USU Voices Support for U.S. Strikes

By By U Wire

By U Wire

LOGAN?Reactions to U.S. airstrikes on Afghanistan were varied among students and faculty at Utah State University. However, the prevalent mood seemed to be one of support for U.S. action.

“I think the attacks are necessary,” said Freeman Linton, a junior business administration major. “I think it’s the right time. We can’t sit back and wait forever.”

Some students and faculty members seemed surprised at the magnitude and scale of the attacks.

“I thought it was a pretty big operation that seemed a little sudden,” said Nellene Howard, a graduate student in human resource management. “It seemed a little extreme for the first step.”

Peter Galderisi, professor of political science, said he was not surprised.

“I assumed that it would be a fairly substantial attack. I think we want to overthrow whatever base of power the Taliban has. The president’s speech after the Sept. 11 attacks almost demonized the Taliban. I think that was meant to prepare the American people for these strikes,” he said.

The administration’s effort to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people has been well received in some quarters of the campus Muslim community.

“I think providing humanitarian aid was a good initiative. The main reason we’re against the bombing is because of the collateral damage. That the Americans are helping in this regard is a good thing,” said Abdul Mohammed, a junior business information systems major from Somalia.

Others were skeptical about U.S. motives.

“I think there is an element of hypocrisy here. When you drop food and supplies on the one hand and bombs on the other, one cannot help but ask the question, who are you aiding?” said Michelle Meninger, a senior majoring in liberal arts and sciences from Fiji.

Some Muslim students on campus mirrored the general dissatisfaction with the U.S. strikes in the Islamic world.

“I don’t think the strikes were justified. The United States doesn’t hit other countries in the region that also harbor terrorist organizations, like Israel,” said Abdullah Al-fahd, a sophomore interior design major. “The United States should have waited for the results of the investigation.”

Mohammed feared the strikes would contribute to heightened political uncertainty in Afghanistan.

“If the bombing goes on, and the Northern Alliance gets stronger, then the country will descend into anarchy again. This will increase poverty and perpetuate the vicious cycle that creates terrorism,” he said.

Many students were at pains to point out the fact they believed U.S. attacks were aimed at terrorist organizations and their supporters.

“I hate war more than almost anything in the world, but when people do things that are wrong, they have to be punished,” said Amy Williams, a junior majoring in business administration. “We need to make sure people draw distinctions and understand that we’re attacking terrorist groups and not nations or religions.”

Some students are concerned such distinctions are difficult to make.

“I realize that they say that the targets are mostly Taliban locations. But it’s a fine line between attacking the Taliban and attacking the Afghan people,” Howard said.

There is a feeling of helplessness about the lack of alternative ways of responding to the terrorist attacks.

“I’ve read a lot of comments about Muslim nations being opposed to the attacks, but I don’t know what else they expect us to do,” said Brian Hathaway, a senior majoring in chemistry.