JUSTIFYING WAR
The conflict is over now. War was officially over when President Bush made a statement aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. I was also against the war, but after analyzing everything I have come to terms with it.

I think President Bush needed to take some action, like Arjuna did in the Mahabharata. After all, action is superior to inaction, according to Lord Krishna. I do believe the President that the war was justified. If his action was selfless and in the real interest of the Iraqi people, as he said, then this was justified. Lord Krishna also justified the war of Mahabharata.

Sometimes war can make sense if the action done is selfless. We should hope for a better future for the Iraqi people. Onlty time will prove the true intentions of President Bush. If his words are true then we can consider him a true karma yogi.

Lazwanti Bhaia, Sunnyvale, CA

IT’S STILL OSAMA
Just read the editorial “It’s Still Osama, Stupid,” (IC March 2003). It was sad and even embarrassing to read such a feeble display of reasoning. To consider America’s presence in Afghanistan a “complete failure” because we have not captured Osama bin Laden is a rather naive point of view. Was our primary effort in the last world war to capture Hitler?

It is not true that the “number one stated goal” of Bush’s administration is to capture Osama, even though much effort has been allotted to the capture of the key al Qaeda leaders. The goal was frequently and clearly stated by President Bush as a long-term struggle against world terrorism … and not only against al Qaeda.

If you are unable to understand the influence of Saddam Hussein’s oil money on world terrorism, that is fine. But that is no reason to blatantly misrepresent the facts of political reality. Isn’t it obvious that the Afghani people have been shorn of a brutal and oppressive regime, and that may soon be true of the Iraqi people? This, of course, in addition to depriving terrorism of two safe havens so far. We do not know how these countries will ultimately make use of their new freedoms. But to this observer with roots in Eastern Europe, such nascent opportunities cannot be viewed as a failure.

Yes, the war on terrorism will be long and hard, and it will take time for world opinion to correctly assess America’s leadership. Let us hope that even the pitiable terrorism in Kashmir will become uprooted, when all is said and done.

Ted W. Kopczynski, San Jose, CA

CONDEMN KILLINGS
I am appalled at the horrendous massacre of 24 Kashmiri Pandits including women and children at Nadimarg village, by unidentified gunmen. It is clear that the killers were interested in undermining the “healing touch policy” initiated by the Mufti Sayeed regime, setting back his initiatives to bring back the Pandits who fled the Valley in a massive exodus in 1990.

I am heartened to see that the Kashmiri Muslims immediately rallied in support of their Pandit brethren and held large protest demonstrations; The entire Valley shut down on March 25 in response to a call for a strike by the Hurriyet Conference, thus sending a clear signal to the killers that Kashmiri Muslims do not approve of the killings of their Hindu brethren and that Kashmiriyat—the composite culture with the glorious traditions of communal amity, tolerance and compassion—is still flourishing.

Innocent Kashmiri civilians, both the Muslims and the Hindus continue to be brutalized in the crossfire between the militants and the security forces. The numbers speak for themselves: An officially estimated 19,866 people had been killed in Kashmir in the period 1990-1998, including 982 Hindus and Sikhs; Civilians have paid a huge price: 6,673 civilians killed by the militants and 2,477 civilians killed by the Indian forces. In addition, renegade militants used by the security forces have perpetrated excesses and continue to be the most dreaded group.

Kashmiris have long demanded an impartial inquiry into similar unresolved incidents like March 2000 Chattisinghpora Sikh massacre and 1998 Wandhama killing of 23 Pandits; Despite repeated demands, inquiries were never held or shelved.

It is imperative that all sides renounce violence and put and end to human rights violations: Pakistan-backed militants and the Indian state. The appalling security lapse in the Nadimarg massacre must be investigated and corrected. The Sayeed Government should continue the healing-touch policy. In the larger picture, the longstanding Kashmir issue must be resolved by unconditional dialogues including Kashmiris. As Moti Lal, one of the Nadimarg survivors pointed out, “such killings cannot be stopped unless Kashmir issue is resolved. How can our Muslim brethren ensure our security when they are themselves dying?”

Akhila Raman, Berkeley, CA
AN APPEAL
Due to the new terrorism policies, the U.S. government has initiated deportation proceedings against longtime local DJ Keshav Jiwnani, aka KJ. Although KJ has resided in the United States for 17 years, he is being forced to go through these proceedings since he was born in Pakistan.

KJ came to the U.S. at age 17 to escape religious and anti-gay persecution in Muslim Pakistan, where homosexuality is illegal and severely punished. Since his safety would unquestionably be threatened if deported back to Pakistan, KJ has applied for political asylum in the U.S.

KJ’s case for political asylum is currently under review by U.S. authorities. If his application for political asylum is denied, he will have to appear before a federal judge for possible deportation.

KJ has contributed a great amount to the local community, and many have expressed support for KJ’s application for political asylum. Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-SF) and San Francisco City Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, and Bevan Dufty have written letters of support. Hundreds of local citizens have signed a petition in favor of KJ’s asylum request.

KJ is being represented by the Law Office of Robert Jobe, which specializes in political asylum cases. In order to help with his considerable legal bills, the San Francisco Late Night Coalition (www.sflnc.org) has agreed to administer a legal defense fund. Please donate to the KJ Legal Defense fund.
Mohan Dadlani, via the Internet

KUDOS
I am so pleased to find your wonderful magazine for the first time in Contra Costa County. I truly appreciate your useful cultural efforts.

Julie Zachary, Concord, CA

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