Thursday, September 20, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 21


Many alternatives to war do exist

Brandon Moeller

Well, if it is a war, then I guess we all better make spit balls out of the Bill of Rights. Who needs it,
anyway? The television confronted me with images of people being more thoroughly searched at
airports. And there were no images of resistance. Who really needs the Fourth Amendment in such an
era of national insecurity?

Everyone is so willing to give up their rights when they feel that the country needs them to do so. But
that's not what the country needs. What the country needs is realization. Its citizens need to be informed
that this country, in the eyes of the global community, is a big fat bully. This country is the cause of more
civilian deaths around the world than any other nation.

This country created terrorists like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. CIA training camps got them
started on their journeys of destruction and misery.

Last week's attack was one on freedom. Limiting domestic freedom in light of that attack is complying with
the wishes of terrorists. But more importantly, so many attacks that the United States initiated against
others, whether it be by soldiers or funding, were attacks on other people's ways of life and, at the root,
their human freedoms.

As the tension continues to rise, I am more convinced that what our redneck president wants to do is
"bomb them back into the stone age."

Early last week, we didn't really know who "they" were. Now, we think we know, even if our chief suspect
claims he had nothing to do with it.

This is a sad time. We have been living in a peaceful time for a long time -- I'm not even sure if it's proper
to call the Desert Storm fiasco anything more than a media blitzkrieg.

Either that or it was an act of terrorism, if you were an innocent Iraqi who experienced a "smart bomb"
going down the chimney of your house.

One thing is clear: The way our leaders and citizens are talking, we'd better settle in for a long ride.

The Federal Reserve Board slashed interest rates for the eighth time in a year. The New York Stock
Exchange opened and slumped after its longest break ever. But it did not fall.

Airlines took a hit. Insurance companies did, as well. And Congress approved a bailout. Perhaps what
we really need is a wartime economy. Remember how that was the only thing that could pull us out of the
Great Depression?

And everywhere I go I see the American flag. But people need to remember what this country is all about
-- or at least what it should be all about: justice.

It's easy, as a nation, to heavily criticize and lament such terrorism while looking away from injustice
against our own citizens and residents, which is being committed day after day just down the block,
around the corner and quite frequently on the wrong side of the tracks.

Injustice is everywhere. But never have the number of victims of injustice been so huge in this nation. I
should restate that. Never have so many Americans been unjustly killed on their own soil on such a day
of infamy. Everyone I talk to seems revenge-bound. I'm not sure if what we need right now is a lynching.

My friends and I did come up with one thing we know while we were drinking margaritas Wednesday
night. New York should rebuild the buildings that were destroyed, but this time, make it one solid building
many times larger. That way, the new skyscraper will stand as a testament to America's strength and the
ability to overcome the unimaginable.

Jokingly, we declared that it should display a huge neon green dollar sign at night, one big enough that it
can be seen from space.

But we shouldn't go to war. When it comes right down to it, I'm afraid our army and its allies would wipe
the country that is harboring whatever madman masterminded this atrocity off the face of the earth, easily
-- within 24 hours if it wanted to.

Hey -- in the spirit of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, how about not going to war? Seriously, last
week's attack was not an act of war. An act of war is bombing a small island off the continent with clearly
marked airplanes during a war that our leaders decided to ignore despite its inhumane effects on millions
of people.

Last week's "attack" was a shameful act of cowardice. The act is clearly a metaphor for whatever pathetic
group or groups were behind it.

We still don't know with enough certainty (the government claims to know, but is reluctant to de-classify
the information for the American public) who is behind this travesty. The group or groups responsible
have not come forward in the usual terrorist manner of claiming their work. But according to our guys --
who have been wrong many times before -- bin Laden is behind it. 

According to our guys -- the same guys who couldn't even figure out who was the next president of the
United States on election night -- Afghanistan is currently harboring him.

In light of the tragedy, several countries have come to make an agreement with us on the obvious:
Terrorism is bad. Even China and Cuba (interesting enough how Cuba used to do the same thing to us,
but never with such efficiency or vileness) agree.

So why don't we all get together, as a majority of countries, and sign some piece of paper saying we will
not support countries that harbor such criminals? No more exports to Afghanistan. No more imports from
there either. Then we should wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, maybe we should send some spies over. Perhaps we could send a few willing Afghans
who are living in the United States and know both languages. They can move back over there, scout out
the terrain, hang out at the clubs and get the word on the underground criminal community. Then, when
we need to, we can swiftly and efficiently remove this threat to human life, liberty and the pursuit of

We should do it without any more American bloodshed. Now that would be a testament to the strength
and intelligence of this country.

But simultaneously, the American public needs to put some serious thought into why we were targeted
and what we do to provoke such an attack. All war criminals need to be put to justice. Even the ones
America harbors.

Viva America!

Moeller, a junior communication 
major, can be reached at

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