Osama Bin Laden Is Dead; Let the Peace Begin
This article also appears on Global Exchange's People-to-People blog.
For us, the death of Osama Bin Laden is a time of profound reflection. With his death, we remember and mourn all the lives lost on September 11. We remember and mourn all the lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. We remember and mourn the death of our soldiers.
And we say, as we have been saying for the past nine years, "Enough."
As an organization led by women, our hearts go out to all the women who are living with the ravages of war and violence. And we say, "Enough." As lovers of peace, we call on our leaders to let the death of this mass murderer move us to a deep reexamination. How have we have allowed the unspeakable violence against us turn into unspeakable violence by us? Invading Iraq on the basis of lies and leaving that proud nation in ruins.
Torturing prisoners in Abu Ghraib. Imprisoning people without trial in Guantanamo. Bombing wedding parties in Kandahar. Unleashing drone attacks on Pakistani villagers. Destroying ecosystems with depleted uranium. It is time we say, "Enough."
Let us give meaning to the death of Osama Bin Laden by putting an end to the violence.
- Iraq: There was never any justification for invading Iraq. Our troops must come home now--all of them.
- Afghanistan: With Al-Qaeda driven out of Afghanistan and Obama Bin Laden dead, there is no justification for continuing the war in Afghanistan. Our soldiers--and contractors--must leave, now, opening the path for Afghan government and the Taliban to negotiate a ceasefire.
- Pakistan: Our drone attacks are only fueling the violence and creating more Osama Bin Ladens. We must stop these barbaric attacks, now!
Our military, and our federal budget, must focus on rebuilding at home, not making new enemies abroad. Let us not sink into a false sense of triumphalism in the wake of Bin Laden's passing. His death will only have meaning if it marks the beginning of the end of this ruthless cycle of violence.
Let the peace begin. Enough!