Osama’s Dead, But the War Machine Sure Isn’t

The head of the enemy in the war on terror has been dead for three weeks now. If the official story can be trusted, then Bin Laden has likely been absorbed into the aquatic food chain of the Arabic Sea.

Many Americans feel the assassination was warranted. Invading a sovereign nation, eliminating a key target and murdering his unarmed wife were all justifiable acts because America was invaded and unarmed people were murdered.

Well, perhaps Osama’s death can be rationalized. But, by this very rationale, shouldn’t Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis be entitled to the same justice? Are their lives any less valuable than American lives?

Professor Noam Chomsky weighs in on this very notion, asking “How we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he is not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq.”

By all accounts then, writes Chomsky, Bush should ultimately be responsible for “the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and the national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.” Crimes which “vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.”

Well, of course all human life is equally valuable. And yes, Americans are ultimately responsible for allowing their war machine to run amok.

But violence is never the answer. Invading Iraq, occupying Afghanistan, bombing Libya, assassinating bin Laden… these actions only reinforces the cycle of fear, hatred and violence, which will likely reap more of the same.

Instead, building a peaceful planet means we have to break the cycle. It’s time to recognize that we are a new generation in a rapidly interconnecting world, and we have no more room for institutionalize violence.

Take a stand and say ‘NO!’ to war.

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