An Inclusive Litany

10/10/01

Berkeley, again. The Berkeley City Council passed a resolution condemning U.S. military action against Afghanistan. "Berkeley has always been an island of sanity in terms of the war madness that has prevailed in this country," commented City Council member Dona Spring, who sponsored the measure. "The U.S. is now a terrorist. According to the Taliban these are terrorist attacks." (Ms. Spring claims the latter quote was taken out of context, but the Daily Californian stands by its accuracy.)

Another council member, Kriss Worthington, said that Spring's proposal played into the negative image of the city some refer to as "Berserkeley," but that this was not necessarily a bad thing since it benefitted the local economy. "Tourists come to Berkeley because of all the attention the bastion of liberalism generates," Worthington said. Perhaps the following exchange at a Berkeley peace rally, reported by the Oakland Tribune, can be explained as a civic-minded effort to attract tourists: "Another [student], favoring peace [sic], said in the heat of argument, 'Look, it's not like they attacked the U.S.' 'They did,' a pro-USA student replied. 'Uh, oh yeah, they did,' the other said, flashing an embarrassed grin."

As a result of Berkeley's vote against military action, it appears the city, which routinely boycotts companies and nations it disapproves of, may now find itself the target of a boycott.

[Ed.: In December, the City Council voted to provide information on how to obtain conscientious objector status for those hoping to avoid military service, despite the fact that America has for many years had an all-volunteer military.]

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