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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    9/11 remembrance ‘twisted into political propaganda’

    There are many ways to remember the victims of the attacks of Sept. 11. On Tuesday, the College Republicans covered Alumni Plaza with an American flag for every victim of the attacks. It was an interesting way to remember those who perished, especially when one considers that at least 327 of the people represented by an American flag were citizens of countries other than the United States. A memorial ought to honor those who have fallen. That Tuesday’s display ignored and misrepresented the identity of well over 10 percent of the people it claimed to memorialize suggests that the display had other intentions. That its creators considered it more important to display American flags than to accurately remember those who lost their lives indicates that the display was less a memorial than a twisted piece of political theater.

    It is as if the creators, by representing every victim with an American flag, sought to provoke the potent emotions of sorrow, loss and anger rightfully associated with the 9/11 tragedy and then to pervert them into an irate form of nationalism motivated by rage and fear. As we never forget the victims of September 11, we must be diligent in remembering them not as political propaganda but as unique individuals each of whose death is a tragedy.

    Simultaneously, we must remain guarded against those who insist that the only response to terror is a worldview that is as confused about the identity of terrorists as it is mistaken about the nationality of terror victims. For too long any appeal to patriotism has gone unchallenged. The memories of those who have lost their lives, the principles of a free society and the world as a whole demand we exercise a higher level of scrutiny. Sadly, we live in a world with no shortage of individuals who seek to distort patriotism to further their political agendas. Fortunately, we also live in a free society which allows us to question those individuals, to expose their methods, and to ensure that those who have manipulated us in the past never find power again.

    Whether the misrepresentation occurred as a result of ignorance, insensitivity or more sinister calculations, it is most importantly disrespectful to those who lost their lives in the tragedy. The display on Tuesday articulated a clearly political message wrapped in an American flag and soaked in the tears of global heartbreak. To the flag, I give a salute; and to those who cried, I offer my condolences. However, to those who seek to gain politically by exploiting the pain of others, no words can express my anger. My only comfort comes from knowing that we still live in a free society that will never allow the memory of those who died on September 11 to be twisted into political propaganda.

    -Paul Metcalf
    vice president,
    University of Arizona Young Democrats

    The ‘Truth’ is out there …

    I dont write many letters but I felt that on this patriotic day, I owed it to America to extend my thanks to Justyn Dillingham for his Tuesday article “”9/11 ‘Truth’ movement a waste of time.”” We live in a very delicate world and we sometimes need a reminder as to how fragile it really is. Justyn is right, the 9/11 Truth movement is a waste of time. It doesn’t matter that one-third of the entire population doesn’t believe what the government has told us about 9/11, or that a former engineer from MIT believes the buildings fell from a controlled demolition, or that jet fuel does not reach a high enough temperature to melt industrial steel. The only thing that matters is that we resist any temptation to question or form a free thought on our own. Free thinking is the real enemy here! Without people thinking on our own, we wouldn’t even have terrorism!

    Forty years ago our parents had a similar problem when John Kennedy was shot! However, after a few months of whining they learned that Lee Harvey Oswald, a sub-par marksman, while acting alone, managed to shoot the president from behind, making a chunk of his skull fly backwards on to the trunk of the car in which he was riding (which usually indicates an exit wound, but go figure), which his wife is seen on camera to reach back and grab, and also hit the governor of Texas, who was sitting in the seat right in front of him, in the right shoulder (which doesn’t really work). We now know that the bullet simply defied the laws of physics! I’m sure if we just stop and wait, someone in a great suit with a stern face, or perhaps even a rather stoic woman in a blue pant suit with a deep voice wearing a nice American flag pin, will tell us all exactly what happens – after all that’s the American way!

    So the next time we feel the need to start forming our own thoughts about things that we are told, let’s all remember Justyn, and may the “”Y”” in his name prompt us all to ask ourselves, “”Why are we questioning what we have been told? According to Justyn, that makes me a Neo-McCarthyist!”” and everyone knows hating Communism is about as cool as Ugg boots and towel dresses.

    -Tim McKiernan
    theatre production seniors

    Don’t get mad at catcallers – just laugh

    While Lauren Myers’ Tuesday column “”Sexism alive and well at UA”” had many good points, it took the wrong response to male catcallers. Myers’ response is to get angry with them and their degrading behavior towards women, when the best response would be to laugh at them. Myers correctly links the catcalls to what the males believe is a display of “”masculine virility.””

    However, such actions actually negatively impact the man’s ability to have sex, because no woman with a modicum of dignity will sleep with a man who displays such abhorrent behavior. Thus when a woman hears catcalls directed towards her she can laugh at those men, knowing that they are not getting any nor are they likely to be getting any in the near future. The catcalls are a sign of a man’s inadequacy, a sign that he’s trying to compensate for something. So my advice to women is, laugh. And some advice for all those men out there who are trying to get laid, if you treat a woman like a person rather than like an object she will be much more likely to sleep with you.

    -Tiffany Shucart
    engineering physics sophomore

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