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Volume 68, Issue 92, February 10, 2003

Opinion

War on Iraq will increase terror in United States

Chris Burgin
Guest Columnist

Violence begets violence begets violence. History has shown us this time and time again, but apparently there are a few million people in this country, including its leaders, who forgot to do their homework.

The United States is about to begin a campaign in Iraq to protect American citizens from weapons of mass destruction. However, the war on Iraq will not increase the safety of American citizens at home or abroad.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001 while tragic, must be understood not only from our point of view but also from that of our attackers. They hate us because for centuries the West has threatened their way of life far more than they, until recently, have threatened ours.

From a strategic standpoint, self-sacrifice is not only an act of religious devotion; it is an act of desperation brought about by fear and loathing of oneis enemies. Any military strategy based on these emotions will be as despicable as the World Trade Center attacks, whether that strategy is enacted by a small group of religious zealots or the worldis last remaining superpower.

This "New War" on terrorism is far from new. The conflict between radical Islam and the United States can be traced to a CIA operation in Iran in the 1950s when an agent with a briefcase full of money succeeded in overthrowing a progressive leader and returning the Shah to his full power.

The Ayatollah took control of Iran in 1979 with the help of a massive coalition of Iranians who wanted nothing more than to end the reign of the Shah and destroy those who helped restore him. Khomeini helped spread what we know as fundamentalist Islam throughout the world as an answer to westernization.

To fight the newly radicalized Iran, the United States supplied Saddam Hussein with the same types of weapons that we are now so indignant about him having.

Put yourself in the shoes of the average Iraqi. Imagine that the country that gave your president the weapons he used to cement his death grip on your nation began bombing you because he has said weapons. Imagine that a key part of the war against your nation is the destruction of the already poor infrastructure that you rely on for food and water. Imagine living with the knowledge that your country cannot support you, let alone wage a war against an economic powerhouse. Imagine that your son or daughter or brother or sister falls victim to a bombing campaign that you are told is an act of religious persecution by a force of great evil. Maybe you would want to strike back.

Bombing Iraq, whether or not it is justified in anyoneis eyes and whether or not the country has disarmed will only produce more terrorists, and as we already know all too well a small number of terrorists can kill thousands without the aid of poison gas.

Unfortunately, the leaders on both sides of the dispute refuse to see that neither side is right and that the continuation of this conflict will only lead to the unnecessary death of more innocent people. Perhaps that is what Gandhi really meant when he said, "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

Burgin, a sophomore creative writing major, can be reached via dccampus@mail.uh.edu.
 

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