There are more effective tools than war for stopping terrorism. War is what the hijackers wanted. The longer unilateral military intervention continues, the deeper and wider the suffering for all. This war will actually increase terrorism. This war could easily spread throughout the world. Happy Halloween.
One probable result is the fall of the fragile dictatorship which we support in Pakistan. It would go to Taliban types. Pakistan has 30 to 50 nuclear weapons. Another probable result, if we don’t stop very soon, is the starvation of 7.8 million innocent Afghanis – according to the U.N. – who did not elect the Taliban and have nothing to do with terrorism. Trick or treat?
Before we erode even more international support, we must stop killing innocent civilians and try to make amends for such deaths that we caused.
Then we will get the near global solidarity that we need and deserve to bring the terrorists to justice legally, and to gradually root out terrorist cells worldwide through cooperative covert intelligence. We do not need to sacrifice civil liberties, which would be a victory for the terrorists.
In foreign policy, we need to lead rather than impede international efforts such as the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, the UN Convention to Eliminate Discrimination against Women and the one on child abuse, the Land Mines Treaty, the biowarfare treaty, both anti-terrorism treaties, the International Criminal Court. We have been in the minority among industrialized nations in holding these up. We must respect the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. Even if Star Wars could work, it will not protect us, as 9/11 proved. We must become the world’s hero. If we spent all the billions earmarked for Star Wars on a Marshall Plan for third world civilians and democratic governments, we would win the war on terrorism.
We are the world’s largest exporter of weapons. The School of the Americas (new name, same game: torture) must be closed. We must work for worldwide justice, and not for just US. It would also be wise to stop exporting mostly the most vulgar and violent aspects of our culture.
I am not coming off as the proud patriot that I am. I am so grateful to be American. Today we will call the Senate to stop the tax break for the rich that the House just passed. Some day we will become the greatest nation to ever grace the planet because we are a strong, free and caring people who will educate ourselves and rise to the challenge of creating a fair world. The movement for sustainable life on this planet will grow and flourish because it is so obviously just. When we are healthy and minding our own business except to help good people who want our help, we will be safe and we will rejoice with the world.
Phoebe Ann Sorgen, Berkeley