Does Sanz know anything about U.S. foreign policy?

To the Daily:

After reading Branden Sanz”s views about terrorism and how the U.S. should react to it (“It”s time to kick some terrorist ass,” 1/24/01), I wondered whether Sanz understands anything about United States policy in the Middle East (or in the whole of the Muslim world, for that matter) and the effect it has had on its people.

Sanz neglected to mention that the presence of American forces in the Middle East is part of U.S. policy on Iraq.

The U.S. is able to carry-out its policy with the help of its Arab allies in the region repressive monarchies or dictatorships that enjoy American support despite the U.S.”s supposed commitment to “democracy.”

Ordinary Muslims in these countries cannot speak out against their governments” support for U.S. policy in Iraq for fear of imprisonment or execution (or worse). And the Iraqi regime the U.S. is supposedly trying to punish for invading Kuwait is a former ally, the same one that was armed and financed by the U.S. during its invasion of Iran.

Now that Iraq is no longer among the U.S.”s Arab allies, U.S.-imposed sanctions and bombing campaigns (which continue despite having been forgotten by the media) have devastated Iraq”s population and turned its economy upside-down.

More than 2 million Iraqi civilians have died since 1991 and 5,000 children a month die of hunger and disease as a direct result of the U.S. policy.

Depleted uranium from the bombings has resulted in a dramatic rise in cancer and birth defects.

The sanctions prevent Iraq from purchasing essentials such as food, medical supplies and ambulances, resulting in malnutrition and inadequate health care.

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who is supposedly the target of U.S. policy, has remained virtually untouched by the bombing and sanctions, however. Ten years ago, President Bush encouraged rebellions by Shi”ites in the south and the Kurds in the north, then did nothing as Saddam Hussein”s forces slaughtered them. Gen. Schwartzkopf even refused to permit rebelling military officers access to captured Iraqi arms.

During this time, the State Department refused to have any dealings with the Iraqi democratic opposition, prompting people to question whether Washington was really opposed to military dictatorship in Iraq.

Contrast this with U.S. policy toward Israel. Despite having violated the same U.N. resolutions the U.S. claims it is punishing Iraq for (and many more), Israel is being rewarded with military supplies and multi-billion dollar aid packages.

Washington merely looks the other way while Israel slaughters Palestinian civilians and expands Jewish settlement into occupied territories (again, the same type of behavior the U.S. claimed it was punishing Iraq for).

Now Sanz and others who share his viewpoint are “mad as hell” and “not going to take it anymore” because the Muslim world”s anger is manifesting itself in the form of terrorist attacks on U.S. forces. No one can justify these attacks and I am not attempting to do so.

But can Sanz or anyone else can justify an American foreign policy that has resulted in the death or displacement of millions of innocent Muslims and thus prompted the seething rage of the entire Muslim world?

Sabir Ibrahim

Engineering junior

Ashcroft nomination challenges Bush”s moderate promises

To the Daily:

I”m confused by President Bush”s nomination of John Ashcroft to the Attorney General position. I thought Bush ran as a moderate, a “compassionate conservative.”

Then he nominates someone to be the nation”s top law-enforcement official whose politics are so far to the right he”s practically off the map.

Ashcroft opposes civil rights, gay rights, women”s rights, gun control and protecting the environment. I can”t help but wonder: Did Bush somehow make a mistake with Ashcroft”s nomination or was all his talk of moderation just another campaign lie?

Melanie Dorson

Art and Design graduate student

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