Commentary

Gaining Perspective of U.S. Enemies

Posted by tbaker |

Dear Editor:

During the Vietnam War, I was a professor in UAF’s English Department. Even as the years of the war mounted (two years, eight years, 10 years!) the university failed to respond to the killing — and devastation — of millions of people subjected to bombs, napalm and agent orange, their villages burned and leaders assassinated, and more millions displaced in a dubiously legal war. Of course, a university cannot shift its curriculum to meet emergencies, but such a long war could have provided at least one course on Vietnamese history, politics or literature.

Now, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq have caused 12 years of more killing. But this time the university is better prepared. With Arts and Sciences named for J. William Fulbright, the Middle Eastern Studies, a translation program, many other international activities, and a high-level of emphasis upon diversity, UAF is better positioned to help its students examine their nation’s wars and the idea of an “enemy nation” in real time. It’s course offerings include Iranian literature several semesters, courses in South Asian history and sociology, a course on Vietnam history and culture, and Syrian literature this semester.

In this thoughtful context, OMNI has organized a Book Forum on the Literature of U.S. “Enemies.” Please come and join the conversation: Friday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., at OMNI. The panelists — Jacob George, Kaveh Bassiri and Dick Bennett — will discuss anthologies of Poetry of the Taliban, Literature of the “Axis of Evil,” and Poems from Iran and Its Exiles. Join us to celebrate the rich literature of these countries and the distinctiveness of the individuals who inhabit them.

Dick Bennett
Fayetteville

Fair Tax Time Has Come

Dear Editor:

The Fair Tax is an idea whose time has come. The Congress, both House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats, has demonstrated time after time, the inability to restrain itself with the public purse. The Congress simply can’t govern effectively as long as the income tax is in place. Even the “fiscal crises” legislation passed by the current Congress added $74 billion MORE to the deficit; all to favor special interest groups. In order to save America, Congress must be denied the instrument of its folly: the income tax. A solution has been filed away in a drawer somewhere by the Congress for more than 10 years. It’s called The Fair Tax. It’s neither a Republican nor Democrat idea but truly an American idea!

If adopted, the Fair Tax would replace the income tax, repeal the 16th amendment and annihilate the IRS. Within one year, America would experience unprecedented econometric growth, and thousands upon thousands of NEW JOBS would be created.

Contact your Congressperson through his/her website; insist that he/she do everything possible to bring the Fair Tax proposal to the floor of the House and once there, to support it. Large numbers of citizens must demand the FairTax if we are to have it.

Glen E. Terrell
Arlington, Texas

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