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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    War with Iran not the answer

    I read with a mixture of shock and awe the comments of Mr. Matt Winter in your Mailbag on Monday, when he contended that Iran is “”pushing us around”” and that we should use diplomacy “”only a short while longer”” before using other means to confront this “”threatening”” nation. It remains unclear to me just how Iran is managing to “”push us around”” when this country is surrounded by U.S. occupation troops in Afghanistan to the east, Iraq to the west and two U.S. carrier groups in the Persian Gulf to the south.

    Nevertheless, Winter seems ready to build the case for war. He notes that Iran has been “”flexing its military muscle””; it has been “”pursuing nuclear technologies””; it has refused to listen to the “”warnings of the U.N.””; it has denied people “”basic human rights””; it has threatened other countries; and it has captured and detained combatants under questionable circumstances.

    Because of all this, says Winter, the U.S. must stand up to Iran. If we accept Mr. Winter’s premise and apply his logic universally, we come to the unfortunate conclusion that the entire world should “”execute diplomacy only a short while longer”” before “”standing up to the tyrants”” in Washington. While I do not share Mr. Winter’s grim logic, I do commend him on his openness to options other than using force in Iran.

    According to a recent World Public Opinion survey, the majority of people in both Iran and America feel that Iran has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes but should comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is something that majority of Americans also feel the U.S. should do. The treaty could be enforced with U.N. inspections, which, again, the majority of both publics support. In 2003, Iran showed it was prepared to go one better by offering to suspend uranium enrichment and engage in multilateral negotiations on a number of outstanding Middle East issues; however, the U.S. quickly nixed this EU negotiated proposal.

    So, what is the alternative to war with Iran? It’s simple. The U.S. should stop undermining diplomacy and stop this insane drive toward war. As for the American public, we need to make our voices heard and tell Washington that not only do we not support the current war in Iraq, we don’t want war with Iran, either.

    Sandy Marshall Near Eastern Studies graduate student

    The $1 billion election

    As of the end of March, there are six frontrunners for the 2008 presidential election. Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney are the top three for the Republican Party. As for the Democrats, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards stand as top contenders for the Democratic nomination.

    Now, the actual election is not until Nov. 4, 2008, and national conventions for each party are not until the end of summer 2008, but the status of the top six candidates for the office of the presidency is one of the most talked about news stories of the 21st century. For the first time in 80 years, there is no incumbent candidate, the broad spectrum of possible candidates is intriguing and no votes are guaranteed by any candidate’s general appearance.

    For all you election buffs out there though, the big deadline is Dec. 31, 2007. There is no big debate scheduled or any major political affairs for New Year’s Eve this year; rather it is the crucial election 2008 deadline indicated by Michael Toner.

    Who is Michael Toner and what is so crucial about this date? Election 2008 is going to be the most expensive election in United States history, for a variety of obvious reasons: the cost of media these days for one, and according to the Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (Mr. Toner), in order to “”be taken seriously,”” a candidate must raise at least $100 million dollars by Dec. 31 of this year.

    To give you an idea, in 1996, when Bill Clinton ran for re-election, the total cost of the election was just under $500 million dollars, so in less than a decade the cost associated with an election has doubled. The figures calculated are only the costs of the primary elections, general elections and each party’s national convention; all other appearances and debates are not accounted for in this billion-dollar total.

    Currently, Hillary Clinton is the financial front-runner with $36 million tallied to her campaign camp; she is also the first candidate to announce her overall totals (within the next two weeks we shall hear from the rest).

    The process by which funds can be attributed to each candidate’s campaign bank account is complex and heavily regulated, but in the end success is going to be measured by these totals.

    Each candidate is going to spend the next nine months struggling to gain support for their individual campaigns, through every possible outlet, and when it comes down to who has a shot of being nominated at their party convention, their financial power will be the key determining factor. Perhaps you have a favorite candidate or one you just have your eye on; as December 2007 gets closer by the day, keep an eye out for their campaign totals as well. Come Dec. 31, regardless of your party affiliation, you may have to re-evaluate your earlier choice. American politics is quite fascinating.

    Ashley C. Emerole sophomore majoring in political science and regional development

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