|Review, Summer 2001). After all, Al-Shifa “provided 50 percent of Sudan’s medicines, and its destruction has left the country with no supplies of chloroquine, the standard treatment for malaria” (Patrick Wintour, Observer, December 20, 1998).
Additionally, Al-Shifa was “the only one producing TB drugs-for more than 100,000 patients, at about 1 British pound a month. Costlier imported versions are not an option for most of them-or for their husbands, wives and children, who will have been infected since. Al-Shifa was also the only factory making veterinary drugs in this vast, mostly pastoralist, country. Its specialty was drugs to kill the parasites which pass from herds to herders, one of Sudan’s principal causes of infant mortality” (James Astill, Guardian, October 2, 2001).
The bombing of the Al-Shifa plant also resulted in the mass exodus ofSudan’s international organizations. Human Rights Watch observed that because of the bombing, “all UN agencies based in Khartoum have evacuated their American staff, as have many other relief organizations.” Because of this “many relief efforts have been postponed indefinitely, including a crucial one run by the U.S.- based International Rescue Committee are dying daily.” Additionally, “the UN estimates that 2.4 million people are at risk of starvation,” and the “disruption in assistance” for the “devastated population” may produce a “terrible crisis.”
Therefore, it is not so surprising that Osama Bin Laden’s popularity rose after the Al-Shifa bombing. This horrible incident, along with U.S. policy in Iraq in the past ten years, has devastated Iraq’s civilian population while strengthening Saddam Hussein. The U.S. egregiously supported Hussein during his gassing of the Kurds in 1988 which provided Bin Laden with a way to defend his irrational hatred of the United States. Perhaps the only way to counter the United States’ terrorism, is with terrorism of one’s own.
If the United States is to continue its war on terrorism, it shouldperhaps aim its war not at Osama Bin Laden or Iraq (what many predict is next on the U.S.’s list), but rather at itself. It is only by eradicating its status as the world’s leading terrorist state, that the U.S. can eradicate terrorism.