Nipawin - Thursday, September 26, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis

we want

Atrocities have been committed at the WTC and the Pentagon, and a retaliatory military action is expected against Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden. That is, we want justice but we still want to see a military action which could cost the lives of soldiers and civilians. President George Bush has declared war on terrorism, and he has stated that this war would be different from any other war and that it could last five to ten years.




At the same time, military resources are being deployed in the Middle East (and Central Asia) for eventual military strikes against the Talibans and Osama Bin Laden. I believe that this war on terrorism as strategized currently by President Bush has no relevance for supporting a lasting peace in the region.




In fact, this peace would be supported by the stabilization (ceteris paribus) of the social, economic and military conditions of the different countries, when instead these countries badly require a lasting peace against a cycle of wars and poverty.




When you consider that some eight million Afghans require international assistance to survive and whenever you consider that some international relief agencies have moved from Afghanistan, then we can understand that many thousands of Afghans are already dying without a military strike. I leave the cost and benefit analysis of the present military deployment in the Middle East (and Central Asia) to the bean counters, but, as I am concerned, I find that the most important thrust for justice would be the economic and civil development of these countries along with an international and unanimous recognition that terrorism is a crime to be addressed by all the countries in the world.


I question the integrity of President Bush's coalition as I hear uber alles Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi asserting the superiority of 'our civilization' over the Islamic countries and comparing Islamic terrorism to the anti-globalisation movement. The minestrone of this coalition becomes more diluted as this coalition includes Saudi Arabia, a country where capital punishment is by public beheading with a sword and where thieves have their hands cut off.


As long as countries play the 'ceteris paribus' game of power and money even the best intentions to pursue justice will fail.


  Row over Berlusconi Islam jibe, BBC News, September 26, 2001