Correction appended: LSA junior Aaron Willis was listed as a Michigan Student Assembly representative. Willis no longer serves on the assembly.

We need a new type of person planning wars

To the Daily:

I found Kevin Bunkley’s column on Iraq last week (Leadership in Iraq, 11/30/2007) particularly refreshing. He wrote about the lack of planning and ethics in all levels of government and military and attributed this to poor leadership. But then, who is a qualified leader to rebuild a nation in the complicated Middle East?

Paul Bremer has a masters in business administration from Harvard and a certificate of political studies from the University of Paris, but does this qualify him to be director of reconstruction and humanitarian assistance in Iraq? Congress, the supposed overseer of the Executive Branch’s activities, has disproportionate liberal arts educational backgrounds. Of its 435 members, 234 hold law degrees, yet there are only three chemists, two physicists, one engineer and one microbiologist. I contend that science and engineering backgrounds are critical in today’s world for our members of Congress and presidential appointees.

Bunkley states, “There should have been a plan for every conceivable contingency.”

Those in engineering, have a name for that: It’s called a “failure modes and effects analysis.” Looking at every conceivable contingency and its possible effects, engineers can design solutions to it or know to avoid it altogether. Engineers are trained to break down problems and synthesize solutions. They are also held to strict rules of ethics. In contrast, lawyers are trained to find evidence to fit a predetermined conclusion – whether it’s valid or invalid – in order to sway people to their viewpoint.

We need a government that makes decisions based on sound facts and science. I find last resort appeals to emotions, used by many of our public representatives, to be disgusting. And so should you.

Eric Sauck

Engineering senior

Daily must truly honor fallen American soldiers

To the Daily:

The first time I set eyes on the “U.S. deaths” section on the bottom of Page 3 on the Daily, I was ecstatic to see that the paper had a section honoring fallen American soldiers. After reading it, however, the thrill that I had anticipated quickly degenerated into fury. This section is an insult to all the fallen soldiers who have valiantly fought and died for our country. How can a section about fallen soldiers exclude the word honor? After all, these soldiers sacrificed their lives for the freedoms and liberties that all Americans are endowed. Yet in this section, the heroic soldiers become simply a number and a tool of liberal propaganda. Regardless of party politics and personal opinions, honor the soldiers, their sacrifice and their commitment to the country we all call home.

Brian Pogrund

LSA freshman

Yost’s critics made a big deal out of one foolish mistake

To the Daily:

Congratulations everyone. All of you who wanted Michigan Student Assembly President Zack Yost kicked out of office; you got your way (Yost to resign tonight, 12/04/2007). You have proven that you can smear someone enough to force him out for one foolish mistake.

I truly hope that the new MSA president, Mohammad Dar, is wise enough to never leave his house or ever talk to anyone about anything, for fear of being slandered when he commits the cardinal sin of being a college student.

Aaron Willis

LSA junior

The letter writer is a former representative on the Michigan Student Assembly.

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