To the Daily:

DPS shouldn’t have to coddle underage drinkers

I am writing in response to the Daily’s editorial on Tuesday (Dangerous decisions, 10/09/2007). While I understand that the Daily is arguing that the Department of Public Safety make it more convenient for dangerously intoxicated underage students to seek out medical attention, this is college and incoming students are legally adults, whether they act like it or not. Gone are the days when mommy, daddy and the family attorney were on hand to dig students out of trouble. So stop sucking on momma’s teat and grow up.

I find it disheartening that the Daily would rather coddle these adults than promote personal responsibility. Why is personal accountability by way of responsible drinking not advocated? Rather than maligning DPS, we should work in conjunction with it to promote responsibility. As noted in the editorial, underage drinking happens, but students have to know when to quit. As adults, we have to deal with the consequences of our poor judgements. Running and hiding from this responsibility accomplishes nothing.

Additionally, the editorial argued that the “threat of an MIP also deters friends from stepping in to help a dangerously intoxicated person.” If these “friends” are more worried about getting an MIP than helping a friend receive much needed medical attention, they are not true friends and will likely prove to be dangerous to that person’s health.

To the underage student who wants to drink, do so knowing that it is illegal, but don’t complain when punishment is administered. If you do not seek medical attention when highly intoxicated, know that if you experience bodily harm or death, it was your choice. Don’t expect remorse.

Matthew Redmon
Engineering sophomore

Group paints false picture

Two weeks ago, Israel IDEA wrote that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a “murderer” and should not have been invited to speak at Columbia University (“It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany”, 09/26/2007). His connections to Hezbollah, Hamas and Shiite militia groups in Iraq were also cited as reasons against extending the invitation. Does this mean that involvement with Hamas and Hezbollah are additional evidence of Ahmadinejad’s evil or does it mean that these Arab-Islamic groups are made evil by association with the Iranian president?

I don’t know, but I think the question is too easily resolved by representing these separate organizations as one cohesive group. Having done so, to apply the denunciation of “murderer” to one condemns them all. In reality, Hamas, Hezbollah, Shiite Iraqi militants and Iran are separate entities in separate nations with distinct agendas. They are connected and do cooperate at times, but they are not united. That is an important distinction.

Consequently, to invite Daniel Pipes to speak promotes and reproduces this blanket representation of Arab-Islamic culture and politics. Pipes himself has been called a “racist” with a “fascist-style campaign” in The Arabist – though I understand why Israel IDEA is more inclined to agree with his representations than those of Ahmadinejad.

Although Ahmadinejad is most likely a bad guy, lumping him with other groups we know so little about and labeling them all “terroristic, suicidal and hegemonic” is dubious because such labels purport to possess an authority on representation that makes me uncomfortable in the absence of adequate, unfiltered speech from the other side.

Gabriel Tourek
LSA sophomore

Ben-Gurion’s quote is accurate but misinterpreted

At the Daniel Pipes event on Monday a student questioner cited words by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, which began by saying, “If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel.” While there is cottage industry of fake quotes by Zionists that supposedly confirm evil intentions, unlike the many outright forgeries circulating on the Internet, this quote isn’t entirely outrageous.

Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in his book, “The Jewish Paradox,” (in French “Le Paraddoxe Juif”), the quote comes from Goldmann’s recollection of a conversation with Ben-Gurion 20 years earlier. It is not a confession. Rather, Ben-Gurion was reflecting on the conflict from the Arab point of view.

Dan Cutler
University staff member

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