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Thursday, 22 November, 2001, 15:51 GMT
Afghanistan: Were the hawks right?
Those who spoke - or more likely wrote long columns in Europe's newspapers - about a long and probably unwinnable war in Afghanstan have suddenly run out of ink.

The hawks have it - the Taleban began collapsing this week, city by city.

Yet war aim number one - to get Osama Bin Laden - has not been achieved. So were the hawks right?

Or is the jury still out, with the alleged perpetrator of September 11th at large?

The Europewide debate this week asks: were those who advocated the strongest possible military action right?

For this week's debate, Europe Today's Mark Reid brought together George Monbiot, the environmentalist, and at the United Nations in New York the Dutch Liberal MP, Oussama Cherribe.

This debate has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.



Of course this war was totally right

Minoy Mathew, India
Of course this war was totally right. Islamic terrorism, which is far more evil than even communism, must be challenged head on. This war didn't come a day too soon.
Minoy Mathew, India

Well done America. Fresh from "bombing Iraq back to the stone age" and unnecessarily causing the deaths of half a million innocent Iraqi children, you have now succeeded in reducing one of the poorest nations on earth to dust. Your victory, and the mentality of your foreign policy, is that of the schoolyard bully. You sentenced thousands of Afghans to death and exile on account of one Saudi Arabian being sheltered there.
Ian Sellen, New Zealand

Were the Hawks right? Right? Right about what? Right about fighting back when one of our country's largest metropolitan cities is attacked by a group of insane religious zealots? Even Chamberlain would have attacked Germany under similar circumstances. To ask the question at all is to assume that there is an alternative. Perhaps there is an alternative if one considers mass death of your countrymen and subjugation as an alternative. We choose to defend our country and the lives of our citizens. To do otherwise would be insane and would ultimately result in greater death as terrorism is tolerated and encouraged.
Dennis, USA


Resolute and unrelenting force is paying off

Scott, USA
The realists who advocated strong action were right. Resolute and unrelenting force is paying off and the proof is the spread of freedom in Afghanistan. This same resolve will be applied to other theatres of this war because we will never forget the World Trade Center. The world asked for America to change its foreign policy. OK, from now on we will be very aggressive towards those who attack us. America has changed its foreign policy and its enemies should be very afraid.
Scott, USA

All people in the world would agree that peace is better than war. A military success never means that war is the best means to achieve peace. War must always be the last, most desperate means. We must be careful that a quick success in Afghanistan does not induce us to impose more of the great suffering of war on others; for if war continues, it will one day be we who suffer. And it seems all too convenient that the US government comes out with new accusations of bio-warfare against several countries just when there is talk of who could be the next target.
Peter, USA

Osama bin Laden will not stop his wishes to destroy America if he lives. He has made many statements confirming this. He must be dealt with, with the same justice he believes in and distributed.
Chad, North Carolina, USA

Unless we in the West learn the basic facts of life I am afraid the endless cycle of war will continue. It has nothing to do with hawks and doves at this point. The doves did not charter the international policies of the West. The governments did. Perhaps war was the necessary action at this point but what have we learnt?? The results are band-aid treatment of a much deeper issue.
John, USA

The Doves totally ran the show for the 1990's, and look at what it produced; an Afghanistan over-run by tyrants becoming a haven for global terrorism, a nation of impoverished and starving people, with international aid agencies operating at the whimsy of the tyrants themselves, hardly a recipe for success.
Stephen, USA

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See also:

16 Nov 01 | South Asia
US 'kills Bin Laden deputy'
16 Nov 01 | Europe
French troops head for Mazar
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