Letters to the Editor

· Sep 26, 2001 Tweet

What about usual progressive causes?

I find it a bit ironic that the people who are protesting for peace have almost nothing in common with the people they are supposedly defending. The far left usually stands for “women’s rights,” yet they have turned a blind eye to the blatantly anti-woman sentiments contained within the Taliban interpretation of the Islamic religion. I guess it doesn’t matter whom they defend, so long as they can remain in the “blame America first” crowd.

But then again, what do you expect? These people are the descendants of, and in some cases, the same, people who blew up a building and killed a man in the name of peace in the 1970s.

Anna Gould, UW junior

Alexander criticism wrong

Joe Alexander’s column in yesterday’s paper took the rhetoric of protester criticism up another couple of notches by suggesting that we who protest “serve only to hurt people.” Alexander went on to say the protestors are detracting attention from the debate on what the federal response should be.

The fact of the matter is the so-called debate was cut off hours after the attacks took place. The president declared that the war was on, the media bought into it without question, and the American people instinctively rallied around their leader, as they nobly do whenever a crisis arises. These circumstances, which are completely understandable, shut down any large-scale analysis of the basic causes of the hatred exhibited by some towards the United States.

The protestors have merely sought to inject into the debate the fact that certain foreign policies followed from the end of World War II to the present have been abysmal failures — particularly as those policies relate to the Middle East. Moreover, the protesters made the salient point that waging a war in Afghanistan and elsewhere will serve only to create more terrorists and, consequently, that a war will not make this country more safe than it is right now. Yet Alexander, along with others, would like to again shut down the debate again.

Alexander also suggested those who protest are somehow being disrespectful of those who grieve. Of all the incendiary remarks published in The Badger Herald the past two weeks, this was, without doubt, the most reprehensible. I do not doubt several protestors in the Thursday assembly knew someone who died in the attacks. But they, along with myself, do not want to see that fate visited on anyone else, either here or abroad. But more than this, Alexander would seemingly prefer it if we kept our mouths shut until the grieving ends. If I have not misread Joe’s argument, then he would have us stay silent for many months — certainly until the opportunity to influence what might be another horrendous foreign policy decision passes for good.

I hope Alexander will apologize for attempting to shut down a debate by calling protestors disrespectful of the dead and bereaved. But, given Alexander’s track record, I am not holding my breath.

Tom Soule, UW law student


This article was published Sep 26, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 26, 2001 at 12:00 am


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