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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

News I Want to Use

There are those who think ignorance is bliss. It is better not to know. It is better to go about our days as zombies and let others deal with things.

But I can defend this by arguing in times of war it is pertinent that the country is behind its leaders. How can we rightfully have a stance, or even an opinion, if we are not provided with the logistical and factual reasoning behind it?

America is a freethinking society, a society that is going to war for democracy. A society composed of people who think, reason and ponder every situation with a clear analysis of proper facts. Democracy is defined as, "by the people, for the people." So how much do the people actually know?

The question lies within our only access to information - the media. So why is the media folding? Why is the media all of a sudden caving in so quickly to suggestions by the government about censoring bin Laden's tapes? Are they telling us everything? Do Americans have the right to know or is it "better" not to know?

The government has requested the media not show these bin Laden tapes to Americans and we have succumbed to this proposal. Whether the tapes prove good or whether the tapes prove bad is not reason to refuse us access to them.

When Americans watch the news these days, we are not really watching breaking news. Talking heads permeate the screen. Analysis upon analysis is brought forth. Ticker tape messages distract with old news. What are the facts? Where is the objectivity?

Surely we know that people have been infected with anthrax, but how many people have access to this rare bacteria? Anthrax is not an easily concocted bacteria and it manifests itself in livestock or manure. Spores are needed and in large quantities. So where did it come from? Why don't they let us in on the investigation? Most paramount, why didn't they tell us about all the methods that can produce biowarfare? Who knew what anthrax was before this and who knows what other substances are out there?

President Bush has said this will be an arduous battle. The time frame, though vague, clearly depicts several years of fighting against the various forms of terrorism. If so, will we be in the dark for two or three years? Will it be another Vietnam? Clearly Vietnam is not such a valid parallel because the circumstances are quite different. However it's perplexing so early why people have already chosen sides. Either there are peace rallies taking place or those who want nothing more than to bomb the entirety of Afghanistan. Either way it is okay to say, "I am not sure on my stance yet."

We need to have more moderates in charge of our destinies. Moderates that tell the people the knowledge that rightfully belongs to them. Before this war ever began, did Americans know about the United Nations racism conference? Did Americans know that the United States backed out for support of Israel resulting in disgruntled Arabic sentiment?

Before this war, did Americans even know bin Laden's name? This is not his first attempt to make the United States crumble. Why was it shrugged off?

When Heather Mercer went to Afghanistan as a missionary, did we care? We do now. Were both sides even shown? Surely Mercer tried to press her views on others. She tried to go into another country and make them Christian. Was this fair? Was it right? No. But we took pity on her and now she is in Afghanistan, fighting for her life.

It is not necessary to ever kill anyone. We know killing is wrong. This is a fact, but imposing your views on someone else is wrong. You're trying to kill a person's beliefs and religion. Had a Muslim done this, he or she would have been criticized. These are freedoms that America embodies. Why was Mercer right, and if not, why didn't the media portray her as being wrong?

America was shocked about her predicament. All the while, certain dark events were hinted at. The media did not cover it and we paid the price for our ignorance. We mustn't be too cocky in this country and we must understand that people are out there who want to destroy us. It is wrong, but it can't be overlooked.

Now we are choosing to go back to where we started. It is too early in the game for the media to cave in, yet they have. Our champion of social justice has refused to inform the people. Once again we are in the dark.



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