Your recent coverage deserves strong praise. I’ve found it to be very telling, relevant, informative and balanced. Though, I must comment upon your last issue [March 28]. The circumstances of the woman paying up to $600 a month for gas seem ridiculous [“Spike in gas prices felt by all”], particularly when understood in a global context: an average Iraqi citizen for example, makes about $75 a month (U.N. 1998). Millions, if not billions of people around the world also sense the ridiculousness. They see a clear and distinct correlation between the war in Iraq and our nations’ heavy reliance on oil. Hence, our slogan, “No blood for oil.” In regards to your coverage on the war and public opinion to support the removal of a dictator doesn’t seem like such an outlandish idea to me, but what does seem outlandish and inhumane is U.S. guided policy in Iraq throughout the years. To use the words of Kathy Kelly, the founder of Voices in the Wilderness, a non-profit relief agency for the Iraqi people, “It’s a sad and tragic irony that on the eve of warfare we can presume that today may be the last day of the cruel and perverse sanctions regime. We had to starve you so that we could stop bombing you. Now we’ll bomb you so we can stop starving you. Was that the logic of nearly 13 years of an abysmally failed policy?”
In addition, I found Ms. Stutevoss’ column, “Fear Works,” very genuine, personal and truthful. I think most of us can empathize, but to let ourselves be manipulated by the fear tactics she mentioned seems unnecessary. Taking advantage of the information age in which we live is crucial. Researching for the bottom of the truth may be a difficult, arduous and painful task, but we are entitled to it especially when the media isn’t doing its job as you so cleverly pointed out in the editorial, “Embedded media loses objectivity.” Whether by turning to international media sources (BBC), alternative news (The Nation, Z Magazine, Alternet.org), or by simply having a conversation with someone whose beliefs are different from our own (your Muslim/Christian neighbor from down the street): the truth is out there it’s just up to us to find it. In times like these, at all times resorting to facts and information, rather than fear, seems by far the safest option…and as a society, may we always honor all victims of war.
Class of ’02
I find it tragic that one can take such a patriotic pledge and use it as a platform to instead rebuke the separation of church and state. In the editorial “‘Under God’ should go” [March 28], the writer rants and raves about how this statement is unconstitutional. I fail to see the persecution that people claim to find in these two simple words.
When America was established and made the separation from England, it was because of true religious persecution. Citizens then faced charges of treason and even death for opposing the country’s dictated religion. There were even times when there were penalties for unexcused absences from church services or other holy days. So I find it extremely absurd that our nation dare make claims of persecution on these grounds when they have never been put to trial or death for their faith. When was the last time one was even forced to say a prayer in school of the Pledge of Allegiance?
To try and disconnect God from this country is impossible because the faith is embedded in the culture as much as Buddhism is a part of China or Catholicism is a part of Ireland. No one is forced to adhere to Christianity but it will remain a constant presence in our society. It’s ironic that amidst the cries for tolerance, perhaps these people are the most intolerant of them all.
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.