In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001 and the U.S. military action in Afghanistan, moral questions have arisen. This essay will consider such questions.
Many Church leaders and leading thinkers in the United States have strongly defended the U.S. use of military force in the wake of Sept. 11. Yet outside the States the talk is less about just-war and more about economic and social inequalities. The first and overriding inequality Americans face at the moment is this one: The real murderers, the architects of these murders, are alive and determined to kill again, while the murder victims have been robbed of their lives, their futures, their hopes, dreams and families. More than 5,000 innocent people died at the hands of extremist killers in a single day in September(CNN), and others continue to die through what appears to be bioterrorism(Bio).
Americans see this more clearly, and feel it more keenly, than outsiders because Americans are directly engaged as the target of the violence. Outsiders are not, so their perspective is predictably different.
I think that reminders of the social and economic inequalities in the world serve an important purpose. But no government can keep its legitimacy if it fails to defend its people. The injustices in the world can never be used to "contextualize" or excuse mass murder. And the United States is by no means the only source of the world´s social and economic inequalities. America bears heavier moral obligations for its actions because of its prosperity and power, but in the Muslim countries and throughout the Third World, rulers have consistently exploited their own people, with or without Western involvement. Sin isn´t a...
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...ht to a life without fear. The irony, of course, is that hundreds of thousands of Arab-Americans are actually Christians whose families often came to the United States to escape economic discrimination and religious intimidation in the Muslim countries of the Middle East.
I believe that despite our flaws and sins, Americans are a good people -- and also a great people. We have a chance in the United States to show the world that Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths and no faith can live together in mutual respect and peace. Whether Americans today have the character to accomplish that goal remains to be seen. It has to be proven again in every new generation.
CNN Online News.
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