Does anyone else feel that perhaps an ex-Hallmark employee is in charge of the attack strategy naming? First there was "Shock and Awe," a plan to bomb everything to smithereens and hope the war is over within 12 hours. My inital impression of this plan was that it should simply be called "Gratuitous." Unfortunately, I'm not in charge of naming. Furthermore, this entire plan is called "Operation Iraqi Freedom." How dull is that? That's like naming the Lord of the Flies, "Kids on Island Acting Like Savages."
I'll be completely forthright, I have no idea what's going on in the Middle East. Not only am I not keeping up with the news, but I'm purposely skipping the sections in the news mentioning anything in that vicinity. Which means that an entire newspaper can be finished in about 30 seconds, especially the New York Times. My reasoning for this is two fold. First of all, it's simply propoganda. We're not getting the real story by any stretch of the imagination. I won't encourage the bias that is so prevalent in all newspapers. Secondly, we're being inundated with information. Only one out of five articles actually provide some new and vital piece of information, the rest is absolute filler. There's often a new article describing in 1,000 words that nothing has changed since yesterday. On the television there are newscasts about miscellaneous pieces of artillery or some mundane military facts to give us our "fill." Fault can't be placed on the shoulder of news agencies, they're simply selling a product. We're the ones eating this stuff up with a spoon. Am I responsible American? No, I'm not even American to be honest, but I do live here and realize it's the most advanced and opportunistic country in the world. These are simply my reasons for not partaking in this sadism.
Let me provide you with an interesting tale of a recent development on my college campus. I go to a New England area state-run university with approximately 12,000 students. Last week we had Spring Break, and on our return we were meet with a posting that said this:
"It is difficult during times like we are currently experiencing to determine what actions should or should not be taken. Actions need to be prudent and not unnecessarily contribute to creating a climate of fear. One action that the Department of Housing feel is prudent to take is the locking of our residence halls and apartments on a 24 hour basis. This is a condition that many college and universities have as a matter of routine policy.
This university is infamous for the procrastination of any actions due to it's fierce belief in a democratic process. This leads to continual debate and argument over the most minute issues. This action occured with no premonition or discussion. While they do make the claim that it's a routine process in many schools, those schools are in more urban and dangerous areas. We're a rural town with little to no trouble with the law (outside of underage drinking of course). So this is creating a climate of fear, because we can't get into our apartments in the middle of the afternoon if we're not carrying some form of identification.
Repeat after me: "This is simply a tactic to give some upperlevel decision makers a false sense of security." The entire premise that this protects us in any way is ludicrous, and let me explain why. If a terrorist was to decide that this medium-sized college was a worthy bombing target in their campaign, how would locking our dormitory buildings fend this off? It's unlikely that they'd only use a small bomb that can be carried by hand inside a building. Therefore what we're looking at is probably a van full of exposives. How will locked buildings hinder this attack? It won't. On top of that, if the bomb was handheld they'd want a concentration of civilians, and a dormitory is far from that. We're split into hallways of 20 rooms with only 2-3 students in each.
Next is the possibility of a hostage situation. Let me just state here that all these events could happen by any lunatic, and simply saying that terrorists from the countries we're at war with is a horrible generalization. Let's remember that the second worst terrorist bombing came from an American in Oklahoma City, and not an individual of Middle Eastern decent. Back to my point, let's juggle the idea of a hostage situation. I've already explained that our dorms are a long hall of many rooms with few students in each. This would be a very difficult hostage situation, unless the intention was only for a handful of victims. As historically shown, hostage situations meant to convey a message usually require a large group of people and an area sizable enough to house them. Obviously, either a classroom or a conference room in our community center would best suit this purpose.
So those are my arguments as to why I believe the University is only inconveniencing students, and not creating a safer environment. The school paper would probably be a more apt place for this rebuttal, but it would certainly be met by severe reactions from my overly sensitive campus. That's if it was even printed, which would be a feat on its own. Maybe my claims are way off track, or there's a simple explanation that hasn't occured to me yet. If anyone knows, enlighten me.