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Volume 4, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

Afghanistan doesn't deserve America's revenge

Brandon Moeller

It's a whole new year. Things will get a lot better. Things will get a lot worse. But my New Year's resolution is to quit worrying about things I am convinced I cannot change.

When the bombs started to drop in early October, on a Sunday morning American time, I decided to stop trimming my goatee. I remember the day clearly because I was at the restaurant I slave at and one of Elia's family members called and told her the news. Elia, second in command to the chef in the kitchen, immediately got the portable TV out and we stood mesmerized by the news coverage of America's delayed bloody vengeance.

It's a vengeance that has since hit an American Red Cross building in Afghanistan twice. Untrusted Taliban sources also claimed we hit an entire village that was al-Qaida free last week, killing 100 innocent civilians. The press still hasn't independently verified this fragment of information. But even if only a third of those claimed victims actually died, it is a tragedy. So much for smart bombs.

But what does this have to do with my New Year's resolution? Well, for starters, I've put good thought into trimming my goatee, because now it's down to my teats.

And for what? It was a nice conversation piece when I had to see everyone in my family over this holiday break. And every time I go out, I usually get some comment about it. When asked why it's so long, I tell my story. When they ask me why I sympathize with a poverty-stricken foreign country that's smaller than the size of Texas, I remind them of the time back in 1975, at the climax of the Cold War, those filthy communists bombed Seattle just because they could.

The responses I get vary. Some laugh. Some ask, "Really?" as if for a moment they believe me. But my point remains clear: We've never had bombs dropped on our cities. And up until last year, we've never had an airplane used as if it were a bomb on our city infrastructures.

Because most of the damage to America we do to ourselves, for that is the American way. Whether it be Clinton's 1996 restriction of welfare or the constant bipartisan support behind the state-sponsored war on people (the so-called "war on drugs") while simultaneously backing the pharmaceutical industry's war on people's pocketbooks. I don't even have enough time to begin to describe the efficacy-lacking Federal Drug Administration, a laughingstock to moneygrubbers who like the idea of adequate healthcare being a financial burden and not a human right.

If 1991's War for Oil was a propaganda war, then 2001's War for bin Laden's Head is an uber-propaganda war. "United we stand," my ass. I believe in peace, justice and freedom. Not revenge at the stake of civilian lives.

I also believe in beauty and love. Which is why I'm hacking off this sympathy beard first chance I get.

Moeller, a senior communication major, 
can be reached at

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