Volume 95, Issue 41

Wednesday, November 14, 2001
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Off-campus karaoke fun!!!

No justification for U.S. attacks

First, dig five million graves

No justification for U.S. attacks

Re: "America has the right to exercise self-defense," Nov. 7

To the Editor:

Eric Freedman's letter in Wednesday's Gazette reflected many misconceptions regarding the validity of the American campaign in Afghanistan.

First, America has not "gone out of its way to kill as few innocents as possible." The direct outcome of its military attacks have been the cessation of meaningful relief to the starving Afghani people.

Its resolve to continue those attacks through the bitter Afghan winter will surely lead to the deaths of millions of "innocents."

This tragedy could have been avoided, had the United States not repeatedly rejected the Taliban's offer to hand over Osama bin Laden should sufficient proof be provided. By rejecting this bloodless option, the U.S. demonstrated its lack of concern for innocent Afghanis.

Second, America does not "have a right to exercise self-defense." This right can only be invoked when the threat is immediate, leaving only military attack as a viable option.

Since the bombing of Afghanistan began one full month after Sept. 11, the U.S. lacks any credibility in claiming the right to self-defense. This means its actions are in violation of international law, which dictates only the United Nations Security Council and not the U.S. alone has the power to decide whether a military strike is appropriate.

Third, if the purpose of these attacks is to punish terrorists, the U.S. should equally be reprimanded for supporting or committing some of the worst terrorism of the last 50 years.

For example, in 1998, the U.S. bombed a factory that produced most of Sudan's pharmaceutical drugs, on the false pretext that it made chemical weapons for Osama bin Laden, leading to the probable deaths of thousands.

To bomb one nation and to absolve another of the same crime is sheer hypocrisy.

Dmitry Guller

Medicine I

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