogue would be with the majority of Iranians who have been viciously oppressed by their government for almost three decades. The irony that Khatami was here in the U.S. to speak on the topic of “”Civilization and Tolerance”” was not lost on a great many observers, some of whom are natives of Iran who have had to flee for their lives since the ascendance of the fundamentalist mullahs in 1979.

    Tom Gelsinon
    program coordinator Mexican American Studies and Research Center

    Congressman Grijalva does not have Arizona’s best interests at heart

    Congressman Raul Grijalva does not have the interests of Arizona, America or the Constitution anywhere on his agenda. Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MECHA, is one organization with which Grijalva has been associated. This is not just a Latino civil rights group; it is a seditionist group that is bent on returning the Gadsden purchase (most of Arizona and New Mexico), as well as California and other areas to Mexico. Simply put, how can we trust a congressman to watch out for the interests of Arizona when he believes that our state should be given to Mexico?

    Alex Hoogasian
    political science senior

    Free speech should always be protected, even at football games

    I was alarmed at the co-authored letter written by President Robert Shelton and Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Erin Hertzog in Thursday’s issue of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. A red flag went off in my mind at the end of the letter when it was stated “”bluntly”” that extreme or hateful speech would not be tolerated here on campus. Of course it is unbecoming for an educated person to espouse ignorant and offensive remarks. What some students decided to scream at the UA game against Brigham Young University was inappropriate, and Shelton and Hertzog were right in saying they would not condone it. It should be made clear the remarks said toward the visiting team do not represent UA values. In this regard, the letter was needed and justified.

    When the letter started talking about certain expressions not being tolerated is when I got a little scared. It’s important to know those students had a right to insult The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just like “”Bible Jim”” has a right to shout crazy things on the UA Mall or the Ku Klux Klan is allowed to assemble freely. The First Amendment is not something to be applied only to things we agree with. Much like it is unbecoming for students to endorse hate, it is also unbecoming of institutions of higher learning to in any way restrict, block or otherwise make “”intolerable”” the freedoms of speech.

    As educated people, we must uphold the rights of the First Amendment and zealously protect every result of such protections. When Shelton and Hertzog speak of not tolerating such speech, does this mean disciplinary action is taken toward students who do? What measures will be taken toward Wildcats who say controversial or extreme things deemed intolerable? Who decides what is and what is not allowed? Will our university become an unsafe place to express opinions freely?

    Brian White
    journalism senior

    Cartoon erroneous

    I will admit, I have not picked up an Arizona Daily Wildcat to read until Wednesday afternoon, but trust me, I have my reasons. Now, I got through the watered-down world news, the stories about the silly things the greek kids do and how they do them, through the sports pages and so on in search of something interesting. I finally got to the comic page, the one place I was hoping to find something of worth this year … and I was let down again. First off, I don’t know if I am even naming the comic right because the girl’s handwriting was atrocious, but Katie Waters’ comic “”P.C. Toons”” was not only nonsensical, but she spelled “”feminist”” wrong. Waters, it is not “”femanist.”” Please, learn to proofread or how to use spell-check. If I am just missing something, and it was some witty play on words or purposely spelled wrong to make a point, my apologies. Perhaps I just do not understand your humor, but I have a feeling it was just a mistake.

    Kristen Ferguson
    junior majoring in French

    Wildcat in the wrong to categorize memorializing as ‘jockeying’

    In Friday’s “”Pass/Fail”” editorial, the first item claims that the speakers in the Alumni Plaza on Sept. 11 were “”alternately protesting and praising current political leaders.”” But having observed all the speakers, I can tell you that none had anything positive whatsoever to say about current political leaders, aka the Bush Administration. The College Republicans was the only group out there that could be seen as pro-Bush (everyone else in the “”debate”” was extremely far-left), yet we had no political message whatsoever on that day because, as the editorial correctly asserts, the day was not for political jockeying.

    The College Republicans and the other students who put up the 2,997 flags in honor of the people who died on that horrific day five years ago had no intended political message. We saw it only as a fitting tribute to the lives that were lost, and did not seek to gain massive amounts of publicity because of it. It wasn’t for Republicans or Democrats, it was for the thousands of Americans and foreign nationals lost in those terrorist attacks. I strongly agree the day shouldn’t have been used to sponsor anyone’s political agenda, and I was disgusted to see how many far-left groups tried to use the day to preach their messages. To the editorial staff on the Wildcat: Please get your facts right. The College Republicans respected the day, as all the political groups should have.

    Blake Rebling
    political science junior, president of the UA College Republicans

    England lovable, despite faults

    I have to say I was slightly annoyed by the sweeping generalization Lillie Kilburn made in her editorial, “”Now, for someplace completely different.”” In it, she claims that anyone who’s actually lived in the U.K. has been disenchanted by the experience and has realized they are truly American at heart.

    I have personally had the privilege of studying at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. It was not all roses and teacups, that’s for sure. I did see a drinking problem, heard annoying music (Top of the Pops, anyone?) and even had the privilege of stepping in vomit. And yes, I know that breathing the air in London is worse for your lungs than smoking eight cigarettes a day.

    However, as gritty as things could be, I’m ready to pack my bags and go back at a moment’s notice. England holds more inherent charm for me than anywhere in the U.S., and I’d gladly go back even if it meant never tasting another good tortilla as long as I live.

    Maybe it’s that I love history that makes me not mind that the buildings are a bit crumbly. Despite the pop music, the independent music scene is amazing. (I spent every Friday listening to acoustic music in an 800-year-old pub.) And even though the Norwich bus drivers were on strike more often than not, I loved the idea of a place where cars weren’t deemed a necessity. In addition, I appreciated the fact that university students in the U.K. spend less time in a classroom and more time doing independent research than they to at most American colleges.

    In the end, I don’t think I can quantify what it is about England that I love, or why I want to go back. I just ask that those who are serious about visiting give it a chance – it’s not paradise, and you won’t be removed completely from the problems of the U.S., but you may find that you love it on its own merits. I, for one, would prefer a medieval church (Norwich has upwards of 30) to a cactus.

    Maybe not an American at heart,
    Jennifer Picard
    creative writing senior

    Wildcat’s grading gets a fail

    In response to the failing grade for “”Desecrating a day of remembrance,”” (in Friday’s Daily Wildcat) the Daily Wildcat opinions board should use their journalistic skills of observation before passing judgments. The Wildcat graders claim that on Sept. 11, the speakers at the Alumni Plaza alternated between “”protesting and praising current political leaders,”” most likely President Bush. However, this claim is erroneous: While there certainly were protests, there was no praising of any current political leaders. And concerning politics, there were no orations from either the College Republicans or, by the looks of it, from the Young Democrats. Indeed, if the Wildcat opinions board members present were more attentive, they would have noticed that the general message of all speakers was that the United States is wrong. Yes, the speakers varied in their protestations. Some criticized Israel, others read poetry against violence and still others, such as the sharp-minded Richard M. Eaton from our department of history, urged for peaceful resolution for the problems related to Sept. 11. Yet the speeches predominantly involved a medley of theories about how President Bush is essentially the modern equivalent of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. To the confused individuals who embrace these ideas, Sept. 11 represents the day when the leaders of the U.S. government began their tyranny over American citizens.

    Sure, one could easily condemn these demented opinions, but as the Wildcat itself said a few days earlier, this so-called re-examination of Sept. 11 was to be “”a public inquiry of discussion, perspective and debate.”” Do those involved with the discussion deserve a failing grade for their controversial opinions? Perhaps, but the answer to such a question deserves a better explanation than the one offered. On the other side of the fence, if the Wildcat aims to fail the College Republicans for their booth between the plaza and the UA Mall, perhaps it should rethink its own perceptions. To many Americans, the tragedy was no accident, hurricane, earthquake or volcanic eruption. Sept. 11 was a deliberate and premeditated attack by America’s enemies, quite similar to the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. How to deal with those enemies is naturally a matter of policy that depends on the representatives we elect. For helping the UA remember Sept. 11 and for quietly and solemnly setting up their usual booth offering voter registration to all, the College Republicans get a pass. For inaccurate reporting, self-contradiction and the unremarkable composition of five sentences based on a gut reaction, the Daily Wildcat gets a fail.

    Daniel Greenberg
    political science freshman

    ‘Refuse and Resist’ correct to question, condemn status quo

    I would like to voice my frustrations in response to the letters claiming that Refuse and Resist’s political action on Sept. 11 was exploitive and in “”protest”” to the remembrance of those who passed. While Sept. 11 serves as a day to remember those lost, it also warrants, at the very least, a reflection on the consequences of that day. To not re-examine the many implications this day has had on the world would, in fact, be a disservice to those who died. Our grief is not a cry for war, despite what Bush says.

    Our demand to drive out the Bush regime is labeled as “”unreasonable”” by those who wish to remain engaged in politics “”as usual.”” But in the current situation – in which torture is normalized, murderous wars are launched and planned, power is concentrated in the executive branch, theocracy is increasingly imposed and science is suppressed – in short, when fascism is being put in place – there is nothing more reasonable than to demand what to some seems to be impossible.

    Politics “”as usual,”” working within the killing confines of this political system, will only suffocate the potential for real change. Joel Shooster is right in stating (in his letter in Friday’s Daily Wildcat) that Refuse and Resist does not represent the voice of the Democratic Party. And as for “”hurting the Democrats,”” the Democrats are doing that themselves. Their complicity in all the crimes of the Bush regime is a betrayal of the people they claim to be for and shows their true face. The Democrats won’t save us. It is up to the masses of people to take responsibility for the situation in which they live and fight for a world worth living in, for all of humanity. To ask for anything less is unreasonable.

    Rather than hoping for a mythical pendulum to swing back in November, why not do the only thing that can truly reverse the disastrous course we are on? Why not hit the streets on Oct. 5 and help create a movement that can change history? Check out www.worldcantwait.org for more information.

    Stephanie Woods
    veterinary science senior, Refuse and Resist president

    Party during school hours inappropriate, an affront to education

    I would like to point out the rather obvious misguided event that occurred last week. Someone, in an effort to do a good thing, forgot that the primary purpose of the UA is, and should be, education. This someone actually scheduled Peter Likins’ “”going away event”” on a weekday (Thursday), during a time when classes were scheduled. I, and many others, work during the day and attend class in the late afternoon or evening, rush to the UA, assume we will be able to park in the Second Street Parking Garage and might just make it to class, or only be a few minutes late. On that Thursday, police in uniforms were lined up at the entrance to the garage to turn students away because the garage had been reserved for the party or event. I was already 10 minutes late, as I am a teacher and something came up at school. The police informed me that I had a choice of going off campus; trying to find parking at another garage some distance from the College of Education, hiking to class and hiking back to my car afterwards, in the dark; or calling Safe Ride. After all the hiking to and from, I would have missed close to an hour of class, as I am not a spring chicken and don’t hike very fast.

    I spent in the neighborhood of $900 for that class and should have been allowed to park in the nearest garage and attend in a timely manner. That I wasn’t allowed to is not acceptable. It is right up there with not being able to use the Main Library on game days because the entire campus is locked up for parking by sports fans. (I do understand sports generate revenues for the UA.) But how do you justify a party on class time? Couldn’t the “”event”” have been planned for a Friday evening or on the weekend, so as to minimize the disruption to the educational process? Couldn’t the planners have been a little more sensitive to the mission of the school? I just want to know why such a clueless person was allowed to plan this event. Did he not go to college? Does he not understand needing to get to class after a full day of work, which means parking within a reasonable distance from class? It is hard to be sympathetic to the UA whining about needing money to offer decent courses to its students when the UA itself apparently doesn’t value education. Just my opinion.

    Cheryl Beran
    educational leadership graduate student

    Terrorists must be eliminated

    I am writing in response to the article on the political feuding over President Bush’s Sept. 11 speech. Any reference to war in a speech about the atrocities committed on Black Tuesday is completely justified and necessary. The terrorist attacks were acts of war. They were not directed at the military or the government; they were committed against civilians, thousands of civilians. I do think what people fail to realize is that the thousands of people left dead and their families are not the only victims of the attacks. We are all victims and have all been affected by these mass murders. Every time I see the footage of the towers falling, the second plane hitting the south tower, the civilians jumping to their deaths from the burning buildings or the Pentagon on fire, I get angry. Any American – any person who claims to love America – should get angry. These days I wonder whom I am more angry at: the terrorists or the pacifying leftists who think these animals should go unpunished.

    In the 1940s, the U.S. suffered a terrible attack on Pearl Harbor, a noncivilian military base, and did we retaliate? Hell yes, we did, hardcore, and have we had a problem with that nation since then? No. Of course a speech about the happenings of Sept. 11 would go hand in hand with commentary on the war on terror. Why should we let them win by not retaliating? What exactly is the liberal definition of “”imminent threat?”” Is that when a biological or chemical weapon is a mile above Washington, D.C., or New York City? We take things like echinacea and flu shots to prevent getting sick; why not apply the same concept to national security? Or should we just allow viruses to affect us because they have “”rights””? My point being, war is absolutely necessary in eliminating the terrorists who murdered 3,000 civilians on Sept. 11. It may be an uphill battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting.

    These fanatics are unreasonable and need to be dealt with in the only language they know: War. Only in a leftist society would these monsters be allowed to commit such heinous crimes with impunity. House Democratic “”leader”” Nancy Pelosi has no right to question the integrity of the American people when she lashed out against the airstrikes that killed Abu Musab al Zarqawi, saying that wasn’t the “”answer.”” The same woman who refused to give credit to U.S. intelligence for its role in thwarting the terrorist plot to bomb airliners flying out of Britain, again because “”spying”” isn’t the “”answer.”” Well let’s hear your plan, Nancy, we’re all ears. Her attacks on Bush’s speech were entirely out of line, and it is humiliating to share the title of “”American”” with her.

    Bethany Fourmy
    pre-medical junior

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