Thursday, September 8, 2005

Viewpoint - In Memorium

[UPDATE: Is the Marquette Tribune attempting to discredit me by intentionally making it appear as though I am nothing more then some raving conservative lunatic with a vendetta against the campus newspaper? To be quite honest I would not put it past them. I spent at least thirty or forty minutes of my time Tuesday evening rewriting the editorial in order to fulfill their ludicrous five-hundred and fifty word limit while at the same time maintaining the ability to get my point across to the student body of Marquette University. So what do they do? They post almost the entire editorial I originally wrote (the seven-hundred word version), with the exception of the “shooting a two-million dollar missile up a camel’s butt” statement (which, honestly, was the funniest line in the article and one editorial change I was quite upset about), without consulting me as to whether this was indeed the exact article I wanted to be published. I am not one for conspiracy theories but there is something more behind this then them merely changing their minds.]

The following editorial is the unedited version of the same article which appears in this morning’s edition of The Marquette Tribune newspaper. The words in bold were removed regretfully by myself in order to fulfill the school paper’s ludicrous five-hundred and fifty word limit on student editorials, an increase from last year’s seven-hundred world limit.

I thought the Marquette Tribune was maintained to serve the purposes of the student body of Marquette University? Is attempted censorship, intentional or not, seriously doing us any favors? Does this benefit this campus in any way? The Editorial Page editor at the Tribune informs me that the Editorial Page has a limited budget. Then in this case, if this is true – I do not know how much to trust The Tribune at this point, changes need to be made. Remove unnecessary fluff: For instance, staff editorials. I thought journalists were unbiased? Is this not technically demonstrating their partisanship in their discussion of political events? Yeah, there is no left-wing media – pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! And when they aren’t enlightening us with their hypocrisy, nonsensical rambling reigns free. Here’s a pertinent question – why are student editorials limited to five-hundred and fifty words when staff editorials are not? And what is the deal with those unintentionally laughable editorial cartoons? Pointblank, they are not funny in the least and the artist of these cartoons has the creative capacity of a five-year old. I’ve seen better editorial cartoons come from UW-Madison’s school newspaper for Christ’s sake! When Associated Press articles, lifted word-for-word from their source, dominate the pages, advertisements make increasingly necessary filler, and staff editorials are given priority over those of students, alumni, and faculty, the school paper no longer serves the purposes of the student body it claims to represent.

This coming Sunday will mark the fourth anniversary of September 11th, the most ambitious, bloodiest, and most horrific solitary act of terrorism in the history of the United States of America and the world. Like the Kennedy assassination in 1963, I believe we can all recall vividly where we were and what we were doing the precise moment word reached us that two planes had crashed into the Twin Towers in an apparent act of terrorism against the United States. The images of carnage, destruction, and death forever embedded in our subconscious. I have no doubt that many of us that fateful morning did our best to go about our daily lives as if nothing had happened when in reality our minds were on the events taking place on the East coast of the country and nothing else.

In the four years’ time following the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., the United States has made significant progress in the war against terrorism. Through cooperative arrangements made with the nations which constitute the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ and the North Alliance, we were able to bring down the repressive Taliban government of Afghanistan, the home base of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, forcing him on the run, and transitioning the once desolate Middle East nation into a new era of freedom and democracy of which they have known so little before now.

Nearly two-thirds of al Qaeda’s operatives have either been captured or killed by the United States and its allies. This however does not immediately constitute as a sign that victory is on the horizon. A predator, though badly injured and afraid, can remain a dangerous threat to our security as the attacks in Madrid and London have demonstrated. Issues of racial profiling at airport security checkpoints and border control, specifically with Mexico, need to be addressed and dealt with directly in order to ensure the safety of the American public.

Operation Iraqi Freedom has fulfilled the affirmation laid out by President George W. Bush that we will not distinguish between the terrorists themselves and the countries who harbor them. Saddam Hussein has long since been accused of hording chemical and biological weapons of warfare, all of which were banned by the United Nations, and not once in the twelve years following his surrender at the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War did he ever fulfill the obligations set down for him. Despite what the left may claim otherwise, the 9/11 Commission Report proved there was sufficient evidence to suggestion a developing relationship between Saddam Hussein and the country of Iraq and the terrorist organization al Qaeda, though certainly not directly in connection with the events which took place on September 11th, 2001. Two years after the invasion, much work still lies ahead for us and the Iraqi people.

We must repeatedly remind ourselves that the United States is in this war for the long haul. The war against terrorism will be a long, demanding, and, most importantly, bloody conflict but one which is necessary to ensure the survival of the principles and values of democracy and freedom throughout the world as the struggles against Nazism and Communism were before our time.

No longer do we live in the era of Bill Clinton where we can fire a two-million dollar missile up a camel’s butt and claim we did something to combat the forces of Islamic fascism. No longer can we further rely on the rest of the world to solve our problems for us.

We as nation must make the transition back to a time when we did things not because they were easy but because they were right and just no matter the inconvenience they may impose on us.

We must never lose sight of the transcendental goal still to be accomplished in this war, the destruction of al Qaeda and the end of fundamental Islamic fascism throughout the world. We must never give in to despair; we must never lose out hope of victory even when times are grim. The moment we do so is the exact same moment in which our enemies will have tasted victory, a moment I pray will never come.