Letters to the editor

Intelligence report reveals war on terror necessary

Dear Editor,

Erica Weisburn’s Sept. 28 column, “War on terror is a lose/lose situation,” again marks the Stater’s inability to analyze statements in complete and proper context.

The purpose of the National Intelligence Estimate is to provide a general overview of global trends that may affect national security.ÿConsidering such general overview as strict fact dangerously simplifies threats galvanized against the West and misrepresents the nature of those threats.

In addition to jihadists increasing in global influence because of U.S. intervention in Iraq, the NIE also states key provisions of Bush policy as being necessary for countering terrorism. Provisions demonstrate that the war on terror disrupts al-Qaida operations, that democratization limits recruitment and legitimacy to extremists and that leaving Iraq prematurely would decrease U.S. security even further. Nevertheless, liberals are only interested in intelligence that seems to support their view, such as disregarding Iraqi WMD intelligence and only recognizing narrow NIE findings that government officials disaffected with President Bush leak.

Far from invoking “democratic muscle,” Ms. Weisburn ignores the fact that the United States has been indifferent toward undemocratic regimes in the Middle East and remained oblivious when dealing to terrorist threats before Sept. 11.

Terrorists still found motives besides the war on terror for executing attacks such as the ’93 World Trade Center bombing, the ’96 Khobar Tower bombing, and the ’98 Embassy bombings in Africa.ÿAfter these incidents, perpetrated because of prior U.S. military presence for confronting the pan-Arab hegemony of Saddam Hussein, bin Laden thought the United States was nothing but a “paper tiger.”ÿÿÿÿÿ

Now, the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers are made to prevent such atrocities, to bring Iraq and Afghanistan into a world of commerce and investment and into a politically stable environment. This has been partially seen as Iraqi forces gain complete control of entire provinces, Al-Muthanna being the first province to assume security responsibilities.

The fate of civilization depends on recognizing that al-Qaida visions for an Islamofascist state reminiscent of medieval Europe deserve less credence than the grievances of the “democratic muscle” of the prosperous and modern West.

Stephen Ontko

Sophomore pre-economics major

Destruction of campus trees is disheartening

Dear Editor,

Why would anyone want to vandalize a tree? AsÿI read Kevin Kolus’ article, I felt great sadness wondering if some of the trees that were vandalized were “memorial” trees.ÿ

Individuals and groups often purchase a tree as a living memorial to a loved one who has passed away. A very special friend and her husband did just that for my late husband, Ken Sharp when he died in 2004. A group of us who knew and cared about former Associate Vice President for Information Services, Joe Aulino, purchased a tree in his memory when he died suddenly in 2004.ÿ

The thought of someone destroying these trees that are a symbol of life to those of us who have lost loved ones and have trees planted in their memory is very disturbing to me, my family and friends.

If the vandals are caught, perhaps in addition to the fines and jail time they deserve, they could be ordered to perform community service with our dedicated groundskeepers who work to keep the campus looking beautiful.

Marty Sharp Lambert

Assistant to the provost