Tag Archives: Libya

Foghorn Staff Has a Final Word on Protests

Often one can see a protest or a demonstration and wonder if all that effort is worth the trouble. When the United States decided to invade Iraq in 2003,  thousands turned out in the United States (indeed, millions around the world) to protest the invasion. On February 15, 2003, 3 million of people turned out in Rome alone against the U.S.’ intentions.

The end result of some of the most vocal public expressions in history?  The invasion of Iraq went forward, as planned, and operations continued in that country for seven years.

San Francisco is no stranger to protest. On April 13th, for example, at San Francisco Sate, dozens of students occupied the administrations building at their university to protest tuition hikes and overcrowded classrooms. As it stands now, tuition will still rise, and classrooms will still be crowded as before.

So it comes as surprise to when public displays of opinion do effect change, both on campus and off. In the case of off-campus change, most notably, we have the people-initiated revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia, which sucessfully occurred without the military intervention of foreign governments and were largely peaceful.

In the case of on-campus change, we have Upward Bound, where university leadership had first decided to sever ties with the program when the contract expired in 2012. After a consistent public outcry in the form of vocal town hall meetings and two campus protests, USF has now decided to renew sponsorship for Upward Bound and allow for its limited use of university facilities.

The Foghorn is not saying that all our problems, both campus-wide and globally, have been solved through public demonstrations. For example, Libya and Syria’s demonstrations for government change were met with violent and forceful resistance from Muammar Qadaffi and Bashar al-Assad, respectively.

Back at home, when KUSF went off the air suddenly in late January, the station rallied support for its reinstatement through hosting public events (see KUSF Lives(s)) and through petitions to the FCC. However, the doors to the old radio studio and transmitter are still locked. Also, the optimistic news of the FCC initially blocking of the transfer of KUSF’s transmitter was dampened by construction permit the FCC issued on April 12 to KDFC for a new transmitter in Sausalito, implying an eventual completion of the transfer of the 90.3 signal to KDFC.

In short, the Foghorn is advocating this: advocate however you can, because it does have an impact. It is worth the trouble to protest, demonstrate,  and advocate  (in the special case of the USF community), for both our student interests and for the rights and concerns of people around the world.

Whether the fight is to keep a funded account’s budget from going under the knife year after year, or to inform the university of the troubles its new housing policy has generated for underclassmen seeking housing, or to rally against military endeavors your government does in your name, demonstration and public expression is important and necessary; The alternative; i.e., apathy, automatically makes change an impossibility.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

Opinion Editor: Vicente Patino

Efforts In Libya Marred By Possible Oil Grab

I’ve seen and heard the words “Libya” and “revolt” paired together and apart in the news at least a couple hundred times in the last few weeks. After Egypt’s people successfully and peacefully ousted their president, Hosni Mubarak, they inspired the people of many surrounding countries to do the same. Libya’s popular revolution, however, has had a different outcome. Unlike president Mubarak, Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi has no intention of stepping down and is perfectly willing to hunt down and destroy his own people to stay in power.

And Gaddafi has got support. After all, in this case, he has an army that is willing to fight for him. Gaddafi’s supporters in Libya insist that his regime has brought power, stability, and prosperity to the country for forty years. So, how are the rebels now fighting against Gaddafi supposed to defeat the national army of an entrenched tyrant?

That’s where the United States comes into play.  The United States, France, and Britain, lead a so-called “broad” coalition of European and Arab nations who recently initiated air-strikes against Gaddafi’s forces. People in lucrative, technologically advanced, and productive nations, like ours, want the rebels in Libya to succeed in overthrowing Gaddafi.

Yet as much as I’d like to think  that America is in Libya solely to promote democracy, we’re in Libya for oil. Lost in all the headlines about the coalition’s “progress” against Gaddafi’s army is the fact that Libya is home to the largest proven oil reserves on the African continent, and since the revolt in Libya, the price of oil has grown steadily higher.

The unfortunate fact is we still depend heavily on oil. The unrest caused by Gaddafi’s desperate bid to keep his power is resulting in high oil prices; putting the opposing rebels in power could help to lower oil prices by bringing stability in the region, and could possibly bring a more just political system to Libya. The feeling that we are helping underdogs rid themselves of their tyrant ruler becomes dispiriting when we realize that we are simply in another foreign country again, to secure existing oil supplies or to increase our share of the supply.

As the United States recovers from a crippling financial crisis, and with a budget that can only be reined in by slashing spending or raising the tax burden; I’d definitely prefer to cut spending. Put simply, fighting in Libya, no matter how quick the operation, is going to cost tax payers. For the money we pay in taxes, we should be provided with formula-1 quality roads everywhere; instead, we’re provided with pothole-infested asphalt and a decaying American infrastructure overall.

The time has come to stop looking abroad for easy reserves and to focus on developing alternatives at home. Couldn’t we drill for oil on US land, or offshore, or allocate prime funding for research on some alternative energy source other than petroleum? Wouldn’t this create more jobs for unemployed Americans and save us the trouble of having to go to Libya and other foreign countries to fight for oil? Wouldn’t we save tax dollars by relying on ourselves? Rather than selectively focusing our foreign policy on oil-producing countries and then claiming our efforts as “humanitarian,” we should focus on our own country and decide whether or not we need a revolution of our own.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

Opinion Editor: Vincente Patino