Kill With Kindness
An Alternate Approach to Sept. 11 Disaster, from an E-Mail

Subject: Alternative Action: Kill 'em with kindness

A military response, particularly an attack on Afghanistan, is exactly what the terrorists want. It will strengthen and swell their small but fanatical ranks. Instead, bomb Afghanistan with butter, with rice, bread, clothing, and medicine. It will cost less than conventional arms, poses no threat of US casualties, and just might get the populace thinking that maybe The Taliban doesn't have the answers. After three years of drought and with starvation looming, let's offer the Afghani people the vision of a new future. One that includes full stomachs.

Bomb them with information. Video players and cassettes of world leaders, particularly Islamic leaders, condemning terrorism. Carpet the country with magazines and newspapers showing the horror of terrorism committed by their "guest." Blitz them with laptop computers and DVD players filled with a perspective that is denied them by their government. Saturation bombing with hope will mean that some of it gets through. Send so much that the Taliban can't collect and hide it all.

The Taliban are telling their people to prepare for Jihad. Instead, let's give the Afghani people their first good meal in years. Seeing your family fully fed and the prospect of stability in terms of food and a future is a powerful deterrent to martyrdom. All we ask in return is that they, as a people, agree to enter the civilized world. That includes handing over terrorists in their midst.

In responding to terrorism, we need to do something different. Something unexpected. Something that addresses the root of the problem. We need to take away the well of despair, ignorance, and brutality from which the Osama bin Ladens of the world water their gardens of terror.

It is important that we learn to think in NEW ways. If we continue attacking in the old ways, we will get the same old results. Look at what has been happening the Middle East for thousands of years to see what we can expect if we attack with bombs and military force. Do we want to live a life of fear as people in the Middle East do?

Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS