Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Afghan people are hungry because of Taliban, not war

I would like to respond to Terri Gilman's letter to the editor criticizing my previous letter, stating my opinion about dropping food in Afghanistan.

First, I would like to address her questions. She asked, "Where is your American spirit and support?" My American spirit and support is running strong, as is the entire nation's. My American spirit is with all the hard-working people in the military who are fighting to end terrorism, and the destruction it causes. My American spirit wants to help the soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, not help the very people they are fighting against.

I was also asked, "Did you forget how many veterans were injured and have died for our causes?" No, I did not forget. I have the utmost respect for the men and women who have served our nation. Our cause is to bring liberty and equality to all people of the world. The people we are fighting do not believe in liberty or equality. Women are treated as subservient beings, and the people of the country are not free. One of the American causes may be to feed the hungry, but the people in Afghanistan are hungry because of their restrictive government and only stopping that same government will truly begin to end the poverty of that nation.

One point Ms. Gilman made in her letter was that it doesn't matter what the Taliban does with the food and that "[a]s Americans we need to try to pull off these food drops successfully." It does matter what happens to the food. If the Taliban saves it to feed their own military, then the food sent was used to help the enemy and make it stronger, causing our military to spend a longer time and lose more lives in Afghanistan.

I would also like to add that since my last letter, there have been news reports stating that the Taliban told the Afghans that the food we sent to them was poisoned. This only creates more hatred and fear of America, which further supports my point in my last letter.

Finally, the innocent people of Afghanistan have fled to Pakistan. Many of the people remaining in Afghanistan are the terrorists that we are fighting. I would have no problem in our government wanted to provide food to the people in Pakistan Afghans and Pakistanis seeing how they are our allies in this war on terrorism, and do not believe in the Taliban's beliefs. If that were the case, I would gladly donate a dollar, but either way I'm still proud to be an American.

Jennifer Burk

Starr's Mill High School

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