Stop the Bombing
and Bring In the UN
by David Krieger*, November 2001
The US military action in Afghanistan is failing.
Many innocent Afghans are being killed, and the US is no closer
to finding or defeating the terrorists responsible for perpetrating
the September 11th crimes against humanity. The United Nations
and other relief organizations are warning that millions of Afghans
could die of starvation this winter unless the bombing is halted
soon. In other words, the bombing of Afghanistan is leading to
a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. We, therefore,
call on the US and British forces to halt the bombing to allow
relief organizations to do their job of getting food to the Afghan
Terrorism is a global problem that can only be
solved globally. Every country on Earth, every person on the planet,
has a stake in ending the threat of terrorism. This matter must
go back to the United Nations Security Council and must be handled
by the United Nations as a matter of priority. If the US and UK
continue their bombing, killing more innocent people, they will
simply be adding fuel to the fire of terrorism. Some have suggested
that they are providing the spark to ignite a global conflagration.
On the other hand, if the international community
joins together in a serious effort to combat terrorism, it could
lead to unprecedented cooperation between national police and
intelligence services. Such efforts could leave terrorists with
no place to hide, and are essential to preventing terrorism.
A global action through the United Nations will
also demonstrate that this is not simply retaliation or vengeance
on the part of the United States. To make a United Nations effort
effective will require leadership and support by the United States,
but it must be an effort that is truly directed by the Security
Council of the United Nations.
The United Nations should also set up a special
International Tribunal for terrorists until the International
Criminal Court is established, which will probably be next year.
A trial before an impartial International Tribunal will help educate
the world on the need to put an end to all terrorism. Such a trial
will also be acceptable to virtually all countries throughout
the world, whereas a trial of terrorists in the US would be viewed
as biased in many countries.
In sum, step one on the path to ending terrorism
is to stop the bombing of Afghanistan now; step two is to turn
over to the United Nations Security Council the job of preventing
terrorism and bringing terrorists to justice.
Military force is deepening the crisis without
producing significant results. The vulnerability of civilization
to determined and suicidal terrorists makes prevention the key
to victory. Our future security, and that of the rest of the world,
will be dependent on multilateral and cooperative efforts under
an internationally accepted legal framework.
is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.