Being liberated doesn’t help if you are dead
I am appalled at the expressed sentiment of some that suggest pro-peacers support the Taliban government, which doesn’t allow women to learn how to read and in general grossly violates women’s rights. How about this idea, Anna Gould?
Let’s bomb Afghanistan and in turn kill the women whose rights are being taken away by the Taliban. That way, these women will be dead — isn’t that liberation?
Crystal Lee Anna Warning, UW alumni
In response to Benjamin Thompson’s claim that those individuals who oppose U.S. foreign policy have in some way been “brainwashed” I offer a definition of the word: “persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship” (Merriam-Webster Online).
If you want to see an example of “brainwashing” or “propaganda” you need not look any further than every major radio and television company, news agency, and governmental organization currently in operation. All you ever hear or see is how the events of Sept. 11, 2001 have been an “attack on freedom” or how the perpetrators did this because they resent our democracy. That is the end of the discussion. There is no real debate or attempt at validating that claim; it is simply stated as fact and we are all expected to believe it.
However, the process does not end there. It extends to people like Thompson who accuse anyone who disagree with such a simplistic and absurd explanation of the facts of being radical, ignorant or both. The president himself accomplished his task by claiming that anyone who is not backing US vigilantism is siding with the terrorists. The president’s mandate has affectively silenced the peace movement by distorting the truth.
Those who oppose a U.S. military response are in no way supporting terrorist strikes of any kind. The attack on the WTC and the Pentagon were a crime against humanity and should be prevented at all cost.
But such prevention cannot be obtained through military reprisal or revenge. If there is going to be peace and security in the world it must be a collective one, not just some virtual sense of safety stemming from a dominant military presence the world over. We who oppose U.S. retaliation are simply calling for a rational and fair mediation to a situation that has been perpetuated for decades.
Mr. Thompson is right in pointing out the United States has acted commendably on numerous occasions, but he refuses to accept the truth about U.S. imperialism and economic suppression over much of the developing world. This black side of U.S. policy has created the conditions from which hatred and terrorism have sprung, and it is this black side which must be addressed if any lasting good can come from the current awful situation.
These issues can only be addressed if people are made aware of them. If the corporate media is not willing to report the truth, then demonstrations and rallies are the only avenue that is available. I love my country and I want America to become the model of freedom and justice to the world. That is why we as a nation cannot stand by as our government seeks a cosmetic solution to a much deeper problem. If we ever want to feel safe and secure in this world again, we must start laying the foundation for justice and peace the world over, not just here in America. Brainwashing is an imposed process, but seeking the truth is always voluntary.
Savarino Parisi, UW senior
Benjamin Thompson is my new hero. Thanks, Ben, for telling it how it really is. You don’t realize how many supporters you have, even on this leftist campus.
Travis Delker, UW senior
Why are you here?
It sickens us that in this time of needed national unity someone would write a letter stating our leaders “are war criminals just as much as people like Hitler and Stalin.”
Yeah, okay, Adam. Our leaders were the ones who fought Hitler, in case you forgot. We weren’t putting millions of our citizens into ovens. Our method was to define an enemy, locate it and use necessary force to stampit out. That’s how things work in the real world.
In Nazi Germany and Stalinist Soviet Union, people didn’t have the necessary freedoms to leave their oppressed state. However, you do, Adam. It strikes us as funny that you choose to live in a land led by people you liken to Hitler and Stalin. If I were you, I’d run away to such enlightened places as Afghanistan or East Timor, where you’ll be safe from the racist boogie man that is the United States of America.
Michael Christensen and Corey Amlong, UW sophomores