In the fourth week of intense air strikes in Afghanistan, which has been reduced to rubble twice in a lifetime - causing the coinage of the new term “rubblised” to mean “ rendered into rubble” - the US-led military campaign has suffered a series of serious setbacks.
The capture and execution of Abdul Haq, a former guerrila commander who was seen by some American officials as the potential leader of an anti-Taliban uprising, confirms that the Taliban are not defeated yet, or even severely incapacitated.
For more than three weeks, the world has been presetned with the horrible spectacle of the most powerful nation in the world bombing one of the poorest countries in the world, killing children and scattering cluster bombs that will go on maiming civilians long after the conflict is officially over, with a mounting toll of the innocent civilian casualties whether from the indiscriminate and vindictive bombings or the looming humanitarian catastrophe of mass starvation with the onset of the Afghan winter.
The killing of innocent people is wrong, whether engineered by terrorist hijackers or inaccurate cluster bombs.
The Malaysian Parliament had missed the opportunity in the past three weeks to adopt an unanimous all-party motion to call for an immediate halt to the US-led “war of terror” in Afghanistan and to urge similar calls by other Parliaments in the world, to generate a sense of common humanity and international pressure to demand that in seeking justice for the September 11 terror attacks, new injustices and equally heinous terrors should not be perpetrated on the innocent Afghan civilians.
As there seems to be insuperable obstacles to the adoption of such an unanimous all-party parliamentary motion, the next best is for the 193 Malaysian MPs is to send an united joint memorandum to Bush to urge immediate halt to the military airstrikes in Afghanistan.