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Easy to say what you don't want

Posted by Martyn Howorth, Thursday, December 6, 2001

Josh, thanks for your comment which I found well argued, a change from the usual dogma coming from most of the anti war lobby I have come across both here and elsewhere.

However you fail to answer the question beyond the rather vague and sentimental statement of "justice, peace, compassion and tolerance. " Laudable objectives all but nontheless I cannot see how these could be applied constructively to the present situation.

My own slant on these points is as follows:

Justice: It is precisely in the pursuit of justice that those who transgress the law and human rights of others must be taken to task and stopped.

Peace: there will be no peace whilst terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and their supporters exist. Had we taken similar line to the one you seem to proposing with Nazi Germany we would likely be having this discourse in German now, assuming indeed that we had the freedom to have it. They must be confronted, no question.

Compassion: I have travelled extensively and I have not come accross another nation / culture that would treat it's enemies with the compassion that the Allies do (let's not forget that we are not talking about an imperialist USA and UK here, there is abroad concensus of nations that approve of the action taken against the Taleban/Al Qaeda.I say this as I have been previously accused in this forum of jingoistic flag waving) If you can name another war where food relief was simultaneously supplied to the civilian population I would be interested to know it.

Tolerance: We must be intolerant of those who violate the freedoms of others. Tolerance of terrorism will lead to only more of it.

I agree that the current war is not the whole answer though, and the underlying causes of the discontent in the Middle east needs to be addressed in a political forum. In particular the position of Israel. I would be the first to agree that the Israeli state is not helping itself or the cause of free nations with it's current and many of it's past actions. It is worth remembering that Al Qaeda's gripe with the USA is not particularly centred around Israel, more with it's prescence on Saudi soil in it's defence against Iraq