Opinion

In war, the pen still defeats the sword

As dissent grows from our occupation of Iraq, it appears the pen is no longer mightier than the sword, or in 2006, the automatic weapon. For Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter Matt Pottinger, taking action against inaction, his pen no longer holds the might it once did. This 32-year-old journalist joined the U.S. Marines knowing the strong chance he will be deployed to Iraq. This change of scenery comes as part of his plea to America to “start improving ourselves. We’re competing now.”

He served his country for nearly a decade as a reporter, and now takes what he feels is the next step in serving his country, he told me recently. “I wanted to actually be participating in an incredibly important period in our history as opposed to just observing and reporting events…I didn’t want to watch the movie and not have a part in it.”

As the president’s line of reasoning for this war is gradually refuted, the public’s disapproval for the imperialism under the banner of “spreading democracy” grows. And as the U.S. wonders how far to dig the war hole, our men and women fight a government’s war of a seemingly endless struggle against religious extremists seeking the riches of martyrdom.

The media is beginning to find its backbone and expose the injustice that is committed daily. For Pottinger, his voice at the WSJ news powerhouse (long considered a conservative news organization) was apparently not enough in a country where the majority of citizens is against the war. Though we are now able to have our voices heard through modes of communication like blogging, those with instant national recognition have an obligation to open the eyes of the country to the truth, positive or negative.

Now is not the time to add another body to the death count if it can be avoided. If it is complacency that one detests, call your fellow Americans to action through the many means this country offers from congressional letters to blogs to non-violent protests.

It is going to take more than Pottinger to help bring democracy and stability to Iraq. With the information that comes out of Iraq regarding the insanity, the mounting deaths on both sides, it is difficult to believe that one would voluntarily enlist in the Marines during this war with the backing of a media outlet that published his voice.

Fueling the violence in the Middle East will not create peace. If we want to right a wrong, uncovering injustice is the first step. Losing a journalist to fight in the war, rather than going overseas to cover the war, may prove counterproductive.

The state of the union is not reassuring. The media have enlightened the public for decades to social and political scandals. During this time of possible executive government malfeasance, the media should place our current government on a public trial exposing the dishonesty in the court of public opinion.

If our society has not lost its sense of ethics and law, justice will overcome injustice, but this will not be accomplished with a gun. You can save more lives with your pen than with violence. Matt Pottinger may be a conservative ideologue who has drank too much Kool-Aid from the neoconservative trough. Violence only breeds more violence. I hope you come home safe, and learn the truth of war.

Sam Rega is a sophomore majoring in motion pictures and philosophy. He can be contacted at s.reaga@umiami.edu.

January 23, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami coach Mark Richt apparently is a fan of President Teddy Roosevelt’s — or at leas ...

If there was one freshman the Miami Hurricanes knew would have to help entering the season, Brevin J ...

Not only has Gerald Willis been one of the best stories of the Miami Hurricanes’ season, he has also ...

The Miami Hurricanes started the season No. 8 nationally in both major polls. Now, they’re nowhere t ...

With a bye week on the horizon, the meager University of Miami offense has nearly two weeks to attem ...

Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host, journalist and author, tells UM students that global pressures are makin ...

The program, in which UM students mentor high school students, aims to get first generation students ...

Dr. Ralph Sacco, a top neurologist and researcher at the University of Miami Miller School of Medici ...

U.S. Congresswoman and Chairman Emerita of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtine ...

Nearly 400 students participate in the National Gandhi Day of Service, the largest annual service da ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

"In The Pool" is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving stude ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.