is in response to Max Kleinmans letter to the editor (Spring
2002) wondering why he didnt see any thoughtless flag-waving
or gushing praise for Dubya [President Bush] on Oberlins campus.
Kleinman thought that the talk of antiwar and military racism was
just politically correct rhetoric. I disagree completely. Where
does he think he is? Oberlinians are passionate about their beliefs.
Students are informed and know what is going on in their world.
For that very reason, Dubyas approval at Oberlin should be
a lot less than what is found in the country. Kleinman concluded
that Oberlin was not allowing all perspectives to be heard in various
campus publications. Having been in the minority with my beliefs
about what the United States should be doing, I have dealt with
very intolerant responses. If there are people at Oberlin who agree
with the United States actions, I would hope that Oberlin
would be a place where dialogue and understanding could occur, not
isolation and silencing. I look forward to returning to Oberlins
campus for my five-year reunion this May where I will see firsthand
how Oberlin has responded to the disasters of September 11th.
Zelda Menard 97
Kleinman complained in his letter of a lack of a sense of
patriotism or support for the president or our armed forces
on the Oberlin campus and in Oberlin Reflections and The
Oberlin Review and cited as fact that 88 percent
of Americans support the president in our war against terrorism.
Oberlinians and other Americans who oppose the war as unjust
or unwise do have a duty to protest it. Else the president and Congress
may not be moved to change our countrys policy. Patriotism
neither requires nor precludes support for the war. Neither patriotism
nor support for the war implies support for the presidents
direction of the war as commander-in-chief. The well-known military
analyst William Arkin, for example, is highly critical of the current
administrations policy of micromanagement from afar. One can
support a war without believing that the war effort demands further
tax cuts for the rich, large handouts of federal funds to large
corporations, and government planning (other than military) in secrecy.
That being said, I will add that I do favor a war against terrorists
and nations that sustain terrorists
I suppose! For I am aware,
especially in an era when much political (as well as military) intelligence
is kept secret from the American public, that I lack sufficient
information to be truly confident of this view.
Danny Kleinman 57
Los Angeles, California