Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ending the War on Terror

Commentary on the assassination of Osama bin Laden by US special forces in Pakistan.

Beyond Retaliation | Voices for Creative Nonviolence

In the past, President Obama has said that “we stand on the shoulders of giants like Dr. King, yet our future progress will depend on how we prepare our next generation of leaders.” (Jan. 18, 2010). In a historic speech, “Beyond Vietnam—A Time to Break Silence”, King said: “We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.”

Justice or Vengeance | Phyllis Bennis

Today, the Arab Spring is on the rise across the Middle East and North Africa. It's ineffably sad that President Obama, in his claim that bin Laden's death means justice, didn't use the opportunity to announce the end of the deadly U.S. wars that answered the attacks of 9/11. This could have been a moment to replace vengeance with cooperation, replace war with justice.

But it was not. Regardless of bin Laden's death, as long as those deadly U.S. wars continue in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and beyond, justice has not been done.

The Legacy for Afghanistan | Jonathan Steele

It was understandable that Americans wanted justice after the appalling atrocities of 9/11, but justice should never be confused with revenge. Revenge is hot-blooded, but justice needs to be cool and controlled. Rushing to topple the Taliban looked more like a response governed by revenge and a desire to show that something was being done rather than a response that fitted the crime.

The Muslim World Sounds Off | Juan Cole

Usama Bin Laden, a mass killer, passed virtually unmourned from the scene. There were no demonstrations against his killing in the Arab world. A few Taliban protested in Quetta and Afghanistan, as one might expect. Mostly Muslims denounced him and expressed relief he was gone.

Bin Laden carried out 9/11 to begin a big political and social movement. Nearly 10 years later the vast majority of Muslims did not trust him and many seem glad to see the back of him, while large numbers had decided that he was irrelevant to their lives.

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