Volume 95, Issue 36

Tuesday, November 6, 2001
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Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Board 2001-2002

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It is ironic that the parched landscape of Afghanistan has been soaked with so much blood over the course of its violent and tumultuous history.

Waves of criticism are beginning to mount following a month of United States-led strikes of supposed Taliban and terrorist targets within Afghanistan.

Some of this criticism stems from a lack of genuine information. Besides the daily routine of redundant military banter, there is very little reliable information as to what has or has not been accomplished thus far.

It is clear civilian casualties are mounting and the potential for human catastrophe among Afghan refugees is increasingly likely. It is clear bin Laden, while spouting off his televised tirades against the West, is still alive and well and the Taliban regime is far from surrender.

In addition, public support among America's Arab allies is precarious, especially considering a U.S. vow to continue bombing throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

The majority of North Americans were looking for a quick war, with a clear victory and few casualties on "our" side of the fence. The public wanted a war that would provide juicy headlines, citing high enemy losses and a sense of progress in the battle against terrorism.

They wanted a war that would make them feel safe again.

However, this war, whether just or unjust, will not be over any time soon.

We will not see an immediate result – no matter how much the public yearns for it. America and her allies will not escape this war without seeing soldiers coming home in body bags – it is simply an inevitability.

Still, for the first time since Sept. 11, it no longer seems taboo to question the actions of Congress, that of its allies or of the Canadian government.

Although public support for the war remains strong, there are growing questions about the tactics and purpose of this war.

What are the Americans accomplishing by continually dropping bombs upon the rag-tag countryside of Afghanistan? It seems rather inefficient to drop bombs upon areas that have already been scarred by nearly 25 years of war.

Ground troops appear to be the only answer. But with ground invasion comes the potential for death and defeat in harsh Afghan winter.

Environmental factors aside, there is still no guarantee the Americans could win a war on the ground. Both Great Britain and Soviet Russia lost wars in Afghanistan and both were equivalent to the present day U.S. in super-power stature.

The public's attention appears to have been sapped due to an abundance of repetitive and tedious information.

We should not allow another domestic terrorist attack to re-open our eyes and focus on this war. People are dying and key military decisions are being made, we must continue to be critical, be aware and ask questions.

Far too much is at stake to retreat into ignorance or simply follow our leaders' decisions like sheep.

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