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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Why We Should NOT Go To War

To oppose anti-war speech because you do not like what it says is to oppose the institutions of free speech and free exchange of ideas, freedoms central to the values we Americans prize. In her editorial (“Why WE Should Go To War”, Mass Media, 10/04) Ms. Whatley implies that dissent and activism are against ‘American values’. She wrote: “Not to support America and President Bush’s decision of retaliation is unsupportive of American values.” Democracy demands a cauldron of debate to resolve opposing viewpoints. If by “support” Ms. Whatley is calling for our unqualified, uncritical assent of America policy, she implies no less than the squelching of freedom we attribute to our “enemies.”

“To shy away (from war) will deteriorate our security as a nation,” wrote Whatley. Our response should also consider the security of the world to which we inextricably belong. What if our nation mobilized itself equally firmly to “smoke out” root causes of conflict such as poverty, access to education, and unnecessary lack of food, shelter, and water? Are we a culture resolute enough to risk lives and spend billions in a military response, yet unwilling to support with like resolution measures that unglamorously remove root causes of conflict such as debt-forgiveness, global economic equality, and access to health services?

“To hit back is self-defense and it is the only option,” Ms. Whatley wrote. Brutality sows seeds of hatred, anger and fear. Where there is war innocent people die and fragile economies are trampled. We will mourn our friends and relatives lost in the unforgivable 9/11 attacks for a lifetime-are such losses any less tragic when they happen to a people not carrying American passports? Our actions need to break this cycle of violence and retaliation and forge foreign policy based on principles of global responsibility and cultural respect.

Ms. Whatley was right in saying, “America did not make the choice to be in war…” The heinous criminal acts of September 11 can never be allowed to happen again. Any lasting solution to these terrorist acts will need to address the root causes of anti-American sentiment and not just attack symptoms that flare up as acts of violence. America did not choose to be at war. However, will we ever say America made a united stand to prevent it?

Greg Banks

Grad, CAS ’03