To the Editor:

Davi Bernstein (“Bombing Taliban must be precursor to broader war,” 10/16) should actually try cracking open a history book before lecturing the rest of us on the lessons that history has to offer.

Students are right to question the pragmatism of our current campaign in Afghanistan. Within the past decade, U.S. bombs have rained on a number of nations with little effect. Our previous strikes in Afghanistan and the Sudan obviously did nothing to slow bin Laden and his cohorts.

We reduced much of Baghdad to rubble, yet Saddam Hussein still sits on the throne we helped him construct. Israel’s long history of bombing Palestinian and Lebanese civilians has only increased popular support for extremist movements. Their aggressive “anti-terrorist” measures have done little to ensure their overall safety — Israelis continue to live in fear of terrorist attacks.

I doubt that anyone is suggesting we negotiate with bin Laden or the Taliban. However, protecting American lives will require much more than dropping bombs on defenseless Third World nations — such actions have not worked in the past; they won’t work now.

Saeed Ahmed MED ’03

October 16, 2001