Almost three years ago, President Bush unconventionally
declared war not on one country or world power, but on anybody or anything in
a category he referred to as the "axis of evil" – countries President
Bush wanted the American people to believe were harboring terrorists.
There are several reasons why the War on Terror must be reformed, reasons that
all Americans – as citizens not of only the United States but as citizens of
Earth – must recognize.
First, the War on Terror promotes the use of broad, sweeping statements about
the characteristics of "all" of a country's citizens. Not all Palestinians
are malevolent, nor are all French, nor are all North Koreans, nor are all citizens
of any country that is perceived to be opposed to the U.S. Similarly, not all
Israelis are benevolent, nor are all British, nor are all Spaniards, nor are
all Americans, for that matter. The stereotyping of all citizens of a nation
and its allies as "with the U.S." or "against the U.S."
only breeds more trouble, and these generalizations should not be maintained.
When we hold biases against other cultures, they are likely to do the same to
Second, the War on Terror must be reformed because Bush does not hold all nations
to the same standards. For example, Israel
has violated 138 UN resolutions, while Iraq had violated only about half
that number of resolutions of the same seriousness before the U.S. invasion.
Many Palestinians are against us because we defend the taking of what they feel
is rightfully theirs. Not once has the U.S. under the Bush administration denounced
or condemned Israel in any way, shape, or form. I am not anti-Israel, just anti-double
standards. Bush must change his one-sided, unfair, hypocritical approach to
Lastly, the War on Terror conveniently ignores the fact that, like many U.S.
citizens, terrorists are skilled in their profession, which is destruction.
Many of the high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives are knowledgeable – or have a degree
– in physics or engineering. The job of terrorists is to evade and destroy,
and we cannot stop them with our current strategy. This strategy yields problematic
tactics. We are trying to pick needles out of a haystack. In Iraq, for instance,
the insurgents (often called "terrorists" by war supporters) are few
and far between, but it is logistically impossible to be mindful of the civilian
masses while trying to eradicate a relatively small, scattered, yet destructive
Our mouse-hunt tactics will not work. We must change our strategy to one of
self-reform. We must erase our stereotypes against or in favor of other nationalities,
ethnicities, cultures, or forms of government. We must erase our notion that
democracy is indispensable for all. To win this war, we must try to honestly
evaluate customs and beliefs that to some of us seem abnormal. To adamant practitioners
of different ways of life, democracy may seem abnormal.
We have ruined the continuity, stability, and predictability of the average
Iraqi's life. An Iraqi citizen can't walk into a coffee shop without worrying
that his or her head will be blown away by a suicide bomber, even in the Baghdad
"green zone" or on a friendly military base, as we learned not too
long ago. Day by day, due in part to this feeling of insecurity, we anger more
people and create more terrorists. When we anger Iraqis – when we shut off their
power, when they can't get to work, when they hear about realtives and fellow
citizens being abused in prison – we give them one more reason to join a terrorist
network, and we create one more terrorist to fight. I wouldn't be surprised
if two new terrorists are created for every one we capture. This self-perpetuation
of terrorists makes the war even more impossible to win the way we are currently
We become more and more of a terror target each day because of our treatment
of certain nationalities, our failed yet continuing tactics, and our unconditional
affinity for Israel. In order to win the War on Terror, we must value the needs
and concerns of all groups equally. We cannot favor one nation over another.
Once the U.S. clearly emerges as a nation with tolerance and respect for all
people, I believe our terror problem will eventually solve itself.