Is This Really a ‘Just War’?

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By Howard Zinn • The Nation • November 26, 2001


Richard Falk (a friend whom I admire and respect for his long advocacy of peace and justice) has said this is “the first truly just war since World War II.” I have puzzled over this. How can a war be “truly just” that involves the daily killing of civilians; that is terrorizing the people of Afghanistan, causing hundreds of thousands to leave their homes to escape the bombs; that has little chance of finding those who planned the September 11 attacks (and even if found, no chance that this would stop terrorism); and that can only multiply the ranks of people who are angry at this country, from whose ranks terrorists are born?

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