New war must be fought over freedom, not race or religion
Published: Monday, September 24, 2001
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
Over the weeks, months and years to come, our strong union will be planning a method by which we can bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies.
As President Bush explained in his speech Thursday, we are beginning the process of fighting evil, and good will prevail. Unfortunately, some have classified this war as a religious war, or a Christian Jihad, when in fact this does not involve religion, race, ethnicity or culture.
In this war, freedom represents good and fear represents evil. This is not a crusade of the religious sense, but a fight to defend the good of civilization and mankind.
The United States is not classifying itself as a divine agent of goodness, as Geordie Hamilton suggested in a recent letter to the editor.
Recent wars have included the United States’ participation in halting the actions of Hitler, attempting to cease the practices of Marxism and communism and succeeding in most cases, preventing the spread of these philosophical ideals and blocking expansionistic efforts of Arab nations in the Middle East. In all previous scenarios, the war was against an idea or person considered to be evil.
With much success, the United States has defeated those evils. Those who love freedom consider these defeats to be good, but they are not considered to specifically be Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu or even Divine.
These actions and achievements are considered good in a world where much evil is present. In all wars, a predominant goal is in mind. This may include religious quests, although in the present situation this is not the focus of the strife for the United States. It is only countries in the Middle East, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, threatening to declare Holy War against the United States.
Our country, with many various peoples and religions, is not declaring a Christian Jihad. Many people in our country are not Christian; there are atheists, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and many other religions and beliefs; however, all of these people are Americans and they all love and value freedom as much as the next.
By implying that our nation is declaring a Christian Jihad, as some have claimed, we are unfairly demoting the other religions in our country, and the people who practice them, most of whom support military action against terrorism.
The goal of this new war is to defend freedom, not a specific religion, as all religions may partake of and participate in the freedoms we value.
Through the process of fighting any war, innocent people may be killed or injured.
The terrorists who attacked our country make no distinction between military men and women and civilian men, women and children. To these evil people, it is appropriate to kill innocent people in an attempt to frighten and threaten the governments and people of the world. It is often mentioned that the people in the Middle East, including in Afghanistan, should rise above their governments and defeat them in order to live a more free and peaceful existence.
Unfortunately, it is not always as easy as it may seem. Some governments enjoy oppressing their populations into great poverty, not affording the citizens the necessary means to overthrow governments such as the Taliban. This may allow the political and economic line to be drawn, but the moral line is drawn elsewhere. Many of the people in these poor and war-torn countries support terrorism, encourage and aide people such as bin Laden and the Al-Qaida, they protest if the government of their country assists the United States, and they cheer and celebrate in the streets when our world has been attacked and thousands of innocent lives have been lost.
These people must not be separated from the terrorists themselves, and in many respects, this is representative of the people inhabiting Afghanistan and other countries which may receive military blows from the United States. Although they may not have the strength, finances nor means necessary to overthrow their governments, they do not have the requirement placed upon them to celebrate and support terrorism, evil and destructive acts against non-aggressive nations. It is evident that both evil and innocent people are included in villages, towns and cities throughout the Middle East. Our government will likely take every care to see the fewest number of innocent civilians die or be wounded. However, the past attempts at diplomatic, economic and financial pressures have not distinguished the flames of hateful passion the terrorists and their governments and supporters feel toward the United States and the rest of the civilized world.
The Taliban continues to oppress its people, leaving the innocent citizens without a manner to express themselves freely. Other governments similar to the Taliban exist, and the United States has condemned the Taliban and other such governments for their actions.
They are aiding and abetting murder, according to President Bush, and by doing so, they are committing murder. The final remaining option to stop such horrific and evil actions, after many years of other unsuccessful peaceful efforts on the part of the civilized world, is forceful military action.
Our country respects Muslims, and people of other religions, throughout the world. The government and people of the United States are not fighting a Holy War or a Christian Jihad against Muslims or any other religion.
Should one choose to coin any descriptive phrase for these actions, perhaps this new war could appropriately be considered The War for Freedom.
Confronted by a terrorist evil, we will rise to the occasion so that freedom and good may prevail.
Sara Marie Eichenberger, the Voice of Realism, is a graduate student in international political science and military/diplomatic history. She can be reached at email@example.com.