To The Editor,
Millions of people may die of starvation in the next few weeks in Afghanistan. The borders have been closed and the UN relief efforts are endangered by the US bombing. Decades of war, years of drought and now daily bombardment have combined to create a situation of untold suffering.
Though we may not all agree on how to end the threat of terrorism, one thing is for sure. We know what it is to have six thousand people die a senseless death. We cannot turn away from the 7.5 million Afghans who may die now of hunger. Pause the bombing, at least through the Moslem holy weeks of Ramadan, so that the emergency food can be moved into the country and catastrophe prevented.
In addition to being a human catastrophe of almost incomprehensible proportions, millions of deaths in Afghanistan would surely stoke resentment and anger, and would increase instability and the danger of more violence.
We were all rightly proud of the heroism and selflessness displayed by so many Americans on and after September 11th. Let that humanity and compassion extend beyond our borders.
We call on the Bush administration to take this humane and necessary step,to stop the bombing during Ramadan, and allow emergency food to be brought in to prevent mass starvation.