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February 5, 2008
Second thoughts in Berkeley on Marine letter
It appears that even the communists on the Berkeley city council can be affected by popular opinion:
A week after blasting the Marines as "unwelcome intruders" in Berkeley, two City Council members want the city to back off the declaration that ignited the wrath of the nation's right wing and inspired a Republican senator to try to sever Berkeley's federal funding. The disconnect of some of these people is mindboggling. They pass a resolution telling serving members of the United States Marines that they are "unwelcome" in their own country and yet claim to be "supporting the troops?" Only a mind disinclined to practice logic and rational thought could formulate such a nonsensical position.
Council members Betty Olds and Laurie Capitelli on Monday proposed that Berkeley rescind its letter to the U.S. Marine Corps that stated that the downtown Berkeley recruiting center "is not welcome in our city," and publicly declare that Berkeley is against the war but supports the troops.
The City Council will vote on Olds' and Capitelli's two proposals at its meeting next Tuesday.
"I think we shouldn't be seen across the country as hating the Marines," said Olds, who voted against last week's proposals. "If you make a mistake, like we did, you should admit it and correct it and move on."
The brouhaha started last week when the council passed two items condemning the Marine recruiting center on Shattuck Square, which opened about a year ago. The first called on the city clerk to send a letter to the Marines telling them they're unwelcome, and the second item granted Code Pink a parking space in front of the recruiting office every Wednesday afternoon and allowed the group to operate a loudspeaker.
Not surprisingly, Code Pink doesn't want the city council to back down. Nor do some of the original sponsors of the letter who are turning themselves into intellectual pretzels trying to separate sentiments expressly hostile to the US military while piously proclaiming their support for the soldiers.
"I still oppose the Marines recruiting in Berkeley because it's one way of protesting this wasteful war," she said. "Our military policy is a shambles. But we're not in opposition to the Marines; we oppose the policy that directs the Marines."Wha? Who? Someone's parents wasted a good deal of money sending this woman to college. At the very least, they should demand a refund for turning out someone who would torture logic so absurdly.
We'll have to wait a week to see if Berkeley can intellectually untwist itself long enough to rescind this ridiculous and insulting letter.