Letters to the Editor

Writer lacks knowledge of facts in genocide case

Dear Editor:

In the Sept. 15 edition of the Daily Kent Stater, Allen Hines speaks of the need to recognize genocide and confront it. I agree absolutely. I usually avoid arguments to the effect of “my pet human rights abuse is/was more tragic than your pet human rights abuse.” I find such arguments absurd, puerile and worse, extremely insensitive. Nevertheless, Mr. Hines’ assertion that 9/11 was “the greatest act of genocide against America” is simply incorrect. Later on in his own article he references another act of genocide against America that actually had a higher death toll: the Trail of Tears.

The death toll for the Trail of Tears is approximately 4,000 human beings. The 9/11 death toll is just under 3,000. The Trail of Tears was also part of a larger concerted effort towards genocide; one that has been much more successful than the efforts of al-Qaida and similar extremist groups. Although estimates of the Pre-Columbian American population vary widely, and the death toll estimates vary greatly based on whether or not disease is factored in, somewhere between 2 million and 15 million human beings dead is on the conservative side.

This is not to detract from concern over the continued violence in the Sudan, or to deny that what happened to the Armenian people was genocide. I simply wish to point out that Mr. Hines failed to see a much more massive genocide that occurred right under his nose. Although I take it in jest his assertion that baklava is the only trade between the United States and Turkey, it should be pointed out that Turkey has been a steadfast American ally for decades, and despite some massive human rights issues, our government has been working to strengthen ties with them for pragmatic reasons. I do not necessarily agree with this policy, but it has very real, very concrete reasons. Turkey is desired for the same reasons most American allies in the greater Middle East are: strategic situation, loyalty and petroleum.

Mike Bryan

Junior history and anthropology major

Editorial board has bad facts, poor mechanics

Dear Editor:

The Daily Kent Stater editorial on Sept. 19, “Bush serves as good example,” omitted to note the failure of government on all levels in the Katrina disaster was as much a failure to prepare as a failure to respond. This failure to prepare is especially damning for the Bush administration, which made an established Federal Emergency Management Agency an adjunct of a new, but more politically useful Department of Homeland Security.

I disagree with the rather glib statement that tragedy is a part of disaster. Suffering is often a part of disaster. Tragedy, as the Greeks understood it, is a kind of nexus of human failings and fate on a high level. In that sense, Katrina was a tragedy.

As a minor criticism, the Daily Kent Stater editorial board might do well to establish consensus not just on its editorial content, but on its grammar. “Other’s noticed Bush’s subtle critique” is incorrect in any kind of weather.

Jeff Farmer

Kent State class of ’85