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Thursday, August 14, 2003

The Problem with Boulder

From today's Daily Camera: "WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US"
TERRORISTS

We are part of the equation

What are the similarities between Sept. 11, 200l and Dec. 7, 1941? In both cases, we were attacked by non-whites whom we had subjected to ridicule and to whom we had made it clear that we thought we were better than they were. I recall a young Japanese named Shiro Adachi, who was on my intramural hockey team at the University of Wyoming in 1940, about a year before Pearl Harbor.

After questioning a call by the referee, who was a member of the university coaching staff, Shiro was characterized as "a little sinoid bastard." I remember the tears that came to Shiro's eyes, as he gazed up at the man towering over him. He could have reminded the man that he was just as good an American as anybody, but that would not have elicited much of a favorable response from this redneck coach. After Pearl Harbor, I found myself wondering if this redneck had the slightest idea that it was people like himself who brought on the Japanese attack.

I quote from Todd Buchanan's piece in the Camera of Aug. 3: "They (Muslim terrorists) see violence against oppressors as a cleansing force that frees Muslim youth from inferiority complexes and despair." Better education is a big part of the solution, which should be one of Islam's aims and I think we should help them instead of making war on them. Violence always brings on more violence, as Einstein reminded us.

Todd goes on to say, "President Bush has said repeatedly that terrorists hate us because we love freedom. Most Americans understand it isn't so simple. The only thing that can defeat fanatic Islam is moderate Islam, and more thoughtful American policies can help. A little humility will impress Muslims as no unilateralism can." Pogo might have summed up this letter in his famous line: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

ROGER H. OLSON, Boulder