Letters to the editor

· Oct 4, 2001 Tweet

Amazing — a bomb gets religion, or not

Reading the Oct. 2 Herald, I was awestruck by a story from the Reuters news service. The headline read: “Islamic car-bomb rocks Middle East hopes for peace.” The text of the piece went on to describe the results of a car bomb for which the Islamic Jihad movement claimed responsibility.

Now I’m not necessarily the most rational person in the world, but the clear and evident failure to pursue a logical chain of thinking on the part of whomever dreamed up that headline was sufficient to make me feel like Mr. Spock himself. Imagine, a bomb with a creed! How very remarkable!

Extrapolating that line of “reasoning” to other world events could yield several amazing phenomena, such as a “Jewish Bomb.” You know, a device like the one the original Israeli guerrillas employed in 1947 to destroy the King David Hotel.

I envisioned a “Christian Bomb,” too. This was a weapon like the one used in 1998 to destroy an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama.

By now the reader must be growing impatient with my tongue-in-cheek approach, but the sheer absurdity of anthropomorphizing a blasted (pun intended) bomb have left me with little choice. In all seriousness, there is a level of hysteria-generating jingoism implicit in the headline for this article, one which seeks to impugn an entire faith on account of the actions of a few fanatics.

Am I splitting hairs? Simply being argumentative when the actual, implied meaning of the headline is quite plain to all? I don’t think so, for if I fail to address this tricky little bit of anti-Muslim sentiment disguised as valid reportage, then I become equally uncritical as the headline writer, and ultimately brainwashed. No thanks!

Dan A. Goldstein, Madison, Wis.

A free month from Sprint

I just finished a conversation with Sprint that was eerily familiar to the one in “SprintPCS: Pretty Crappy Service.” I had tried calling on my PCS phone, but was informed by the service rep that my signal was too choppy, and I needed to call back on a land line (how poetic). When I got through on the land line, the rep I talked to admitted to a problem in Madison, and gave me a one-month service credit. I suggest that everyone with SprintPCS do the same.

Richard Gamble, UW senior

Peace-loving people need to redouble efforts

In wake of the horrific attacks on Sept. 11 that claimed thousands of innocent lives, all peace-loving people need to redouble our efforts towards nonviolent conflict resolution in the 21st century.

“Might makes right” and “eye for eye” were certainly NOT the patriotic principles I learned in Boy Scouts, and hopefully President Bush and the U.S. Congress will not lead us down the dark path of vengeful retaliation.

The enemies of freedom will have won the day if the United States forfeits civil liberties and tolerates hate crimes as a misguided corollary to its crusade against terrorism. Solidarity and trust ? not fear and suspicion ? are the best response if we want to achieve healing after such a tragedy.

If the United States wishes to maintain its global reputation as a democratic leader, then our politicians also need to exercise restraint, forego unilateral military action and pursue nonviolent options for achieving social justice in cooperation with international institutions like the United Nations and the World Court.

John. E. Peck, UW-Madison Greens


This article was published Oct 4, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Oct 4, 2001 at 12:00 am


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