"A Just, Necessary War"
I am writing in response to Walter Simpson's article, "Resisting the Call to War" in Friday's issue of The Spectrum. First, I condemn Mr. Simpson's statement that "an unthinking war spirit has been cultivated." The people of the United States represent a diverse group of independent thinkers. We have the ability to formulate our own opinions based on the facts presented. This is not a nation of mindless drones.
IMr. Simpson writes that President Bush has been "made over" into a great leader. I must admit I also was very skeptical of President Bush, but that has changed since Sept. 11. President Bush and his staff have succeeded in uniting this nation and consoling our ailing psyche. He has preached for racial and religious tolerance at all levels of society. He was not quick to initiate retaliatory strikes against the organizations believed to be responsible for this horrific act. Instead, our government has taken an impartial stance to gather evidence and assess who was responsible for these actions.
IThis war on terrorism is an "us against them" effort. We must eradicate the foundation from which terrorism builds itself. The Taliban and the al Qaeda organizations are evil and uncivilized. The people of Afghanistan have suffered dearly under the barbarians that lead the Taliban. Women are denied simple human rights and are forced to live like hermits in their own society.
IIt is estimated that one in five Afghan children will die by their fifth birthday. The people of Afghanistan are starving and are forced to live like animals. The Taliban's intolerant (as evident by their demolishing of centuries old statues of Buddha this summer), inhumane (using soccer stadiums as public execution grounds), and oppressive (forcing widows to beg on the streets to feed their children) actions must be stopped.
IThe people of Afghanistan deserve more out of life, they deserve to eat, sleep, and work in comfort. None of this will be possible if the Taliban continues to hold power. I would like to ask Mr. Simpson if he would have been opposed to "cleaning up" the acts of the Nazis, and to allow them to continue genocide against the Jews of the world. The Taliban's actions will allow them to take their place in history right next to the Nazi leaders of Germany.
IMr. Simpson states, "a retaliatory war and killing more innocent people" is not the answer. The war that has been declared is against the Taliban regime and al Qaeda, not the people of Afghanistan. Many of Afghanistan's cities are barren as millions of refugees move across the borders of Pakistan and Iran. There is nothing to destroy in Afghanistan, and the sole purpose of this effort, as outlined from day one, is to target terrorists and bring them to justice. The United States and President Bush have made noble efforts by securing over $300 million in aid to the people of Afghanistan and by making agreements with the government of Uzbekistan to use their air bases to launch humanitarian missions.
IWe need to "address the root causes of terrorism," said Simpson. The only way that can be done is by digging up those roots (the Taliban, al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups) and destroying them.
IThe only way we can insure that this horrific act committed against freedom and democracy never happens again is to destroy terrorism from where it originates. Many families, especially children, have been left devastated by these actions. We owe it to those who died and to those that are eternally suffering. Americans of all races and religions shall unite to overcome this evil and insure the safety of our future generations.
IIn closing, if Mr. Simpson wishes to not defend his freedom and watch other people suffer by turning his shoulder, I suggest he move to another country where those practices are accepted.
IQuestions or comments? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.