An Unpopular Post
Before I enter into the subject let me say that I abhor violence of all types
and feel for innocent victims on any side of the perennial bomb line. I wouldn't
want ANY 9/11 to happen to anyone, ever.
It's been 5 years since a handful of fanatics hijacked some planes and used them as missiles, killing nearly 3000 people. It was horrible. It was unjustified - just as no violence is ever justified unless in self-defense. And the horrible event has been used ad nauseum to justify, well, the unjustifiable.
We're at war against a tactic. And I'm afraid we deserve it - because of our national callousness, ignorance and willingness to be hoodwinked at the drop of a hat.
Callousness? Nobody seems to remember that our country was found guilty (by the World Court and based on arguments and precedents originally used by the US) as a sponsor of state terrorism. Everybody seems to overlook our School of the Americas... and even a previous 9/11 that we sponsored and that cost the lives of even more people than "our" 9/11. We harp about democracy and human rights - yet have inevitably preferred tyrannical regimes over democratic ones, if the latter weren't open to our economic exploitation.
Ignorance? How many of us remember that Reagan considered another herd of terrorists as the "moral equivalent of our founding fathers". These were, of course, the Contras and the mujahideen. How many of us remember a couple of direct and indirect little interventions of our very own that killed over a million a piece - in Indonesia and SE Asia? I won't get into Hiroshima and Dresden, our support of genocide on 3 continents or ... and... and...
Willingness to be hoodwinked? When Dubya asked "why do they hate us" (and then unilaterally invaded a former ally), does anyone think that it is was rhetorical question? When Dubya said that "the world changed", what actually changed considering the fact that even the WTC had been attacked before by the very same group?
What is truly remarkable is that our 9/11 didn't happen long ago. The forbearance of so much of the world is so much greater than ours - patiently accepting death, destruction, oppression, humiliation - without hitting back. Perhaps our victims have a healthy fear of our might and reach, perhaps they have learned empathy, perhaps they realize that violence begets violence. Or any combination of the above. What can no longer be said is that the world distinguishes between the egregious policies of our government and our citizens. The re-election of Dubya took care of that one for the foreseeable future.
Since 1898 our foreign policy has been imperialist, grasping, short-sighted - and largely ignored by the electorate. We have been made comfortable in our ignorance by the soothing truisms and self- righteous rhetoric of BOTH our political parties. As a people we have listened to lies, wholly uncritical and, as if this needs reiteration, with the complicity of our press. I find it difficult to calculate which of our two parties has a bigger butcher's bill, just as I find it difficult to figure out which party's lies and manipulations are more egregious.
As a people we need to tell our politicians that enough is enough. As supporters of the DNC we need to eliminate the corporate cancer that is infecting our party almost as much as the "other" one. We must demand that the press should speak the truth. It is imperative that we learn EMPATHY, because the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are no longer a shield against aggression nor an excuse for ignorance.
But first let us take back our party.
"The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair." -- H. L. MENCKEN
DU link (48 votes for "Greatest" page.)