Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2001

Cost of stability

October 11, 2001

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To the editor:

America chooses justice for itself, but stability at whatever cost for others. The previous Bush starved Iraqi civilians with sanctions; yet he not only allowed Saddam to crush with impunity minorities and democratic insurrections, he actually renewed funding to Iraq's government. It's no wonder people hate the United States.

I fear that the current Bush will also kill only innocents, despite outward claims of his intentions. The people of Afghanistan will be lucky if we don't install Osama bin Laden as their dictator, because he's capable of enforcing greater political stability than is the chaotic Taliban.

In bin Laden's own homeland, Saudi Arabia, we condone a government which in reality is more despotic and corrupt than Saddam's, only because such totalitarianism keeps the oil flow steady and cheap. The Saud family notorious for alcoholism, womanizing and every other sort of decadence has consistently slaughtered political opponents, religious minorities and those seeking greater human rights. Their subjects despise them. But thanks to American military and economic support, they are rewarded for their abuses with unimaginable wealth and power.

As far as Afghanistan goes, we should have been airlifting food to them for years as they are nutritionally the poorest nation in the world. Now we'll be airlifting more bombs than food. We also should have helped the popular resistance oust the Taliban, but it didn't concern us when thousands of Afghanis were dying. Now the Taliban concerns us immensely.

Back in March or so, there was a huge American outcry over the Taliban's destruction of a Buddhist statue; no mention was made of its destruction of people's lives, of their freedoms, their human rights. Never mind that not one Buddhist remains in Afghanistan to worship at the statue it's still more important to Americans than the people could ever be. So we sit callously by as our government uses our tax dollars to kill off freedom in other countries, while it pretends to be fighting on freedom's behalf.

David Teeple,

Lawrence

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