Commentary: An Injustice To Innocent Afghan Civilians


The hand wringers on the left who don’t think America is worth defending have continued to come up with reason after reason why we should sit on our hands and let the terrorists take potshots at us. I ran across an editorial by Zafar Siddiqui in the StarTribune that seemed to sum up their arguments quite well. So I decided to actually post this editorial and give a response. My comments are in: (italics).

Published Nov 6 2001

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the media that Osama bin Laden may have escaped Afghanistan and the United States might never catch or kill him.

If this is the case, then why bomb an already war-ravaged and defeated nation at all?: (Because this is a lot bigger than Osama Bin Laden. We can no longer afford to allow governments to deliberately harbor and support terrorist groups that have made it clear they want to murder our civilians. If we got Osama Bin Laden tomorrow the threat to America and the rest of the civilized world hardly drop at all).

According to media reports, over 1,000 civilians have died in the continuous bombing raids on Afghanistan.: (What media reports? Do you mean the propaganda claims of the Taliban that have already been proven wrong time and time again?): The use of cluster bombs is wreaking havoc on the civilians as evident from the calls by The Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund for the United States and Britain to stop using cluster bombs in Afghanistan: (So because they’ve called for cluster bombs not to be used that means it’s evident that cluster bombs are “wreaking havoc”? The cluster bombs are being used on the frontlines and we have yet to have a single confirmed case of a civilian dying from a cluster bomb).

The bombings have exacerbated an already dire situation for millions of starving Afghan civilians and could reach cataclysmic proportions if the much-needed massive influx of food aid is not revived: (Maybe they should of considered that before they sheltered and supported a terrorist organization that murdered 5000+ people in the nation that was supplying them with 80% of the food coming from outside of Afghanistan before September 11th): While the U.S. effort to airdrop food is a welcome measure, it is woefully inadequate to address the needs of millions of starving Afghans.

Explaining away the massive civilian casualties in such euphemistic terms as “collateral” damage will not clear us from the blame of bombing the civilians(The unfortunate reality is that civilians die during wars. Does anyone think we could have beaten Germany and Japan in WW2 without large numbers of civilians casualties? We firebombed German cities, nuked Japan twice, and we killed countless civilians from the nations we were trying to help while driving the Germans and Japanese out of their nations.)

We should ask ourselves: Are the retaliatory strikes now terrifying and killing mostly innocent civilians a good response or are they a betrayal of the very core values we all share?: (One of my most important core values is to protect myself, my family, and my country from harm. Protecting our nation from terrorists who have clearly stated they want to destroy our country is being true to our core values at the highest level). To attack the seemingly intractable problem of terrorism at its roots, we must address the condition that produced it and not just its ugly branches or bitter fruit.: (What are the roots of terrorism? Islam? No there are plenty of peaceful Muslims. Poverty? No, there are plenty of poor people who aren’t terrorists. The root cause of terrorism is that there are a number of charismatic terrorists who are hijacking Islam and convincing a lot of people that Islam is about murdering people to meet certain goals. The reason that these people are effective is because there are governments who fully, actively, support them in doing this because it plays to their interests. Since that’s the case, the best way of addressing the roots of terrorism is to kill or jail these terrorists and either get rid of the governments supporting them or at least convince them not to continue to support terrorist organizations.)

An innocent life in United States is equally important to an innocent life in Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world.: (Wrong. As an American, an innocent American life is INFINITELY more important to me than an innocent life elsewhere and I have no problem with saying that right up front. Furthermore, if people are honest, they will admit that almost everyone feels that way about the country they’re from when it comes right down to it.): We need to show to the world that we value human life and pursue the criminals who were responsible for the inhuman and evil attacks of Sept. 11 through channels of diplomacy or surgical strikes: (Wait a second, isn’t that exactly what we’ve been doing for the last 20 years? Surgical strikes, diplomatic negotiations, and trying to treat these terrorist attacks as criminal acts instead of acts of war? After 20 years of doing just what the author suggested we got the massacre of September 11th. We now know that Bin Laden and company are pursuing nukes to use against the US. Do we really want to continue this failed policy when millions of lives may now be on the line?)Let our quest for justice not end up in injustice to thousands of innocent people who had nothing to do with the terrible crime against humanity.: (If we had this same philosophy in WW2 the whole world would be controlled by the Nazis and Japanese. Is that the sort of world anyone wants to live in? Does anyone want to live in a world where terrorists spray anthrax over a soccer stadium, nuke cities, and poison water supplies every few months? If we were to follow Zafar Siddiqui’s advice, that’s the world we’d be living in from this point forward.)

– Zafar Siddiqui, Fridley.: (Read the original article by clicking: here)

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