Letter: Rebutting Tom Olson

By The Daily Illini

We meet again, Mr. Olson. Once more, I feel it necessary to respond to your extreme generalizations on Nov. 4. First off, the youth vote went up by 4.6 million voters this year, which translates into 51 percent of registered youth. That isn’t great, but it’s getting better; perhaps our conceptions of “pitifully low” are different. Besides, if the numbers were low, that most likely means that both liberals and conservatives do not come out to vote. This would lead to the conclusion that since some conservatives do not practice what they preach, they are sheep, too. As before, however, I am not willing to go that far. As to most Kerry supporters not knowing why they were voting for him, how many Kerry supporters have you spoken with? Had you ever asked a Kerry supporter why they were voting for him? Not liking Bush is still a reason to support the opponent, even if it is a simple one.

Secondly, I do believe that “someone of Saddam’s character does not have some sort of weapons development program.” The reason I believe this is very simple. Both U.N. and the U.S. investigators have shown that he had no stockpiles of WMD and no programs for creating them at the time of our invasion. The advisor to the CIA on Iraqi weapons Charles Duelfer reported in early October that Saddam’s program to make WMD was wiped out in the Gulf War and that Saddam stopped his nuclear weapons program soon after the war’s end. Contrast this with Kim Jong Il who, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, poses a serious threat to the non-proliferation of nuclear materials. So let’s review. Saddam = no nuclear weapons and the inability to produce any. Kim Jong Il = probably nuclear weapons (the US believes he has at least two) and possibly giving the stuff away. I think I’m more afraid of the short, movie-loving guy who might push the button if he sees another bad Jerry Bruckheimer film. In addition, we did not invade Germany to start World War II. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and then we declared war on Japan. Then, shortly after that, Germany declared war on the US because Germany and Japan were allies; Germany declared war on us, Iraq did not. Before people start replying that Iraq was harboring terrorists, let me remind you that there was no connection between the terrorists of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and Iraq according to the duly appointed, bipartisan 9-11 Commission. For my last point, I do not believe that removing Saddam from power is enough motivation to justify the death of American troops. Talk to someone who has lost a child or a sibling and then try that rationale again, it might stick in your throat.

Matthew Schmidt

senior in LAS