Volume 95, Issue 80

Wednesday, March 6, 2002
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The Axis of Evil's identity problem

If you don't like my fire, don't come around

How about I burp all over ya

The Axis of Evil's identity problem

To the Editor:

The scope of America's newly declared Axis of Evil alters gravely, depending on whom one speaks with. To the West, it is the rest and to the rest, of course, the West.

I have seen many articles printed that testify to the different moral inclinations that, on grounds as 'moral' as any other, attempt to 'justify' the war on the basis of this alleged superior morality.

As easily as I dismiss the terrorists' justifications, I find no contradiction in dismissing our own so-called justified responses as equally trivial manifestations of the mind.

It is of no surprise that I find myself brandished as an infidel by one view and a 'terrorist supporter' by the other. The "us against them" division presents a danger that lies not in attempting to rebuke, lessen or at the very least, understand the division, but rather, in blindly attempting to maintain it.

The problem I find is that we do not seek such justifications to explain our good actions or to explain periods of peace. In times of war however, such a need exists so as to remind ourselves why it is that the enemy ought to be the enemy.

To continue the discourse that justifies vilifying the other is to reduce the science of political studies into a mere "he said, she said" discourse without even so much as shedding light on why they have made those claims and where they are coming from.

Experience speaks volumes and to ignore the experiences of all peoples involved, as well as the structures they are surrounded by, is to eliminate the delivery of sustained peaceful existence.

I do not relegate the actions of individuals to factors they cannot control or proclaim they are helpless victims of a cruel world. I do believe, however, that we must look first to the world they are responding to in order to ascertain if indeed they are responding to injustice.

And if they are, it is the injustice that ought to be addressed and not simply the extreme responses to it.

Randa B. Mouammar

Masters Candidate I

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