Managing the heated debate over Iraq

We are taught the task of citing sources for any claims that we make.

At the end of Fatima Asamarai’s column, “Finding empathy and commonality in the debris of Iraq,” (Sept. 22) she suggests that Jordan Rockwell “try empathy, education and stepping out of an ill-informed mind-set.” Asamarai’s statement, ironically, embodies the spate of articles recently published on Iraq in the Daily. In “U.S. doing what it can in Iraq,” (Sept. 16) Jordan Rockwell’s writing read like a passage from Maxim magazine. Rockwell does not cite sources and falsely equates opposition to the U.S. presence in Iraq with support of terrorism. We should encourage and promote open dialogue (and disagreement). Rockwell’s insistence that the Daily staff “support these Saddam loyalists” is slanderous and unfair.

Asamarai’s response to Mr. Rockwell’s article was equally problematic. Her comment: “American men and women signed up to be in the army knowing they would have to fight any war Bush chose to wage,” ignores the socioeconomic reasons for signing up. According to CNN, of the 1,929 U.S. soldiers who have died since the war began, 550 of these casualties were younger than 22; 482 were nonwhite. Many of the causalities – regardless of group – joined the army in search of a better life.

Asamarai’s comment belittles the sacrifices of troops. Many of the troops and their families do not support the war but feel obligated to help in the fight against terror. Regardless of our position, we should salute these troops and welcome them home. Asamarai asserts that “I can safely say (the Sunnis) were harmed by Saddam’s regime more than the Shiites.” In a university setting we must cite sources. Asamarai fails to do so.

Indeed Sunnis were also oppressed under Sadaam Hussein but to suggest that their treatment was worse than that of the Shi’as ignores Sadaam’s history. This has been extensively documented by reputable groups like Amnesty International. Asamarai ignores the plight endured by Shi’as in Iraq today. I hardly call recent executions reason to be “dancing and clapping” as Asamarai would want us to believe.

Mohamed H. Sabur is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]