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Letter to the editor

Iraq war is more than signs, chants

April 25, 2008

Teresa Aviles asked in her column last week: Why the low turnout at the anti-war rally? She indicated that the problem was due to students’ lack of education and awareness on the matter.

I contend that it takes much more than signs and chants to ascertain the justifiability of the Iraq war and to become “aware.”

It is this bumper-sticker mentality that is degrading the intellect of this generation, rendering these well-meaning people little more than propagandist pawns.

Unlike Vietnam, this time the student body is not attending college to get a pass from the draft. Aviles evaded one important reason for the low turnout.

Many students at UW-River Falls are not opposed to the war in Iraq, and are even in favor of it. Aviles isn’t the only one guilty of the massive assumption about students’ stance on the war; countless professors also maintain a pacifistic agenda across the country.

I can do better than signs and chants. The Kurds have asked for and deserve our assistance. To allow Saddam Hussein to remain in power would have equaled support for his gruesome attempt at genocide.

After Sept. 11, Hussein directly responded to Bush’s warnings by pledging money to the families of suicide bombers.

Like Vietnam, if we remove our troops tomorrow, the Kurds will be slaughtered by Al-Qaida. Islamic law allows and encourages jihad (and the oppression, rape, and circumcision of women). The only way to help this end is through the instigation of a Western secularist government.

Without this, it is unlikely that the death toll in Iraq and other theocratic governments will lose momentum. If I could fit that on a sign, I just might get through to the bumper-sticker mentality of our so-called educated elite.

Muriel Montgomery, Student