War on terrorism necessary to protect world

by K.D. Stiffler

As I sat in my flat in Cambridge and read the comments circulating from my former peers at the University of Minnesota, I found some of what I read really hurt.

I watched the media coverage in disbelief on Sept. 11, from my work at a local village. I wasn’t in disbelief the United States had been attacked – anyone who had any insight into the future would have predicted something like this on the forefront.

It might surprise you the military has been studying for quite some time how it would act in situations of invisible terror such as this. The biggest problem is not that people overlooked evidence or didn’t do their job. The biggest problem is, as has been said countless times, this war is against an unseen perpetrator.

I’ve read numerous letters to the editor in various U.S. newspapers chastising the use of military force to eliminate terror around the globe. The weekend after the incident, I watched protesters in Cambridge’s Market Square protest the United States’ response – before we had taken any action.

That weekend, I had a friend from work, who is also from the United States, return home on leave. He lost his best man and a groomsman from his wedding; they were on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers. He also lost several childhood friends who worked in the towers.

But, aside from the unjust emotional turmoil the terrorist attacks have caused all of us, I wonder if any of the people who are “for peace” have thought about the political implications that surround the handling of this affair. We’ve seen what Osama bin Laden can do with his minions throughout the world. We are now seeing how they retaliate for our attacks on them. And, although evidence has not directly linked them or a rogue state to the anthrax spread, who really doubts they are the spawn of it?

Bin Laden has his fingers entwined throughout the world – in every crick and corner. So we are attempting to find him, take him prisoner and try him. First of all, good luck finding the running chicken. Secondly, do you think his followers are just going to sit back and watch the man they have spent their entire lives believing in be tried and sit in a cell? By the time he would be tried, we would lose many more innocents to his cause of terror.

No military action is what Daily columnist Scott Laderman begs for (“Moral reasoning betrays a double standard,” Oct. 16). Well, the United States was given a few weeks to debate whether or not they wanted military action. I think they have had enough time to choose their own course. Laderman says this will legitimize war against us. Well, I say bring it. I highly doubt the nations of Cuba, Colombia, Indonesia or (especially) Sudan would pose a big invasion threat to the United States. This probably sounds arrogant, but it is truthful nonetheless.

Throughout the latter part of the twentieth century and this very early portion of the twenty-first, the peoples of the world have called upon the United States for assistance in times of need. As an individual who works in one of the agencies that provides needed assistance to foreign countries, I would like to say to Laderman the double standard points the other way as well.

The Middle East will always be a war-torn state. Too many people have too many interests in it – interests such as religion and centuries-old culture that are located deep inside the hearts of individuals. The United States was asked to help out the Kuwaitis when Iraq invaded. We responded with force and now patrol as a form of deterrence. However, to many, that is not what they would like to see. They want us there and then want us gone – like some cheap form of extermination. Maybe we value life too much just to go annihilate a race because of some leader we disagree with.

I agree civilian casualties are a dire
consequence of military involvement, but how many more innocents across the world would you ask to die before a stand is finally taken against terrorism? Last weekend, I had the pleasure of having coffee with a couple who lived very near to where Flight 880 went down. We talked about how, until now, terrorism had been brushed off.

How much longer would you push off this plague? It’s not that I don’t hope for peace on a daily basis, but there is a big difference between pushing for peace and taking a hit in the face from a stranger.

I would hope those who protest the involvement of the U.S. military in the war on terrorism would also realize those who fight the war are those who took the job to protect the very ability to protest; that those who decided on this course of action are capable of making decisions of this nature; and that this employment is what thousands of Americans decide to dedicate their lives to.

Enjoy the freedom you have; it has been and will continue to be bought with the blood and sacrifice of those who hold the nation above themselves.


K.D. Stiffler is a continuing education and extension
student. Send comments to [email protected]