Letters to the editor

The term ‘flip-flopper’ is misleading, inaccurate

Dear Editor:

Imagine taking an exam. After a week, the teacher returns the exam along with answers to the questions that you got wrong. The teacher then proceeds to tell you that you will be taking that exact same exam in one week.

Would you be intelligent and study the exam, especially the answers that you got wrong? Or, would you refuse to go over the questions that you missed and receive the same score? In other words, would you learn from past mistakes or would you continue to make them?

These may seem like idiotic questions. Who wouldn’t learn from their mistakes? However, nowadays the intelligent thing to do isn’t always followed. Instead, this logical action is constantly berated and viewed as “flip flopping.”

John Kerry voted to give the president the power to use military force in Iraq. However, this wasn’t an unconditional vote. There were several stipulations upon which he based his vote. One was that the president would go to the United Nations to get weapons inspectors to see if Iraq had any weapons of mass destruction. This never occurred.

Another condition was that the president would go to war as a last resort. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence just released its Phase II reports. They showed that the Bush Administration knowingly used faulty intelligence and fabricated stories to connect Sept. 11 and Iraq.

As Sen. Rockefeller, vice chairman of the committee said, “the report shows that the Administration’s repeated allegations of a past, present and future relationship between al-Qaida and Iraq were wrong and intended to exploit the deep sense of insecurity among Americans … The Administration sought and succeeded in creating the false impression that al-Qaida and Iraq presented a single unified threat to the United States.”

So, President Bush mislead the American people in order to sway public opinion to get the United States involved in Iraq more quickly. Therefore, I would say that the president did not go to war as a last resort, rather, he was creating the fastest path to war.

Thirdly, Sen. Kerry said that if President Bush decided to go to war and the above conditions had been met, then he should enter into it with more than a sufficient amount of military forces and a planned exit strategy. Again, neither of these terms were followed.

Next time Matthew White wants to say that John Kerry is a “flip-flopper,” I ask him to start thinking about the facts and stop blindly following Republican pundits and their attempts to discredit U.S. patriots.

Ben Shadle

Junior integrated life sciences major

Use common sense, deal with campus drinking

Dear Editor:

I don’t know if bogus is the proper word to describe the new dormitory underage drinking policy. The editorial comments in legalese seem to suggest that some of Richard Nixon’s ex-lawyers had a hand in drafting the policy. I really don’t think this dorm policy issue will end up being adjucated by the Supreme Court. It is simpler than described in the editorial.

I can see where Kent students could become confused with some of the mixed messages in this edition of the Stater. Your university ombudsman seems to be “dumbing-down” breaking the law by attributing some of the recent 48 arrests to the nice weather. Humph! Your editorial board describes underage drinking as “a rite of passage.” So is female circumcision in some societies. Anyone on campus have a non-rhetorical, common sense opinion?

Charles H. Barney


East Amherst, N.Y.