1, 2001, Gazette)
yourself in the engineering building, listening to a lecture, when a man
in a suit walks in the door. Excuse me, sorry for interrupting your
class, but there is a situation in the building ....
Last Thursdays anthrax scare in the engineering building turned
out to produce nothing more than a false alarm and a couple of games of
hangman by bored students. Yet, the situation begs the question, are we
in any real danger? The phrase the world is going to hell in a handbag
is one I have heard with increased frequency lately, and it is impossible
to tell whether a real terrorist attack will hit St. Johns or not.
Perhaps the biggest worry is the possibility of a virus being brought
over from the mainland. Even though there may not be traces of anthrax
on your desk or books, there is the possibility that it could end up in
any product you buy from the grocery store. With all this to worry us,
is there any doubt that things could be any worse?
Well, consider these facts: Afghanistan has been at war since 1979. Well,
one could say Canada is also at war right now. Yet our view of this war
is not the same as the average Afghanistan citizen, where the horrors
of violent death, dead bodies, and neighbours screaming in agony are just
outside their door. In a report issued by UNICEF on children in Kabul,
Afghanistan, it was found that three-quarters of the children had lost
a member of their family due to the wars, one-third had seen a family
member die, and at least half had seen people killed by bombs, gunfire
and landmines. Two-thirds of the children had watched their houses being
bombed, nine out of 10 children suggested they would be killed by the
wars and pondered if life was worth living.
In Afghanistan right now, 165 of 1,000 live births result in infant moralities,
while in Canada the ratio is six out of 1,000. Only 13 per cent of the
Afghanistan population has access to safe water. Only 16 per cent of the
female population and 46 per cent of the male can read. In Canada, almost
all of the population can read to some degree and has access to safe water.
It is unlikely that the world will ever get rid of terrorists. It doesnt
seem like this is the Bush administrations objective anyway. They
want revenge for the brutal and horrific attacks on Sept. 11, and who
can blame them? Whoever was the culprit of these attacks deserves to get
whats coming to them.
However, the people of Afghanistan do not deserve to have their homes
and hospitals bombed for an action they were not a part of. As the headlines
talk of the deaths of innocent civilians, one wonders if justice will
ever be done.