Volume 95, Issue 11

Wednesday, September 19, 2001
 
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OPINIONS

Passing the border buck

Picking up trash: not just a bar activity

U teaches tough lessons

Cyclist forced to come to complete stop

Insight from a commie?

Precious time on a fragile planet

I can make my own bread

Taking a closer look at the "kill 'em all" mentality

Taking a closer look at the "kill 'em all" mentality



"Bush should go out and nuke every country which has ever been linked to terrorism throughout its history. We should go out and kill them all."

These were words spoken by a justifiably angered American citizen and broadcast during last Tuesday's day of infamy.

They were also symbolic words for a framework of action which hovers like the darkest of clouds over our collective future.

There is no justification for the barbaric acts the world witnessed on Sept. 11. No excuse for the moral vacuum which would allow any individual to plot and cause the deaths of thousands of innocents. No cause – whether inspired by politics, religion, greed or vengeance – can ever make a dreadful wrong become a right.

Yes – the perpetrators of terrorist acts upon the United States need to be brought to justice. However, there needs to be a method to the madness.

A U.S. bombing or invasion of Afghanistan – in hopes of crippling Osama bin Laden's terrorist empire – will serve little strategic purpose in reaching any true culprits. It is a nation devastated by war; whose people live in poverty and squalor. The end result of any such attack will only bring about more civilian casualties.

We have seen enough.

A long-term covert operation aimed at pin-pointing, apprehending and destroying the terrorists responsible is the only measured course of action. The battle against terrorism is not confined to the borders of one nation-state; it is a battleground which must delve into the shadows of an intricate operation which operates across the planet, including our very own country.

This would not be a flashy style of vengeance, nor would it make President Bush very popular among many of his own citizens. Much of America is currently fuelled by irrational emotion – they want a quick remedy for the grief and helplessness that has engulfed their nation.

There is none.

Bush spoke recently of the U.S. as a symbol of "democracy" and "morality" which will overcome and vanquish the world's evils. However, in order for recent events to have any meaningful lesson for the future, they must not only involve American vengeance, but accountability.

United Nations estimates show U.S. sanctions on Iraq have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children – innocent civilians who have perished due to a lack of nutrition and medical care.

In 1998, the United States bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan caused the deaths of countless thousands due to a lack of vaccine production within the region. American intelligence believed it to be a chemical weapons plant tied to Osama bin Laden – they were wrong.

America can be a force of infinite good – in many cases it has spread the concepts of democratic ideals and freedom. Yet, often its own self-motivated political actions have caused infinite suffering.

The U.S. has backed tyrannical states when it has suited their own interests. An easy example can be found in Central America where the U.S. helped overthrow democratically elected governments in order to support U.S. friendly dictatorships and has supported murderous guerrilla warfare with both funding and weaponry.

During Iraq's war with Iran, the U.S. provided their former "friend" Saddam Hussein with the fire-power and weapons knowledge he would eventually attempt to use against the Americans in the Gulf War. The U.S. supported and trained bin Laden in Afghanistan when it was in their own interest to work against Russian influence within the region.

America.

Anger? Of course.

Vengeance? Yes – if measured and rational.

Reflection and introspection? The world should collectively cross its fingers.


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Copyright The Gazette 2001