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Horrific, criminal, vicious, inhuman, gruesome, savage: Yes, the immolation death of Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh is all of this [“Group’s immolation killing of pilot outrages Middle East,” Nation & World, Feb. 4]. But the agony endured by this Jordanian pilot was short compared to that of Afghan taxi driver Dilawar who was killed in 2002.

Dilawar, whose story can easily be found in The Seattle Times’ online archives, was hung by his arms for several days. During this time, his captors battered his legs until they were “pulpified” according to a medical examiner. According to witnesses, his captors found Dilawar’s cries to Allah amusing, and repeatedly hit the civilian just to elicit his pleas.

Those unfamiliar with the story might wonder who these savage torturers and murderers were. They were U.S. military personnel. The Islamic State and the United States may think of one another as the inhuman enemy, but the real enemy is war itself. War causes atrocities by people who in other circumstances would behave decently and even kindly. Have not the U.S. wars in recent history (Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan) taught us that wars accomplish no good? War benefits only the weapons manufacturers. War is the enemy.

Jean Buskin, Seattle