September 2002 (v5 i1)
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Where Are the Protestors When You Need Them?
What This Place Needs Now is Indignant Hippies
by Trevor Rosen, Editor-in-Chief

Hippies! Where the hell are you? What’s going on guys? I see the Green Party table out on the West Mall, and I see a couple of you floating around campus or hanging out on the South Mall, beating your timbe drums or playing hacky-sack or flipping devil sticks, but none of you seem pissed off.

That’s right—I finally asked for it, I want you guys out there, protesting.

Last year, when we were going to drop some bombs on Afghanistan to flush the Taliban out of power, there you were. When Sodhexo-Marriot put some of their money into the private prison industry, you were there too. There have been countless times during my college career when hippies have been making noise, getting attention, and bringing some light to causes that deserve (maybe) to be heard. Over and over again, I have witnessed angry hippies taking a stand—on issues that ranged from the bizarrely remote (Sodhexo) to the local and pertinent (UT’s treatment of janitors). Even if it was something that I didn’t care about, you did. Even if it was something asinine, you were out there. Now, we’re going to go to war with Iraq for the second time in a decade. We’re going there to pick a fight. We’re playing the unilateral card again, poised to piss off the entire Islamic population of the planet, and apparently, it doesn’t matter to you.

Hundreds of thousands of lives are going to be lost. Cities will be laid to waste, American soldiers killed if we go to war with Iraq. Eventually, war may prove necessary, but right now, it’s somewhat of a distressing circumstance, so much so that many people in President Bush’s own party have come out against the proposed invasion— and yet Bush is so strangely unwavering. Doesn’t it pique your sense of righteous indignation that Bush is calling so loudly for a war right before the midterm elections in November?

No? Well, here’s some fodder for you:

• For 16 months, Vice President Cheney has refused to turn documents on his US energy policy over to Congress. He developed that policy in closed-door sessions with executives from energy companies—including a couple from Enron (yeah, I know, Enron…I’m laughing too). Immediately prior to his return to politics, Cheney was the chairman of Haliburton, a Dallas-based energy company currently under Congressional investigation. What happens to a country that gets 60% of its oil from foreign sources during a war in the middle east? Gas prices go up (translation: energy companies profit).

• Despite those cool smart bombs we saw on CNN, Amnesty International estimates that over 300,000 Iraqi civilians died in the Gulf War—a war we entered after Iraq invaded Kuwait. 300,000 people is like 4 Memorial Stadiums packed to capacity and then blown to bits.

• According to an agreement reached two weeks ago with UN Secretary General Kofi Annon, Iraq will allow UN weapons inspectors full and unrestricted access to all sites where weapons of mass destruction could conceivably be constructed. According to the Bush administration, that isn’t good enough.

That should be enough to get you started. In the meantime, ponder this: college campuses are almost the only places we have left where Americans expect to see dissent from people who are at least marginally better-informed than the Twinkie-engorged, wrestling-fixated unwashed masses. The Bush Administration probably doesn’t give a shit what we think, but that never stopped you protestors before. This campus has the potential to be one of the most visible in the country—if Bush is going to pay attention to the noise at any university, it’s going to be one that one of his daughters goes to.

So dust off your markers, get out your poster boards, reserve the West Mall Amplified Sound area and get down to business. At that point, my faith will have returned—all may not be right with the world, but at least everything’ll be cool at Texas.
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