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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 27, 1998)
America needs to take time with Iraq
CLIFF HICKS is a junior
English major and a Daily
Why are you all so eager?
As I’ve walked around campus
recently, every so often the same
comment comes to the fore.
“We should just kick Saddam’s
ass and get it over with.”
We should what?
Look, I know I’m not the great
est when it comes to politics and all,
but am I missing something here?
Why are people talking about war
like a football game? This is not
something that should be taken so
This is war we’re talking about.
I’ve asked a couple of people
about the Persian Gulf War over the
past month or so, just to see what
people remember about it. The reac
tions I get are usually the same.
“Oh, we lost a couple of people
over there, but it had to be done.”
What had to be done?,,
“Well, we had to put Saddam
Hussein in his place.”
In his place? A couple of people?
There were 148 people killed in
action, 121 in non-hostile actions.
This is the official account accord
ing to the government. 249 people -
dead. Of the 148 killed in action, the
Pentagon estimated that somewhere
between 24 to 31 percent of them
were due to “friendly fire.”
“We still had to do it.”
Had to do what? Fight a war over
oil prices to give our military some
thing to do and then broadcast the
whole thing across the globe?
It is estimated that more than
100,000 Iraqi soldiers died.
More than 100,000 - dead.
I am convinced the price of oil
had more than a little to do with it,
but I’m also convinced that the mili
tary just needed something to do.
The Cold War is supposedly over,
with the collapse of the U.S.S.R.,
and here we are with this huge mili
tary that has nothing to do. So we
find a conflict, decide to get
involved and then escalate the thing
as much as possible.
Or simply let Saddam do it.
Our fatality numbers look small
in comparison to theirs, obviously,
but think of the families of each one
of those 249 people. Do you want to
try and look them in the eye and tell
them that their sons and daughters,
brothers and sisters, died over the
price of oil?
My opinions aren’t always popu
lar ones, I’m more than aware of
that, but I find it very hard to com
prehend anyone saying they “under
stand” why we “had” to be over there
the first time. Small countries are
taken over every day. Revolutions,
assassinations, hostile assimilation -
it’s like the business world only more
savage. And the majority of the time,
we don’t get involved.
But this time we did, and we
made a big deal about it. Look at us,
we’re the mighty U.S. of A. and
we’re righting the wrongs of the
world. Let’s get over ourselves, shall
we? The army is, in principle, there
to defend us from invasion. Anyone
remember the last time we were
Don’t go thinking I don’t want an
army. I understand and respect the
place of the military, but we don’t
need to go force feeding our lifestyle
down everyone’s throat. We want to
push our lives, our culture, our ideas
and our concepts onto people in
other countries until they want to be
part of the American dream because
we’ve convinced them there is noth
It’s funny how we aren’t trying to
shove democracy onto everyone, just
the countries of “strategic impor
tance.” I think we need to start mind
ing our own damn business.
Inevitably, someone reading this
column is going to say “But what
Yes, what about Hitler? I know,
according to the history books,
Hitler didn’t seem like a giant prob
lem at first and later he was a threat
to the world. Had we stopped him
early, the war wouldn’t have been
anywhere near as difficult as it was.
Just because we have a military
doesn’t mean we have to go sending
it everywhere we can. Had we
stopped Hitler early, we would have
been overstepping our bounds by a
lot. There are hundreds of dictators
across the world, even today.
When the decimation of people
began, and Hitler began expanding
quickly into other countries, we
knew enough was enough. We wait
ed until Germany had invaded
Poland, Denmark, Norway, France,
Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands,
Greece and Yugoslavia before we got
We waited, as we should have.
We had problems of our own to work
out before we went and dealt with
somebody else’s problems. We
should do the same now.
There are more than 23,000
Americans in the Persian Gulf right
now, waiting for Saddam to make a
move of some kind. CNN’s calling it
the “Standoff with Iraq” and if we go
to war again, it’ll be televised just
like the last one.
We’ll be righting wrongs, just
like we did during the last one, and
everyone can see that on television -
but don’t believe everything your TV
tells you. Don’t even believe me: Go
find out for yourself. T
Media wars still have fatalities.
In a funk
Animal adoption helps break semester blahs
TODD MUNSON is a junior
broadcasting major and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
George Clinton and his P-Funk
friends have it. Isaac Hayes has found
the magic again. Paul “Heavy P.”
Sanderford showed cable subscribers
that the concept eludes him.
Chumbawamba think they have it in a
drunken Englishmen sort of way.
Figured out what I’m alluding to?
James Brown may have invented it,
but lately I’ve been wallowing in it
Ever since classes began, it’s been
like my brain has decided to stay on
vacation. In the last two weeks, my
brain has been farting so much that I’m
beginning to think my landlord has
signed up for a new water service
based out of Tijuana.
Here’s a little sampler of my follies:
After my friend Erin graciously
followed me into a class to let me know
that I forgot to lock up my bicycle after
our conversation outside of Andrews
Hall, I repaid her by breaking off the
key to her car’s ignition in the door
lock - stranding a group of us at
Mahoney State Park last Sunday. Who
ever heard of separate keys for die igni
tion and locks? Stupid Mr. Chevy; I
hope your grave is nice and cold this
1 hen there s the lapse of conscious
ness that had me believe that selling
plasma was a good idea. After I stum
bled home, I put a frozen pizza in the
oven but became so enamored with the
“Rockford Files” that I completely for
got about it until the flames from the
kitchen started nipping at my toes as I
lay prone on the couch.
It was then I realized being in a
funk is a lot like having an erotic fanta
sy about Martha Stewart. You have to
find a way to snap out of it before it
I found the exit from Funksville in
Mr. Stafford had arrived.
Yahoo for free money. Or at least
money that can be repaid years from
now at a very low interest rate. That
Mr. Stafford is such a neat guy. Twice a
year he gives me much more money
than needed to finance my education
and twice a year I live like a rock star.
I hit the town with a big fat bank
account and a hankering to bust out of
my funk. My first major purchase was
something I normally couldn’t afford
with my serf-like wage from the DN: a
large Slurpee. But that didn’t do the
trick, so I decided that the way to bust
out would be to revel in the misfortune
I loitered for hours outside the
Folsom Children’s Zoo hoping that the
train would start to run and thereby
derail sending zoo patrons into a funk
worse than mine. According to “Real
TY” zoo train derailment is an every
But then I saw a sign. Not from
God, but from the zoo. It read, “Adopt a
Piece of the Wild.”
“Yo, zookeep, can you really adopt
an animal? I’ve always wanted a mon
key that I could get in excrement fights
“Yes and no,” said the astonished
Ranger Rick impersonator.
He handed me a brochure that I
pretended I knew how to read.
Later that night, as my mail-order
bride from Cuba (hey, Castro had to
pay for the Pope’s visit somehow)
tucked me into bed, she read the
“Now you can join the Adopt a
Piece of Wild program and help us
meet the challenge of providing
care for the hundreds of animals
that make our family at the Folsom
Children’s Zoo and Botanical
Gardens. Although you won’t find a V
leopard or a baboon at your dinner *
table, you will find a rewarding expe
rience for you and your family.”
With prices that range from
$25 for a porcupine to $ 1,000 for a
Persian leopard, adopting an animal
has many benefits including: a pho
tograph of the adoptee, a real adop
tion certificate, and a “face-to
face” meeting with your
adopted family member.
What a cool concept.
Adopting my own animal
is the perfect idea for some
one who has money burning a
hole in their pocket Besides, it
would be much cooler than a GigaPet.
What to adopt? Seals are cute; so are
river otters. A two-toed sloth would /
be really boring, as would a pygmy %
goat. A New Guinea singing dog ^
that sounds a lot like Pavarotti
would be fun, but it’s also $250.
With my funds from Mr. Stafford
running dry, I found my animal in the
$25 section. I never knew that shipping
a person from Cuba could be so darn
Today, I received a photo of my
adoptee in the mail. He’s a lovely gila
monster with a healthy smile and a
wide neck. I’ve named him Ivan in
honor of the Russian immigrant whose
donation at the sperm depository made
my birth a reality. I hope my little gila
monster will do my mystery dad jus
tice. My mom said his jar was labeled
“Nuclear Physicist,” so I’m sure my
outcome would be a bit
of a sur
, Matt haney/DN
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