8 October 2001
Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane on America's response to events of 11 September 2001
We were extremely horrified by the events of September 11th. Just as our hearts went out to the innocent who died and were traumatised by those events, equally our hearts go out to the people of Afghanistan who are at the receiving end of the American military response.
Firstly, we should always bear in mind the critical need to refrain from vengeance and to subscribe to the principal of the Rule of Law. This entails bringing to justice the perpetrators of such atrocious acts.
The Lockerbie case is an example in point.
Secondly, there is a need to address the causes of the deadly fanaticism, which leads people to commit these crimes against humanity. Regrettably the response which the US has chosen feeds into that fanaticism.
What we need in our world today is a long-term commitment to seek peace especially in areas where there is tension; and there is a saying that if you want peace, work for justice and this is what is required.
The fact is that at the end of every war, the protagonists end up talking. Why can’t the talk simply replace the destruction?