Image via WikipediaIf you don't support war, then you must be a terrorist! This attitude has prevailed for a long time in the US and logically that same mantra has bled into the Canadian psyche. These day's it seems, with the authorities that be, any protests against war is seen as an act of aggression towards the state and these individuals are labelled as a terrorist threat. Any dissent or questioning should be squashed!
But why would people be against war?, to me the answers can be simple and complex. The simple and obvious answer is the human suffering that occurs, the more complex answer has many aspects to it. One, of many aspects, of why I'm against war is that most wars are about control of resources or strategic occupation, such as Iraq. In this particular instance one can't overlook the fact that the US put Saddam in power and supported him even with knowledge of his crimes against humanity. The invasion of Iraq was clearly not for the citizens, and 911 was used as an excuse to attack, with the added incentive of fraudulent claims of weapons of mass destruction. The west had the legal prerogative during the Gulf War to get rid of Saddam but did not do so, and instead an illegal attack was perpetrated in 2002
Now Afghanistan is somewhat more justified, but when you look at it's history you see how previous wars led to the Taliban taking power and terrorist operations occurring there. It began with the Soviet Unions long history of supporitng Afghans governments and sales of arms to them. Then in 1978 a pro communist coup takes over the government. A conservative Muslim and anti-communist insurgency group, the Mujaheddin started to become prominent in rural areas and prompted the Afghan government request of Soviet support and troops. The Soviet Afghan war ensues and soon afterwards the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia provide funds and weapons to the Mujaheddin. Eventually the US trains them and supplies them with ground to air anti-aircraft missiles. The conflict soon ends with the Soviet's withdrawing and the signing of a peace accord between the Soviet's, US and Pakistan.
But afterwards the US, after supplying arms and training to defeat the Soviet's, does not stick around and help rebuild this war torn country. So basically they used them to fight the Soviet's, and once that was completed they just left. I don't know about you but I'd be left with a bitter taste in my mouth. This leaves a weakened government in Afghanistan and eventually the Taliban, seeing an opportunity, take over. Also seeing an opportunity is Osama Bin Laden, the war torn poor and disenfranchised are ripe for stirring up anti-west sentiment and is prime grounds for terrorist recruitment. Eventually this and other similar actions by the west leads up to 911!
So if the right thing had of been done from the start, and the US stuck around in Afghanistan and helped rebuild the country they helped destroy, I'm 100% sure 911 wouldn't have happened. But the US's intent was not to intervene in the Soviet-Afghan war on humanitarian grounds, it was about taking away perceived Soviet advantage and expansion, It was strategic. The Afghan people were just collateral damage in the cold war games of the major powers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that all the major powers have an economy based in arms manufacturing and sales, this includes the US, UK, France, China and Russia, and continues to this day. And they love to sell to just about anybody, and more often than not both sides in 100's of conflicts occurring around the world get arms from these major powers. And what a coincidence all these major powers hold veto seats in the UN. One draws the obvious conclusion that vetoing UN resolutions to intervene in wars is good for business. Maybe these are the real terrorist's?
I believe we need to help bring a stable political situation to Afghanistan and are now forced to do so, but if we never look at how situations come to be, then how will we ever learn not to repeat history. War should be an absolute last resort by all mean humanly possible if at all. Rarely is it ever justified!
Take time to consider the other (person), then you can walk towards the path of peace.