In the continued spirit of posting my email onto my blog, I will bring you one that I wrote to my friends. I spent a lot of time over the last few days thinking about this one, so I think it warrants sharing.
Random? Again, we tried very hard to minimize harm to civilians. And would you deny that people are better off in Afghanistan today than they were in 1999?
I find it ironic that you mention this, and in the same message reference Mark Fiore's animation. I think the answer is not that clear cut. You asked about Serbia in an earlier message... my Serbian friend, now living in the Netherlands, told me with tears in her eyes about her visits back home, seeing cities in ruins from the bombing.
And what about the people who died? Are they better off? It would be great to say that they gave their life for the cause of liberation of their country. It sounds less heroic when you think that the US *took* their lives for the same cause; not really giving them a choice. How do you weigh civilian casualties in the forced liberation of a country's population? What gives the US the right to decide that a few people dead are worth the freedom that the rest of the people will enjoy, when it's not their people?
Of course, the reality is that these are not wars of liberation; these are wars to protect US national security. The reason that the US was in Afghanistan and is in Iraq now is because those countries were considered a threat. Liberation of the people from the oppressive governments is just a convenient way to garner more support for the cause. It's not really a priority, and the lack of aid to Afghanistan is a testament to this fact.