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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, May 24, 2024

Letters to the Editor

Pacifists protest violent retaliation, not action

This insipid piece ('Distance shields pacifists from undeniable truth,' Thursday, Oct. 4) demonstrates once again the complete lack of awareness or knowledge of the peace movement on campus and around the world. I too hail from New York City. Just last year I moved here after residing in Manhattan and Brooklyn for the last six years. Believe me, I was desperately worried about my friends and former neighbors. Like Mr. Kleefeld, I am one of the lucky ones untouched directly by this tragedy. 




Mr. Kleefeld and I agree on his major point. The perpetrators must be brought to justice. This is not against any ideals of the peace movement nor of pacifism as I understand it. 




What Mr. Kleefeld doesn't understand or simply didn't take the time to learn is that no one in the peace movement is suggesting the United States do nothing. We are not opposing action. We oppose a knee-jerk reaction (which thankfully so far has not happened) that will affect civilians. This is in no way condoning the Taliban government or the actions of terrorists Sept. 11. 



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Quit beating a dead horse. As long as you and your paper continue to print these baseless arguments'straw-man tactics at best'students at UW-Madison will continue in their ignorance and miseducation. 




Calls for restraint and patience in no way deny a just and lawful solution to the matter at hand. The rule of law must be upheld in an international court with the United States participating equally with all nations affected by terrorism. Only a global effort will accomplish this'a nationalist, armed response will only fan the flames of hatred and resentment toward the United States already found in many countries abroad. 




I defy Mr. Kleefeld to crawl out from the protective rock of lazy and sloppy scholarship (so publicly rewarded by your paper as well as others) and come to grips with what his fellow activist students are really saying. Engage them in an honest dialogue and you might be surprised at what you find'actual patriotism and love of freedom. 








Photograph's cutline assumes too much

I was shocked and horrified to see the racist caption on the front page of your Weekend, Oct. 5-7 edition. A picture of an unidentified Afghan man, his wife and his child was accompanied by the lines: 'Always in the background: his wife. Always in the foreground: his gun.' What gives you the right to make any assumptions about this man's relationship to his wife? Did the author of this caption interview him to find out his views? Are we supposed to believe that simply because he's from Afghanistan, he must love his gun and violence more than his wife? I've come to expect this kind of blatant racism from the Badger Herald, but I was amazed to see it in your paper. 




The climate of hatred, stereotypes, distrust and physical violence against Arab-Americans, Muslims and anyone who even appears to be from the Middle East is one of the most disgusting aspects of the terrible tragedies Sept. 11. Pictures and captions like the one published Friday contribute to this racist hysteria and add legitimacy to the ridiculous idea that all people from the Middle East are sexist, violence-loving terrorists. I think you owe your entire readership an apology. 








Caption's stereotypes add to misunderstanding

Although The Daily Cardinal did not take the picture on its front page (Weekend, Oct. 5-7), it felt the need to make a seriously narrow-minded and possibly damaging comment beneath it. Because Americans, including myself, know so little about Afghanistan, it is extremely dangerous for a newspaper to propagate stereotypes by implying all Afghans carry guns all the time while their women are always treated in horrible ways. I am all for human rights and I am for sexual equality, but I feel that in this situation, we have learned the danger of a group taking their values and inflicting them on another group. I feel that the use of universal norms coming from a limited Western opinion only continues to propagate a lack of understanding and continues this cycle of hate. I hope that in the future, the Cardinal will remember to report the news on its front page and remember how much power an image carries. 








Photographs should speak for themselves

Oh dear. I was kind of taken aback when I picked up the weekend's Daily Cardinal and read the front photo's cutline: 'Always in the background: his wife. Always in the foreground: his gun' (Weekend, Oct. 5-7). While I understand the intentions of the cutline's writer, I am surprised that the staff didn't recognize this as blatant editorialism. It's also subtle propaganda. In this case, you should have let the picture speak for itself and let your readers make their own inferences. 








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