|Volume XXVIII Issue 9||October 31, 2002|
Communication of ideas and opinions is vital
to understanding each side of argument
I really enjoyed reading the two articles with fairly opposite views on pages 3 and 4 in the Oct. 24 issue. What a great job showing popular opinions and the basis for each in the world debate that is occurring now.
I would like to take a little time to respond to both viewpoints. Of course both opinions are striving to catch their audienceís attention and gain support, just as anybody does within a debate.
We naturally address the strongest statements we are willing to defend. From there, we promptly attempt to use our arguments to make the other sideís radical viewpoints seem silly, either because they donít have sufficient support, or because we donít want to listen to understand.
While politics play out over the decision of what to do to fight terrorism, the important notion is to realize what we are saying, what we really want and why.
In both cases, we want to end the terrorism which has risen to a grander scale than any of us can remember, without it being a declared war between defined states.
To say that Bush is using the Iraq side of the fight against terrorism to gain attention is in my mind, completely true. Think of the presidentís office. He has to formulate ideas that unite the people of our country and do so while thinking about what can continue and possibly improve the quality of life we have.
Our dependence on fuel is a huge factor in his decision to focus on this area, but the way Saddam Hussein has organized Iraq makes the U.S. very concerned and the decision more complicated.
We should be concerned about Iraq, and furthermore, we should be concerned with North Korea. Both countries can take away liberty from many people very quickly, and the U.S. is against anything that may take away the liberty of individuals.
However, to say that we need to defend our freedom by sending our soldiers to war against Iraq is wrong when said so simply.
The U.S. comes across as a leader who does not pay attention to those we wish to lead. We make a grave mistakes by focusing our actions as policy to protect Americans and Americans alone. This will win no support from other nations who are affected by terrorism.
The balance is very delicate, and we must make our stance as a global community. If we donít enforce global justice, and do so in a way that is democratic among other nations of the world, we are compromising our arguments.
The U.S. constantly says that terrorism is the attack of modern civilization. Do we not see that we are not the only civilized country in the world today?
If we do not fight terrorism with those who sympathize with us on the terrible acts of Sept. 11, we are tearing down incredible bridges that could bring about a greater fight against terror.
We can still be a leader in the global community, yet we seem to be starting a new era of isolationism which pits our needs and wants against the ambiguous "them" that lies beyond our ever dissolving borders.
I studied abroad last semester in Uruguay, and I was shocked to find that their citizens had been actively writing our president in order to promote a unilateral fight against the terrorism, or possible terrorism, in all parts of the world.
U.S. citizens are not much different from Uruguayan citizens beyond the fact that they are experiencing something similar to our Great Depression. Uruguay is a smaller nation, and they have free education throughout the university level ensuring a highly educated population.
Can we, as a very powerful state, say that we do not need to communicate with foreign states at the level they already feel appropriate?
I hope that our campus can be a leader in the drive towards improved communications on all sides of both arguments.
Both sides have great suggestions in any discussion, and we must remember that while the communication process is vital to everything we do, both expressing our strongest, most attention screaming ideas and listening to comprehend the other side are equally important.
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