Volume 95, Issue 42

Thursday, November 15, 2001
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Former head soph speaks up

Things to do before the winter sets in

The lost souls of Wonderland

Things to do before the winter sets in

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

To the Editor:

The United States military claim they are "doing everything they can" to minimize civilian casualties in Afghanistan is unmistakable war propaganda aimed at you and I.

Did you hear the one about the little yellow food packets (an ineffectual pittance against hunger) the U.S. was dropping that are roughly the same hue and size as unexploded cluster bomblets?

How many times has the U.S. bombed a Red Cross facility? These blunders and the many direct civilian casualties are nothing compared to the scale of the humanitarian disaster facing us.

After three years of drought and decades of war, the civilian population is almost entirely dependant on food aid. The reality of the war, no matter how carefully waged, has prevented the delivery of much of this aid.

The United Nations estimated early on that six million people were at risk of starvation this winter if aid cannot be fully restored. The Hon. Lloyd Axworthy last week affirmed these projections firsthand from the region.

Whether the U.S. has indeed "gone out of its way to kill as few innocents as possible" or not is irrelevant. To merely wage this war is to commit an atrocity of the highest magnitude.

When was the last time six million innocent people died during a war? And what did we call it afterward? All this to end terrorism. Except the U.S. and its allies (including Canada) will make legions of martyrs in Afghanistan.

Will this not compel enraged, desperate people to support groups like bin Laden's? We must have justice for the victims of Sept. 11, but it cannot be had in this way.

We must have an end to this war and the fullest international commitment to averting this tragedy before winter sets in.

Mike Gretes

Biology III

President, OXFAM UWO

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Copyright The Gazette 2001