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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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UT Professor crosses line with comments

In the Houston Chronicle recently, University of Texas-Austin professor Robert Jensen wrote that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 were ?no more despicable than the massive acts of terrorism ? the deliberate killing of civilians for political purposes ? that the U.S. government has committed.? He went on to list countries such as Iraq that have been ?terrorized? by the United States.
To equate America?s role in the Persian Gulf War with the terrorism perpetrated on the U.S. last Tuesday is utter insanity. While taking lives during a war is regrettable, it is the nature of war. In no way does it compare with the atrocities witnessed last week in New York and Washington, D.C.
Aldous Huxley wrote, ?The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own.?
He is largely correct. Many who died in Iraq were probably not directly responsible for the invasion of Kuwait. But wars take place between countries, not government officials. Perhaps Jensen would like to have seen former President George Bush and Saddam Hussein get in a ring and slug it out, ? but unfortunately, that is not the way the world operates.
America gave Iraq ample opportunity to avoid going to war. Iraq was the aggressor; it provoked the attack, and it refused to stand down when America threatened retaliation. And Jensen believes this parallels terrorist actions? How did America provoke the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon? It was not given the chance to avoid conflict. Saddam Hussein chose to go to war with America, knowing that his country would pay dearly. If anyone is to blame for the deaths of innocent Iraqis, it is Hussein.
Jensen also said in his article that while he was saddened by the deaths in New York and Washington, D.C., his ?primary anger is directed at the leaders of this country, and [his] fear is not only for the safety of Americans but for the innocent civilians in other countries. When will the United States, without regard for civilian casualties, retaliate??
Jensen needs to be reminded that the ones who are ?without regard for civilian casualties? are the terrorists who attacked America. Even UT?s president, Larry Faulkner, wrote in a letter to the Houston Chronicle that ?Jensen is not only misguided but has become a fountain of undiluted foolishness on issues of public policy.?
Jensen believes that retaliation by the government for last week?s attacks simply would be another act of terrorism. Once again, he is wrong. While our nation?s Christian heritage may require that individuals turn the other cheek, it does not require the same of governments. Even in Biblical times, the purpose of government was to administer justice.
As far back as the time of Noah, God said, ?Whoever sheds man?s blood, by man his blood shall be shed.? The apostle Paul later wrote, ?But if you do wrong, be afraid, for [the government] does not bear the sword for nothing. [The government] is God?s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.?
Here in the real world, there must be a penalty for crime. Otherwise, government becomes irrelevant.
It is understandable that Jensen does not like war. No one does ? war is hell. But it is a necessary evil. Freedom is not free. The purposes of government are to protect its citizens and administer justice. Last week?s attacks were not carried out solely by the hijackers, who are now dead.
There are many other people in the world, and perhaps entire nations, who contributed to the death and destruction, and it would be unjust for our government to allow them to go unpunished. The U.S. government must bring them to justice.
Jensen?s editorial was a slap in the face of all the brave men and women who have defended this great nation with their blood. Aggies should start a fund to buy Jensen a plane ticket out of this country that he so greatly loathes. Bon voyage, professor.

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