Letters to the Editor

Money spent on war could have helped Katrina victims

Dear Editor:

New Orleans today is a bigger disaster than New York on 9/11 and more preventable deaths have happened there. What now, “War on Hurricanes?” Well, war won’t end hurricanes, and it won’t end terrorism, either. But it might make us less prepared to survive hurricanes.

Cuba has a bus system that recently moved 1.5 million people away from a hurricane, and nobody died. More destruction in New Orleans was caused by the flood that followed Quatrain than the hurricane itself, but the flood could have been prevented by maintaining the levees on Lake Pontchartrain. More deaths were caused by lack of food and water and by inept evacuation than any other reason.

If we were really serious about fighting terrorism, we would secure ourselves against natural disasters because our vulnerability to them could be exploited by terrorists. But terrorism is psychological warfare, whereas hurricanes do not care if we are afraid. And hurricanes kill more people than terrorists do. So why do we waste our efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan when we are still so weak at home?

Following 9/11, many people who pointed out that war would not stop terrorism were asked the same inane question, “Should we do nothing about it?” to justify war. But if we had never invaded Iraq then maybe the people who have died there and are still there could have helped New Orleans evacuate. Maybe the money we have spent on bombing Iraq could have paid for buses to move people away from Katrina. Maybe instead of rebuilding parts of Iraq we have destroyed, we could have fixed the levees in Louisiana. And maybe if we made peace instead of making war, we would be safer from terrorism.

Ted Bowen

Post-Undergraduate in Mathematics


Columnist needs to have a broader perspective

Dear Editor:

Allen Hines has written a column (“U.S. needs to recognize all genocide cases”) that is a historical case study where we should look from both sides. I would like to remind him about the fact that a couple of months ago, the Turkish Prime Minister offered a joint commission of experts from Turkish, Armenian and other international scholars who study this topic exclusively. He offered to open all archives and related documentation from those times to have a scientific base for the arguments of both sides other than having arguments nothing than more claims and “we are good, they are bad.” However, the Armenian administration refused to join such an effort. I hope you will try to see the issue in a broader perspective and think about that.

Cuneyt Gurer

Graduate Student, Political Science