Letters to the Editor

Al-Qaida link to Iraq continues to be absent

Dear Editor,

Your timeline of events following the Sept. 11 attacks (included in your special edition coverage last Monday) conveniently omitted many salient facts. You noted that the United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, but you failed to mention that the United States also invaded Iraq in March 2003.ÿ

Does this mean that you don’t think there was any connection between the Sept. 11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq?ÿBut I seem to remember something in the news about Iraq harboring al-Qaida at that time. I was sure that had something to do with it, even though Iraq was a secular nation previously supported by the United States to fight radical Muslims. Yes, now I remember. Didn’t the president say that al-Qaida had training camps in Iraq?ÿ

So, why was the invasion of Iraq, or the propaganda supporting it, not included in your timeline? Maybe because there wasn’t actually any connection and we would prefer not to mention any of that? Or, for some other reason?

Edward Bowen

Instructor, mathematical sciences

College Democrats can think for themselves

Dear Editor:

I’m afraid I must utterly reject the assumptions and baseless accusations made by Mr. Kok in his column. Mr. Kok asserts that the College Democrats at Kent State University are mindless automatons that unquestioningly carry out the whims and directives of a tyrannical and authoritarian Democratic National Committee – committee being the key word, since it is made up of a group of fellow Democrats like us.

Had Mr. Kok actually attended some of our meetings (outside of the time when the Kent State Democrats proudly welcomed U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod Brown), he would have seen that this is not the case. During the primary, the Kent State Dems were allowed, and indeed encouraged, by then-president Margaret Stambaugh and then-vice president and current president Kelly Stellrecht to make up their own minds between Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett. I personally favored Hackett’s politics. I was free, as were many other members who favored Hackett, to make up my own mind.

It seems that Mr. Kok needs to understand the primary process in Ohio. If he did, he would see that Democratic Ohioans vote for the candidate they deem fit, and then the winner of the primary runs against a Republican in the general election. It is the voters, not the “orders” from DNC, that decide which candidates members ultimately work for leading up to the general election.

As for the “top-down hierarchies” of the Democratic Party, the College Democrats generally concede the fact that political professionals in statewide and national positions can give us the resources and have the experience to advise us how to help our candidates win.

The same follows for the other members of our club. We do serve as the youth arm of the Democratic Party. As such, a certain level of helping the party accomplish its goals is expected.

But we help accomplish those goals, and support those candidates, because we believe in them, we believe in their policy positions, in their ideals, and in their desire to do what’s right for America. Not because we have to, not because we’re tricked to, because, with clear and open eyes, we see that faith without action is meaningless, and we desire, as the candidates and party we support do, to do what’s right. Faith and duty do not equate with mindless obedience and subservience.

Donovan Hill

Vice president of College Democrats at Kent State