Friday, April 06, 2007

Fallacious Foreign Flag Burners

This is all just an incredible misunderstanding!

Lawyer: Fire was a 'prank'
Attorney for three students says burning of flag was not politically motivated

Three Yale students arrested for burning an American flag attached to a house were not politically motivated, their lawyer said Thursday.

That makes perfect sense to me! Hyder Akbar, originally from Pakistan, said: “There was absolutely no political motivation whatsoever. It was a stupid college prank.”

Surely this must be a new college craze! Goldfish swallowing, toilet-papering homes, and beer guzzling will undoubtedly be shunned by more refined college students, (especially foreign ones). Why injure your own body, when you can make a [non]-political statement [prank] by burning the flag of the country whose excellent educational institution you are taking advantage of.

Nikolaos Angelopoulos and Farhad Anklesaria, foreign nationals of Greece and Afghanistan, respectively, were only along for the ride:

Dow said Angelopoulos and Anklesaria maintain their innocence and that Akbar
told the police at the time of his arrest that he was the one responsible.

Unfortunately, their ship might be sailing soon:

The result of the case could be particularly significant for Angelopoulos and Anklesaria because they are international students of Greek and British citizenship, respectively. Ann Kuhlman, the director of the Office of International Students and Scholars, said both the arrests and the outcome of the case could affect their immigration status.

Incredulously, some students are taking the arsonist flag-burning liars at their word:

Despite Dow’s statement that the actions were not politically motivated, students nonetheless disagree over whether the incident has political implications.

Sam Massie ’09 said he does not think the arson should be seen as a political.

“In setting fire to the flag, they were endangering house, so I don’t see this as a political thing,” he said. “The fact that the students have foreign-sounding names and that they are three Yale students makes for a sensational story, but it doesn’t bring up any interesting issues.”

But though burning an American flag is not illegal, and the students are being charged because the flag in question was attached to a house, some students said they could not see the act as anything but a political statement.

Yet others are rightly more skeptical:

“I have a hard time believing that burning a flag is not inherently a political act,” Matt Magliocco ’08 said. “I think it’s incumbent on anyone, whether an American student abroad or a foreign student here, to at least show respect for the country he’s living in. Burning a flag is the complete opposite of that.”

Many things have happened by coincidence: bumping into an old friend on the subway, Paris Hilton's wearing a skirt without underwear among paparazzi (on many occasions), and even the disappearance of Christopher Moltisanti's girlfriend Adriana La Cerva, after cooperating with the FBI.

This flag burning "prank" at Yale by foreign students is no coincidence.

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