Letter: Dialogue is out of context

By The Daily Illini

In response to Jon Monteith’s “Flip flopper in chief,” Mr. Monteith, your column expresses weak arguments for President Bush’s alleged “flip-flops.” Concerning the quotations about winning the war on terrorism: The war on terrorism is probably not winnable. There is no one group to target exclusively; there always will be terrorists somewhere for a multitude of reasons. Bush said this in truth, but then realized that U.S. citizens are not going to be satisfied with inaction. He changed his mind in order to keep a strong image and resolute stance on terrorism.

Concerning Bush’s comments about Osama bin Laden: Please read the rest of Bush’s speech. Here’s a small excerpt, “And the idea of focusing on one person – it really indicates to me people don’t understand the scope of the mission. Terror is bigger than one person. And he’s … a person who’s now been marginalized. His network, his host government, has been destroyed.”

Why should our president lose sleep over the fact that bin Laden is holed up in a cave in the mountains, unable to train more terrorists? At first, we needed someone to point a finger at for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Bin Laden was behind it, but as Bush stated, terrorism is bigger than one person now.

Concerning the Saddam-Sept. 11, 2001, link: Did you catch the reason Bush said he can’t distinguish between Saddam and al-Qaida? “I can’t distinguish between the two because they’re both equally as bad, and equally as evil and equally as destructive.”

He didn’t say that Saddam equals al-Qaida or that Saddam equals the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But maybe the new Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi thinks so: “I believe very strongly that Saddam had relations with al-Qaida … But definitely I know he has connections with extremism and terrorists.” Mr. Monteith, you are quite skilled at taking dialogue out of context. Keep up the good work.

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Thomas Valentino

freshman in engineering