Don't attack Iraq first
Re: "Non-violence not the answer," Sept. 13
To the Editor:
Jenn Cole is correct about one thing. We don't live in an ideal world and violence most certainly begets violence.
In the real world, embargoes and diplomatic isolation do not give Saddam a reason to use nuclear weapons (since he acknowledges he is powerless against the West outside his own home); a military attack on him, however, does.
In an ideal world, we would leave him alone, cease our institutional attacks on Iraq, and allow the Iraqi economy to prosper to the point where its people can fund their own revolution. Our continued presence and severe demands have only worsened their plight.
In an ideal world, the Israeli government would cease their "peaceful" violence, and enforce recognition of the Palestinian right to exist (beyond customary lip-service and constant oppression). Sadly, it seems the only recognized genocides are those found in Hollywood pictures. We must learn to understand genocide not only as concentration camps and gas-chambers, but as persistent assaults on a people's customs, beliefs and liberties.
Surprisingly, our system is not held to the same standard of "justice" we seek from disenfranchised leaders. We can pretend to live in conjunction with the principles we demand of others, but that would be the ideal world.
In this world, despicable leaders hold nuclear weapons and mean people bear arms. We need to understand what really gives them the incentive to use them instead of only addressing the problems we want to see. Ignoring the root causes of crime and violence merely perpetuates them.
To ignore the history of western actions abroad is to see only half the picture and, as Cole has made evident, results in dangerous and unfounded conclusions on what it is that will constitute peace for all of us, in the real world.
Want to avoid a war with Iraq? Do not attack first.
Randa B. Mouammar
(BA, DHS, MA Candidate, LLB candidate)