A lot of people seem to be criticizing any movement towards peace in these times and I think they may have a skewed view of what a war actually is, especially a "just" war. In my view, and I am sure that many would agree, a just war is not one that is fought as a blind act of vengeance. A just war is one that is fought to ensure peace and security at the end, and ideally, liberty. Like many of you I was glad to hear that we had finally begun bombing the Taliban. The dissolution of this barbaric regime will do the world and certainly the people of Afghanistan a lot of good and it seems that this can only be accomplished by force.
In the weeks, months and maybe even years to come, however, we must ask ourselves are we ensuring peace, security and liberty through whatever military action we take? Once the Taliban and Osama bin Laden are brought to justice will we invade nations like Saudi Arabia and Jordan that condemned the attacks but refused to aid us in military action? What about Iran, a nation that makes a much nicer enemy because of the fundamentalist Islamic character of its government? How do we define "terrorism?" Will we find ourselves fighting the IRA, the Zapatistas of Mexico and the Tupac Amaru of Peru? Where and when will what began Sunday end?
I am by no means a "peacenick." I do not want to let those who attacked us be slapped on the wrist, or worse yet, go unpunished. I also do not want to see any of my friends and loved ones die or be killed fighting in a senseless, thoughtless war. At the moment we should all be making our voices heard to our representatives in Congress and President Bush, telling them that while a prolonged financial and investigative effort against terrorism is appropriate, a sustained military effort, beyond what is necessary to defeat our immediate enemy is not, and that it will not be tolerated when the time comes for us to vote.
A war against terrorism cannot be fought by force of arms and if we attempt to do so, we will never again know peace.