What it means to be a superpower
Stabroek News
October 11, 2001

Dear Editor,

The attacks on Afghanistan by Britain and America (and yes, let's never forget Britain's involvement here) demonstrates what it means be a superpower. It means to have or to desire to have ultimate control, to have the means to destroy entire countries/ communities/lives and yet provide aid to those ravaged by said destruction.

It is clearly in America's interest to appease its conscience by dispersing food from the sky along with tomahawks and other technologically advanced missiles on Afghanistan. This is a bizarre instance of lopsided virtue and is typical of America's double standards and hypocrisy. When the Afghans see a US plane flying overhead, releasing bags from the sky, how can they be certain that these are food and not bombs?

Through linguistic intimidation, and with the relentless coalition?building efforts of Tony Blair, (Britain's Prime Minister) America has secured the support of a number of European and other World leaders in its campaign against terrorism. What hypocrisy! America has repeatedly turned a blind eye to the blatant acts of terrorism against Palestine by the State of Israel. Does this not mean that before September 11 America itself was on the side of terrorists? After September 11, America called on Israel to impose a cease-fire and work harder to secure a peaceful resolution to the crisis between itself and Palestine. Why did America fail to do this before then? And why did this swiftly derived coalition of world leaders not challenge America's open book policy with Israel? I am left thinking that they too were on the side of terrorists.

Supposedly there are 'civilized' and 'uncivilized' terrorists. Let us never forget that America did not care for the plight of the Palestinians until September 11, nor do they now. Equally, America does not care for the plight of the Afghans. We should not be fooled by the gesture of goodwill that comes in food aid packages marked 'USA'- they come at a dear price. Ultimately, what America is concerned with is its own image. That image as a superpower was severely tested and now they want to save face. This bombing campaign is set to last for several weeks and we'll

never see the full evidence of civilian casualties, but in years to come, as Afghanistan struggles to rebuild itself with America's back turned, the horror stories will come pouring out.

Yours faithfully,

Michelle Stoby