By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Twisted sense of morality: I agree that promoting rational debate over promulgating a warped ideology is paramount. So, I was disappointed to find Mr. Schutze comparing Bush to Idi Amin ("W. and Us," February 8). Equating a policy crafted in the wake of an unprovoked terrorist attack and approved by Congress with the murderous whims of a tyrant indicates an ignorance of history—and a twisted sense of morality.
There's a difference between pouring resources into a region to foster democracy and funding suicide bombings in Sadriya. It's killers like Amin, arbitrarily slaughtering their people, dismembering wives and facilitating hijackings, who cause the brutality we abhor. The crime is a theocracy indoctrinating tomorrow's jihadists that widespread poverty isn't because of failed economic policies, but because of some corrupt Marxist bogeyman. The butcher is the intolerant Sadr thug targeting civilians to spread terror, not a military subject to judicial oversight combating such chaotic hate. How is it difficult to discern the morally reprehensible here? Moreover, likening Bush to Amin or U.S. policies to the Holocaust is intellectually lazy and cheapens the legacy of the genuine evil such monstrosities produced.
Now, you don't have to be Socrates to understand it's a fool who treats the effects while the causes that produce those effects are ignored. To wit: Charred skulls make for dramatic imagery. That's useful to those with an agenda who will tell you perceptions matter more than facts (e.g. terrorists sheltering among civilians; anyone at Al Jazeera or CNN). But it doesn't honestly examine current policies vis-à-vis those of the '80s and '90s where appeasement, moral equivalency and hollow U.N. condemnations resulted in Saddam murdering people and financing terrorism, embassy bombings and two World Trade Center attacks.
So, perhaps we could benefit from a think tank and university with conflicting ideologies. After all, what good is scholarship if it isn't dedicated to the free exchange of ideas? And what scholarly issues are more urgent to examine than the roots of radical Islam and the ideology of the War on Terror, as well as realistic alternatives to current policies? The center shouldn't be a right-wing propaganda factory, but it's wrong-headed and immoral to flippantly disregard the questions such an establishment would raise. Regardless, it will be hard to debate anything if we can't first rise above puerile invective when reason is clouded by emotions.
Higher learning indeed: One must question the brain power of any institution of higher learning that would even consider a Dubya library on its grounds. The fact that SMU is well beyond the consideration stage is frightening. Higher learning indeed.
The only thought a George W. Bush think tank (oxymoron) should contemplate is, what was he thinking when he fabricated this immoral war? When he walked from the Kyoto Accords? When, on 60 Minutes, he stated that he could care less that the overwhelming majority of Americans are against his war and him as president? It doesn't require a bevy of scholarly boneheads to get that. Higher learning indeed.
If SMU wants to disgrace and discredit itself, well, whoopee. But the lofty intellectuals guiding the institution should consider the smear to Dallas and everyone living here. Excuse me, but we'll all be tainted by a celebration of the worst U.S. president since Ulysses S. Grant. "Visit Dallas, the Home of SMU and the Dubya Library." Higher learning indeed.
Alton Broussard II
Another embarrassment: I am so glad Jim Schutze brought up this subject. Dallas has never recovered from the Kennedy assassination; imagine adding another embarrassment.
SMU would be wise to stick to scholarly subjects and stay independent of a Bush think tank. Considering Bush's antipathy for oversight, it strains credulity to believe "thorough oversight" would be acceptable. Furthermore, what kind of message does his black and white worldview, seen through the lens of good vs. bad and either you are with us or against us, send to the world community?
Bush's ideology and actions are anathema to American democracy. For SMU to ingratiate itself with a legacy steeped in violence and war, Dallas will bear the burden of shame.
Mindy Sue Huie
Follow the money: I have a sick feeling that all this fuss is going to be rendered "academic." Hunt put up a bunch of money. Others are also shuckin' in more bucks. End of story. Library goes wherever the Bushes want it. Won't matter how "firewalled" the thing is from the university. Let's just hope that after a half-billion dollars at least the kiddie rides will be free.
David G. Boyle
Duh: Mr. Schutze, I cannot believe that SMU, of all the universities, would even consider housing a library for a president who by his own admission is a C student at best. I am embarrassed anytime I hear or think I am going to hear him speak. You would think his wife, being an educator, would have tutored him in grammar.
How to Hide Your Weed
More pot stories, please: You are one talented writer and reporter ("Don't Go Bust," by Keith Plocek, February 1). Regardless of which side of the pot fence you are on, this is a damn good story. Ask your editor for a raise.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia