Letters to Editor, Opinion

LETTER: Violence not the answer

What an apt title for Christopher Santarelli’s column (‘A City Upon a Hill No More,’ Dec. 1, p. 5). The United States will certainly never claim this Winthropian title again if we pursue the kind of foreign policy Santarelli proposes. He concedes that our enemies have become more ambiguous, flag-less and nationless, and I agree. However, in light of the Sept. 11 attacks and more recently the attacks in Mumbai, is it not more apparent than ever that militaristic and forceful policing is obsolete?

Of course we all feel deep sorrow for any life lost to terrorism, but avenging their deaths with more violence is a dead end. Civility and rehabilitation will never be ‘outdated’ and to call them ‘naive’ is a defeatist, cynical point of view that will result in more wars and more enemies for the United States. It is sophomoric to consider other nation’s opinions irrelevant. We would really be the ‘middle-school girls’ to proceed so self-righteously, acting as if we knew what was best for the world. Santarelli suggests we attack only those who have directly attacked us but provide no means of doing so. Is it even possible to punish just those responsible? He suggests ‘blowing them off the map,’ which will surely mean innocent lives lost as collateral damage, thus fostering more hatred for the United States.

Why can we not set the example for the terrorists? Violence will only beget more violence, but showing compassion to the war-torn countries in which so many of the terrorists are born and raised will be a far more effective weapon against terrorism. What exactly do I mean by compassion? Food, shelter, clean water, health care, etc. I’m sure Santarelli knows how far even a fraction of our defense budget would go toward those things. The scars on our international reputation would heal and we would foster international cooperation. A bag of rice costs a lot less than a chain of bullets and creates a hell of a lot more good will.

Greg Whitcher

CAS ’10

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  1. It IS unfeasible to thwart or kill every terrorist*

  2. In what world are you living? or are you dreaming? what are you smoking? If you offer terrorists your hand, they will take you arm. Go and be nice to a terrorist, let’s see how nice they’re with you. I can’t believe that even after Sept 11, you still don’t get it. Talk to your parents about this. It sounds like you’re much too young to understand what’s going on in the world.