Letters to the Editor


    In his letter to you on Feb. 3, Evan Rowley egregiously misrepresented my remarks at the Jan. 30 antiwar rally. I wish to reply to his false and potentially libelous statements.

    First, Evan, you attributed things to me that I did not say. You stated that I “”offered the oft-heard reasons not to support the war: the apparent hypocrisy in our support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, the lack of support for war from France and Germany, and the ulterior motives of the Bush administration involving oil and industry.”” This is false. I made no reference, explicit or implicit, to the first or third points. I can only assume, since you claimed I said them, that you were not paying the slightest attention. On the second point, I did not use the words you attribute to me. I pointed out that many of our allies and the vast majority of the rest of the world are against this war, in stark contrast to the 1991 war with Iraq, which most (including myself) supported. My point was this glaring contrast should give Americans pause.

    Second, you misrepresented my remarks concerning posters and the U.S. Marines. I did not state that students who tore down posters were connected in any way to the Marines, nor did I use the word “”cowardice”” at all in my remarks. I teach my students to place quotation marks only around actual quotes; you would do well to follow that rule. I did urge those who “”want to kick Iraqi ass”” to join the Marines. This was not a slur on the Marines; it was a pointed reminder that those who are speaking loudest for war around campus will not be the ones dying in Iraq. The Marines are often put in harm’s way first, and if loudmouthed “”patriots”” claim to want to “”fight Iraq,”” they should join. If not, they should modify their rhetoric to, “”We should send someone else to fight Iraq.”” All I’m asking for is honesty.

    As for my opinion of the Marines, I have numerous close friends and family members who are or were Marines. Several won the Purple Heart. One is dead. The best man at my wedding was, like you, a corporal in the Marines.

    Finally, I take offense at your irresponsible juxtaposition of images. You wrote, “”Here is something to think about, Cardoza: It does not take courage to come to the Price Center for lunch …, wave a sign and wear a T-shirt that says ‘Fuck Bush.'”” This implies that I was doing those things. You will recall that I wore a gray wool suit, white shirt and green tie, and I resent your attempt to associate my name with simple-minded and offensive behavior. If you wish to be worthy of the uniform you wear, avoid such tactics and argue politics based on the actual arguments of your opponents. First, you will have to take the trouble to listen to what they are saying.

    — Thomas Cardoza

    Eleanor Roosevelt College lecturer

    Suicide article insults those with depression


    I would like to condemn the opinion article written about the suicide of Natalie Summerfish. First of all, an opinion so negatively reproachful of the poor girl and her actions is extremely inappropriate and disrespectful to her family and friends, when Summerfish has received no obituary or remembrance. Secondly, how can one so boldly assume the position to write an opinion on suicide when the author herself has never suffered from depression or experienced the same degree of despair?

    How can this author possibly make such bold, outrageous assumptions about how Summerfish was feeling before and during the act? This is extremely inappropriate and selfish on the author’s part, not that of the poor girl. Let her rest in peace. She obviously had a hard time and very little support while she was alive — at least give her some support now.

    I suffer from depression, but I sought help, even though it is very hard for me to confront it. You can’t just “”snap out of it.”” I am very angry at the Guardian for allowing someone to write about suicide without first researching what depression is, because the author shows no signs of any knowledge about depression. Allowing her to write commentary on Summerfish’s every move leading up to the act as if it were a game of football is just sad. I think Summerfish’s parents and friends deserve an apology from your paper.

    The author has the audacity to tell others to be more compassionate beyond superficial greetings, and then she callously turns Summerfish’s death into a spectacle by the accounts of those who saw her last … pathetic.

    — Angela Cash

    John Muir College junior

    Celebrity stumping is a complicated issue


    Dustin Frelich’s column in the Feb. 20 issue of the Guardian (“”Celebrity critiques of warfare misguided””) begins by debating an interesting point: the correctness of using one’s celebrity status to foster political views. Unfortunately, the article soon trails into irrelevance by pitting (unconvincingly, in my view) the author’s own opinion against Dave Matthews’. That on an important topic like war in Iraq there should be differences is no surprise, and it would have been better if the author had remained on his first, more interesting theme.

    The problem is interesting indeed. One can begin to say that celebrities have fostered political causes for a long time, and on both sides of the political spectrum: Ronald Reagan was promoting right-wing politics long before he became a bona fide politician, and Charlton Heston is not afraid of putting his popularity at the service of the National Rifle Association.

    More importantly, in these days of mass culture, politicians are often celebrities of their own, and it would be problematic to ask a politician to stop talking politics simply because a lot of people recognize his or her face on TV. I would be happy to see the celebrity culture end and the advent of a more somber and reasoned way of doing politics, but this is mainly up to us. We should simply evaluate the positions that we hear at their face value and not give them special credit simply because they come from somebody we have seen on TV, be he Matthews or Reagan.

    — Simone Santini

    UCSD staff member

    Students should pay more attention to war


    Isn’t anyone concerned about war in Iraq?

    “”It could be this week. It could be next. Both are active options,”” says White House spokesman Ari Fleischer according to MSNBC news. How come these are not top headlines screaming from every television station? War is such a big deal that even “”Iron Chef”” and “”Friends”” should be talking about what this means for the United States. Simply to accept this war means we must accept the guaranteed consequences: death for Americans, death for our adversaries, death for innocent people and huge economic upheaval (usually inflation). Americans were horrified at the height of the death toll from Sept. 11; should we not now prepare ourselves for the deaths to come? Does no one have anything to say? I am against this upcoming war, but regardless, the day is coming in which with or without the United Nation’s support, we will declare war on Iraq. Why isn’t anyone asking questions that need answering?

    Has America become so numb to death that we just accept this natural result of war? President Bush just proposed a tax cut plan. Where is the money coming from for this war? (The answer is that no matter how much we have, it will not finance this war.) Is anyone else concerned about the fact that America is prepared to defy the will of the United Nations to fight Iraq?

    Most U.S. students are aged 18 to 25, and it will be us, our friends, who will fight this war. Not Bush from behind his desk, nor politicians from behind theirs. I thank the Guardian for its excellent coverage of issues surrounding the war with Iraq, but I’d like to go one step further. I propose that there be more publicity on campus concerning war, be it in support or in protest. I also propose a page of the Guardian be dedicated to those who wish to send arguments/questions in support or protest of war with Iraq. Then the student body could ask and answer each other’s questions, debate opinions, discuss events — get involved. Put aside political parties; hawks, doves, are you prepared to accept the consequences of war? Furthermore, as students attaining higher education at a top state-funded university, are you prepared for war?

    — Lisa Lowry

    Revelle College freshman

    Antiwar propaganda mailed to students


    Unlike so many of my peers (who seem all have masters in international relations all of a sudden), I’m neutral on the subject of Iraq, mostly because I’ve realized the merit behind the arguments on both sides … yet I am 110 percent American, and I think it’s possible to be patriotic and still be neutral (in case some people out there forgot). Anyway, I’ve looked the other way while both sides continue to try and invade my life with their take on the situation, but finally I couldn’t take it anymore when, lo and behold, even the “”Campus Announcements”” e-mail was used as a propaganda piece on Feb. 21. Announcing a lecture, it said:

    “”After the massacre by U.S. forces on 25 February 1991, the highway from Kuwait City to Iraq is called ‘Death Mile.’ U.S. war planes and helicopters circled over the road for hours, destroying every vehicle, including ambulances, and killing thousands of fleeing Iraqis.

    “”Now, we are about to commit a similar atrocity once again. In this moment of crisis, it is ethically urgent for us to discuss the present state of capitalism — that is, our excessive consumerism on the one hand, and the so-called globalization of the economy based upon the exploitation of the cheap and unregulated labor in developing countries on the other.””

    I mean, give me a break. “”Fleeing Iraqis?”” To not laugh out loud at this piece, we have to ignore the fact that those “”fleeing Iraqis”” “”massacred”” Kuwaiti civilians, gassed their own people and gassed the Iranians. Oh, and let’s just go ahead and bash America while we’re at it, too! I don’t know what’s more disturbing: the fact that this stuff is said on a daily basis out loud or the fact that it is now in an official e-mail I get all the time from my school!

    All things considered, I’m not against such things being said (although I have to ask, if the United States is so horrible, why do you bother to enjoy the standard of living in it?), but I am solidly against official campus mail being used for this purpose. The talk could have been advertised by its name only: bada-bing, that’s it! And while some may see my reaction as overblown, I think it’s important to draw a line early, otherwise … maybe freshmen will get a little “”blow up the world, anti-globalization”” pamphlet with that handy book of coupons when they first come to our school. Now that would be a crisis.

    — Andrew Chae

    UCSD student

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