Letters to the Editor

“Pascher was misunderstood In view of the controversy that has arisen as a result of Courtney Cahoon’s article about me in the last edition of the Buchtelite, I would like to clarify a couple of issues. The way the article was worded seemed to suggest that I was offering my personal opinion of Sept.”

Pascher was misunderstood

In view of the controversy that has arisen as a result of Courtney Cahoon’s article about me in the last edition of the Buchtelite, I would like to clarify a couple of issues.

The way the article was worded seemed to suggest that I was offering my personal opinion of Sept. 11. In reference to instruction, Sept. 11 was mentioned as one of the examples of what is considered acceptable and unacceptable political discourse.

I do not remember a question being asked about Sept. 11, but my response to such a question is always the same – to acknowledge that there are some people and movements that question the Official Version, and I may mention one or two of their main contentions. I offer no personal opinion. I am simply stating what can be heard on the news in the major media.

Related to this is the issue of academic freedom, contrary to what the article said, I do believe that there are limits to freedom and speech and certainly limits to academic freedom. An instructor is not free to teach anything he wants in class.

The material must clearly be related to the subject matter under consideration. Even then the material cannot be totally speculative, but must have a credible amount of evidence to substantiate the material. Sept. 11 has nothing to do with my class on Latin American, and administration officials are justified in being concerned if there is evidence that I am expressing personal opinions about and holding discussion on such a topic.

I commend Ms. Cahoon for her attempt to tackle a difficult subject – academic freedom. There were some mistakes made and a little different wording could have avoided the controversy that arose. As a student journalist, this is the time that mistakes can be made without great repercussions.

Terry Pascher
World Civilizations instructor

McVeigh piece is wrong

(In response to Kevin Curwin’s April 3 editorial)

First, you blame the government for what Timothy McVeigh became. Was he drafted into the military? No. He volunteered. Did they assign him to the specific field of duties? No. He volunteered. He volunteered to become a killer. He volunteered to turn himself into an animal. And in doing so, he turned himself into a deranged lunatic that would kill innocent people for no sane reason.

Secondly, you imply that this war shouldn’t have been fought. Do we forget the multitude of U.N. resolutions that Saddam Hussein refused to comply with? Do we forget that he was given an ultimatum to comply or we would force compliance? We were one of the few countries with the backbone to stand by our ultimatum. This war did not start about WMDs. It did not start about oil. It did not start about freeing the Iraqi people. It started to force a belligerent dictator to comply with the U.N. resolutions that it had been given.

Third, you imply that the Iraqi people would be better off if this war had not been started. If this is true, you must also believe that they were better off under Saddam Hussein. If so, why then did we see pictures of Iraqi civilians joyously tearing down statues and pictures of this horrible dictator? Why were our soldiers greeted as liberators by Iraqis?

Hussein killed hundreds of thousands of people just because he felt like it. He stole millions upon millions of dollars that were supposed to go to the people for himself though such things as the Oil-for-Food Program. He and his family lived in huge palaces while civilians starved to death.

Finally, you give a figure of 35,000 Iraqi civilians killed. While this number may be correct, who has done the killing? You imply that it is our soldiers running rampant killing innocent people when in fact, the vast majority of those killings (90 percent to 95 percent) were the results of roadside bombs, rockets and suicide bombers. It would be a fallacy to hold our government responsible for these killings.

War is war, people die. And yes, it is tragic no matter who it is. However, consider this. If the Revolutionary War had not been started because someone might die, where would our country be today? It wouldn’t exist. If World War II had not been started because someone might die where would the world be today? It would be a unified Nazi Reich.

You say Nothing good can come from something bad. I disagree. I say that many times something bad must happen to bring about the change to something better.

Lewis Mickley
Junior
Electrical Engineering