To the Editor:

I don’t always agree with Yale’s activist community, but someone needs to defend campus “leftists” against the accusations made in Meghan Clyne’s latest column (“The hypocrisy of the left in its campaign against war,” 10/30). She argues that activists who promote “pet leftist causes” like improved care for New Haven’s homeless and an end to racism are hypocritical. After all, they oppose war in Iraq even though the plight of women, the poor and minorities is much worse there than it is here.

Despite what Clyne may think, though, I don’t believe that very many people would deny that there are serious problems in Iraq or argue that we should ignore them because we have to tend to our own problems first. And I’d be a fool if I didn’t agree that Saddam Hussein is a cruel and dangerous dictator and that there must be constant pressure put on Iraq to promote the so-called “pet causes” of justice, equality and human rights. But belief in the need for change, whether in New Haven or Iraq, does not necessarily lead to belief in military action.

Let’s think carefully about all the risks of war in Iraq before making a decision; let’s not call people hypocritical because they think that dropping bombs on Baghdad is not the right way to enact change in Iraq, just as dropping bombs on City Hall is not the right way to enact change in New Haven.

Matthew Matera ’03

October 30, 2002

The writer is a former news editor of the Yale Daily News.