Letters to the Editor

Gelman Feedback
I am Damien Gardner your student liaison to the Gelman Library System. As student liaison I serve as your voice to the Gelman Library System and its staff. I am writing you to offer my assistance on any issues that you may have with the libraries and their services. You can reach me via e-mail at liaison@gwu.edu, by phone at 202-994-2937 and my office is located in Gelman room 102A. You can visit me on the web at www.gwu.edu/gelman/library/liaison.

You can voice your opinion to Gelman in many ways. There is a suggestion box outside of my office and an online suggestion box on my Web site. One of the best ways is the Gelman Library Student Advisory Board (GLSAB). It is an open forum in which students can talk directly to library administrators regarding how the library can improve and what new services to offer. The first meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Gelman Library 202. I would encourage you all to come out, meet some of the staff and let us know what we can do to best serve you.

– Damien T. Gardner, Student Liaison to the Gelman Library System

Direct involvement needed
While I wholeheartedly concur with Ambassador Karl Inderfurth’s assessment of the importance of U.S.-Muslim relations (“U.S. – Islamic relations not predetermined,” Sept. 18, p. 4), I cannot say the same for his policy prescriptions towards improving relations, particularly with regard to Iraq. Mr. Inderfurth calls for the internationalization of the Iraqi situation.

Fundamental to his argument is the assumption that internationalizing the Iraq dispute would lead to success. The United Nations record in reconstructing societies is not particularly encouraging. In the past, “Nation Building” has been most successful when America has been directly involved – e.g. Japan and Germany. Furthermore, many Iraqis see UN as a puppet of the U.S. that imposed a decade long sanction that devastated their society. In the eyes of the Iraqis the UN’s political legitimacy may only be marginally greater than that of the U.S.

Finally, the UN is deeply divided over Iraq without any overwhelming interest to see Iraq succeed. The chance that such an organization can provide Iraq with a clear, long-term vision that it needs is dismally low. America committed a strategic blunder by stumbling into Iraq. It would only magnify this problem if it chose beat a hasty retreat by handing over control to the UN. Make no mistake, if the UN fails, the blame will still be laid at America’s door.

What is needed in Iraq and Afghanistan is for America to unequivocally signal its commitment to bringing peace, progress and prosperity. It must do so by increasing its direct military and economic commitment. Multi-Lateral involvement in Afghanistan has not solved its problems. Instead, America has been accused of yet again displaying a short attention span and turning away from Afghanistan. Handing over control of Iraq to the UN would only add to these accusations. Even though such a solution may sound expensive in the short term, the bridges that we build will serve future generations of Americans and Muslims throughout the world.

In the long run, America’s effort to build bridges to the Muslim world will come to naught if America is not consistently seen as an agent of liberty and progress for everyone. America must consistently back democratic forces everywhere in the world even when it conflicts with its own short-term interests. It is imperative to point out that the Muslim community too must play its part. The Muslim moderates must prevent their religion from being hijacked by the extremists.

-Kal Ananthakrishnan, graduate student, ESIA

It’s about time
Finally! It is about time that GW got a student-run TV station. While ideally GW would offer one of its channels, the Internet is a great start. I encourage those involved with the station to try broadcasting SA senate meetings. It is my belief that the main reason students are apathetic about campus politics is that no one knows who their senators are or what they do. Broadcasting the meetings would hopefully get more students interested and at the same time encourage SA senators to do more and be more visible. Plus it could give senators experience in front of a camera, a necessity for future politicians.

-Andrew Wiseman, Class of 2002

Why War?
I really must commend Gary Livacari (“Republicans lack counteroffensive” Sept. 29, p. 4) on doing something that not many people these days are able to do – write something that makes me physically recoil in disgust. At choice phrases such as “the war in Iraq was a stunning success” and “universally accepted intelligence,” I laughed in disbelief because I didn’t know what else to do. As you may have guessed, I am a member of the “liberal love-fest” as Livacari calls “Crossfire,” contrasting the points made by someone in ideological opposition who, based on a logical extension of his naming convention, must be a member of “the campus conservative hate-fest.”

If success in Iraq is measured by the answer to the narrow question, “Did we unseat Saddam Hussein from a public position of power?” then yes, I suppose the war was a stunning success. However, do we have him in custody? Do we know where he is? Have we found his purported weapons of mass destruction? The answers are no. United Nations weapons inspectors, the people that were actually there in Iraq, believe that Hussein probably did not produce any new WMDs since 1991, and destroyed those he had. The fact that President George W. Bush was willing to act with the full force of the American military is a definitely a testament to his character; that he hastily willed one of the greatest forces in the world upon one of the weakest.

The international community and the United Nations wanted to take things slow and, in a shocking revelation, had they been able to the war most likely would have been prevented. Bush acted both quickly and ignorantly and now his administration, aides, and cabinet are hemorrhaging excuses at an unprecedented rate.

The saddest part about the whole column was the schizophrenic effort to say, “Hey, the war was great! But, if you don’t think so, you must be a Democrat, and the Democrats thought Saddam had WMDs too!” Yes, the Clinton administration thought that he had weapons of mass destruction and also that he should be removed from power; yet, did they go to war over it? Therein lies the difference. Many leaders thought many things about Saddam, but Bush was the first to spend things that we can’t afford – billions of dollars and hundreds of lives. You call the fact that Republicans have no counteroffensive for attacks on Bush appalling? I call it pretty damn understandable at this point and the worst, dare I say it, most un-American presidency in the history of this country.

-Benjamin B. Williams, junior

Politically correct?
Recently, I have found myself more than slightly perturbed by the tone and content of a recurring section in The Hatchet. I am referring to the painfully clich?d column, “Battle of the Sexes” (Sept. 29, pg. 14). Ordinarily, I find political correctness an abortive triviality, however I am compelled to speak out now because all too often our society jumps to yell “sexism” when females dare publicly belittled and tends to ignore defamation of the male sex. The Hatchet’s portrayal of women as calm, well-spoken, sympathetic, thoughtful individuals and of men as coarse, boorish, drunken slobs, paints an unfair picture of stereotypical masculinity.

Though I can not speak for all the “chicks” out there, I know a number of young men have been less than appreciative of the intended wit in reducing the entire male gender to a single body part. Furthermore, the spelling of chick with a halo over the “C” and “dick” with devil horns and tail to assure the reader whose advice is more measured and positive straddles the line between blatantly sexist and pathetically childish.

To paraphrase from Mallard Fillmore, “Sorry, I was just waiting for the howls of indignation from the politically correct left.”

-Dennis J. Petersen, freshman

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