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Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It seems to me that one of the many reasons for studying history is the pragmatic desire not to repeat the blunders of the past. Unfortunately, Ian Ronderos is advocating such a disaster in his Aug. 30 Op-Ed piece “Of patriots and tyrants.”

In his encouragement of “removing” the democratically elected and popular Hugo Chavez, Ronderos supports sending weapons and bolstering the opposition. This is eerily similiar to situations in that past where the United States supported leaders such as Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Of course, as everyone knows, the U.S. intervention into those areas has been wildly successful. Moreover, Ronderos’ opinion that a small regime of Marines would make a civil war swift and easy is laughable considering the fiascos of the Vietnam War and present-day Iraq.

Although this willingness to repeat historical tragedies is disturbing, I find that the fact that this dangerous rubbish is coming from the president emeritus of the College Republicans even worse. What happened to the Republicans who were against nation building? Why have Republicans forgotten that it is exactly the policies that Ronderos advocates and his general “America knows best” attitude that are what cause most of the world to despise the United States and are the sources of our many international problems?

It is not because people hate our “freedom.” Nor are people jealous of our “wealth” and “power.” Such arrogance and bravado is dangerous for America. To put it in terms that classics majors such as Ronderos may understand, the United States suffers from a bad case of hubris and the views and attitudes of people like Ronderos and the College Republicans are hastening America’s tragic fall from grace.

Peter BuiseniorDillon HallAug. 30