'bombs bring only pain and terror'
President Bush never ceases from waving the bloody shirt of 9/11 to justify his war on Iraq in the minds of a public that increasingly--but wrongly--connects the two. How interesting, then, this Washingotn Post op-ed by Joanne Grady Huskey, who along with her two young children survived the al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya and who, as a diplomat's wife, has much more experience with international relations that Bush.
After the attacks on our nation on Sept. 11, 2001, we could either have learned a lesson -- that we desperately need to work with other nations to find a way to understand each other -- or we could have taken revenge, using the same tactics that were used against us.
Our president, who himself has never lived in another country, decided that the way to stop all this terror and anger directed at our country is to bomb Iraq. Rather than expanding our diplomatic efforts, we stopped them, in favor of bombing. We resorted to bombs and military attacks in an all-out effort to stop the hatred against our people.
But I am certain that bombs only exacerbate anger and pain and confusion and terror, and it grieves me to see that we are doing to other innocent people exactly what was done to us in 1998. You are wrong, Mr. President, if you think this will heal the anger against us. You are wrong, Mr. Rumsfeld, if you think you can bomb away terror. You are wrong, Mr. Cheney, if you think this will all be over soon.
As a member of one family that survived a bomb, I can tell you from the bottom of my heart: Bombing will never be the solution. Do you think the Iraqi families you are bombing today are going to get up and thank you and want to know more about our great country? You are wrong.
To whatever extent Saddam's regime may have been a thorn in Bush's side, the national security arguments for the war focused solely on the alleged benefits of the war and eschewed the costs. Yet in reviewing the diplomatic debacles leading up to the war, the steady erosion of confidence in the US worldwide and the oughtright fury of much of the Arab world--fury only fueled by images of dead or injured Iraqi children--it's entirely likely that Bush's adventure in Iraq will have serious and long-term detrimental effects on national security.