In his speech announcing the bombing of Afghanistan, President Bush spoke of his abhorence of the killing of innocent victims, as in the killing of 6,000 innocent victims in the terrorist attack on Sep. 11.
He said the U.S. and its allies will punish the perpetrators and those who aid them. He also said: "The U.S.A. is a friend of the Afghan people, and we are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith."
Such statements by George Bush and Tony Blair exemplify the height of hypocrisy. The killing of 6,000 innocent victims in New York is clearly a horrible crime, but equally horrible crimes are being committed today by the U.S. and British governments, killing 6,000 Iraqi children every month as a result of the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq since 1990. What kind of friendship is this? Similarly, Israeli terrorism against the Palestinian people, killing hundreds of men, women and children and demolishing thousands of their homes, besides the extrajudicial execution of Palestinians, continues fully aided by the U.S.
I think the Muslim world would prefer better friends, and would be satisfied with consistent application of stated universal standards and punishments of those who perpetrate the killing of innocent victims, be they Americans, Iraqis or Palestinians.
The bombing of Afghanistan will bring about more killing and punishment on the Afghan people, with whom President Bush claims friendship. Selective war on terrorism is immoral and unacceptable.
Ismail Zayid, MD, Halifax