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Let Jews for Jesus Stay

A brief blurb in the Sept. 6 issue of The Tech mentions that some Jews for Jesus were nearly arrested for handing out pamphlets on one of our precious sidewalks. Excuse me? I support restrictions on e-mail spam, billboard sizes, commercial time slots, and loudspeaker volumes, but isn’t there something sacred about an individual’s right to peaceful personal interaction? In an age where word-of-mouth is bought and sold, we should give some respect to those who represent a cause without financial compensation.

Some legalist may read this, and astutely point out that the group was on MIT property. We have the legal power to kick people off! Hey, I have an idea -- why not charge a toll for all the pedestrians who use it? In fact, someone should check to see if we own the street -- we could make a fortune! Do we proceed to arrest everyone who hands out pamphlets along our section of Massachusetts Avenue? Dude, it’s a slab of concrete next to a public highway. If you don’t like what the pamphlet says, then recycle it.

David Diel G

[LTE]“Profiles In Courage” Distorts True Picture [body]
I came upon an issue of this Tuesday’s The Tech a day late and unfortunately I had to read a somewhat anti-American column [“Profiles in Courage,” Sept. 10] on this day of remembrance, Sept. 11, 2002. When thoughts should be with the families of the victims and also with the brave men and women who saved so many lives before their own, I spent a few minutes reading a column trying to tie a territory grab, corporations and rape into the current war on terror. Ms. Aimee L. Smith even goes so far as to question the hearts and character of the NYPD and FDNY heroes, surmising that they are filled with “violent dehumanized hatred.” I shouldn’t have to point out that the terrorists and the countries that harbor them carry this type of hatred towards us.
When I see a column in The Tech like Ms. Smith’s, I begin to think that MIT is becoming more like other universities in this country. During the week of Sept. 11 students are subjected to the talking points of an ideology and way of thinking that is mostly responsible for the situation we’re in today. Common sense gives way to thinking that the terrorists will change, all we have to do is be nice and they will like us again only after a few more attacks.
This mentality of bending over backwards not to offend was what handicapped the FBI and CIA in gathering intelligence. The attitudes of Ms. Smith and the previous Clinton Administration put this country and all of its citizens in danger and we paid the price last year.
This country is rich and powerful and it uses its resources to help people and countries around the world. Most of the beneficiaries are ungrateful. As evidence I point to the booing of Secretary of State Powell at the recent World Summit in Johannesburg. Perhaps if we were less involved with the affairs of the world we wouldn’t upset the likes of Bin Laden. Then, of course, Ms. Smith would complain that we are not doing enough. Since we are involved in helping other countries we must also produce a quick response to those who threaten us and possibly others.
The current war on terror then goes far beyond a hackneyed act of vengeance for the victims of Sept. 11. As I heard someone say earlier today, we have the technology and resources to defeat terrorism and the threat of biological and nuclear weapons. It is our obligation to do so, with or without the help of others.[sig]
Andrew Garcia ’99