Jan 222006

Ryan Chapman's claim that "liberal nut jobs…are actually rooting for us to lose in Iraq," exemplifies the problem with too many Republicans today – their beliefs are formed around self-serving "epiphany" rather than "physical evidence."

Indeed, most inquisitive, honest citizens are quite aware that the current administration embraces just such a the-truth-is-whatever-I-say approach. Weapons of mass destruction certitude, 45-minute missile launch times, Al Qaida connections, perpetual "rounding-the-corner" claims: balderdash all, and merely the tip of the iceberg.

Unhindered by reality, though, some amongst us simply continue to blissfully stack baseless allegation on top of baseless allegation. And in true form, Chapman goes on to claim that liberals want "the troops to lose."

But is there really any doubt as to who is more supportive of our troops, citizens who demand truth before sending soldiers into harm's way or those who would send them into danger based solely on the president's latest claim? Such blind following would surely thrill a king, but should horrify all who value democracy.

Least supportive of all are those citizens, like Mr. Chapman, who do their best to stifle rationale thought and honest debate, instead relying on admittedly baseless allegations – in the process undercutting the very principles for which our troops in Iraq fight and die every day.

Greg Ice

Santa Rosa, Calif.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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Jan 222006

My e-mail is in regards to an opinion column by Ryan Chapman in Wednesday's Collegian. In the column, Mr. Chapman writes about an "epiphany" he experienced while watching David Letterman mock Bill O'Reilly on "The Late Show."

The realization Chapman claims to have come to is that "Letterman and the army of liberal nut jobs he speaks for are actually rooting for us to lose in Iraq." He goes on to say voices such as Letterman's and bushorchimp.com "(Are) treason and should be tried as such."

Chapman also writes that he anticipates a negative reaction by liberal readers and defends himself from this by simply stating that "these people are lying or at least most of them are."

When I read Chapman's column, I immediately checked the reverse page for a counterpoint and found none. Though he openly admits he has "no physical evidence of (his) claims," he has put forth an incredibly accusatory and, in truth, surprisingly reactionary point of view in his article.

Attempting to garner support from his readers Chapman writes, "You may also be wondering how in the hell people can get away with rooting against their own country in a time of war."

He goes on to say that he "(has) all the respect in the world for the First Amendment, but this goes way beyond that." I believe it is important to call attention to the fact that the "treachery" that Chapman believes "goes way beyond" the First Amendment is little more than a right-wing television personality being heckled by a liberal talk-show comedian.

If Chapman is willing to accuse Letterman of being a traitor for this, one must wonder if he is willing to accuse President Bush of the same for actually cutting troop deployments to Iraq and openly stating his hope to withdraw military forces from the region as soon as possible.

Finally, I want to pose a few reasonable questions to Mr. Chapman in hopes he will answer them and clarify his opinion. First, how does he consider the vocalization of a large portion of the public's beliefs about pulling out of Iraq to be damaging to the country as a whole?

Second, what evidence can he provide that a continued U.S. presence in Iraq will benefit our nation's interests, and what material damage does he believe would be done if our troops were to pull out?

Finally, does Chapman feel the same way in retrospect about the overwhelming protest of the Vietnam War, and if so, does he believe that pulling troops out of Vietnam was "just sick?"

I hope I receive some answers from either Mr. Chapman or the editors, and I would also like to express my disappointment with the Collegian for not providing any alternate viewpoint to such a reactionary one as Mr. Chapman's.

Matt Minich


technical journalism

 Posted by at 5:00 pm