Yesterday, the President of the United States declared “war” against Al Qaeda , following heightened tensions in the past 24 hours. Al Qaeda vowed to continue attacks in response. 19 members of the organisation have been killed in the past day, some of them in a failed mission.
There is a growing fear, both in Afghanistan and around international capitals, for the lives of the millions of civilians living in the affected regions. A representative from a local Human Rights NGO was quoted, “This war is brutally unfair. The Americans have an air force, a military and warning systems in place for their civilians. The people here have nothing.” The Al Qaeda group, a militant group of resistance fighters, has been based largely in local caves and mountains.
The UN issued a statement calling on “both sides to take the necessary steps to de-escalate tensions in the area. We encourage both sides to take bilateral steps and to engage in discussion and negotiation to bring lasting peace.”
The American government claim that hundreds of Americans have lost their lives in attacks so far. However, experts fear that yesterday`s declaration of war have destroyed all hopes of a compromise agreement. The U.S.A. and Al Qaeda are caught in a deadly cycle of violence, and the world will be looking at Washington to take the first steps to calm the situation down. The children of Kandahar deserve nothing less.
This obviously is an exaggeration, and BBC, Haaretz and the New York Times did not write this on 12th September 2001. The point is that it is grossly biased to write an article about such a situation without making the clear who the aggressor is. In both today`s war in Israel, and in 2001, on one side there was an organisation whose sole mission was the total destruction of the other. On the other side is a government defending it`s people. Terms like “cycle of violence”, “heightened tensions”, as well showing it to be a David against Goliath are subtle ways of obscuring the identity of the aggressor. Hamas` sworn aim is the destruction of Israel. Every Hamas rocket (and there have been around 700 now this year) is an attack against civilians. As we mourn the losses on both sides, let us not forget who the aggressor is.