Editor, the Gauntlet,
Re: "Hope renewed," Oct. 21, 2004,
I agree with your editorialist on the value of periodic reflection, particularly in regards to public policy, but I strongly object to his assertion that "the only achievement the current [U.S.] government has made with its war [on terrorism] is drawing the ire of many Islamic third-world countries and the silent contempt of many world powers." In my judgment, only the churlish or the willfully blind would make such as an assertion.
If your editorialist is unable to conceive of any possible achievements that the U.S.-led war on terrorism has had, let me make a few modest suggestions: the destruction of the Taliban regime, the establishment of a provisional government with NATO support, and the successful staging of a presidential election in Afghanistan in the span of three years. How about the fact that there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11? How about the killing or capture of hundreds of Al Qaeda operatives since 9/11? None of these count as achievements?
Moreover, despite your editorialist's claims to the contrary, the attitude of other major powers towards the war on terrorism has been quite favorable. Russia's President, Vladimir Putin recently made remarks praising the American government's effort against terrorism. The U.S. also has the public support of major NATO powers like Great Britain and Germany in its campaign against terrorism and efforts to rebuild Afghanistan. Furthermore, the U.S. continues to enjoy a good relationship with India and China. Despite their opposition to the war in Iraq, they support the war on terrorism.
Lastly, I would suggest that your editorialist does a disservice to all victims of terrorism and their families by mocking the campaign against it as a "war on a buzzword." Terrorism is a serious issue--not a buzzword--which deserves earnest consideration.