On Thursday evening, just hours after the paper had come out, I received a letter in response to my most recent column about just war.
I am now writing a second column about just war, to clarify some things brought up by the letter.
The first thing I would like to point out is that, constitutionally speaking, the war against Afghanistan is illegal. While Congress did vote to show support for President Bush, this was not an official declaration of war by Congress. Congress has not declared war since World War II, which makes every war after that (including this one) illegal.
It was also pointed out that I said, “it is completely justifiable for us to kill the perpetrators,” and that “there is no such thing as an acceptable loss when it comes to human life.” I was accused of being wishy-washy. I would agree that I sounded that way. What I should have said was the loss of innocent, civilian life.
There is no acceptable loss of innocent life.
According to a story by the Associated Press, “U.S. attacks on the Afghan capital of Kabul killed at least 13 civilians on Saturday,” and that for the second time, we bombed the warehouse of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul. These “mistakes” are not acceptable. I don’t accept them and neither should anyone else, be they conservative, liberal or pacifist.
But, the most important point that I’d like to make is that this “revenge war” against Afghanistan isn’t doing anything. Our country isn’t (and does not feel) any safer and that should be the only purpose in this war, to make the country “safer.” And it hasn’t. If anything, the United States is more vulnerable now than ever before. People are afraid to travel, fly, and even do something so simple as open their mail.
America is afraid. Is the war helping? No.
The suspected perpetrator, Osama bin Laden, is still on the loose. Is the war helping? No.
Afghan women and children continue to die. Is the war helping? Yes.